Radio talk legend, Larry Glick, passed away Thursday 26 March 2009, after 10 hours of open heart surgery. He lived in Boca Raton, Florida. He leaves his wife, Lisa; daughters, Nannette, of Boston; Tali and Tirana, both of Florida, and one granddaughter.
Born 16 May 1922, Glick grew up in Boston. After serving in World War Two, including time with Armed Forces Radio, he graduated from Emerson College, where he majored in radio. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Glick owned FM radio stations in Florida. "I was about 25 years ahead of the trend," he said.
In 1964, he returned to Boston, to work for Mac Richmond at WMEX-AM. At WMEX-AM, Glick worked over nights, following Gerry Williams. As Dick Summer, himself an overnight phenomenon, says, "Glick was one of the few radio people who understood 3 am."
Glick moved to WBZ-AM, in Boston, in 1968. Gerry Williams, who joined WBZ-AM a few months earlier, urged station management to grab Glick when he was available. They did.
His last five years on air were at another Boston station, WHDH-AM. "I was pushing 65," said Glick, "and WBZ-AM, owned by Westinghouse, wanted to retire me. They were subtle about it. 'Go back to the over night show or retire,' they said, 'and here's less money, too.' A great offer came from WHDH-AM. I took it."
"Glick made contact with listeners," says Howard Lapides, "better than any talker on radio, ever. He was perhaps the last talker who could paint word pictures for listeners, with such effect, day after day."
Lapides produced the Steve Fredricks Show, on WMEX-AM, in Boston, from 1968 to 1972, when Glick was starting to soar over WBZ-AM. "I sat at his feet," says Lapides, "listening every night, hoping beyond hope that he'd teach me how to effectively tell a story."
He did! "I learned," says Lapides, who, today, is a top story teller. "All I had to do was listen carefully, to the commander. The pictures he painted were always so clear."
Until the assassination of John Lennon, in 1981, Glick shot callers, awful callers or by request, off the air, with sound of a handgun. It was a badge of honour to have Glick shoot you off air; a dozen callers a show asked to be shot off. The first show after Lennon died, Glick stopped shooting listeners off the air, saying, a week or so later, the bit was too callous to continue.
After 25 years doing over nights and evenings, Glick moved into the 9 am to noon show on WHDH-AM, in 1987. The deal was one million dollars for five years, including the one year of "market silence" called-for in his WBZ-AM contract. "Plus a few bonuses," said Glick.
Glick retired from radio, in 1992. "I never planned to retire," he said. "It just happened my contract [at WHDH-AM] came up for renewal when I was about 70, and I decided to move on. I knew I'd never stop working, though."
Moving to Florida, Glick worked for Legal Seafood Restaurants, a Boston-based company, with locations in the Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton area. Every evening, Glick toured the Legal Seafood restaurants, greeting diners, regaling them with stories about Boston and radio; a great story teller is welcome, all the time and by everyone. Glick continued working until about the end of February, 2009.
Ever the optimist, Glick was positive about his operation, his daughter, Tali, told the Boston "Globe." He wanted to get his heart working, again. He wanted to get well. He wanted to get back to work, she said.
Click here to read an in-depth profile of Larry Glick.
Click here to listen to Larry Glick radio shows, from the 1970s, and his 1971 album.
dr george pollard is a Sociometrician and Social Psychologist at Carleton University, in Ottawa, where he currently conducts research and seminars on "Media and Truth," Social Psychology of Pop Culture and Entertainment as well as umbrella repair.
Click above to tell a friend about this article.