An American Classic: Remembering Paul Harvey
I used to love Talk Radio. Now I can't listen to it, hardly any of it at all.
It's hard to believe now, but there was a day when talk radio was informative, entertaining, engaging. It gave you facts, it gave you news, it told you what was happening around the world and around the block and then it let you think. Yes, I know it all seems a million years ago, but actually it was only, oh, several years ago.
Now talk radio, for the most part, tells you not to think, the man (or woman) will do the thinking for you and if you, for some unknown reason disagree, well, you moron. We're inundated by 'experts' from New York or Washington or L.A. We're told this person is good, that person is bad, this issue is American, that issue is un-American. You don't have to think about it, in fact don't think about it, they think about it for you.
There are exceptions, of course, though they're few and far between. I always liked Jim Bohannon (he's still on, right?), but he's on the air in the middle of the night and for an old dog like me that can barely make it past the 10:00 news, that's not a great option.
Locally, thank goodness for Chad McKenzie and Rick Knobe down the hall at KSOO. Laying out the news and some levity and letting you soak it in. A lost art.
Back in the day, the best of the best was Paul Harvey.
He may be lost to a generation now, but for those of us that remember, well, I'll be you're smiling right now. Paul Harvey was the 'Gold Standard', at least for me. From my first radio job back in 1974 and for so many years after, station after station after station would carry Paul Harvey. Why? Because this man truly spoke for the average American. He wasn't some blowhard that claims to speak for us, Paul Harvey truly did.
A mix of the news of the day along with absolutely brilliant storytelling, Paul Harvey was what we used to call 'appointment radio'. You'd make it a point to not miss Paul Harvey! And at the end of his broadcast, you didn't feel angry or frustrated or depressed ( a familiar feeling with the 'talking heads' today?). You felt informed and, yes, you were thinking...actually thinking!
We love the classics, and there's no more of an American Classic than Paul Harvey. While it's hard to pick a Paul Harvey favorite segment or subject, I think the one below might illustrate a little of what I'm talking about. Here's one for all our farmer friend's, from the legendary Paul Harvey.