Radio Active / Back Strokes / Don't Delay
Thursday, May 31, 2001
Static Cling: Ed Dickinson, who this year celebrates his 50th anniversary in radio, was nominated by his colleagues for induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Dickinson hosts KIDD Magic 63AM''s weekend morning show Way Back Now, a celebration of big-band music and its history.
Radio Active In this day of satellite-fed, computer-programmed radio stations, it''s hard to believe but, once upon a time not so very long ago, radio was the voice of this country. Or, rather, it was the voices of this country--each station''s broadcast as idiosyncratic and idiomatic as its home region. Now, as more and more stations are controlled by large corpo- rations, you can hear what sounds very much like the same station in almost every town across the land.
But there are a few old troupers left out there, guys who have found homes at independent stations that give them the latitude to practice old-time radio. Ed Dickinson, who celebrates his 50th year in radio in 2001, is one of those guys. His home is KIDD Magic 63AM, where every weekend morning he delivers Way Back Now, a program of big-band music, anecdotes and history of the genre. Everyone who knows Dickinson''s style describes it with words like "laid back," "easygoing" or "downhome."
To help celebrate Dickinson''s golden anniversary in radio, the folks at KIDD nominated him for recognition in the Radio Hall of Fame, an outfit operated since 1991 by the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. This year, Dickinson is one of 16 nominees hoping to add his name alongside those of Jack Benny, Orson Welles, Casey Kasem and Wolfman Jack, among others.
If it seems like Dickinson''s election to the hall is a long shot, you have to remember that the general membership of the Radio Hall of Fame does the voting. Bruce DuMont, president of the museum, says nationwide membership of the group totals about 2,500. Do the math: An aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign by any nominee might ensure a place in history.
In some ways, such campaigning helps further the Hall of Fame''s goals. Any nominee or radio station that promotes the contest increases the group''s membership and furthers its mission to honor radio''s illustrious history. According to DuMont, he thinks there are enough names from radio''s past to form the basis of an honor roll for 10 to 15 years. After that, DuMont isn''t sure what''s going to happen.
With on-air human personality increasingly de-emphasized, the Hall of Fame might have to induct computers or satellites. But who would vote for them?
You can get more info about the Radio Hall of Fame by clicking on www.radiohof.org.
Back Strokes Speaking of oldtim... uh... longtimers, mark your calendars for the fte honoring Bonnie Gartshore, whose career as a writer and editor with the Monterey Herald spans more than 50 years. If Gartshore''s only contributions to the county were her writings with the Herald, we wouldn''t quite know whether to offer our congratulations or our condolences. Fortunately, Gartshore''s many other works remove us from that dilemma. Gartshore, who pens the "Looking Back" column, is a native Montereyan who graduated from San Carlos School in 1939, attended Pacific Grove High School, and graduated from San Jose State University as a journalism major. When she began working for the Herald, Gartshore started in the society section--the place where most women at the time were sequestered. Despite the many changes in the paper''s ownership, Gartshore has persevered--maybe that''s because, as one of her former editors put it, "nobody is ever Bonnie''s boss." And Gartshore is not one of those writers who remain hidden away inside the office. For 20 years, she taught English and speech classes to prisoners at Soledad, and she''s been on the board or a member of so many local arts/literary organizations that it''s tough to keep track. Gartshore has also published a couple books of her own poetry, performed poetry readings, published a mini-book on artist Jo Mora, and has a book of her columns from the Herald printed as Footprints From the Past. We''re talking about someone who is very much a part of the community. On Saturday, June 9, in the Memory Garden (appropriately enough) at Custom House Plaza, there''s going to be an event of "Gartshorian" proportions, with guest speakers, poets, writers and musicians paying tribute to Gartshore and her contributions. It''s at 2pm, it''s free and everyone''s invited.
Don''t Delay There are still some main-stage tickets left for this year''s Monterey Bay Blues Festival (June 22-24). (Of course, with headliners James Brown and Little Richard, maybe the festival would be better titled Monterey Bay Rhythm and Blues Festival, but never mind that, it''s still a pretty cool lineup.) In addition to Brown and Richard, festival favorites Clarence Carter and Etta James are returning and an extensive lineup of smaller acts also is booked for the event. For more info, call 394-2652.
--Chuck Thurman (email@example.com)