Glenn Mitchell

The best radio person in Texas and maybe the entire free world, my buddy Glenn Mitchell, passed away Sunday morning.
Details are here www.kera.org Glenn and I go back to the early 1970s. My first professional radio gig was at KFAD-FM in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth, where Glenn had previously worked before he landed at KNUS-FM, the storied free form progressive station in Dallas overseen by radio pioneer Gordon McLendon. By the mid 1970s, Glenn was a staffer at the new National Public Radio affiliate in Dallas, KERA-FM, and I was a budding musicologist who sat in on several of Glenn's Texas Music Blockbusters, which aired the whole day on Saturdays. Over the years, he interviewed me on KERA and on KRLD-AM, the news-talk station in Dallas heard in all 50 states and several foreign countries. For the last few years, he had me as a guest to play and talk about Texas Music during KERA's fundraisers, during which we raised tens of thousands of dollars, and to talk about Big Bend, the Texas mountains, and Texas in general. Doing Glenn's show was always my favorite media stop. He was smart, professional, and always made me think--qualities rarely found in modern broadcasting. The Friday Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask were mentally stimulating as listeners called in with questions and answers to questions. If Glenn didn't know it all, he sure faked it well. It got to the point I knew how far KERA's transmitter would reach because whenever I was driving near the signal during the day, I'd try to tune in it (for the record, the signal reaches southwest to somewhere between Hico and Hamilton in US 281, and between West and Waco on I-35, and close to Tyler to the east). I was very excited that his show was going national on XM Satellite Radio in January. The rest of the nation would discover what only we in Texas knew. As it is, that will not come to pass. So North Texas listeners will just have to take comfort knowing Glenn's show was their own treasure, even if others have no clue who Glenn is--just the best broadcaster I've had the chance to share a microphone with. Glenn, you checked out too soon. But you went at the top of your game. The silence is deafening.

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