Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Very Naughty Bob Crane

Bob Crane is a bad, bad man. Some people might say he was naughty, others might be more specific and say deviant or even a peccant serial philanderer. But the fact is, he was a seriously pervy dude and more importantly he was a radio man.
He was born Robert Edward Crane in 1928. He started out as an announcer on 1480 WLEA-AM. It was his first radio gig, but it was in Hornell, New York over 230 air miles form his new wife Ann Terzian, in Stamford, CT. Bob toughed it out, living at the YMCA until he could score a better gig at 1120 WBIS-AM (now WPRX-AM) in Bristol, Connecticut. He bailed on then quickly for a better gig as the morning man at 600 WICC-AM in Bridgeport.
he stayed there over six years. leaving for a gig in Boston at WEEI-AM. He left in 1956 only at the beckoning of the CBS radio network.

CBS gave him the morning show at 1070 KNX-AM in Hollywood. Soon it was the number one rated morning show in Los Angeles. He was known locally as "the king of the airwaves" His guests included Marilyn Monroe, Marvin Gaye, Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield, and Frank Sinatra. But while number one in his slot, he still was really number two overall behind Dick Whittinghill at 710 KMPC-AM. The two arch rivals were actually friendly and Crane filled in for Dick for a few weeks two decades later in July of 1972.
It was only in 1965 that be was offered the starring role in "Hogan's Heroes" and became a television star. In 1974 after years of TV he actually snubbed an offer for a new radio gig. after that his status as a regular at strip joints and discos got him blackballed. He spent the rest of his career doing dinner theater and guesting on Love Boat. In 1978 he was found bludgeoned to death in an Arizona hotel room; he was fifty years old.