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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Paul Harvey: So God Made a Farmer (and “The Rest of the Story”: Harvey Videos, Bio, and Obits!)

 
Paul Sr., Lynne, and Paul Harvey Jr., pounding away at work
 


 

Published on February 3, 2013
http://CherryHillRAM.com

Posted by Nicholas Stix

So God Made a Farmer: The Version in the dodge Ram Super Bowl Commercial
By Paul Harvey

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks, and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”


The Original, Uncut Speech
Delivered in 1978, to the Future Farmers of America
 


 

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon—and mean it." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks, and shoe scraps. Who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.

"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says that he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.


* * *
And now for the rest of the story.

So, it was used for a truck ad during the Super Bowl. Someone had to do it, and that someone would have a motive for doing so. And that the folks at Dodge used this text and that imagery, instead of something less edifying, means that millions of people heard the late Paul Harvey, may he rest in peace, who had never heard of him, and millions of others had the pleasure of hearing his voice once again.

Tulsa-born Paul Harvey (September 4, 1918-February 28, 2009) was a radio broadcasting legend, and the most popular broadcaster we’ve ever had. Actually, he was reportedly the most popular broadcaster in the world. He broadcast for over 60 years, until he died, and at his peak, had 22 million-24 million weekly listeners. Unfortunately, though I read the text of one or two of his broadcasts online while he was alive, I don’t think I ever heard his voice, until I saw the Super Bowl commercial. However, a brief sample of his style can be heard here, and some of his legions of fans were kind enough to upload recordings of his broadcasts to Youtube.

Below I have reposted the unsigned biography from his 1990 induction into the Radio Hall of Fame, some of his famous broadcasts, and his Associated Press, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times obituaries.
 
* * *
The Radio Hall of Fame: Paul Harvey (1990)

Every week 22 million people “stand by” for Paul Harvey on more than 1,350 commercial radio stations, as well as 400 stations of the Armed Forces Radio Service.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Paul Harvey made radio sets as a boy. At a high school teacher’s suggestion, he started working at KVOO/Tulsa. There he helped clean up and eventually was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and news.
From Tulsa he moved to KFBI/Abilene, Kansas and then jumped to KXOK/St. Louis. While there, Harvey met Lynne Cooper, who would soon become his wife and business partner. He frequently referred to her on the air as “Angel” and together they form one of radio’s most successful teams.

Harvey moved to WKZO/Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1941 as program director. He also served as the Office of War Information's news director for Michigan and Indiana. In the middle 1940s, Harvey made his way to WENR/Chicago and, within a year, his 10:00 PM newscast became the top-rated program.

In 1946, Harvey added The Rest of the Story segments to his newscasts, which eventually became its own series in 1976.

Harvey moved to the ABC Radio Network for his first national broadcast in 1951.
Paul Harvey was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.

* * *
Paul Harvey on the air at ABC in 1952
* * *
 

Paul Harvey: Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor: Independence Day Broadcast (Year Unknown)



Thanks to bhmscomputers.

* * *
Paul Harvey’s Legendary Broadcast, “If I were the Devil” (April 3, 1965)



Thanks to Joe Donahue.

The sound isn’t that good, but the other uploaded versions either had worse sound, or cut off the beginning. And I could do without the graphics, as well. Harvey didn’t need any help.

* * *
Christmas Eve 1962, from the North Pole


Thanks to DavidVonPein2, who writes,

Legendary radio announcer Paul Harvey does a fine job at letting his listening audience use their imaginations in this terrific "Live From The North Pole On Christmas Eve" radio performance from December 24, 1962.
* * *
The Rest of the Story: America's Heart



Thanks to YakovSmirnoff, who writes,

Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" featuring Yakov Smirnoff and his mural, "America's Heart."
* * *
Paul Harvey: “What is a Policeman?”

Paul Harvey was the son of a policeman, who was killed in the line of duty when the boy Paul was a mere three years old.

 


Thanks to Fleo850, who writes,

Paul Harvey's "What is a Policeman" dedicated to the memory of Okaloosa County (FL) Sheriff's Deputies Tony Forgione, Burt Lopez, and Skip York.
I wrote a very similar essay in my freshman English comp class, in honor of a heroic cop who showed me great kindness, when I was a street urchin. But Paul Harvey’s version is better.

* * *
The Rest of the Story: Napoleon’s Bathtub and the Louisiana Purchase



Thanks to Khottabych.

* * *
Paul Harvey’s Christmas Day 1965 Broadcast


Thanks to Dennis Daily and hourlynewscaster, the latter of whom writes,

Veteran on-the-road reporter Dennis Daily dips into his archives for a rare recording of Paul Harvey's Christmas Day broadcast on Saturday, 12/25/65. This broadcast includes "The Story of the Birds," which became a staple of his holiday broadcasts for decades.
* * *
Paul Harvey
Obituary
Associated Press/Chicago Sun-Times
Undated (March, 2009)
CHICAGO (AP) — Paul Harvey, the news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of the nation's most familiar voices, died Saturday in Arizona, according to ABC Radio Networks. He was 90.

Harvey died surrounded by family at a hospital in Phoenix, where he had a winter home, said Louis Adams, a spokesman for ABC Radio Networks, where Harvey worked for more than 50 years. No cause of death was immediately available.

Harvey had been forced off the air for several months in 2001 because of a virus that weakened a vocal cord. But he returned to work in Chicago and was still active as he passed his 90th birthday. His death comes less than a year after that of his wife and longtime producer, Lynne.

"My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news," Paul Harvey Jr. said in a statement. "So in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and today millions have lost a friend."

Known for his resonant voice and trademark delivery of "The Rest of the Story," Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his "News and Comment" for ABC Radio Networks.

He became a heartland icon, delivering news and commentary with a distinctive Midwestern flavor. "Stand by for news!" he told his listeners. He was credited with inventing or popularizing terms such as "skyjacker," ''Reaganomics" and "guesstimate."

"Paul Harvey was one of the most gifted and beloved broadcasters in our nation's history," ABC Radio Networks President Jim Robinson said in a statement. "We will miss our dear friend tremendously and are grateful for the many years we were so fortunate to have known him."

In 2005, Harvey was one of 14 notables chosen as recipients of the presidential Medal of Freedom. He also was an inductee in the Radio Hall of Fame, as was Lynne.

Former President George W. Bush remembered Harvey as a "friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans."

"His commentary entertained, enlightened, and informed," Bush said in a statement. "Laura and I are pleased to have known this fine man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Harvey composed his twice-daily news commentaries from a downtown Chicago office near Lake Michigan.

Rising at 3:30 each morning, he ate a bowl of oatmeal, then combed the news wires and spoke with editors across the country in search of succinct tales of American life for his program.

At the peak of his career, Harvey reached more than 24 million listeners on more than 1,200 radio stations and charged $30,000 to give a speech. His syndicated column was carried by 300 newspapers.

His fans identified with his plainspoken political commentary, but critics called him an out-of-touch conservative. He was an early supporter of the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy and a longtime backer of the Vietnam War.

Perhaps Harvey's most famous broadcast came in 1970, when he abandoned that stance, announcing his opposition to President Nixon's expansion of the war and urging him to get out completely.

"Mr. President, I love you ... but you're wrong," Harvey said, shocking his faithful listeners and drawing a barrage of letters and phone calls, including one from the White House.

In 1976, Harvey began broadcasting his anecdotal descriptions of the lives of famous people. "The Rest of the Story" started chronologically, with the person's identity revealed at the end. The stories were an attempt to capture "the heartbeats behind the headlines." Much of the research and writing was done by his son, Paul Jr.

Harvey also blended news with advertising, a line he said he crossed only for products he trusted.

In 2000, at age 82, he signed a new 10-year contract with ABC Radio Networks.

Harvey was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in Tulsa, Okla. His father, a police officer, was killed when he was a toddler. A high school teacher took note of his distinctive voice and launched him on a broadcast career.

While working at St. Louis radio station KXOK, he met Washington University graduate student Lynne Cooper. He proposed on their first date (she said "no") and always called her "Angel." They were married in 1940 and had a son, Paul Jr.

They worked closely together on his shows, and he often credited his success to her influence. She was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1997, seven years after her husband was. She died in May 2008.

* * *
Paul Harvey, possibly during the late 1990s
Paul Harvey,

* * *
Homespun Radio Voice of Middle America, Is Dead at 90

By Robert D. McFadden
March 2, 2009
New York Times
Paul Harvey, who captivated millions of American listeners for nearly six decades with his homespun radio news reports and conservative commentaries, delivered nationally on weekdays in a stentorian staccato, died on Saturday at the Mayo Clinic Hospital near his winter home in Phoenix. He was 90.


Paul Harvey, in 1979
Associated Press

Paul Harvey, in 1979, declined offers to move his program.

Mr. Harvey, who lived in the Chicago suburb of River Forest, died with his family at his side, Louis Adams, an ABC Radio Networks spokesman, told The Associated Press. No cause was given.

Mr. Harvey, who joined ABC in 1951, was forced to suspend his broadcasts for several months in 2001 by a virus that weakened a vocal cord, but he returned to his Chicago studio and remained on the air until recently.

In his heyday, which lasted from the 1950s through the 1990s, Mr. Harvey’s twice-daily soapbox-on-the-air was one of the most popular programs on radio. Audiences of as many as 22 million people tuned in on 1,300 stations to a voice that had been an American institution for as long as most of them could remember.

Like Walter Winchell and Gabriel Heatter before him, he personalized the radio news with his right-wing opinions, but laced them with his own trademarks: a hypnotic timbre, extended pauses for effect, heart-warming tales of average Americans and folksy observations that evoked the heartland, family values and the old-fashioned plain talk one heard around the dinner table on Sunday.
“Hello, Americans,” he barked. “This is Paul Harvey! Stand byyy for Newwws!”

He railed against welfare cheats and defended the death penalty. He worried about the national debt, big government, bureaucrats who lacked common sense, permissive parents, leftist radicals and America succumbing to moral decay. He championed rugged individualism, love of God and country, and the fundamental decency of ordinary people.

“You can almost hear the amber waves of grain,” the comedian Danny Thomas told him.

Mr. Harvey was unapologetic. “I have never pretended to objectivity,” he once said. “I have a strong point of view, and I share it with my listeners. I have no illusions about changing the world, but to the extent that I can I’d like to shelter your and my little corner of it.”

He loved human-interest stories, and the one-liners he tacked on to them. “Nudists in Lakeland, Florida, are upset that outsiders are sneaking a peek through a hole in their fence,” he intoned. “The police promise to look into it.”

Or: “A man called the I.R.S. and asked if birth control pills could be deducted. The I.R.S. worker, not missing a beat, came back and said, ‘Only if they don’t work.’ ”

Or: “White House occupants come and go. They are just like diapers. They should be changed often, and for the same reasons.”

In a format virtually unchanged over the years, his style was stop-and-go, with superb pacing and silences that rivaled Jack Benny’s. He spoke directly to the listener, with punchy sentences, occasional exclamations of “Good heavens!” or “Oh, my goodness!” and pauses that squeezed out the last drop of suspense: the radio broadcaster’s equivalent of the raised eyebrow or the knowing grin.

He was a wordsmith, too, banging scripts out on a typewriter, and rightly or wrongly was credited with inventing the terms “Reaganomics,” “skyjackers,” and “guesstimate.” Listeners came to expect stock cues: “Stay tuned for the rest of the story,” and “May I have your undivided attention for just a moment.”

He wrote and delivered his own commercials, introducing them as “Page 2” and lacing promotions for pills or nostrums into his news with the same down-home ardor he used to extol the flag. He said he promoted only products that he trusted, and in any case he was a marketing powerhouse. In 2006, Forbes.com quoted ABC as saying Mr. Harvey accounted for 10 percent of the radio network’s $300 million in advertising billings. In 2000, the network was reported to have given him a $100 million, 10-year contract extension.

Marc Fisher, in The Washington Journalism Review in 1998, called him a “bridge to the new era of radio talkers, people such as Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, Howard Stern and countless imitators who have stretched the concept of radio commentary from minutes to hours, but remained true to Harvey’s basic formula of personalizing the news, turning the events of the day into a long-form diary of American life.”

He was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in Tulsa, Okla., on Sept. 4, 1918, the son of Harrison Aurandt, a police officer, and Anna Dagmar Christian Aurandt. His father was killed in a gun battle when he was 3, and his mother rented out rooms to make ends meet. He was raised a Baptist, and it influenced his views.

As a boy he was fascinated with radio and built a receiver out of a cigar box. As a teenager, he had a strong resonant voice, and in 1933 a teacher at Tulsa Central High School escorted him to local station KVOO-AM and told the manager: “This boy needs to be on the radio.”

He was taken on as an unpaid errand boy, but soon was allowed to deliver commercials, play a guitar and read the news on the air; two years later, he got his first paycheck. He studied speech and literature at the University of Tulsa, then held radio jobs in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. In St. Louis, he met Lynne Cooper, and proposed on their first date.

They were married in 1940. Mrs. Harvey, whom he called “Angel,” became his business manager and producer. She was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1997, seven years after he was. She died last year. The couple had one son, Paul Harvey Jr., who did much of the research and writing for his father’s broadcasts. He survives. The names of any other survivors were not available on Sunday.
Mr. Harvey, who dropped his surname, worked as a reporter in Hawaii and joined the Army after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Discharged in 1944, he settled in Chicago and got a job announcing at WENR-AM. In 1946, he became host of a call-in program that sought work for veterans.

In 1951, ABC bought a network that included WENR and he began broadcasting news and comment coast-to-coast. As he developed his style and became a national favorite, Mr. Harvey was asked to relocate to New York City, but refused, believing that his bedrock audience was everywhere but the East.

For a time in the late ’60s and early ’70s he was on television, delivering his homilies about average Americans in front of a huge American flag. But television was not his medium. “I’ve been hoping that someone would discover that television causes cancer,” he said. He also lectured and wrote a column syndicated in hundreds of newspapers.

But his conservative views went best over the radio. In the 1950s he supported the anticommunist campaigns of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, but pulled back when he concluded the senator was making accusations he could not support. In the 1960s, Mr. Harvey opposed busing for school desegregation.

But in 1970, after backing American involvement in the war in Vietnam, he switched sides when President Richard M. Nixon expanded the war into Cambodia. “Mr. President,” he said, “I love you — but you’re wrong.” The admonition, from a man many called the voice of the “silent majority,” brought an avalanche of protest letters and calls, including one from the White House. Mr. Harvey said he had been swayed by the example of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who said, “The only excuse for getting into a war is to win it.”

Listening to his wife, he argued for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and for a woman’s right to have an abortion. He kept a picture of President Ronald Reagan on his wall, but opposed American involvement in Nicaragua’s civil war. And when President Bill Clinton was impeached, he sounded less judgmental than many commentators.

President George W. Bush was also a fan. “Paul was a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans,” he said on Sunday. “His commentary entertained, enlightened and informed.”

Mr. Harvey received many awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Mr. Bush in 2005. But he said his greatest honor was the flood of letters his listeners wrote to bless and thank him for standing up for spiritual values and the American way. It was to them that he signed off, with a rising inflection: “This is Paul Harvey — Good Day!”

A version of this article appeared in print on March 2, 2009, on page A16 of the New York edition.

* * *
Paul Harvey dead
Paul Harvey dies at 90; radio personality known for his distinctive delivery




Radio personality Paul Harvey, seen in 1952, greeted listeners with his trademark telegraphic delivery punctuated by his patented pauses: “Hello, Americans! This is Paul Harvey! [pause] Stand by for news!” He’d end each broadcast with his signature: “Paul Harvey. [long pause] Good day!” (ABC)

By Dennis McLellan
March 1, 2009

Paul Harvey, who was long considered the most-listened-to radio broadcaster in the world and whose distinctive delivery and daily mix of news, commentary and human interest stories informed and entertained a national radio audience for nearly 60 years, died Saturday. He was 90.
________________________________________
FOR THE RECORD:
Paul Harvey obituary: The obituary of radio pioneer Paul Harvey in Sunday's California section said he and his wife, Lynne, were married for 58 years. They were married for 68 years. —
________________________________________


Harvey, called "the voice of Middle America," "the apostle of Main Street" and "the voice of the Silent Majority" by the media for his flag-waving conservatism and championing of traditional values, died at a hospital near his winter home in Phoenix, the ABC network announced. The cause was not given.

The Chicago-based Harvey was syndicated on more than 1,200 radio stations nationally and 400 Armed Forces Radio stations around the world. Harvey had not been on the air on a daily basis in the last few months, but he did do some prerecorded segments. His son, Paul Harvey Jr., had been filling in as host.

Coming of professional age in the late 1930s and the 1940s, a time when broadcasters such as Lowell Thomas and Gabriel Heatter were household names, Harvey continued to flourish in the era of Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh.

Telegraphic style

For more than 50 years, beginning in 1951, ABC Radio Network listeners were greeted by Harvey's trademark telegraphic delivery punctuated by his patented pauses:

"Hello, Americans!" he'd boom into the microphone in his studio high above Michigan Avenue, "This is Paul Harvey! [pause] Stand by for news!"

He'd end each broadcast with his signature: "Paul Harvey. [long pause] Good day!"

The "Paul Harvey News and Comment" broadcasts -- five minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at midday six days a week -- were consistently ranked first and second in the nation among network radio shows.

Equally popular were his five- minute "The Rest of the Story" broadcasts in which Harvey told historical vignettes with surprise endings, such as the 13-year-old boy who receives a cash gift from Franklin D. Roosevelt and turns out to be Fidel Castro. Or the one about the famous trial lawyer who never finished law school (Clarence Darrow).

Harvey's various broadcasts reached an estimated 24 million listeners daily.

"He certainly was among the last great radio commentators," Michael C. Keith, communications professor at Boston College and author of "The Broadcast Century," told The Times in 2001.

Part of Harvey's enduring appeal, Keith said, was his writing style, "a kind of down-home flavor yet sophisticated quality. It grabs you and holds on to you.

"His delivery was always reminiscent of the great broadcasters of the past, which made him a unique sound on contemporary radio. But he was always relevant to the present. Paul Harvey was never out of fashion. Once he came on the air, he was just irresistible. He really had you from the moment he said, 'Page One!' "

Oklahoma native

He was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in Tulsa, Okla., on Sept. 4, 1918. His father was a Tulsa police officer who was killed in the line of duty when Harvey was 3, and Harvey's mother raised him and his sister. (He dropped his last name for professional reasons in the 1940s. "Ethnic names were not very popular," he once explained. Besides, "no one could spell it.")

Growing up in the 1920s, Harvey developed an early infatuation with the new medium of radio, picking up stations from a homemade cigar-box crystal set.

A champion orator in high school, he was encouraged by his English teacher-coach to go into broadcasting. Beginning as an unpaid gofer at Tulsa radio station KVOO in 1933, Harvey soon began filling in at the microphone, reading spot announcements, the news and even playing his guitar on the air.

By the time he was taking speech and English classes at the University of Tulsa, he had worked his way up to a job as a staff announcer at KVOO. Jobs at other small radio stations in Abilene, Kan., and Oklahoma City followed.

While working as news and special events director at a radio station in St. Louis, Harvey met Lynne Cooper, a student teacher from a socially prominent St. Louis family who read school news announcements at the station.

Instantly smitten with the young woman he nicknamed "Angel" the day he met her, Harvey later asked her to dinner. On the night of their first date, he proposed as they sat in her parked car. They were married in June 1940.

Lynne Harvey, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University, was her husband's strongest supporter and his closest professional collaborator. She died last year after nearly 58 [sic; 68] years of marriage.

Besides serving as a director, writer and editor on his radio program, she edited "You Said It, Paul Harvey," a collection of broadcasts published by the family company. She also edited two "The Rest of the Story" books: compilations of Harvey's historical-vignette broadcasts, which began in 1976.

While working as program director at a radio station in Kalamazoo, Mich., from 1941 to 1943, Harvey served as the Office of War Information's news director for Michigan and Indiana. That was followed by a three-month stint in the Army, which resulted in a medical discharge in early 1944 after he cut his heel on an infantry obstacle course.

Big break

Returning to civilian life, Harvey moved on to the radio big-time in Chicago. While broadcasting the news at WENR-AM in Chicago's Merchandise Mart in 1951, Harvey became friends with the building's owner, Joseph P. Kennedy. With a recommendation from the Kennedy-clan patriarch, the ABC Radio Network began using Harvey as a substitute newsman. In time, network affiliates began calling for more Harvey news broadcasts.

"If it were up to Madison Avenue, I still don't think I'd be on the networks," Harvey later told the Chicago Tribune. "It was grass-roots support that brought me where I am. It's also ironic that the Kennedys, with whom I was not in agreement on so many things, had only their daddy to blame."

Harvey's typical broadcast included a mix of news briefs, humor, celebrity updates, commentary and the kind of human-interest stories he loved to tell in order to satisfy the public's "hunger for a little niceness."

Stories such as the woman in Sheboygan, Wis., who was saved from a knife-wielding assailant: "The rescuer?" Harvey asked rhetorically. "Well, the rescuer is a gutsy woman who just happened to be passing by. And she says if I won't tell her name, it's all right to tell her age. [pause] Eighty."

Harvey always said his trademark pauses were originally developed as a "a lazy broadcaster's way of waiting for the second hand to reach the top of the clock." But they quickly became part of his on-air vocal style.

"I've always felt the pregnant pause is more useful for emphasis than shouting, but it can't be done deliberately. It has to just happen," he said.

Harvey liked to joke that ABC radio executives threatened to compile all of that dead-air time and sell ads to fill it.

Known for his staunch conservatism -- he called it "political fundamentalism" -- Harvey supported McCarthyism in the 1950s. "There was a dirty job to be done and it took a roughneck to do it," he said later.

In the '60s, a time when he viewed America's biggest problem as one of "moral decay," Harvey echoed the sentiments of many older Americans by saying that he felt like "a displaced person" in his own country. "I never left my country; it left me," he said.

He blasted homosexuality, left-wing radicals and black militants at the time and reportedly was a close second to Gen. Curtis LeMay to be running mate for unsuccessful third-party presidential candidate George Wallace in 1968.

Famous broadcast

But in 1970, Harvey shocked many of his listeners with his most famous broadcast. In the wake of Richard Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia, Harvey said, "Mr. President, I love you. But you're wrong."

Harvey's about-face, which he later acknowledged "was shattering to my old American Legionnaire friends," triggered a flood of some 24,000 letters and thousands of phone calls from outraged listeners.

And while he favored the death penalty and railed against growing taxes, welfare cheats and forced busing, Harvey would again veer to the left by supporting the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights and criticizing the Christian right for attempting to impose its views on others.

"I have never pretended to objectivity," Harvey told the American Journalism Review in 1998. "I have a strong point of view, and I share it with my listeners. I have no illusions of changing the world, but to the extent I can, I'd like to shelter your and my little corner of it."

In addition to his radio broadcasts, numerous books and TV commentaries, Harvey wrote a thrice-weekly column that was syndicated in 300 newspapers, and he received up to $30,000 for speeches.

He gave up many of the extracurricular activities in his later years but not radio.

For years, he'd rise at 3:30 a.m. and be picked up by limousine in front of his 27-room house in suburban River Forest. At his office in downtown Chicago, he'd cull material for his broadcasts from wire services, letters from listeners and scores of newspapers. Then he'd write the scripts himself, on an electric typewriter in large block type on yellow copy paper.

Harvey, who also read his own commercials over the air, has been credited with coining words such as "guestimate," "trendency," and "snoopervision."

In 2000, at age 82, he signed a reported $100-million contract with ABC Radio that would have kept him on the air for 10 more years.

In 2005, Harvey received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian award, in a White House ceremony.

He is survived by his son.

dennis.mclellan@latimes.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recall hearing Paul Harvey's 1970 comment telling Nixon he had made a mistake enlarging the Vietnam war on my car's radio while driving to the community college I was attending.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

Paul Harvey's, "The rest of the story" was part of my family's life for many years. We always hushed up when we heard his voice.

You are missed Mr. Harvey, Good day

J.P.