Non-commercial radio DJs and staff members rarely get the public recognition that they should. When it comes time to nominate people for Radio Halls of Fame, their names don’t always come up and when they die they don’t necessarily make it on the evening news.
But, often these committed radio fans have put in more time on the airwaves then their commercial counterparts, many of them sticking with the same station for decades.
Unfortunately in the past month or so, three important non-commercial radio figures have died; leaving their stations and listeners in mourning for their unique radio voices.
WTJU “Leftover Biscuits” DJ Emmett Boaz (March 2, 1947-November 6, 2010)
A WTJU volunteer and DJ since 1996, Emmett Boaz passed away on November 6th while doing his radio show “Leftover Biscuits.” Emmett’s Saturday morning show featured old time, early country, bluegrass, and blues music. The University of Virginia college radio station will be airing a tribute this Saturday, November 13th during which they will re-air one of Boaz’s programs from June which was meant to be “Emmett’s own version of his final show.” You might remember that after some programming changes at WTJU, a number of DJs threatened to quit their shows, including Emmett, so the show from June was from a period when he planned to leave the station. To the delight of listeners, he ended up coming back, so his “final show,” ended up being premature. Friends and listeners are invited to share their memories about Emmett Boaz on the Leftover Biscuits Facebook page.
KZGM Founder Gene Colliflower (July 7, 1944-November 7, 2010)
Missouri community radio station KZGM (aka KZ88) lost one of its founders, Gene Colliflower, this week. According to an obituary in the Houston Herald, Gene “…hosted a jazz program on KZGM (88.1 FM) but was also known for his humorous ‘traffic reports’ that ranged from ‘a yellow truck just went by’ to ‘traffic was so heavy the only way to get into the other lane was to buy the car next to you.’ The G in the radio station’s call letters represented Colliflower’s name (KZ represents Kazie Perkins and the M comes from Myron Jackson).” A relatively new station, KZGM began broadcasting in the Ozarks in 2009. Recently the Houston Herald published a nice piece about the station, which Colliflower had a hand in starting up.
KFJC “House of Games” DJ Jack Diamond (July 21, 1954-October 2, 2010)
I was surprised and saddened to hear the news that KFJC DJ “Jack Diamond” (aka David Singer) had died after battling lung cancer. When I first joined KFJC at Foothill College back in the late 1990s, Jack Diamond’s weekend show “House of Games” was a highlight of the college radio station’s program schedule. With a penchant for loungy, bachelor-pad-esque music, Jack Diamond’s playlists turned listeners on to bands like Esquivel, word poets like Ken Nordine, and to entire genres of music that many had never heard of before. Jack Diamond sported a deep raspy voice and an archivist’s appreciation for groovy retro sounds (see a few of his KFJC music reviews here). In a comment on his online obituary, DJ Fo from neighboring college radio station KZSU wrote, “Jack Diamond helped his listeners discover a world of musical magic they never would have found otherwise. Although I never met him, David was my inspiration. He taught many of us what good radio was, and he will be deeply missed.”
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