Thursday, June 29, 2023

My Memories of Bob Shannon (1948-2023) - He Was Radio Personality Extraordinaire


Bob Shannon at CBS Radio Day at Yankee Stadium in 2010

Yesterday, we heard from Connie Shannon that her husband Bob just passed away after a long illness.  If you are not familiar with Bob Shannon, there is a bio of him on the Wikipedia
I’d like for this journal entry to convey my personal experiences with Bob.  I wrote him many times in this journal   I had the pleasure of meeting him twice:

In the mid-1990s he appeared at the opening of a Genovese Drug Store in Whitestone
He appeared at the CBS Radio Day at Yankee Stadium in June 2010.

He came to WCBS-FM in the 1980s in its heyday as an oldies station.  For most of his early years there, he was on the air from 6 PM – 10 PM and hosted the Hall of Fame, which featured specialty programming.  The “Lost Hit” feature was my favorite.  There was Tuesday Night Trivia, when survey guy Tom Natoli answered most of the questions correctly.  Whenever I dialed in, I got a busy signal.
Very often, I sent requests for songs to Bob that he played.  My fondest memory of him was in March 1988 when he announced my son Lee’s birth over the air after he played What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

Bob worked at WCBS-FM until June 3, 2005, when the executives flipped the station to the dreadful Jack format.  At that time, Bob was very active in social media protesting that miserable format change.  At that time, he moderated the Oldies Message Board, now done by Mike Riccio.  In July 2007, WCBS-FM came back as a classic hits station, and Bob was rehired.  In early 2012 Bob did not appear on the station as Ron Parker or Joe Causi filled in for him.  Finally, in July 2012 it was stated on the New York Radio Message Board that Bob left the station due to an undisclosed health condition.
After that time, Bob was completely incommunicado. I believe that medical matters should be confidential.  During the last 11 years, everyone hoped that Bob was OK.  We got the bad news yesterday that he passed away.

Radio enthusiast Alan Seltzer said Bob was a great radio DJ demonstrating great timing, expertise in the music he played, and a warped sense of humor and concern about his audience, fitting it all in short song intros. Many had two of the three, but Bob Shannon had all three. There was nobody better.  I second his thought that he was concerned about his audience.

Art Vuolo, Radio’s Best Friend. Produced a video tribute to Bob that can be found at 

Rest in peace, Bob.  You are fondly remembered by all enthusiasts of oldies radio.

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