Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Media Heroes

I suppose there are little girls and young women who will grow up hoping to be the next Katie Couric. Her switch to anchor CBS Evening News from NBC's Today Show got me to thinking about who I aspired to be when I was growing up.

There were a couple of names I took note of while growing up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. J.P. McCarthy was the "Morning Man" at WJR Radio in Detroit. I never really got to hear his show, but for a time in the 70s, 80s and early 90s you probably heard his voice. He was used for national Chrysler television and radio ads. J.P. had a smooth style.

One of my favorite things to do was to pick up the Detroit Free Press and read Bob Talbert's column. It captured the who's who of Detroit and told it like it is. I particularly liked his take on the musical acts that were part of or visited the city. In a way I can sympathize with Talbert. He was from South Carolina, but made his mark in Motown. I moved to Wisconsin in 1987 and am still living the dream.

As for the guy probably most responsible for getting me interested in radio, that would be John "Records" Landecker. I never really gave radio a thought until I received one as a Christmas present. Imagine my incredible luck to be growing up in the U.P. and being able to tune in WLS from Chicago at night. I really enjoyed the music and comments Landecker and other WLS disc jockeys treated their audiences to. It was a turning point in my life. Of course I never really wanted to be John "Records" Landecker, but the thought of being able to entertain or inform others definitely came from listening to him.

Landecker is a legend. J.P. McCarthy and Bob Talbert are both in media halls of fame. Sadly J.P died in 1995 and Talbert about 3 years later. Between them they provided the Detroit area with something to do each morning for more than 30 years apiece. They were a morning ritual. That is something worth noting.

Those were a few of my "media heroes" growing up. Everyone should have some.