Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors, including The Professor, Patrick Stenbacka, and Larry W, for sharing a link to this opinion piece in the New York Times by author Erin Aubry Kaplan:
LOS ANGELES — Like many people who grew up in the 1970s, I came of age with AM radio. Everybody I knew — the black kids on my block, the white and Asian kids at my junior high school — followed the Top 40 and discussed the merits of the newest releases by Elton John and Eddie Kendricks.
[…]At home, the kitchen-counter radio was always tuned to KABC. It aired restaurant shows, call-in psychologist shows, news shows, all featuring sophisticated discussions of things I had only vague ideas about. My mother listened while she ironed or cooked or sat at the table paying bills. The radio was her company, and because I admired her (but didn’t quite know how to talk to her), it became mine, too.
To my ears the hosts — people like Michael Jackson, Dr. Toni Grant, Geoff Witcher — sounded like my mother: impassioned but thoughtful, often witty, opinionated but not obnoxiously so.[…]
Art Bell, a radio host best known for a paranormal-themed nightly show syndicated on hundreds of stations in the 1990s, died at his home in southern Nevada, authorities said Saturday.
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly announced in a Facebook video that Bell died Friday in Pahrump. He was 72. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death, she said.
Bell hosted the popular radio talk show “Coast to Coast AM” before he left the airwaves in 2002. He broadcast the show from his radio station, KNYE, in Pahrump.
The program focused on Bell’s conspiracy theories and his fascination with the paranormal and unexplained phenomenon such as UFOs and crop circles. He served as his own producer, engineer and host, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Fans, including celebrities like William Shatner and singer Josh Groban, took to Twitter to praise Bell. Groban recalled staying up late to listen to the host’s “one of a kind” voice and how “his shows were so weird & spooky but somehow managed to hold off your skepticism.”
Former business partner Alan Corbeth said during Bell’s 2008 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame that nobody was better than Bell at understanding “how to create theater of the mind…”[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike, who informs us that Art Bell is returning to the airwaves with a new radio show called Midnight in the Desert. Like Coast to Coast AM, (which Bell retired from several years ago) Midnight in the Desert will also focus on paranormal activity.
Mike also points out that Bell has also announced Midnight in the Desert will be broadcast on WTWW (5,085 kHz). WTWW will start airing the show July 20, 2015 from 9:00 pm – Midnight Pacific time.