Back in the day, George Burns ended every show with, “Say good night, Gracie.”
Disc jockeys also frequently ended their shows with regular sign-offs.
Robert W.Morgan always ended with a simple, “Thank you, Los Angeles.” Steele stepped out with, “Tina Delgado is alive, alive!” (To this day, nobody including Don’s wife, knows who that Tina person was.)
Casey’s sign off became well-known world-wide. (More about him in a future chapter.)
“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” – Casey Kasem
I was heavily influenced in my formative years by the personalities on local R&B stations around Dallas. I forget who I heard use this…but I “borrowed” it.
At KLIF, I ended with, “May you have blue skies and green lights wherever you go.” At KFRC, I changed it to, “Walk on world…you are dismissed,” Frank Terry, who followed me at 9 objected, claiming I was telling his audience not to bother listening to him.
I think that “signature sign-off” has faded. But there was a time that many air people used the device as part of their persona.
Some of my friends share their story about that.
Gary Allyn is a legendary personality and programmer from KCBQ, San Diego. He has a story/
Gary closed his show with…
“Thanks for makin ‘ my show a show, you always do you know. Love you madly for all the things you are.”
A story behind that? Gary shared,
” Well, it was a takeoff of a show ending that I heard one of my favorite DJ’s on WING in Dayton, OH do back in the early 50’s. Gene “By Golly” Barry. He would usually sign off with: “This is your old platter pal forever sayin’, gotta see a man about a record so, bye-bye, buy bonds, and love you madly”.
Chris Duffy had one he liked.
My last radio gig (and most likely my LAST radio gig), was here in Highlands, NC at 4118′ elevation.
When I took the gig I had just been through a tumultuous period, and things at the station weren’t fantastic either.
About a month in, I started signing off with “…and remember, no matter what happens today, life is always better in the mountains.”
It was a reminder to the listeners and myself to appreciate where we were.
I’m not in radio anymore, but I stayed in the mountains 🙂
Christoper Lee had a regular sign-off.
“Not a very interesting sign off but was always this: “I’m Christopher Lee heading out of here, I’ll speak at you soon”.
I started that early on because I was always afraid of being fired. So I felt somehow it made me feel like I was coming back AND would make the station look bad if they didn’t have me speak to the listeners soon. Of course I never dropped it because, we’ll just like how I lost my on air gig at KOOL fm a few months ago, the fear of not being there once you turn the mic off never left me so it stayed as a sign off.”
Wayne Thorne remembers…
” I worked at a little AM in Bath Maine, WJTO. All the FMs were way more popular but, we were huge on the Brunswick Naval Air base. (WJTO stood for Where Jets Take Off). I used “remember folks, it’s not the size of your station, it’s how you use it”. The PD, who had been on the station for years, couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought of it, and loved it.”
Josh Holstead is from a multi-generational Texas radio family.
“Two of MY favorites came from two jocks at the same station, WBAP-820, Ft. Worth. Don Day of WBAP used to say, ‘ for now, this is Don Day saying hello, because I hate to say good bye. Then there was Jimmy Stewart who would always plug the next jock or program, the say, ‘for me, it’s Miller time.'”
From Bob McClay…
” My Brother, who was also in radio, used to end every show with “Mama get the coffee ready, the kid is on his way home!”
From Jim Coulee…
Stop on the “red”. Go on the “green” and you’ll be ok.
Jeff Scott remembers one from a friend…
“Good luck. Good love. Good life. God loves you…and so do I.” -Andrew Ashwood, aka B.J. Hunter.
And, finally, a great story from Frederick Vobbe.
“When I started in radio, at the ripe young age of 14, I worked at a local FM station which was “Good Music”. Anita Kerr, Montavani, etc. Truth be told, the station’s main income was off the subcarrier which provided MUZAK to the grocery store audiences. I also had to change the reels every 12 hours. Being 14, and riding a bike to work, my parents had one rule. When you leave the station, call mom and let her know you’re leaving. (Some days I would work over as the next kid didn’t quite make it in promptly, and one weekend I worked 24 hours straight. BTW, at $1.55 per hour. Don’t judge, it was radio).
One night I came home and my mom says, “I really enjoyed that Four Freshman song you played”. I was shocked. Mom listened to the station? Sure enough, dad ratted her out. She listened to the station, even though all I did was read 3 minutes of news, weather, some ball scores, and give the break, “You’re listening to 92 5, W M H E in Toledo”.
A couple nights later, I decided to be funny, and at the end of my shift I said. “Good evening, it’s 12 midnight, and you’re listening to 92 5, W M H E in Toledo. Mom, I’m coming home”.
I fully expected to get busted by station management but to my surprise NOBODY said a word, except the A/V teacher , who thought it was funny. But it stuck.
When I did rock radio in the late 60s I used it, and when I did C&W in 1973 it morphed to “Mom, I’ll be trucking down the highway soon”, even though I drove a 72 Gremlin.
My final radio job was in Detroit, where it changed again to “Mom, I’m motoring down the Southfield”.
Now I’m in TV, and an engineer. No radio signoff, but I call my wife on my truck’s Onstar and tell her, “Mom, I’m leaving the office”. She replies, “Pick up dinner for us on the way home”.
When I was in high school, I worked at KVIL in Dallas. The AM was a day-timer. Since we were owned by a jingle company, we even had a singing sign-off. “Now, K-VIL leaves the air…’til tomorrow, take care!”
If you have ideas or questions, my email is [email protected]