Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Worth 1,000 Words: Rare Photos from Bob Crane's KNX Days

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true of photographs of Bob Crane working in radio. Bob was a pioneer in the industry—and an unsung radio pioneer at that. His radio colleagues called him a radio genius. Leo McElroy, who worked with Bob at KNX, said that watching him performing his morning radio show was like watching a "spectator sport."

So many of us wish he were still here to talk with us, even if only for five minutes. But he's not here—his life cut short by the cruel hand of another. So seeing photos of Bob at work, behind the mic, spinning the records, his drum set visible in the background—it's priceless. 

However, to this day, the National Radio Hall of Fame will not acknowledge Bob's extensive and groundbreaking work in broadcasting, and that's a shame. Their reason is simple: scandal. They just will not see past the scandal surrounding Bob Crane. At least that's how it stands right now.

Bob Crane is only "guilty" of consensual sex with adult women, whom he occasionally photographed or video recorded. Keep in mind the key words here are consensual and adult. And yes, the women knew they were being photographed and/or filmed. This was investigated by authorities following Bob's murder and proven as fact.

Bob's addiction goes way back to the 1950s, long before he even arrived in Hollywood. It lasted for decades. But then, shortly before his murder, he realized he was a sexual addict. He wanted to change, so he sought counseling. He was serious about it, too. However, as with any addiction, it was not something he was going to overcome in one day. It was going to be an ongoing, life-long struggle. It was a private battle for him, and him alone, not to be ridiculed or judged. After his murder, however, his privacy was invaded and forced out into the world, with no perspective or understanding. 

Now look at the list of inductees in the National Radio Hall of Fame.

I'm not saying anyone on that list isn't deserving of the recognition. Congratulations to each and every inductee. I'm happy for them, in all honesty. It's a great honor to be recognized in such an institution. But some of those people actually learned radio techniques from Bob. Many on that list respected Bob's work and appreciated his talents. And still some others have had their own set of troubles splashed across headlines.

Should that keep them from being honored for their work in radio? No. But then, the same should hold true for Bob Crane.

It doesn't.

Bob Crane should be honored by the National Radio Hall of Fame. And that's part of why we're here. It's a lot of hard work, researching a man's whole life, writing and publishing his definitive biography, maintaining this blog and all of the social media that go with it, and producing a podcast.

Do you really think we'd still be here, after all this time, spending all of this effort, if Bob Crane had truly been a rotten person? Think about that.

All we ask—members of Bob's family, his friends, my co-authors/co-researchers, and me—is that in the midst of all the noise, you take a step back, stop, and think.