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Legendary Broadcaster Paul Harvey Dies, Provided Me Countless Memories

March 1, 2009

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A part of our national radio family has died.  And I feel like crying.  I never met him, and yet I feel I knew him.  He was a guest in our home so often that he does feel like family.

Paul Harvey captivated millions of radio listeners with his daily delivery of the news in a fashion that was unique and so identifiable.  One never had to ask who was on the radio once his voice was heard.   He had a very firm set of values and political points of view which often ran counter to my outlook on life and government, and yet I was one of his biggest fans.  He had a warm rich voice that never missed the proper way to pronounce a word, and made each and every syllable ring with clarity.  I loved as a kid to just listen to the way he said words.  I still loved as an adult to hear his broadcasts for those same reasons until he stopped doing his show on a regular basis not so long ago. 

From my childhood days he was a radio personality to emulate and admire.  As an adult I never tired of hearing his views and outlooks on the world, and always smiled when he ended his shows with a story that was aimed to lift and provoke a smile. And then the classic ending, “Gooood  Daaay”.

I did admire him so much.

Paul Harvey was a daily voice in our home when I was a boy, since radio was one of the prime ways we received our news and information.  Our home did not have television until I was 12, so it was radio personalities like Paul Harvey that brought the world to us each noon hour on WDUX Radio from Waupaca.  On most Saturdays my family had a routine that involved going shopping, and while my mom would browse in one of the Stevens Point stores my dad and I would often listen to the weekend edition of Harvey’s news and comments.

Every now and then my dad would mimic Harvey’s way of leading into a commercial by repeating  ‘page two’….’page three’.  If was often that segue between news and advertisement that led some to chastise Harvey for his style.  Maybe it was because I was a long-time listener and clearly knew the difference between the two, or perhaps because I was not objective enough, but it never seemed to me to be blurring news and sponsors in any way  degraded the quality of his program.    Quite the opposite, it was a unique show that worked, and it never lacked for advertisers.  ABC executives have been quoted as saying Harvey was bringing in more than 10 percent of the network’s $300 million in advertising billings.

As an adult I ventured into radio, and Paul Harvey was one of those authoritative toned broadcasters that made me want to try for a chance behind the microphone myself.  My first radio job at WDOR Radio in Sturgeon Bay carried Paul Harvey two times a day, and also his famed “Rest Of The Story” which I loved to hear.    I never came close to emulating his ability to speak so clearly, but I still recall the kick I  got from saying, “Time now for Paul Harvey Noon News and Commentary brought to you by First National Bank of Sturgeon Bay.”   As a kid I never thought it would be my voice that would be the lead-in for the guy with ‘the voice’.  This all is probably hard to understand for many of my readers, and that is fine.  But I hope that this helps convey some of the reasons so many are sad tonight over the death of Paul Harvey.  He made so many memories over the years by just doing his job so remarkably well.

We now often stay up late at night at our home, and one of the last things I heard before bed on WGN Radio was the “Rest of the Story.’  It is somehow a soothing connection to my past, even when the world now seems chaotic and rushing blindly in unknown directions.  The voice of Paul Harvey that was a part of my childhood, and decades of adulthood, brings so many memories to mind, and served me like a warm blanket before bed.

Now the voice is stilled.

May God grant Paul Harvey peace and a swift journey home.

One Comment
  1. March 2, 2009 4:09 PM

    The work ethic of Paul Harvey and his integrity as a person was way above the norm. Paul Harvey was one of my favorites when I was growing up. Paul Harvey was a one of a kind and he will be missed.

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