Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Will 2013 Be Lucky 13 for Bob Crane?

Beginning in 2011, we have been raising awareness about Bob Crane's extensive work in radio and broadcasting. Much of what he did in radio from 1950 to 1965 was unprecedented for its day, and Bob can, without a doubt, be credited with paving the way for radio personalities for generations to come. Over time, many have officially endorsed Bob's nomination, including WLEA in Hornell, NY; WICC in Bridgeport, CT; the Connecticut Broadcasting History organization; members of the Columbia Square (KNX) Alumni Group; and several of his radio colleagues. These outstanding professionals in radio and broadcasting strongly support Bob Crane's induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. That he has not yet been recognized, considering his rich career in the industry and his dedication to it, is a travesty.

Simply put, Bob's work in radio included many elements:
  • The ability and allowance to play his own records, a ground-breaking move by the Engineers' Union in the mid-1950s.
  • His talents in music and drumming, which he incorporated into his radio show by playing along with songs.
  • Making fun with sponsors' commercials, and by doing so, including them as part of his show rather than a break from his show.
  • Bob was a gifted voice impersonator, having been labeled the "Man of 1000 Voices."
  • Thousands of sound effects.
  • The capability to locate a record, and then the exact groove in that particular record, within seconds to produce the exact sound effect or voice he wanted for that moment in his show.
  • The interviewing of approximately 3,000 individuals over KNX, most of them being celebrities.
  • For a sponsor to buy air time over KNX during Bob's morning program, the sponsor had to buy air time elsewhere during the day. There was a premium to be aired during Bob's show, and you couldn't just be aired over Bob's show. As a result, Bob Crane made KNX a lot of money from 1956-1965.
  • "Arguably the most listenable DJ in LA history, Crane helped uncover and establish several entertainment icons." (Harvey Geller, former Vice President and Editor, Cash Box Magazine (West Coast); Columnist, Feature Writer, Editor, and Sales Executive, Variety Magazine and Billboard Magazine; friend and neighbor of Bob Crane)

Bob Crane interviewed thousands over KNX-CBS Radio / 1956-1965
Click to enlarge the image.

So how is it that Bob Crane has not yet been recognized in the National Radio Hall of Fame? Keep in mind that his lifestyle was shocking only in that it was not what the public had imagined "Colonel Hogan" to be. Further, it did not define who he was. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, this was part of his private life, not anybody else's business except his own, and it was a side of his life that he was not at all proud of. According to Rev. Edward Beck, Bob had recognized his behavior as a powerful and destructive force in his life (he himself called it an addiction), and he was seeking professional help to overcome it shortly before his murder. In what way should any of this deny him of an honor that is so rightfully his? 

Bob's lucky number has always been 13. We are hopeful that 2013 will prove just as lucky, and we will see his induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame this year.

Stay tuned...