Paul Farhi‘s post last Thursday on the last broadcast of legendary radio host Ed Walker, who died early this morning from cancer at the age of 83, has taken on added resonance. According to WAMU, Walker, surrounded by his family, listened to the broadcast hours before he would pass away in his sleep.
Here’s Farhi on how Walker, overcoming his initial reluctance, agreed to record one final episode of The Big Broadcast:
Just once more, pleaded Lettie Holman, Walker’s boss. For the audience, she said. For posterity. His daughter, Susan Walker Scola, agreed, urging her father on.
Walker reconsidered. Okay, he said. One more.
Walker began the show by flipping the script, choosing to share with his audience his own favorites.
“All these years I’ve been trying to play the music and the shows that I think you all enjoyed. Well, tonight I want to turn things around a little bit and I’m going to do my favorite shows because this will be my last ‘Big Broadcast.’ Things come and things go, and right now it’s time for me to go. So we’re going to play some of the shows that I think have special merit, shows that are my personal favorites.”
And his audience, 65-years worth, in turn remember him today:
— WAMU 88.5 News (@wamu885news) October 26, 2015
Thanks for everything, Ed Walker. RIP. https://t.co/P9BFZXREYQ
— Andrew Beaujon (@abeaujon) October 26, 2015
— Jennifer (@volcanojw) October 22, 2015
Ed Walker was a radio legend and a beloved colleague, and we will miss him dearly. We send our condolences to his family. #BigBroadcast
— The Diane Rehm Show (@drshow) October 26, 2015
— Anita Bonds (@AnitaBondsDC) October 26, 2015
Thank you for making the airwaves a little gentler, Mr. Walker — you'll be missed. https://t.co/Cq7T3I356n
— Deb Fiscella (@DFMPR) October 26, 2015
— David Gaines (@davidrgaines) October 26, 2015
Remembering Ed Walker today. His show was crucial to helping me adjust to a night job. Thank you, Ed. You ran a great show. #BigBroadcast
— Phil (@PhilPhorward) October 26, 2015
R.I.P. Ed Walker. Radio's National Treasure. I hope all the Baltimore Bennys out there are observing a moment of silence.
— Drew Babb (@DrewBabb) October 26, 2015
— Rafael Cabrero (@RafaAntonioDC) October 26, 2015
— The Ronald Young Jr. (@OhitsBIGRON) October 26, 2015
Thanks Ed Walker for making Sunday nights magical for so many. #BigBroadcast
— Siobhan O'Riordan (@saoriordan) October 26, 2015
— Diane Schulz (@dihicobra) October 26, 2015