I have enjoyed the postings in both the comments section of Ohio Media Watch and the cleveland.com Listening Party board of those who remember Jaybird Drennan. It's sad that we lost a good man, but it's been a real blessing to read about all the good he did for the broadcasting industry.
I remember back in 1974, while I was going to broadcasting school, I was working evenings mopping floors at a nursing home in Brunswick. I was your typical eighteen year old guy, not alot of respect for my elders and would say almost anything simply for shock value. I had mentioned to a nurses aide at the facility the name of an Elton John song(I have since become more respectful of others and I also realize that I have some ladies reading this and some who read this have teenage children. I will not mention the name of the song.) She asked me who wrote the song, and I told her"Bernie Taupin". She then asked me what his address was. Her next statement was that you wouldn't hear that song if you were listening to Jaybird because he would refuse to play it.
I listened to Jaybird in the early eighties when he was the morning disc jockey at WSLR/1350. Back in those days all you needed on the air was a DJ and a newsman. Jaybird was always able to entertain and inform his audience very well. He did not need a "morning zoo" to do his show. His jokes were somewhat corny, but they were clean. He made you feel like a friend. I also remember when he was voted radio personality of the year by the readers of the Beacon Journal, competition consisting of personalities from both the Akron and Cleveland Markets.
There is a personal irony in this for me. I met the 'Ole Jaybird one time only, and that was September 9, 1995. I was walking through the Wayne County Fair with my family. It was the day after the Indians clinched the Central Division for the first time and I was wearing an Indians t-shirt. Jaybird saw the shirt and asked me if I had saw the game the evening before. I answered in the affirmative, then turned around and told my kids that he was one of the finest country music disc jockeys of all time. I say that this is ironic because I got my e-mail from Sports Time Ohio and on the schedule for the week is a replay of that very game, Indians versus Baltimore Orioles September 8, 1995.
God bless you Jaybird. I will see you around the throne.