The Godfather of Radio: Kidd Kraddick

By: Gabriela Yareliz

My heart is broken. Kidd Kraddick is gone. He died this weekend of cardiac disease at a golf tournament, while raising money for his charity: Kidd’s Kids (where they take terminally ill children to Disney World with their families for some perfect days and good memories). An enlarged heart. He did have a very big heart.

I hate morning shows– except his. I found him on 106.7 in Gainesville, Florida. He was my company from the crack of dawn when I would commute to the university to go to my reporting labs. I loved his funny sarcasm and sincerity. Out of everyone on the show, I felt he was the one who would say what I was thinking. He filled my mornings with joy, happiness, laughter and tears. I have quoted him and the show many times on the blog. When I found him, I fell in love with the show. I love it so much, I have the App. Kidd Kraddick in the morning went with me wherever I went.

There are so many people whose life he changed. His love for his daughter Caroline charmed us all. His disagreements with Kellie Rasberry made us roll our eyes. The way he would find young starting artists and give them time to share their talent, would make us curious and instant fans of people some others never heard of. He would promote new artists and encourage them.

He would do the most hilarious bits. At Christmas time, he would go into a family in need’s house and fill their house with gifts and things they needed.

He was so funny; so real; so unique. All of us who listened to him; we knew him. He gave us a piece of himself.

My favorites:
I loved the Teacher Test bit; His cute, high pitched ADHD character;

His commentary on the Love Letters to Kellie were hilarious; On Fridays, he would “flush the format,” and jam to a remix of music (got to start the weekend on the right foot); Kidd would make fun of Kellie’s “dollar store” ways, Big Al’s bar and funny relationships, J-si being Korean when he is really Mexican and Jenna’s sporty manliness; His Nickelback; the Sweat hotel parody; His ringtone: “You can rise to the top and C’complish it all.”

There was the must-be-nice guy, and the Kinsey bit: “J-si Whatthehell!”

I have nothing else to say, except that I hope that Kellie, Big Al, Jenna and J-si continue to bless others the way Kidd did.
Together the Kidd Nation mourns the loss of an amazing person.
May God bless him and recompense his kindness and love toward others. May God bless his family with peace.

Kidd Kraddick, no one on radio made me laugh like you.
When you blessed others, I would sit in my car, sobbing. Your life showed what it was like to be someone else’s angel.

Kidd Kraddick reminded me of what is really important every day, saying:
“Keep looking up, ’cause that’s where it all is.”

As read on the show by J-si: (with modification from the version read at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral)

You can shed tears that he is gone

Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him

Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

written 1981

David Harkins 1959 –

Silloth, Cumbria, UK

Love you Kidd.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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