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Watercolor Memories by Brian        Wilson

Watercolor Memories

by Brian Wilson

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Helluva week

Two friends gone: Dick Clark and Brian Carter.

Everybody had something to say about Dick - probably because he touched so many lives in so many venues over the years. I was one who caught American Bandstand after school when they made the move to ABC-TV/NY. Years later, I'm working for WABC Radio (MusicRadio 77 WABC) doing AM Drive. Two years into the gig, the big change to TalkRadio 77 WABC. The last hour - 9 to 10, was devoted exclusively to guest interviews. Not too hard to get Big Name Guests on the 50KW blowtorch of Talk! Among the loooong list of people who came thru those doors, Dick Clark was singularly the most pleasant, professional, knowledgeable, interesting and genuinely friendly of them all.
While most of the memories are of the You Had To Be There variety, one thing illustrates the greatness and graciousness of the man: after every visit, he sent a Thank You note, personally hand-written that included some reference to something specific we talked about off the air. I still have those notes somewhere. You'll see them yourself -- when I get around to writing my illusive "memoirs".

Radio's a funny business. Lots of people come and go. At any station, you'll work closely with some, others hardly at all. Being the most nomadic profession, coming and going is just another part of the biz.
I think Brian Carter was already at B-104/Baltimore doing nights or overnights when I arrived in July '84 to do AM Drive. If memory serves, I nick-named Brian "BC" and, even if that part is wrong, I always referred to him as "my son", named after me because - hey! - where do you think "Brian" came from? From early on, I'd call him Son and he called me Dad. The fact there was a certain...discrepancy....in skin pigmentation made it that much more fun on the occasions we made appearances together.
My FaceBook page has his last msg to me dated April 5: "Happy Birthday, Pa".
We hadn't spoken in several years. Just that occasional b'day, holiday, whatever-day opportunity to toss a couple liners back and forth and enjoy the laugh.
The man was a great talent, a wonderful on and off-air personality. There was no one he didn't leave smiling. Even tho it was years ago and far away, B-104 gone and the troops who worked there  scattered, out of the business or, now, passed away, Radio has lost one of it's best way too soon. Being what it is, this business can make long-time friends in a very short time. I'm happy that BC made it to the Big Time and more listeners had the opportunity and pleasure to hear him. We didn't have as many years together as we had apart, but I'm proud to have known and worked with my son.

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