The LuLac Edition #460, April 13th, 2008
By and large we are a political blog that covers events in Luzerne and Lackawannna Counties. But we also dabble in pop culture and local media. That said, it is with great sadness that we report the death of George Gilbert, radio host, program director and radio legend of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The announcement came last night from George's son in law on The Radio Info Board:
THE RADIO INFO BOARD
The Radio Info Board is a fascinating place on the net where old time radio people as well as newcomers and fans of any music genre talk about the past, present and future of the medium. Here are my comments about George Gilbert, posted a few weeks before his death: Someone on another post or maybe this one referred to double G as Mr. WARM. I'm sure there are many who aspire to that title. I think George was a great transitioning force for the radio station as an on air personality. Forget the community involvement work and the programming, that was pure broadscast savvy. But George bridged the gap between "the kids" who played that "darn rock and roll" and their parents. George on the air seemed like the big brother or dad trying to rein in the likes of Woloson, West, Shaver, Woods, and all the others. His style was understated, he rarely flubbed anything and he made it okay (along with the news department) for the adults to tune in WARM. In my mind, that is one of the least talked about aspects of his career, he was the epicenter of calmness in this new thing introduced to the coal region called Rock and Roll. One year, I want to say maybe '65 or '66, during his noon to three shift, on Good Friday, he did this three hour long narration of the Passion. I was home sick that Easter but I remember how well he did it. I mean as far as pure theatre, it was better than church! My first contact with him came when I wrote a rock column for a local paper. I was young then, maybe 15 and interviewed him about local radio. I of course came up to Avoca from Pittston on my bike. He was amused by that. 7 years later, at 22 I was interning at WARM from King's for a BA in Communications. On the first day I'm getting out of my car, (a canary yellow Camaro) the first guy I see getting out of his car is George. He looks at the car, looks at me and deadpans, "No bike?" We both served on the bi County Bicentennial Committee in 1976 and that to me was golden. When some of the more excitable members were going off the deep end in terms of excitement that bordered on the verge of camp, George pulled us back and reminded us this was the celebration of a birth of a nation and not some cabaret production. Our events proved to be pure classs, just like George. Yonkstur
For more about George Gilbert and the esteem his collegues had for him, please link to this site: http://www.radio-info.com/smf/
Click here for LuLac YOU TUBE video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6lEXSEQnDk.