MA Pays Homage To A Legendary NY Radio Personality
Don Bombard was born in one of my favorite areas in Central New York: Syracuse. He began his radio career at legendary AM stations which included The WOLF and WNDR-AM as his on-air moniker was Bob Shannon and he kept that nom de plume for the remainder of his radio career. After a stint in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Don embarked to The Big Apple (my ol' hometown of New York City) in 1981 and became an on-air personality at A/C Gold Based WYNY-FM. One year later, he landed at CBS-FM (back in the days when they were a REAL oldies station) where he manned evenings and migrated to afternoon drive six years later. Shannon stayed in that same slot up until the station went to a "Jack based format" in 2005. Before returning to "The Golden 101" in 2007, he worked part-time at Long Island based WLNG-FM in Sag Harbor and The Breeze situated in Long Branch, New Jersey.
(Album covers courtesy of Rhino Records Facebook page)
Many native New Yorkers who frequent the Berkshires remember Bob's eloquent and smooth sounding personality who was also a walking encyclopedia when it came to obscure music. I met Bob a few times in my life and tried to stump him in person, but to no avail. We would even trade tales on-line and he STILL came up with the correct answer as he was very knowledgeable in more ways than one. Kudos to Bob!
One day after writing a tribute to "my radio brother" Marshall Miles, I am sad to say that Don (Bob) passed away after suffering a long illness which forced him off the air in 2012 after he returned to CBS-FM 5 years earlier. He was 74 years old. His wife, Connie Empress Frances posted the sad news:
"It is with a heavy heart I share the passing of Donald Robert Shannon, Bob Shannon on CBS-FM 101, Donald Bombard of Pittsburgh's Sunday Night Oldies Party and Syracuse's WOLF. Radio Max Music and WLNG were good to us both, giving us shows and lots of fun times. please remember all the positive things he brought to all. I respectfully ask for privacy at this time of transition"
Bob showed that special on-air savvy to his audience. He was tight and bright on the board while shifting to "3rd gear" during the ride home. Here is an example of a scoped show that aired on CBS-FM back in 2002:
(CBS-FM air check courtesy of You Tube)
Here is a photo of The "Dynamic Duo" as Bob posed with my dear friend and mentor, Dan Ingram back in the days when they were colleagues at New York's OLDIES station:
Don Bombard gave us a unique on-air sound as he was also "the college of knowledge" when it cam to music. I'll miss trading tales with him as stumping the authority on the music we were raised on will ALWAYS remain on my mind. The Bay State and our surrounding tri-state region joins me in saying: Rest in peace, Bob Shannon. His memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting.
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of www.insight.com)
(Photo images courtesy of Bob Shannon's Facebook page)
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