Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bob Crane on Acting and Being a Hero - 'Think John Wayne' (TV Guide - August 3, 1968)

When Bob Crane was in school, he was one of the most popular kids around. A drummer in his high school and community jazz bands, a quick wit, and a comedian, Bob was also nice to everybody. Further, he loved making people laugh. His friends remember him for his sunny personality and always being the first with a joke or a gag.

As far back as junior high school, Bob was doing different impersonations of people. One of his classmates remembered he could impersonate one of their school teachers perfectly. The teacher had a slight speech impediment, and Bob's classmate criticized him for making fun of her. While he hadn't seen it as ridiculing the teacher, but instead, just having some fun, Bob also didn't brush it off, either. He took the criticism to heart and felt genuinely bad about it, never making fun of the teacher again. He would later say to a group of students at LA College to always be mindful of what they say on air - if you think something is a little off-color, then chances are, others will think so, too.

This is just one example of countless stories of Bob's sensitivity, and from it, was born what would become the cornerstone of his humor: that of self-depreciating humor. By making himself the number-one target of his razor-sharp wit, Bob could then turn that wit onto others - such as celebrities and paying advertisers - in such a way as to not offend, but rather, take part in his style of humor. 

Bob Crane was also driven - a word used by many who knew him from all walks of his life. He was continually driving himself to another career goal. Moving from the "zany" world of radio into the field of acting, Bob began to hone his acting talents. When watching early episodes of Hogan's Heroes, the character of Colonel Hogan is a bit more campy, someone who is less serious and more fun. Later on, however, the character begins to develop a more profound leadership quality, which Bob worked very hard to achieve. 

In the article posted here (from TV Guide - August 3, 1968), Bob talks about how he transformed Colonel Hogan from the young, wise-cracking POW in season one into the more mature, serious officer and group leader from season two through the series' end. Bob Crane molds Hogan into a larger-than-life hero who realizes the dangers of war yet thrives on keeping the upper hand at the expense of Klink and the Nazis, but who does so in the classic style of the legendary John Wayne.

Click on each image below and then again in the new window for easier reading.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Connecticut Post Article - Bob Crane, Former WICC Host, Up for Radio Hall of Fame (January 22, 2012)

Yesterday's issue of the Connecticut Post featured a full-page article dedicated to Bob Crane and his nomination for the National Radio Hall of Fame. The article contains fantastic interviews with Robert Scott Crane (Bob's son), Morgan Kaolian (WICC and Channel 43), and Al Warren (WICC). 

To read the article, click on the link below:

We couldn't be happier with the article, and we thank Connecticut Post writer John Burgeson for his terrific work.

Let us know what you think! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Update on Recent Events / Official National Radio Hall of Fame Campaign for Bob Crane

The past few weeks have been nothing short of exciting for all of us here with Vote For Bob Crane. On January 12, 2012, we launched our new Web site (, which is our new Internet home! This blog will "reside" on our new site, and we will continue to post here on a regular basis (including vintage commercials, celebrity interviews, and drums/music as aired by Bob over KNX, KMPC, and the U.S. Armed Force Radio Network from the 1950s-1970s), tweet and post on Twitter and Facebook, and keep you up to date with all media happenings.

On January 13, 2012, we issued a press release officially announcing Bob Crane's nomination for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame (see below). A terrific success, early stats report it was picked up on over 1000 Internet sites around the world. We couldn't be happier!

And that's not all! In the very near future, The Connecticut Post will publish a full story on Bob Crane and his nomination for the Hall of Fame, featuring an interview with Bob's son, Robert Scott Crane. As soon as it is published, we'll share the link with you here and on our all our social media.

We're just getting warmed up, so stay tuned. And many thanks to all of you for your continued support!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Bob Crane, circa 1965.
(The Official National Radio
Hall of Fame Campaign)
January 13, 2012 – Bridgeport, CT—Radio personality Bob Crane, who also portrayed Colonel Robert E. Hogan in the television series Hogan's Heroes, has been nominated posthumously for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame for his extensive work in broadcasting.

Crane's nomination is endorsed by WICC-600 AM radio in Bridgeport, CT, the Connecticut Broadcasting History organization and several of his radio colleagues.

Nominations for the National Radio Hall of Fame are accepted through March 1 of each year, and individuals are judged and selected based on their overall achievements and contributions to radio and broadcasting. The ballot of this year's official nominees will be announced in June or July 2012, and voting will be open to the public during the late summer on the National Radio Hall of Fame Web site. Those selected for induction will be announced in November 2012.

Bob Crane's work in radio spanned three decades, and he was one of the first radio personalities to be granted permission by the Broadcast Engineers Union to play his own records. This is one of several changes Crane helped inspire, cementing his reputation as an innovator in the radio industry.

"Bob Crane performed his radio show with split-second timing and the use of various gimmicks and sound effects, many pre-recorded on acetate," says Carol Ford, campaign manager for Crane's induction into the Hall of Fame. "For his show to work, he needed to select and play certain records himself, something that had previously only been done by station engineers."

During his show, Crane played drums, used gimmicks and performed more than 1,000 different voices, all his own creations and often mixed in with songs and paid advertising. Crane's program consistently ranked at the top of audience market shares on each coast.

Born in Waterbury, CT, in 1928 and raised in Stamford, CT, Crane graduated from high school in 1946. He began his broadcasting career at WLEA in Hornell, NY, in 1950. In 1951, he returned to Connecticut and worked for WBIS in Bristol for three months before moving to WLIZ/WICC in Bridgeport. Crane was also program director for WLEA, WBIS and WICC. In 1956, he relocated to Los Angeles to work for KNX-CBS Radio, where he conducted interviews with approximately 3,000 celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cosby and Ronald Reagan. Crane left KNX in 1965 to pursue a career in acting but remained close to radio throughout his life, broadcasting for the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network in the late 1960s and KMPC in Los Angeles in the 1970s.

On June 29, 1978, Crane was murdered in Scottsdale, AZ, and the crime has never been officially solved. The investigation revealed Crane had had a proclivity to sex with numerous consenting women. Shortly before his death, however, Crane admitted to Reverend Edward Beck, a pastor and addiction counselor, to having a sexual addiction and wanting to break free of it.

"Bob Crane recognized his addiction and had committed to changing for the sake of being a better father to his children, whom he adored," says Rev. Beck, who had been helping Crane locate a psychiatrist specializing in sexual addiction in Southern California in the days prior to his death. "It's a tragedy that Bob Crane's legacy comes down to his murder and addiction, rather than what I believe is his real legacy—a very caring man who was a tremendously talented entertainer."

A strong supporter of Crane, WICC proudly honors their former morning radioman.

"Bob Crane had a rich history in radio broadcasting," says WICC Station Operations Manager Curt Hansen. "WICC is proud to have employed Mr. Crane during his early years in radio and openly recognizes his outstanding career achievements well before his addiction became active."

Ford further contends that Crane's addiction and murder should not define him, and that his work should speak for itself.

"Bob Crane has been called a radio genius by his colleagues," she says. "It's time he receives the proper recognition he deserves."

In 1988, the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago inducted the first members into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Since then, those who shaped and transformed the radio and broadcasting industry have been honored annually.

For more information and updates, and to hear segments of Crane's radio program, visit

To learn more about the National Radio Hall of Fame, visit


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bob Crane Interviews Marilyn Monroe / KNX-CBS Radio Circa 1960

The beautiful and incomparable Norma Jeane Mortenson (Baker), known to the world as Marilyn Monroe, hardly needs an introduction. Born on June 1, 1926, she will always be loved and adored by millions, living forever in our hearts. Countless books and articles have been written and movies produced detailing her life, career, and tragic demise on August 5, 1962. Buried in Pierce Brothers Memorial Park in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, she rests only a few steps away from Bob Crane's final resting place.

In 1960, Bob interviewed Ms. Monroe, which was broadcast over KNX-CBS Radio in 1960 and 1964. We hope you enjoy both her sweetness and his humor, remembering them each for their talents and career highlights, and as kind souls taken from the world much too soon.

Marilyn Monroe Interview with Bob Crane
The Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio
Circa 1960