Kidd Kraddick In The Morning Team Share Their Feelings On The Loss Of Kidd
Preliminary Cause Of Death: Heart Disease
July 29, 2013 at 12:40 PM (PT)
It all began SATURDAY (7/27) with the sudden passing of YEA! NETWORK syndicated radio star KIDD KRADDICK. (NET NEWS 7/27). KRADDICK, age 53, was the longtime morning man at CCM+E Top 40 KHKS/DALLAS and was syndicated on hundreds of stations nationwide over the years. He was also one of the stars of DISH NATION on FOX-TV.
JEFFERSON PARISH Deputy Coroner Dr. GRANVILLE MORSE says KIDD KRADDICK died of cardiac disease, based on a preliminary autopsy. A toxicology report is pending.
TODAY, a teary and heartfelt broadcast of the KIDD KRADDICK IN THE MORNING SHOW began at 8a (ET)/7a (CT). GAVIN DeGRAW kicked off the live tribute to KIDD KRADDICK recalling how KIDD had been such a personal friend and mentor to him and so many artists and launched into an acoustic version of "Chariot".
"We don't really know what we're gonna say here," sidekick KELLIE RASBERRY said, adding that the crew is "beyond devastated" and that KRADDICK's death was a shock -- she rejected rumors that the crew had been hiding information about his health. "Everybody has questions," RASBERRY said, "and we don't have any answers." BIG AL MACK added, "we're just here to talk."
RASBERRY said he spent his last night shooting craps and making videos on the streets of NEW ORLEANS, then fell ill before the golf tournament the next morning. JENNA OWENS remembered learning golf from KRADDICK and bonding with him over the sport over the years, and his last words to her were "great shot," watching her swing on the golf course.
JOSE "J-SI" CHAVEZ said he saw KRADDICK as a father figure and fought off tears recalling that KRADDICK's last words to him were "I'm so proud of you."
"PSYCHO SHANON" MURPHY said that KRADDICK was "like a dad to me" as well, but remembered that KRADDICK's last words to her were to complain about the last song played on FRIDAY's show -- she called him a perfectionist but said he wanted to give back to people and have the show be the best it could be. MURPHY, unsuccessfully fighting back tears, recalled KRADDICK helping her financially through a family crisis. "There's just nobody else like him," MURPHY said.
The went into an acoustic version of BRUNO MARS "Just The Way You Are" and then into IMAGINE DRAGONS "Radioactive".
After the break, KELLY said, "It will never be the same without KIDD and we don't know what the future holds but we have our memories of KIDD."
The show continued with lots of memories and callers, plus some classic bits from past KIDD KRADDICK shows.
KELLY signed the live segment off at 8:30a (CT) telling KIDD's listeners that they'd let everyone know what was next as soon as they could but that they were going to take the rest of the week off and that there would be "best of KIDD" programming airing.
A tweet from KIDD's daughter CAROLINE says it all:
Caroline Cradick @CarolineCradick 28 Jul
"I will never wrap my brain around my fathers passing. Please keep me and my family in your prayers and ask The Lord to watch over my daddy."
Recapping The Weekend
In case you missed how this tragedy, losing KIDD KRADDICK, unfolded, here is a recap.
On the KIDDNATION website, it was posted SATURDAY:
"RIP KIDD KRADDICK.
"All of us with YEA NETWORKS and the KIDD KRADDICK in the Morning crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader. KIDD devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children.
"KIDD passed away TODAY in NEW ORLEANS at a golf tournament organized to raise money for his beloved KIDD’s KIDS charity. He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him.
"We ask that you respect the privacy of his family and his colleagues. At the appropriate time, we will release more information about the cause of death."
CLEAR CHANNEL/DALLAS Market President and SVPO KELLY KIBLER said: "It has been confirmed that KIDD KRADDICK passed away today in NEW ORLEANS at a golf tournament organized to raise money for his beloved KIDD’s KIDS charity. He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him.
"All of us at KISS-FM, CLEAR CHANNEL/DALLAS, YEA NETWORKS and the KIDD KRADDICK IN THE MORNING crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader. KIDD devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years, his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children."
And, from KIDD's FACEBOOK page: KELLIE, BIG AL, J-SI and JENNA will be live this morning at 8a (ET)/7a (CT) for a short while to share their feelings regarding KIDD's passing. Meanwhile, the station is airing some of the best moments of the show.
KHKS has a KIDD KRADDICK tribute page set up here.
Coverage from the DALLAS NEWS features local reaction from fans and celebrities.
Here is a photo, courtesy of WFAA-TV/DALLAS, showing KIDD at the charity event, shortly before his death.
Sadly, KRADDICK had recently announced the first-ever KIDD's KIDS CONCERT set for AUGUST 15th at the HOUSE OF BLUES in DALLAS. The JONAS BROTHERS were to headline the show, which also included JASON DERULO, ANDY GRAMMER, CIMORELLI and AMERICAN IDOL finalist TIM HALPERIN. No word if this show will still move forward.
Industry Mourns, Shares Comments
ALL ACCESS President & Publisher JOEL DENVER commented, "KIDD and I were friends for many years. I watched him grow into one of the true giants of radio. His loss will affect so many close friends, his many listeners, and the children who greatly benefited from KIDD's KIDS. Our hearts go out to you all."
CUMULUS Top 40 WWWQ (Q100)/ATLANTA morning man BERT WEISS and KIDD go way back! He shares some stories with ALL ACCESS: "It's my first SATURDAY morning in DALLAS and I've been assigned to learn how to run the board before I do my first show with THE KIDD KRADDICK MORNING SHOW. I'm nervous as hell. I never really ran a board before. I show up to KISS FM and waiting for me is a board op who is literally blind. KIDD KRADDICK sets me up with a blind board op for my first training shift. Classic KIDD.
"I worked as KIDD's producer and sidekick for two years - perhaps the most impactful two years of my career - but our friendship has lasted 15 years. We understood each other. We shared the same dysfunctional upbringing and we understood each other's insecurities and we helped each other become better people. It's probably the most intimate relationship I've had
with another dude.
"I've never met anybody more creative. KIDD would show up in studio with three notes written on the front of the "DALLAS MORNING NEWS" and he, KELLY, BIG AL and I would ebb and flow an entire show from those THREE notes. His drive was spontaneity. His creativity was driven from the unpredictability of flying without a net. A schedule and time constraints were his enemies.
"KIDD was a natural performer. All you had to do is hang out with him for five minutes to know this. His gift was commanding a room naturally. Entertaining was priority number one. Yeah, he was always the center if attention, but not narcissistically. The goal was always to bring laughter and levity to the room. He was an amazing story teller; "Don't ever let the truth get in the way if a good story, BERT.
"He had amazing vision. He knew the industry needed a show prep service, so he created one. He stood up at a convention ten years ago and predicted the future of radio syndication and challenged local personalities to improve so they wouldn't be swept up (I recall a s**tload of people pissed at that speech). Even in his death, he was thinking ahead. Two years ago he called, 'BERT, when I'm gone, who will continue what I've built? We need to start thinking of a hand-off plan.'
"His generosity was never ending. Not just money. Time. He was willing to listen and guide any young jock that was serious about the trade. I was so touched by the two years I spent on KIDD's KIDS that I promised I would create the same experience for my own listening audience, and so BERT's BIG ADVENTURE was born. The special needs families that I've taken to DISNEY WORLD have been impacted by a man they will never meet. That's a legacy!
"Phone rings at 2a, 'BERT. It's KIDD. JOHN TESH is in town. I think I have an idea that, yes, might be illegal. However, it will be great radio.' A few hours later we literally kidnapped JOHN TESH by sending a limo for him ten minutes before his legitimate limo arrived. We did an interview with him from the back of the car, then dropped him off at another morning show’s scheduled promotion.
"My God, the dude had balls. He was fearless. Never met a bit he was scared of. And when it failed, he just wouldn't stop working it until we had some big conclusion. Thank GOD there was no PPM back then.
"He was giving. He was flawed, immensely talented, tortured, self-reflective, rebellious, intelligent, quick, loyal, loving, and cared for all he worked with and surrounded himself with. I mean like a deep, deep caring.
"I lost a best friend. I lost a brother. I lost a mentor. I lost a business partner. I lost a confidant. I've never felt this kind of pain. I'm still in shock and disbelief. And this is the way it should be. When you've had the kind of impact that KIDD had, it should hurt that's he gone. But, he left behind a wake of tremendous memories and gave the world the gift of laughter and made a sincere impact in the lives of those of us blessed enough to have been in his world."
More Great Thoughts About Kidd
CCM+E Pres./National Programming Platforms TOM POLEMAN commented to ALL ACCESS, "KIDD was one of the great ones. Someone we were all proud to have leading our industry. Incredibly talented on-air and remarkably generous off-air. We all learned from him and will miss him terribly."
COLUMBIA EVP/Promotion LEE LEIPSNER had a very close and personal relationship with KIDD. He told ALL ACCESS, "I'm just stunned. It was this past MONDAY (7/22) that ONE DIRECTION and I were with him. We had an incredible time together.
"I have known KIDD so many years and was always a major source of support for me and one of a kind person in our business and lives. He was so real and passionate and loved music. He was always accessible. I could call him up and tell him about a new and exciting act and he and would immediately put your music or artist on his show. No one does that. My artists, my staff and I are heartbroken.
"KIDD was key for so many of my artists over the years like ONE DIRECTION, BIG TIME RUSH, and TRAIN to name but a few. PAT MONAHAN was in total shock about this and is making a dedication during his show this coming weekend (8/3) in DALLAS at the GEXA ENERGY PAVILION."
LEIPSNER summed it up: "He was part of the radio experience from beginning to end ... so real and strong. I was proud to call KIDD a trusted friend. And, when KIDD handed me my award at WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT this year, he was so kind with what he had to say to me. And, we went out that evening and chatted about his future plans for his personal life with his fiancée and the charity ... I just cannot believe he's gone. But I will tell you, that I'm a better person from knowing and being KIDD's friend."
ENTERCOM President and CEO DAVID FIELD noted, "The entire ENTERCOM family is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of our friend, KIDD KRADDICK. Yesterday the world lost an amazing man and radio lost a tremendous talent. Even as he died, KIDD was doing what he loved and helping those who loved him. KIDD was a shining example to others. He brought joy and hope to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children through his dedicated work with his charitable foundation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his friends at this very difficult time. KIDD will be missed and always remembered."
CUMULUS SVP/Programming MIKE McVAY was close with KIDD, and commented to ALL ACCESS, "Life is too short. Kidd was an amazing talent and a loving and caring human. One of a kind. To say he will ve missed would be an understatement."
CBS/CHARLOTTE OM and WNKS & WKQC PD JOHN REYNOLDS told ALL ACCESS, "Losing KIDD was such an unexpected and sad change in our business where we count on shows like KIDD to keep radio competitive and show us the way. KIDD's sense of humor was amazing and he was such a fun guy to be around him. During my 3-1/2 years working with KIDD, I was the APD/MD/middays at KHKS and followed right after him each day. KIDD was the guy who prompted me to take this job in CHARLOTTE. That was one of the best decisions I could have ever made -- and I owe it to KIDD who showed me the way to go with my career."
FOLGER MEDIA President JOEL FOLGER told ALL ACCESS, "I loved that guy! KIDD and I arrived in DALLAS the same week in the early 80s. We worked together for about 8 years. I was the best man in his wedding and he was in my wedding.
"One of my favorite memories of KIDD... He came to my home town in THIEF RIVER FALLS, MINNESOTA for my wedding. My bachelor party was held at a cabin in the woods. First time KIDD saw the Northern Lights and I'm certain it was the first time he ever made a wager on wood tick races. Ironic ... I got the news about KIDD while visiting that same cabin. Even in death KID found a way to make me smile.
"Through his charity work KIDD did so many good things for children. He made so many people in NORTH TEXAS and around the country laugh.
"At one point I became KIDD's PD. I was his boss and I remember telling him, during one of many times he was recruited by other stations to leave DALLAS ... 'Don't do it KIDD, if you play your cards right ... You will be as big as RON CHAPMAN.' And he was. KIDD was at the top of his radio game right down to the last day of his life.
"Please join me in praying for his family. I am also praying for GEORGE LAUGHLIN and all of KIDD's friends and staff at the YEA NETWORK. SATURDAY, DALLAS lost a radio icon. So many good memories... R.I.P. my dear friend KIDD KRADDICK."