I had a long conversation with Shelley Morgan awhile ago, and given the
circumstances, she is just FINE. I know Shelley well enough to know if she
were faking it. Actually, it was the LAST time we spoke, when things were
pretty inevitable, that she cried. As did I when we hung up. Thereafter,
as she always has, she took care of business, right on up through Friday
RWM was at Smith College to see Susanna graduate the prior Friday.
(Straight A's in her last quarter, he'd want you to know!) Thus, they
fulfilled a promise to one another: She would graduate and he would be
there to see it. Yes, he flew there and back, even though by then he
couldn't dial the phone. And he's pissed at me for mentioning that, but it
explains why he finally withdrew from us: Because of GUTS and DIGNITY.
After a day's rest, the family traveled back to L.A. On Wednesday, RWM
complained of chest pains. Things got progressively worse. The people RWM
cared about were there when RWM signed off Friday night. Ironically, the
news came first over KFWB (the station we idolized and later picked off)
and was delivered by Lyle Kilgore, who RWM worked with at KHJ (and we both
knew of in our pre-Boss days. I'm sure reading that one tested Lyle's
In the past several years, RWM and I spent as much time talking about (read
"bragging about") our daughters. Both kids motivated both of us in ways
that transcended radio, money and all the other bullshit. Each girl, in
their own way, kept both their dads alive.
RWM's wish was to be cremated and have his ashes scattered at his favorite
fishing site. Shelley is not ready to do that yet, so he is with her in
what she described as a "beautiful" urn. And I'm sure it is. The woman
has always had good taste.
Near the end, RWM was frustrated by not being able to communicate via
computer or with his voice. He got his biggest kicks listening to that
"Mega" station, which is apparently roughing up KRTH-FM. And good luck to
THEM, now without Morgan and Steele, their former station exposed as a
combination juke box/slot machine, running re-cycled KHJ stuff. The one
thing I can assure you is that RWM did not move on up worrying that someone
was gonna come on in and make people forget about him!
Shelley is having a private service at her husband's favorite place, their
front lawn. A few hours before he logged off, RWM's future-son-in-law
announced that he had passed the bar. A nice Jewish boy, who, according to
Shelley got along really well with Susanna's dad.
Thanks to Kevin Gershan, Rick Irwin, Ron Rodrigues at R&R, the traditional
media, the Internet/RealAudio and of course, Shelley -- tomorrow will always
bring a good Morgan.
As for me, I'm going on tomorrow, Memorial Day, to play "Cruisin' 1965,"
starring the best jock I ever had the pleasure to work with, the world's
greatest production announcer, and the person who did more to make me look
good than anyone else in my 45 years in this silly business.