Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ed Walker

Sad news about our good friend Ed Walker, a true legend of Washington Radio.  Ed has been diagnosed with Cancer:

Ed Walker
The latest news is not good.  The doctors have told Ed that the mass they discovered in his bladder is cancer and not operable.  Today they may be moving him to a rehabilitation facility either near Sibley or more likely in King Farm near where Ed and his wife Nancy have been living.  I believe the doctors have discussed Hospice care with Ed and his daughter Susan and her husband George Scola. He really appreciates all of our support and hopefully when he gets settled in a couple of days we will be able to visit him or at least phone him.



Ken Mellgren
Chairman, Board of Governors
National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
WashingtonDC 20045


Radio Hall of Fame host Ed Walker announced this week that he is retiring. His last show — a compilation of his favorite music and programs — will air Sunday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. Rob Bamberger, host of Hot Jazz Saturday Night, will take the mic as interim host of The Big Broadcast.

At 83, Ed has been host of WAMU’s longest-running program since 1990. About 70,000 fans tune in every Sunday night to hear the tales of Johnny Dollar, the witticisms of Our Miss Brooks, the Wild West stories of Gunsmoke and a variety of other shows.
People frequently tell us that they started listening to The Big Broadcast as children with their parents, and that now it is a tradition in their families. For 25 years, Ed has brought together generations of Washingtonians for a weekly trip to radio's past. We thank him for his commitment and welcome Rob, who will keep this tradition alive while we search for a permanent host.
Ed’s relationship with WAMU spans more than half a century. The first blind student admitted to American University, Ed was one of the founders of our station, WAMU-AM, in 1951. It is there that Ed met Willard Scott. A creative partnership sparked, and the two were a duo on Washington radio for 20 years, calling themselves "The Joy Boys." Ed went on to become a dominant figure in Washington radio.
Ed has been recognized by the Radio Hall of Fame, inducted in 2009 as a radio pioneer. In 2014, WAMU recognized Ed’s role in making the iconic program we all enjoy, hosting a 50th anniversary celebration of The Big Broadcast.
Born blind, Ed discovered his love of radio as a young child. “Radio was everything to me, not being able to see," Ed said. "The sound on radio was important. Radio took the place of comic books and newspapers and the funnies and all that stuff. So I grew up with it."

Ed is retiring due to health reasons; he has been diagnosed with cancer. He made the decision with his family to give his full attention to his health, which is best served by stepping down as host of The Big Broadcast.
"Ed Walker was already a radio institution in Washington when I was growing up here," said J.J. Yore, WAMU's general manager. "Ed has been part of the fabric of this town — starting with his student days at American University, as one of 'The Joy Boys' during the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and for the last 25 years as the guy who brought families and friends around the radio on Sunday nights to hear old-time stories on The Big Broadcast. We are grateful to Ed and I know thousands of listeners across the decades are, too. We will miss him."
Ed retires after entertaining and informing Washington audiences for more than 60 years. We thank him for his service to our community and for sharing his love of radio for so long. Everyone in the WAMU family will miss Ed and we know you will, too.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and well-wishes for him by commenting on this article, posting on WAMU's Facebook page or tweeting at us at @wamu885.
Mail can be sent to Ed by way of American University and WAMU 88.5. Our address:
Ed Walker
c/o WAMU 88.5
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C., 20016

Here's a show Chuck Langdon and I did with Ed and Mac Macgarry a number of years ago at the Broadcast Museum in Bowie.


Mac McGarry/Ed Walker - Out of the Past - 2008 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

1 comment:

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