Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Voice

(no, not the tv show!)…. in our family, one person was gifted with a voice.  not only a singing voice good enough to be the lead in a band that was wildly popular back in the day and even cut a few records that made the charts (the chevrons - oh, I wish I had some pics!), but a speaking voice that was distinctive enough to make a career choice so plain that no thought whatever had to go into it.

Not the Chevrons.... but another singing gig in the 60's

you see, my brother bob has always been a radio guy.  he was up on the latest pop music while I was still a toddler, driving my parents just a little bit crazy with his constant “drum-beating” on the back of the car seat, even when the radio wasn’t on!

 when i was in elementary school, he started his first radio station.   it was housed in our basement and broadcast all the way to the next door neighbors’ house.  pretty amazing.  so it was no surprise when he landed his first radio dj job on the campus station while he was still a college student.

one thing led to another and eventually his radio name became a household word in grand rapids, michigan.  he decided he wanted to raise his family there, so resisted offers to go to bigger markets, but  he had plenty of work - not only on the radio, but doing voice jobs, mc-ing special events and even tv spots. 

Always amazes me that he knows how to work all this stuff!

it was a thrill for me to have a “famous” brother – his distinctive voice could be heard all over town! (yet you couldn't find a humbler, more likable guy!!)

From the Grand Rapids Press, 2004
 well, the last few years have been tough ones for local radio stations.  live radio is becoming a rarity.   in spite of station changes, take-overs, down-sizing and cut hours, bob always managed to keep something going.  until last week.  sadly, experience does not seem to count as much as youth these days and he was let go.  no fanfare.  no warning.  no good-bye or thank you party. 

so i thought it was only right that i pay a little tribute here  in my corner to a long and successful career - ended too soon.  love you, bob, and so sad to see this happen but glad i still get to hear your voice…. (on the telephone!)


  1. The entire way life is conducted, or was conducted, seems to have changed. Something to do with respect perhaps. Thank you for a glimpse into an obviously fabulous career. Was he ever familiar with Red Robinson of Vancouver/Portland ... around the same era I would think. Small world. All the very best - I hope there is some sort of a celebraton. These passages need to be recognized.

  2. what a beautiful tribute to your brother Patty.

    i am sorry to hear of what happened but am a believer in "when one door closes....."

    sending you love and hugs

  3. Thanks for a great tribute to a great guy whom we both can proudly claim as our brother. I too have a feeling that we will hear his voice again--and not just on the phone. For now, I hope he gets to sleep in a bit in the morning.

  4. What a sweet and loving tribute to your brother! I hope you can hear his voice again soon - and not just on the telephone.

  5. oh that's so great that you have this forum to do a tribute for him - I'm sure he really appreciated it. And my heart goes out to him & you...but I'm sure great things are also on the horizon. :)


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