March 1, 2009

Paul Harvey, Master Storyteller, Radio Pioneer, Now at Rest

ABC News - Radio Legend Paul Harvey Dies

The "most listened to man" in broadcasting passed away Saturday. After more than seven decades on the air, venerable radioman Paul Harvey's folksy speech and plain talk are no more.

Harvey died at the age of 90 at a hospital near his winter home in Phoenix.

His death came nine months after that of his wife, Lynne Cooper Harvey, whom he often called "Angel" on air, and who was also his business partner and the first producer ever inducted in the the Radio Hall of Fame. She died in May 2008 at age 92.

"My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news," Paul Harvey Jr. said Saturday. "So, in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents. And, today millions have lost a friend."

Harvey's career in radio spanned more than 70 years, and his shows "News & Comment" and "Rest of the Story" made him a familiar voice in Americans' homes across the country.

If you didn't know Paul Harvey, you missed out on an extraordinary storyteller.  Here's an example.

CNN
"Paul Harvey was one of the most gifted and beloved broadcasters in our nation's history," ABC Radio Networks President Jim Robinson said in a written statement. "As he delivered the news each day with his own unique style and commentary, his voice became a trusted friend in American households."

Washington Post , Beloved Radio Broadcaster Paul Harvey Dies at 90

Mr. Harvey was the voice of the American heartland, offering to millions his trademark greeting: "Hello Americans! This is Paul Harvey. Stand by! For news!"

For millions, Paul Harvey in the morning or at noon was as much a part of daily routine as morning coffee.

"Paul Harvey News and Comment" was a distinctive blend of rip-and-read headline news, quirky feature stories and, usually, a quick congratulation to a couple who had been married for 75 years or so. The news stories, and Harvey's distinctive take on them -- usually, but not always, from a conservative political perspective -- flowed seamlessly into commercial messages for products Mr. Harvey endorsed.

One of radio's most effective pitchmen, he kept sponsors for decades, attracted by such features as "The Rest of the Story," mesmerizing little tales, cleverly written, that featured a surprising O Henry-style twist to stories listeners thought they already knew.

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 1, 2009 7:54 PM | Permalink