Sunday, March 1, 2009

Remembering Paul Harvey

The death of Paul Harvey on Saturday truly marks the end of an era in radio. Like many baby boomers, this sad news took me back to being a child and my parents making it a point to listen to Paul Harvey News & Comment when we were in the car or all together.

Yet, as much as I tried not to like something that my parents wanted to listen to, I couldn't help but develop an early fascination for the style and delivery of this great announcer. It was as though these news stories happened only because Paul Harvey said they did.

A style that never will be matched for capturing and holding the listeners' attention. Anything from political to the offbeat, and all points in between. One could think that the "man bites dog" story he delivered happened because the dog couldn't listen to Paul.

I never admitted it at the time, but there were a few times that I changed my radio dial over to the "old people's station" to hear Paul Harvey on my own.

A lot of people seem to remember Paul Harvey more for his "The Rest of the Story", and that certainly was an interesting show. To me, it was nowhere near what "News and Comment" was. I reasoned that Harvey had as much time as needed to write and produce "The Rest of the Story", especially as good as it was.

But "News and Comment" was 15 minutes every weekday. That meant coming up with fresh and timely stories, and putting them into his unique writing and delivery style on a deadline. Truly incredible.

He could read as fast or faster than anyone. Yet every word was clearly understood. He was able to put significant inflection in his voice. Whether it was sad and serious, funny, or any point in between, Paul Harvey could deliver the goods. Day after day, week after week, and year after year after year.

Paul Harvey WAS the rest of the story.