Monday, December 11, 2006

The Jaybird Follow-Up

Services for long-time WSLR/1350 Akron "Whistler" voice Jaybird Drennan have been set.

A public viewing will be held Thursday from 1 to 8 PM at Riverwood Community Chapel, which is at 1407 Fairchild Avenue in Kent. Services, being called a "celebration of Jaybird's life", will be held Friday at 7 PM at a place that may well be necessary for its size and class - the Akron Civic Theater.

Other links we haven't shared, or information we have yet to share:

The Akron Beacon Journal had a story on Jaybird's passing in Monday's newspaper, which you can read here.

It, and the AkronNewsNow article on Jaybird's services, clarify the cause of his death. Jaybird was at a local shopping center when he fell and suffered a broken ankle. But it was surgery on that ankle that resulted in the complications - a blood clot - which stilled the mighty iconic voice of Akron radio history.

The Institutional Memory of OMW also did not realize that Rubber City Radio VP Nick Anthony also served as WSLR's program director in the 1980's. (OK, so we're still stuck on Nick's role in the old WHLO/640 talk format.)

An excellent collection of tributes, audio and otherwise, is posted on the AkronNewsNow site. And no, we aren't just saying that because Rubber City news director Ed Esposito mentioned OMW, and gave a link to our earlier item.

The entry has audio of listeners to Akron's present-day country station, WQMX/94.9, remembering Jaybird, and also audio from new WQMX program director Sue Wilson, along with WAKR/1590 program director (and WSLR veteran) Chuck Collins. And thanks, by the way, to Chuck - via AkronNewsNow - for the above picture from Jaybird's 1994 retirement party.

That's one of the interesting things about the Akron radio market.

We've found rather quickly, in recent days, how close-knit the market really is.

Not only do you have the examples of former WSLR types Nick Anthony and Chuck Collins working together now at Rubber City Radio. We're also reminded that Sue Wilson was the wife of late WSLR afternoon drive host Phil Cordle, who...like even 78 year-old Jaybird Drennan, died too young.

And even those who didn't work directly with Jaybird, or who only know of his legend... the lines and E-Mails have been burning up in shared grief among what seems like every single person with even the most remote connection to Akron radio.

And that includes your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), who has never regularly been associated with any station in the market.

You always hear "good things" about the recently departed.

We get the idea, from everything we've heard about Jaybird Drennan, that the good words said in his honor may actually only be scratching the surface...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Phil Cordle Passed Away? When? How?

Ohio Media Watch said...

We believe Phil died of cancer about four years ago. Anyone who can shed more light, please do so.

-The Management

MIKE YOUNG said...

OMW you are correct Phil who was married to Sue Wilson at the time of his passing was 47/48 years old. Phil never worked radio again after his stint at WHISTLER 1350,he would become the owner of Brunswick Music,Phil passed away due to cancer in June of 2002,not only was Phil a good businessman and the former afternoon drive host of 1350,but a musician as well playing in WSLR BAND. Phil/Sue's daughter (they had 2 children together)a few years ago sang at a grand opening I believe at Judson Retirement Community's Grand Opening being introduced and her song which escapes me was featured on Bill Randles Big Show. Phil's talent is sorely missed in this day and age of Country Music Radio. Not sure if he was ever inducted in the Ohio TV/RADIO HALL OF FAME if not he should be it's long overdue.