Sunday, March 1, 2009

Paul Harvey and Studs

Death makes strange bedfellows and the deaths last week of three Chicago broadcasting giants, (four if you include James Ward), beg the comparison between Norm Van Lier, Johnny Red Kerr and Paul Harvey.

But to me the really interesting comparison, one brought up this morning on Rick Kogan's wonderful Sunday Papers radio show is between Paul Harvey and Studs Terkel who died a couple of months ago.

You couldn't find two personalities who were farther apart in politics, style and personality.

Yet both Studs and Harvey represent holdouts of the generation that was honed out of the hard times of the Depression and World War II. Studs told the story of the average American and Paul Harvey spoke to directly to that person. Both men wore their integrity on their sleeves, steadfastly refusing to change their bedrock philosophies or personal styles in the face of public opinion or fashion. In the end, Studs and Paul Harvey were un-apologetic anachronisms, men of great hope and passion, telling their stories in times of cynicism and ennui.

Their powerful and distinctive voices will be missed at a time when we need them the most.

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