Bob Rivers announced this week that he’s stepping down from behind the microphone after 42 years on the radio, the last 25 here in Seattle. In fact, it will be exactly 25 years a week from Friday, when Bob utters his final words on the radio.
While a brother in radio, Bob and my career paths ran parallel to each other. As I think back on the years, I remember the big deal about his coming to town. At the time, I was part of a radio show of my own–Murdock, Hunter & Alice–and he popped on my radar because of all the hoopla that came with his arrival. However, being on the air at the same time, I rarely had the occasion to hear him. And, after all, he was on one of the rock stations in town. With us being a female-targeted Adult Contemporary station, I didn’t really consider us to be competing.
I remember one time when our program director took for a limo ride one more to have us listen to what else was out there. There was Ryan & Ryan on KBSG. The Rich Brothers on Magic 108. Kent & Alan. What I remember about The Bob Rivers Show was that it was so slow-paced. It was conversational before I realized the value of conversational. We were a tight, never talk more than 4 minutes, get at least four songs in an hour, morning show. It’s how I imagined a morning show was supposed to be. What I realize now is that our conciseness made us more easily forgettable. Again, radio is that free thing in your car that you listen to on your way to work or heading home. If it’s not working,, you just press another button.
With the Bob Rivers format, you talked about relevant topics, as fresh as the day, and let everyone star. I wish we had realized that at the time.
Over the years, Bob’s influence in the market was unavoidable. I had a couple a couple of parody songs that I produced and entered into the Soundies (the local radio awards) in the song parody category. I offered them up as lambs to the slaughter, because that became known as the “Bob Rivers Category.” Bob would take what I tried to do in my spare time and jack it up to the perfection level. I never thought I would win knowing he had an entry, but even having a couple of my songs being nominated was honor enough.
When the Murdock, Hunter & Alice adventure blew up after 17 years, I found myself not getting up at 2:17am. (yeah, that was the magic time) When I married my wife, Victoria, she had been a Kent & Alan fan (yeah, that hurt). But then she became restless. I encouraged her to try Marty & Jodi over on The Mountain and she liked ‘em…until one day, they both turned on American Idol. That didn’t work. So, she was open to another show, so around the time Bob Rivers and the crew checked in to KJR, I said, “Let’s give them a try.”
We never looked back.
Bob & the gang have been a part of our wake-ups for as long as they’ve been at 95.7. In another one of those close crosses, The Bob Rivers Show was among those rumored to be offered the KLSY morning show when we were in our final months.
I remember the time visiting a friend who was in the hospital and this quirky guy walked by the room, then backed up and came in to say ‘hi’. He had taken time out of his long day to visit a sick friend. They had apparently met years ago when both were in the hospital for a procedure.
What’s also been exciting to see is how Pedro and Luciana have excelled and become a part of that show. I remember both haunting the halls of KLSY, working on one of the other Sandusky stations, while students at Green River Community College.
I was also fortunate to “direct” Bob and Spike in an iHeartRadio video plug for Car Toys. Again, consummate pros.
We’ve been to two Spike and the Impalers concerts and I have this feeling we’re going to be going to a lot more. I cannot express how much admiration I have for this team and for the consistently entertaining mornings they’ve provided to the Seattle radio audience. If you have not gotten on board, please, do give them a listen for the next two weeks while you can. It all goes away Friday, August 8th.
I worked with Pedro and Luciana. Never met Erik. Got to meet Joe and Jodi on Facebook. Worked with Spike several times.
Bob, I just want to say it was an honor to semi-know you and you have my ultimate respect. Congrats on a job well-done and savor every second of your time away from the 5am microphone. If anyone deserved it, it’s you.