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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Talk Show Host and "Desiderata" Announcer Les Crane Dead at 74

An early talk radio host, competitor to Johnny Carson and performer of a Grammy winning spoken word record has passed away. Les Crane was 71. CNN has the story.

ABC tried to run his talk show opposite Johnny Carson in 1965. It didn't work. However, most people would recognize his voice from the 1971 hit spoken word recording of the inspirational poem "Desiderata." Unlike many of the late sixties and early seventies spoken word recordings, this one doesn't have a right-wing slant.

Of course, I like the parody National Lampoon recorded on their Radio Diner LP with another great radio voice, Norman Rose.

According to CNN, "Casey Kasem also credited Crane in a 1990 interview with helping to develop the Top 40 countdown of most popular songs." If Casey says it, I'll believe it.

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