Yesterday evening, the report that radio news broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey had passed away in Arizona came across the wire. I felt almost as if a relative had passed. You see, my dad has always been a news junkie, and there was nobody better at getting out the news and comment on AM radio than Harvey. I remember my dad’s radio dial on both his old flatbed truck and the Datsun B210 set to the AM channel where Harvey came on. Specifically I remember hearing Harvey in the afternoon when my dad would pick me up from school at Sarasota’s South Side Elementary when I was in kindergarten. His signature phrase “Stand by for the news” let you know that you were about to receive the current happenings that were news worthy without any bias. “Page 1”, then “Page 2”, and so on, each piece of news compiled in concise factual fashion. He did use personal comment but it was only after the factual pieces of news had been presented. Following the news, he would always tell a story of victory, redemption, hard work, against the odds success, or character development. Many times it was a story about a person, company, or organization you already knew, but with an element or piece of historical fact that you did not know. As he told the story, somewhere in the middle, you already had a picture of the wonderful triumph or determination the individual or group had, but he would leave you with a cliff hanger, unaware about whom he was talking. Then when he would come back to his last radio segment, he would give you “The rest of the story” and all mystery was revealed.
His familiar voice which was absolutely perfect for the radio will be missed. At the time of his passing, he was 90 years old and still active as a broadcaster. I am a little sad today thinking that I will never hear another new broadcast by Paul Harvey.