Disclaimer! I have enjoyed a friendship with Bill O’Shaughnessy of Westchester, New York City and of universal broadcasting industry acclaim for over forty years. I have been present at many of the illustrious speeches and tributes included in his latest anthology, Radio Active. This new tome is certainly a homecoming for those of us whose lives in this region have been part of the radio and television community. However, Radio Active is beyond an industry book. The author shares relationships, interviews, profiles and observations on the political, economic, religious, gastronomic, and of course the media. O’Shaughnessy titles an entire section of the book, “The Obligatory Mario M. Cuomo Section.” His insights into the great statesman is universally acknowledged as unparalleled.
Open to any page and the author’s humanity leaps from the type. Although he is always in step with “the famous,” O’Shaughnessy’s amiability shines most brightly upon the “townies” he has grown to know and love. You may not recognize the names, Diane Gagliardi, Inez Candrea, Peter Mustich, Joseph Anastasi, but now you will, you will indeed. If you are part of what O’Shaughnessy identifies as “Our Tribe,” read the poignant remembrances of broadcasting luminaries Stu Olds, Rick Buckley, Frances Preston, Martin Beck, Ed McLaughlin and Ward Quaal. O’Shaughnessy’s early, brave and prescient defense of Billy Bush is enlightening. If you are among the millions who miss Don Imus you will be warmed by the words of Jonathan Bush written upon the firing of Imus, long before his own son Billy Bush fell to a similar self righteous swarm.
O’Shaughnessy calls his world the “Home Heath.” My observation is that in reality, the geography and scope of that reference is virtually unlimited. That is why when you randomly open Radio Active one extraordinary individual after another leaps forth. “What is this,” asked a friend reaching for a copy of Radio Active that sat on my coffee table. A swish of pages, without lifting his gaze for twenty minutes.
Also by Bill O’Shaughnessy.
AirWAVES, IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME NOW, MORE: RIFFS, RANTS AND WAVES, VOX POPULI, MARIO CUOMO
Read insights into all of William O’Shaughnessy’s books here at gordonsgoodreads.com
O’Shaughnessy Commentaries daily on WVOX 1460 AM, WVIP, 93.5 FM, New Rochelle, New York. Onlineradiobox.com