Posted by: suek2001 | December 2, 2015

A Tribute to “The Geezer” AKA Dan Donovan

I have heard it said that our childhood idols live forever..and stay young…I am realizing that is not a fact…

Each year, the passing of celebrities in all walks of life, garner a sigh of longing for better days..or easier times…

..and there’s the ones that when they die,  they make you feel like you lost something…

Blaine Harvey…aka Dan Donovan is one such a person…and on a lark, I googled his name and found his obituary…and it was like a punch in the heart…he passed away over a year ago…

I was blessed…I grew up loving music..and grew up loving to listen to the radio..where disc jockey’s would have crazy contests..tell weird jokes and try their own brand of subversion out on the masses…

I was an only child…didn’t have that many friends..so the DJ’s were my friends a lot of nights…Hearing their voice announce the songs that would enter my heart and never leave…

When I would visit Minneapolis in the summer, I discovered Dan Donovan on KS95….and every day at 4:25 pm, I would stop what I was doing and listen to his comedic bit “On This Day in History”..and the absurd jokes and visuals would fly…

One joke in particular stuck out and I have used to this day..

 

“On this day in history, Imelda Maier(not her real name) walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope with peach baskets on her feet…Ever since then, she attempted the same stunt doing it a variety of ways..different shoes…things on her head…one wiseguy asked her to cross the Falls naked, and she said NO..because THAT was a cross she refused to bare”……

(cue groaning sound effect)

When Dan moved to another station, he was still good but he seemed to have less spark…and maybe that happens as you get older, you lose a bit of verve….Still, that voice…that voice..that voice set him apart….and now he’s gone…..

I had the honor of watching him do a broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair..met with him and told him how great he was..and how I had dreams of radio stardom…He was very shy and spoke very little to me off air…

Still, it meant a lot to meet him…and as I think on what Dan’s passing means, I think of all the other disc jockeys from my youth that kept my company….

There was Valerie St. John who brought a feminine punch to 99x in Fort Myers…There was Bob Sneddon(AKA Bob Dailey) who played MTA by the Kingston Trio one fateful night on WRCC in Cape Coral..and set me on a musical course, I could never imagine..and so many others….

They are all those voices in the night…and a lot of them are fading due to the more corporate sound of radio…

At least, for now, we have the aircheck tapes to take us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear:

Goodbye Dan Donovan…and thanks for the music and the laughs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. Just saw your post on Charlie Tuna so went here. I listened to Blaine Harvey on WICE Providence RI in 1963/1964. He was about 22-23 years old at the time fresh out of Penn State and sounded terrific. I even got to meet him briefly at a concert the station sponsored in Providence. I was 15 at the time. . One day he was gone from WICE and being a radio guy I used to also listen to WMEX Boston(coincidentally same station CT went to for 6 months in ’67). In any case shortly after I heard a jock on WMEX in 1964 calling himself Dan Donovan. However, he sounded just like Blaine Harvey. But I was so confused because there was a Dan Donovan at WMEX before Blaine got there. WMEX liked to use “house” names and Blaine was not their first Dan Donovan. But from then on, in the history of rock radio, there was only one Dan Donovan–Blaine Harvey>


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