One of us is stupid and it's not you!
Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: Glendale CA
|Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:52 pm Post subject:
|Here is the obituary from the website of Land Line, a magazine for truck drivers. OOIDA is the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Trucking radio icon Dale Sommers signs off
Sandi Soendker, Land Line, August 25 2012
A man whose name is synonymous with trucking radio has signed off the air. North America’s legendary radio truck show host Dale Sommers, The Truckin’ Bozo, died August 24 in a hospice facility near his home in Hernando, Florida. He was 68. Sommers, widely known for his long-running talk and call-in show geared toward over-the-road truckers, enjoyed a successful broadcast career that spanned more than 50 years.
Regular fans of “The Bozo” know that Sommers suffered from Addison’s Disease and was an insulin-dependent diabetic. He had been recovering from a critical bout with fragile health conditions and medical complications, for which he was hospitalized earlier this spring. He returned to the air shortly in mid-June, but was soon off the air again due to more health problems. Although Sirius XM did not issue a statement, friends and family indicated that he was simply not well enough to resume the grueling radio schedule.
From 1984 to 2004, Sommers hosted the all-night show from Cincinnati-based Clear Channel Station WLW-700. In 2004, he announced retirement but changed his mind and agreed to do an afternoon talk show on XM satellite radio. On the satellite radio show, he discussed the hot button issues affecting the trucking industry as well as politics and current events. XM later merged with Sirius, and the popular show has aired from 4 pm to 7 pm Eastern Time on Sirius XM's Road Dog Channel.
Sommers was a life member of OOIDA. In August 2010, OOIDA Executive Vice President and Land Line NowHost Mark Reddig traveled to Cincinnati to present him with an OOIDA Lifetime Contribution award. The award was suggested and approved by the OOIDA Board of Directors at the spring 2010 meeting. The framed plaque commended Sommers for his career during which he “stimulated, amused and motivated thousands of long-haul truckers, making him a valued friend of truckers and someone who made the miles less lonesome.”
On his afternoon Sirius XM show, Dale shared news and editorial opinion from the New York Times, the Tampa Bay Times,trucking magazines such as Land Line and more. He had an institutional knowledge of the road, affection and respect for his trucker audience and was never short of a point of view.
Dale often said "My life is an open book" and didn’t hesitate to share personal experiences and incidents. He shared anecdotes regarding friends like Hollywood, his wife "Lumpy," and his kids. He taunted his producers, and they often played off each other like early TV comedians George Burns and Gracie Allen. If he was annoyed with callers, he pushed a button and they exploded on air. This was a tradition that callers enjoyed and intentionally provoked. Asking Bozo "how many days to Christmas" would always get a caller blown up.
He was well known for his impromptu shenanigans. Singer/songwriter Jack Kapanka recalled on a Facebook post this week that he was singing America Moves By Truck on Bill Mack’s show. "Dale was goofing around, came up behind me and actually started taking my pants off while I was singing. We were on the air so I just kept right on playing. Always a prankster, always a friend," posted Kapanka, who says he will never forget that moment.
Through the years, the cast of characters on his live radio show were more than just entertainers, hecklers and ranting regulars. They were real truckers with names such as Yoda, Hollywood, Maverick, Bullwinkle, Elvis, Goodwrench, Big Ed, Asphalt Soldier, Straycat, Kentucky Red Devil, Zookeeper, White Trash, Crud, Double S, Super Trucker, Brooklyn and more. Some of them became more than just callers; they became trusted personal friends. Among them were Rusty “Yoda” Wade, who kept fans and pals updated on the Bozo website during Dale’s illness. Wade, an OOIDA Life Member from Brundidge, Alabama, was at Dale’s bedside during the last days.