The late Gary Owens, who passed away February 12 was unquestionably one of the world's finest broadcasting voices. From his days at KMPC 710 AM in Los Angeles, which aired what was called a "Middle of The Road" music format.
Middle of The Road, (or MOR) was about as family safe a radio format as you could get. Those "family safe" Christian Adult Contemporary stations today sound downright raunchy compared to the slick, genteel sound of Middle of The Road. Lots of soft pop songs, with a few perky instrumentals. Musically, it was barely passable if you were in your '20s and something Grandma could put up with as well. In 1970.
But what held it all together was the personalities on these radio stations. The smooth, stylish voices on these MOR radio stations. In Seattle, we had Robert E. Lee Hardwick on KVI, Larry Nelson on KOMO, and Phil Harper (who appeared on many Seattle stations and many formats from country to jazz.)
And Gary Owens had no shortage of that. His phrasing, his enunciation, they were as stylish as they came. His panache unforgettable. And one TV came back to time and time again, like another recently departed radio star, Casey Kasem.
Who will replace them? I just don't know......