Podzilla 1985

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Radio Personality Kidd Kraddick Dies

In really unexpected and sad news to finish off this Saturday night, I just read on CNN that Kidd Kraddick died at age 53. Kidd Kraddick might not be too familiar with a lot of you, but his death is another in a long list of people I idolized growing up that includes Mr. Food, Tim Russert, and Randy Savage.

Kraddick was the host of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning on 96.5 here in Southeast Missouri for as far back as I can remember. That's not saying much, because I have one of the worst memories in the world. I'm not quite a goldfish, but I'm certainly no elephant. I used to listen to Kidd on my forty five minute drive from Mound City to Cape Girardeau when I worked at Steve & Barry's. I hated talk radio at the time, and I especially hated that kind of talk radio that seemed to collect the most annoying voices and obnoxious promos into one room just to assault your senses.

Kidd was different, though. He didn't seem like the kind of annoying host that a lot of radio stations had, and he definitely lacked the sleaze factor of popular shock jocks like Howard Stern or Don Imus. He was a very faithful man, but went about it in such a way that didn't make you dislike him for it or feel like he was pushing an agenda on his show. His witty banter with co-hosts Big Al Mack, Kelli Rasberry, and J-Si were a welcome addition to the uneventful drive in my then barely used Pontiac Grand Am.

I remember listening to a morning interview with Steve Irwin after the Crocodile Hunter passed away, and I spent that entire day just a little blue because of the effectiveness of their tribute to him. The team was very down to earth, sensible, and easily the one morning show I could relate to. They made me laugh, they made me cry, but they always entertained me and I felt like every morning was just a little bit easier to handle thanks to them.

Plus I really loved Drunk News.

Drunk people = ratings.

I stopped listening to their morning show a few years ago when they switched stations and 96.5 decided to start airing the dreadfully unfunny Ace & TJ show in their place. I caught a couple of clips here and there online, but my daily adventures with the Kidd crew had finally come to an end.

Kidd never stopped giving, though. His radio show remained a staple of many peoples morning commutes, and his work with children thanks to his Kidd's Kids initiative made him much more than just another radio host.

I don't have any idea what will happen to the Kidd Kraddick show now that Kidd is gone. Al and Kelly are fantastic at what they do, but they work best when playing off of someone with the kind of spotlight stealing personality that Kidd had. He was the kind of host that renewed your faith in broadcast radio, way before guys like George Noory, Hunter Hendricks, and Justin Mann roped me back in.

It's hard to say goodbye to someone you've never met, yet when they pass you feel the kind of sting in your heart that is reserved for a good friend. I think the best way to end this blog is to do it the way Kidd would.

Keep looking up - cause that's where it all is.
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