Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ron Lundy 1934-2010

He wasn’t particularly funny on the air. He was certainly not what you’d call “hip”. I can’t imagine him dropping acid with Mick Jagger or Janis Joplin. But he was always one of my favorite D.J.’s.

Ron Lundy passed away.

For most of the 60s and 70s he was the midday man on 77WABC in New York. From there he spent a couple of decades handling that same shift on Stereo 101 WCBS-FM in New York.

What Ron Lundy was was infectious. He was so warm, so friendly, so enthusiastic, so genuine that you just felt good listening to him. And if you were down, you just felt better listening to him. It’s hard to describe “Southern Charm” because few people besides ex-presidents have it anymore, but he did.

Ron’s appeal crossed over to all ages. Teens and parents alike thought he was talking directly to them. He was your bud, your kindly uncle, that nice neighbor who paid attention to you when your deadbeat husband didn’t. If Ron Lundy had been on WABC during the MAD MEN era Betty might not have resorted to banging that politician to fill her emotional void.

As a broadcaster he was impeccable. Blessed with a rich deep voice he could read copy so convincingly that even I wanted to shop at Korvette’s.

I never met Ron Lundy. Didn’t even in live in New York. And yet I feel a huge personal loss.

He died too young. He should have at least been 77. Or better yet, 101.

So long, Luv.

15 comments:

Mike McCann said...

Ron was the real deal. During my years spinning the hits in New York, I worked with an A-team of jocks and board-ops who worked with Ron at WABC and 'CBS-FM and not just liked, but loved Ron -- all were deeply fond of the man.

Ironically, while I never met him in person, he was a guest on a radio show I hosted. Back in my days on KLOU St. Louis, we decided to mark the 30th anniversary of The Beatles' Kansas City concert on the station's Sunday morning Beatles show. As producer and guest host, I thought it might be fun to have Ron appear since in '64, he was WIL's PM-drive jock and accompanied 30 listeners across the state to see the show at KC Municipal Stadium (the Fab Four didn't play St. Louis until a couple of years later). It was 1994, a couple of phone calls to CBS-FM's PD Joe McCoy and his assistant Maria Martello put me in touch with Ron, who was pleased a St. Louis station wanted to remember him and spotlight one of his proudest moments while working there.

We taped a series of segments where Ron described how the promotion ("me accompanying 30 teenaged fans on a little TWA flight") was arranged, and his memories of this historic show -- the last one of the Beatles' summer of '64 tour.

Ron was not only the pro's pro that he always was, but treated me -- whom he'd never met and likely had never heard in my WYNY days -- like an old friend.

It was, without a doubt, my favorite of the more than 100 Breakfast With the Beatles shows I produced.

Rest in peace, my friend. You were a true Southern Gentleman.

terip said...

I grew up listening to WABC, my first exposure to music. I can remember staying up late on New Year's Eve to hear the #1 hit of the year countdown. How sad that time marches on. Cousin Brucie, Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy. All in a class by themselves.

Jay said...

What a pity.
I used to quite enjoy listening to CBS-FM, but I haven't been listening as much because of college and all ... but at least we still have Cousin Brucie, despite the fact that he isn't with CBS-FM any more.

YEKIMI said...

So many DJs from the 60/70s that really knew how to do radio are passing on. A lot have retired, others move on never to be heard from again, leaving their listeners to wonder "whatever happened to...".
Ron was one of the best. You can hear some of his airchecks and his final show here:

http://www.musicradio77.com/wwwboard/

Just click on some of the links, you can read about him and others will take you to websites with his airchecks and shows.

VP81955 said...

Sorry to hear of his passing. I recall him fondly from WABC and later WCBS-FM, and I'm nor surprised to discover he was as genuine off-mike as he sounded on it.

BTW, if you've wondered where I've been, I've been having vision problems. Earlier this month I had a partial corneal transplant, and it's become difficult for me to see anything unless I make it white lettering on a dark background. Keep the faith.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

I remember standing watch on the bridge on USS John F. Kennedy, coming home from a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in the '70's, when the guys (there were only guys on Navy aircraft carriers at the time) in communications tuned in WABC. Ron was on and his show connected with us aboard ship like a shot. We were instantly connected to what we were fighting for: chicks and rock 'n' roll.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I listened to WABC from 1960 until 1967 and I'm embarrassed to admit I don't recall his name. Then again, my memory is mush sometimes.

Paul Duca said...

You don't have to be too embarrassed, Cap'n Bob....Ron Lundy arrived at WABC in late 1965 and for the first year or so was on the overnight shift before moving to mid-days, Between sleeping and work you probably didn't hear him that much.

Anonymous said...

“Hello, Love — this is Ron Lundy from the greatest city in the world!” Rest in Peace Ron.

Unkystan said...

“Hello, Love — this is Ron Lundy from the greatest city in the world!” Rest in Peace, Ron.

Anonymous said...

Ron was always at the top of his game. RIP my good friend.

Randy said...

Just smiled as Rich Brother Robbin's online oldies stream is playing a song that is permanently imprinted in my mind with a talk-up Ron Lundy did a million years ago on WABC.

"This is Skeeter Davis. IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!"

scottmc said...

The New York Times had a very nice obituary for him in today's edition. It told how he sort of found his career. It is worth checking out.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Thanks, Paul. You're right. I wasn't usually listening during his shift for those years.

Doug said...

Hello Luv!! Ron was influential in my radio career. I always wanted to sound so convincing like Ron but never quite pulled it off. Even when I had a bad day, Ron cheered me up and kinda took the sadness away! Thank you Ron...Radio has not been the same and never will..DOUG JAMES