|A souvenir from Nov. 1977|
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Let's Be Heard!
From the Ether Dept.: I just learned that Bob Grant died on New Year's Eve. He was 84, and had been a fixture of New York call-in radio since 1970, when he pretty much invented the format on WMCA. He was controversial enough to be booted from station to station over the years, bouncing him to WOR and WABC and back to WAMC.
I listened to him in the glory days when you also had Jean Shepherd and Barry Farber and Long John Nebel holding forth on the AM dial, but Grant carried on a crackling political discourse that, for all the unpleasantness of his opinions, at least was rooted in intelligence. Plus, I heard him also doing "psychic readings" those first few years, which underscored the fact that he was an entertainer at heart. The current bloviators -- Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, and the like -- who pay tribute to Grant have nothing in common with the talk-show host I used to listen to. In later years, Grant became a caricature of himself, no doubt of a panicky wish to compete with the more vapid youngsters taking over the microphones, but in his palmy days, nobody could touch him for delightful outrageousness.