As it turned out, we didn’t air the creepy man/horse story until 11, and it was a “K” instead of a “G.”
That means Ms. Keisha Grant was assigned to deliver that risky bit of news, and that she did, with nary a hint of snark. (Though the Shelton, CT officer we interviewed looked like he was going to burst out laughing.)
I did mention in the previous post that I haven’t “lost it on the air,” as we say, in 20 years. And I did mention it was an obituary. So here’s the story.
February, 1990. I had written and was reading the obit for singer Johnnie Ray, who was huge in the ’50s. Huge. I mentioned that among his hits were “Cry,” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried.” And I noted that his delivery was often quite emotional, with a cry in his voice.
My co-anchor at the time, Ms. Gayle King, had never heard of Johnnie Ray, and found the song titles funny and the description of his singing style even funnier. And she started laughing. Hard. And loud. And uncontrollably.
Laughter is, as you know, contagious. And I distinctly remember sitting there thinking, “This is just great. We’re laughing on the air about a dead man that people of a certain age loved. We are so screwed.” We had to go to a commercial break.
We, of course, offered up a profuse apology when we came back (though we came thisclose to losing it again).
And then there was Johnnie, immortalized in the opening verse of “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
“Poor old Johnnie Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio, he moved a million hearts in mono.
Our mothers cried and sang along and who’d blame them.”
So Johnnie, this one’s for you. Sorry about that.