Time Warp Radio - Music from the 50's 60's and 70's.
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Feb 8, 2010
Air check of me in the chopper the day Bob Collins'
plane crashed...we had no idea it was Bob as we started the
coverage. John Dempsey was the anchor, WMAQ Chicago
Wikipedia has a nice backgrounder on Bob.
I must admit that I didn\'t hear of him out here in Iowa. After reading the article it sounds like he was quite the talent.
It\'s difficult to believe that 10 years have passed since Bob Collins died. That day, that story, was also the last time I saw another fine Chicago broadcaster, Ted Hampson from competing WBBM, in action; he died in July 2000 of cancer. In both cases-- tragic.
The vamping for time without new information was very frustrating for me, and perhaps also for John. As this edited compilation shows, Bart Shore was (pardon the use of the term) our lifeline. No one could get a car and reporter up to Zion fast enough to cover developments.
When John and I finished our shift, and headed into the newsroom, I learned that:
a) WGN-AM had known for a long time that Bob had died,
b) for some reason -- I think locating Mrs. Collins, which was perfectly appropriate -- WGN-AM did not want to go with it,
c) that out of respect and deference the rest of us (\'BBM, \'LS, \'MAQ, whoever else) held the story so that WGN-AM could break it, (we reported it only after they did, at which time I believe we said, \"WGN-AM is reporting...\") and
d) an \'MAQ-listening nurse at the hospital had called our newsroom minutes after the crash with an eyeball confirmation that Bob was dead. (So, during almost all of what you hear in this clip -- and perhaps all of it entirely -- our newsroom knew Bob had died in the crash.).
It was an ironic and awkward way to handle the story. I never heard where Mrs. Collins was.
The tragedy of course was the loss of these lives in a freaky -- though not that uncommon -- blind-spot collision. Collins was a radio giant. He had been very gracious to me just months earlier on the George-Ryan-goes-to-Cuba trip, during which he did his program live from Havana, the only one of us to do so. Though I did not know him beyond that, it was all the more unusual to be anchoring coverage of his demise.
Bart did a great job, as you can hear.
What an inspired selection! I love this sort of local history stuff - really brings back the memories.
Most of my own memories of Uncle Bobby date to the early 80s when he was teamed with the great Jim Loughman (sp) - those were the days. I always meant to tape some of that stuff - if I ever did, I don\'t know where it is now.
What an Absolute Crap Day in the world of Chicago radio THAT was...
Flashback to the music of different years.
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