Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saying “Thanks for the memories” to The House Foundation

Just under a year ago, I wrote about changes at the morning radio show I’ve been listening to for over twenty years.

Tomorrow morning, the show ends. After losing two members last year due to budget cuts (which have sucked the personality out of radio across the country), I had a feeling that Gerry House would be gone when his contract ended this year and that his longtime male companion, Mike Bohan, would leave also.

So, what is my attachment to a radio show and why does this sadden me? For starters, I have had to get up early for work for years. I normally start working at 6AM or even a bit earlier when needed because the morning is the busiest time where I work and our company stretches across 5 time zones. The first thing that goes on when I get up is the radio. Through all of these early mornings, the House Foundation has been there for me – keeping me sane when I thought I was about to lose my mind by keeping me laughing. I have kept a radio with me in each office I have had.

What is missing in radio today that Gerry House provides is a conversation. He gets personal. He has real opinions. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don’t. He’s not on a soapbox. He is just a real person. We live in a city where the number one radio station has no announcers and it appears that the younger generation is embracing this type of radio. I am one of the dinosaurs.

I grew up with Mike Bohan on local television and I was quite happy when he joined the show in 1995. He is a warm and funny man who just happens to share my birthday.

I’ll sure be sad to see my two morning friends gone. I’ve got a lot of great memories and no two guys deserve a happy retirement more.

Here’s a letter I sent to the local paper last week that was published in a slightly edited form on Monday. If you’re not from here, you may read this and still not really “get it”. But, if you’re a dinosaur like me, where ever you are you too probably have your own fond radio memories.

To the editor:

It was inevitable that the House Foundation would one day end. People retire. All good things must end. When Al and Duncan left last year, I had a feeling that goodbye would not be far off. On December 15th, Nashville loses much more than a disc jockey.

Gerry House doesn’t just play songs – he has given us “regular joes” who have nothing to do with the industry true buy-in into country music because, as a songwriter, he shares with us what makes country music tick. If you have listened to the House Foundation regularly, you’re not just a casual country listener. His passion for the music is contagious and his devotion has made us devoted and excited for the music that has made Nashville what it is today. He has championed the songwriters who are normally never given public acknowledgement for the hits they have made. He has supported new acts that otherwise might not have gotten the exposure they needed to breakthrough.

No matter how you feel dragging into work each and every morning, it seems like The House Foundation has always been there to lift us up and they’ve done this for us even while dealing with their own personal ups and downs. Mike Bohan, and Duncan Stewart, Al Voecks, Devon ‘O Day, Richard Falklen, Chris Romer, the not forgotten Paul Randall, and so many others (including Gerry’s mother and even reluctant advertisers!) have been an integral part of the success of the House Foundation over the years. It has been like having another family with you for four hours every morning and it has truly been a blessing.

They’ve helped countless charities and individuals in the community over the years. They’ve supported the military and honored not only those in service but the families left behind that are missing them.

They’ve made me laugh, they’ve made me think and they’ve even made me tear up on occasion.

Gerry House, Mike Bohan and the rest of the House Foundation have been a part of my life for so long that it’s difficult to consider mornings without them. The pants of controversy are about to be folded up and packed away, Nashville radio is about to lose a legendary show and we are all about to lose two cherished friends.

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