Do’s and Don’ts I learned from Dave

Dave (BLANK) was a colorful character I met when I was started working in radio as a teenager. He was in his 30s and worked for a competing station, but in our small city everyone knew everyone. I learned on Facebook that he died last week.
I hadn’t thought of Dave in a long time and we hadn’t talked in over 30 years, but I’ve been recalling things I learned from him.

DON’T smoke.  Dave had a smooth “announcer” delivery, and he was one of several radio people I’ve known that believed smoking improved their voice.  They have all either quit smoking or died.       

DO be different.  Dave was in charge of music for his station, which played lots of Sinatra and Streisand, but he had a knack for finding good new songs, too.  I first heard Linda Ronstadt on Dave’s show.      

DON’T confuse listeners.  Dave loved Chicago, and decided that our town should also have a “loop,” even though you could drive from end to end in 10 minutes.  When he would announce the temperature “in the loop,” listeners had no idea what he was talking about. 

DO have a style.  Dave sounded different and better than the other people on his station.  He brought some wit and enthusiasm to his show, while the others would “wing it.”  

DON’T be afraid of change.  When a local TV weatherman was sick, Dave was asked to fill in at the last minute.  That lead to a new job combining radio and television, and eventually a career outside of broadcasting that was ideal for Dave.