Friday, October 23, 2015

Tribute to Kevin P. Doran — Owner, General Manager of WLEA

Over the course of researching Bob Crane's biography, I've met, talked with, and gotten to know many people across the country and all over the world. These individuals become a part of my own life and make a lasting impression. Kevin P. Doran, owner and general manager of WLEA in Hornell, New York, was no exception.

Bob Crane at WLEA, Hornell, NY (1950)
Courtesy of Scott Crane and published in
Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography.
WLEA holds the honor of being the first radio station to hire Bob, and it will always be an important chapter in both his and WLEA's history. At WLEA, Bob started applying his learned and self-developed broadcasting skills, voice impersonations, and gimmicks. It was where he first experimented with his formula of sampling and began "messing" with or "enhancing" sponsors' ads. And WLEA is very proud of Bob Crane and of his affiliation with their station. 

When Linda Groundwater started researching Bob's biography in 2003, WLEA was one of the first places of importance that she contacted. Kevin responded quickly, full of support and offers to help in any way that he could. I also reached out to Kevin a few times—both for help with the biography as well as with our efforts for Bob's induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Kevin never failed to offer his assistance wherever he could, which included reaching out to his listeners who may have known Bob or listened to his show. And some of those responses made it into the book!

Kevin also provided a statement of praise for Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, which is published on the back jacket cover, stating: "If you're a Bob Crane fan, this book is a must. Loved the old pictures of Crane in his WLEA days."

On April 16, 2014, Kevin interviewed me. It was my first-ever radio interview, and this rookie was just a little nervous! It was pre-recorded, where I called in from home. It was pouring down rain that day, and I was trying to keep my six-month-old golden retriever puppy, Copper, quiet, but was failing miserably. During a break in the interview, I managed to get him outside despite the April showers, and although he got pretty muddy, at least he wasn't squeaking the toys anymore! Right towards the end of the interview, Copper let out a few loud barks, and these can be heard in the interview. Kevin laughed, saying, "Mad dog!" I'll never forget it—my first interview, and Copper had to get his two cents in!

I was saddened to learn that on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, Kevin succumbed to leukemia, a battle he had been fighting for decades. I, along with Linda Groundwater and Dee Young, offer our sincerest condolences to Kevin's family, friends, and coworkers. Kevin will always be remembered as one of the best, and I know he will be missed by so many who loved him. Rest in peace, Kevin, and thank you for everything.