Apparently I'm at the age where I'm going to hear this more-and-more of those people who I never met or knew but were, nonetheless, part of my every-day life growing up. While the national news is focussing on his game show hosting, the LA Times's obituary hit exactly what popped into my mind when I heard the news this morning on the radio:
On radio, he was a clever talker who sprinkled music and news with homegrown bits like "The Answer Lady." That was simply Edwards answering listeners' questions, often comically, without even pretending to imitate a female voice.Listeners called 520-8600 (Can you believe I remember the KMPC phone number?), Geoff'd say in his normal voice "Answer Lady," a question was asked (it could be about anything), he toss off a quick one-line answer and immediately push the next button on the phone, saying, "Answer Lady," and doing this bit quick-boom-boom for 3-5 minutes. Alas, you don't hear this kind of radio any more.
Edwards probably received more noteriety for his game show hosting and he was, for many years, the announcer for the California Lottery's The Big Spin. Perhaps the biggest moments of his career was when he was reporting on the events following President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas for KHJ/Mutual, including being at the scene when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. A good retrospective of his career, including how he came to be in Dallas that day, appears right now on the front page of Don Barrett's LARadio.com, the place to remember over 6000 "LA Radio People".
While I remember him best from KMPC, it turns out Geoff was the morning man at KFI just prior to Lohman and Barkley -- which means I would have listened to him every morning when I first got my own radio for my bedroom. While they were indeed brilliant, Lohman and Barkley didn't do a whole lot for me when I was 9-10 years old, and I switched to KMPC. Of course, with a 9-Noon shift, I only got to hear him in the summertime.
You can listen to an air check of the 11 o'clock hour Geoff Edwards on KMPC from November 13, 1978. The first half,
and the second half,
No "Answer Lady" here -- she usually happened during the 10 o'clock hour -- but it's a good taste of the old full service AM radio that, alas, no longer exists. FWIW, it does run a wee bit slow, but that's noticeable mainly if you remember what he sounded like on the air.
Oh, cool!! One of Geoff's most famous radio bits, Mr. Kent calling the dry cleaners to see if his stuff (dropped off earlier by Miss Lane) is ready, appears on his web site.
Besides the Times' obit, there's this from the Hollywood Reporter (hey, local sources are best) and his Facebook page, which has some wonderful photos. I think he enjoyed a good life. I'm glad he was a part of mine. Requiescat in pace.