I Used To Be a Fan

There’s a radio program in the Orlando market that’s been around for nearly twenty years. Hosted by Russ Rollins with stalwarts Dirty Jim, Daniel Dennis, Tiffany and Drunky the Bear, it’s been a staple of my mornings for six years. Before that, it provided listening enjoyment in the afternoons.

Over the years, folks have come and gone in a flurry of drama, drugs, black eyes…Bo Rhodes, The Sexy Savannah, Blackbean, Jeff Howell, Bubba (Whoopass) Wilson. What made the show riveting – and had me turning my right ear to the radio to hear better – was how the characters, both remaining and departing, handled the departures. No details necessary, but the proper amount of humor and pathos involved with the lifes of each and every character on the show endeared us, the listeners, to them.

Russ, in his role of leader, accomplished something rare in the radio-listening world: He managed to personify The Monsters in the Morning and, in doing so, made us feel like we were in that little studio listening to the banter going back and forth.

Laughing out loud over the Buddy calls, Drunky’s misguided stunts, Savannah and Bubba’s trailer park antics and silly songs, Daniel and Blackbean’s satirically hip and pushed to the limits of decency comedy bits, Russ’s failed marriages and relationships, and Dirty Jim’s biting pessimism allowed legions of fans grew to love the Monsters, warts and all. We followed them from one drunken, musical venue to the next, singing along to all the silly songs and having a blast.

Like a blind boy, we followed them over the years, knowing full well we would never lose our way.

That was then.

Today, thanks to what can only be described as the corporate greed of Clear Channel Communications, the show we all loved at one time has become a pitiful shadow of it’s former glory. The almight dollar has reduced what was once four hours of hilarity into constant infomercials for weight loss pills and attorneys hawking their latest scams.



2 responses »

  1. I remember when I first found Real Radio. The shows were edgy and different and also had an organic, ground level feel to them. As you wrote, people came and the shows morphed but all seemed well. I found the music component a big plus as well. You want a different kind of radio station? Well, we play real alternative music as well!

    Then something shifted. They cut the music for tired old 70’s rock. The dynamic changed to much and I tried to hang on but I could not stomach what I was being told. Now with Daniel being forced out, I am hanging it up with 104.1. I barely listened anyway due to the lack of original content in once had with the lack of good songs and Buddy Calls and personal stories.

    Adios Real Radio! For the past few months sadly, I have taken a shine to NPR. I would rather hear news about Somalia then listen to the drivel that FM radio has now become.

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