Friday, December 29, 2006

More Reflections on "Boom"

Like those local radio icons who passed before him in recent weeks, WMMS veteran Len "Boom" Goldberg basically defined what happened around him on the radio.

Like Jaybird Drennan, whose voice you instantly hear in your head when you think about long-time Akron country outlet WSLR "Whistler 1350", "Boom" was the voice of "The Buzzard".

He was also the station's longest running air personality, continuing with weekend airshifts on WMMS long after others took over his full-time duties.

Former WMMS programmer John Gorman checks in with OMW, and offers this reaction to the news:

The news is a shock to all of us. I just spoke with Boom a few days ago and we were planning to have lunch in a couple of weeks. He was in good spirits and felt well when we talked.

From what I understand Boom's now teaching God how to get a thunderous, authoritative voice like his.

Boom's long-time radio home has started airing a number of his old sweepers and other production. WMMS has also put up the beginning of a tribute page here, which opens up with classic Boom production audio, and the page promises to add more.

To that end, OMW hears that anyone who has more audio to contribute should contact the folks at 'MMS, as they are actively looking for more.

As we write this item, we wonder what radio or whatever it turns into will be like in 40 or 50 years. Will there be someone on whatever the equivalent of a blog is, reminiscing about one of today's younger "stars" after his or her 30 or 40 year run?

Probably not. Unless radio gets its act together and realizes that PEOPLE, particularly locally, bring local PEOPLE to the radio.

RIP, "Boom"...


Anonymous said...

Wow, OMW, what a powerful tribute to what guys like Boom mean to the legacy of local radio. It's true that we don't know where the medium is headed (most likely satellite and the internet) and that the entire local relationship has become lost in the deregulation era. Watching these legends fall is just another reminder of how much radio fans have lost over the past decade and a half. I hope someday the pendulum swings back, but right now it's hard to imagine that happening.

Anonymous said...

Tip of the cap or perhaps I should say "The Buzzard's Wing" to everyone at 'MMS for running Len's top of the hour I.D.s. Very cool.
Maybe it's just me being nostalgic but even today, those sound better than any other liner/sweeper/id on the air in Cleveland.
I was a huge fan of the alternative or Next Gen. Buzzard. I never met or spoke to him but his voice will forever be remembered.

Sour Apples said...

Excellent tribute to Boom Goldberg OMW. As a 7 year veteran of radio myself I missed hearing Boom's voice on the top of the hour IDs. WMMS should always use Boom's IDs. None ever come close

VODood said...

The WMMS/Boom tribute page/link doesn't seem to be working.

I'd run a Boom legal ID as long as there's a WMMS. Just like Z100 still runs some Ernie stuff from time to time.

An Id with Boom/Wells/Ryker all mixed together kicks ass!

VODood said...

Hopefullly they @ WMMS can find the bit that Mitch Todd produced with Boom that later appeared on a FMQB cd. It has Mitch coaching Boom on the pronunciation of "Cleveland". Funny as hell! Boom tells Mitch, on the audio, that he's been saying "Cleeeeve-land" longer than Mitch has been alive. Sounding like a whipped little boy Mitch's reply "Ok Boom, whatever you say." FUNNNYYYY!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, it's Igor. I put an mp3 link on my site:

featuring 12 minutes of Boom clips... stuff from the 70's and 80's that was a part of a montage of old airchecks that I never figured out who produced... (Chuck Mathews, any idea who put a nearly half-hour long file of classic 'MMS stuff into Prophet back in 2000? You, Matt A., Deke?)

I also included a few IDs from "The Next Generation" days that I taped when I was 13, as well as my Uncle John winning a prize from Boom in 2003! Listen for the New Year's 1999 into 2000 countdown that I got to play at the start of my shift, and the coolest thing (to me) ever: I got to run the board for a few "Boom Till Noon" shows, and he actually said my name! Yes, I know it sounds dumb, but it was (and still is) a HUGE deal for his voice to belt out my name! I'll miss you Mr. Goldberg.


Anonymous said...

The clip of Boom talking with Mitch Craig that Chuck Matthews spoke of is now up on the MMS site. They seem to have gotten some dates wrong with the airchecks the posted, by the way.

As for OMW's comment/concern about the personalities of today being celebrated and honored here in Cleveland when they pass on in 40-50 years - who knows? 30 years ago, I highly doubt any jocks working here thought of each other as "future legends" that will be the subjects of countless tributes when they die. Boom himself may not have believed you if you told him back in 1975 what kind of a mark he would leave here.

The media legends that have passed on recently all have one major thing in common - they didn't use Cleveland as a stepping stone to a bigger market. They stayed here, many of them still working here right until the very end. I don't think that's a coincedence at all.

Here's a hunch on my part. If a current Cleveland radio personality is still active in Cleveland radio 30-40 years from now (well, if there IS radio) then I think the upmost respect and honor will be bestowed upon them when they do pass on.

Bruce Kratofil said...

The clip where he tells that guy off is at

VODood said...

Igor, great stuff!!! I left MMS May 2000, then Jonathan in July and Mitch in Sept. Matt Anthony was there thru 2000 into early 2001. Could've been anyone.

The bit Mitch produced with Boom... priceless!

And thanks to Jesse "James" Hayes, formerly of WMMS/WMJI, now with Mitch and AJ at Sirius for the audio.