It was 15 years ago yesterday that Gene Taylor died while on a hayride with his wife Helen on a cold night in Upper Michigan. He had an asthma attack and his inhaler did not work. As most of you know, Gene was the Producer and Writer on my show, having written some of the funniest routines we ever did.
I met Gene in 1965 when I was doing the 10pm to 1am show on WKNR Keener 13. One night I mentioned on the air that I was hungry. Soon after there came a knock on the back door of the radio station by a young man holding two coney island hot dogs in his hand.
That young man was a Senior in High School named Gene Taylor.
Gene would occasionally come up to the radio station when I took over the Morning Show a couple of weeks later. For about a year, I didn't know Gene was funny! Then one day he presented me with a couple of scripts he had written for some of the characters that were part of my show at the time...and I realized that he was an exceptional talent.
That began a relationship that lasted off and on for 35 years until his untimely death on that cold winter night at the age of 53.
Later today, I'll be recording a special Tribute Podcast to Gene, which will be up right here tomorrow.
May you continue to Rest In Peace my good friend.