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Hello, and Welcome to The Bob Edwards Show for Tuesday, October 4th…Part 3

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 9:00 am

Talk about the show on

We were asked to begin to move toward the XM Live Performance Studio, as the anniversary program taping was to begin at 7:00 pm. Winding around all the studios there, I have to admit I found a new appreciation for the little XM2Go radio I had connected to my hip (well, yeah, I had my XM radio with me…I have it pretty much everywhere I go) and the people who work so hard to bring me the music and talk programming I listen to so much. I have to admit, it took us a little while to get into the studio…we kept running into show fans who, like us, couldn’t really believe we were really there, and about to see what we routinely only hear.

Once we got there, imagine our delight when we saw, on every chair in the studio, a CD of The Bob Edwards Show Sampler, and under each seat was a mysterious gold box, found to contain 750ml of the finest Kentucky Whisky in a beautiful bottle modeled from one found in the Kentucky Bourbon Museum, with a lable proclaming, “In Celebration of Bob Edwards 1 Year at XM.” (As I look at the bottle sitting on the mantle, I can’t help but wonder how many of us will leave the bottle sealed as a physical prompt to the wonderful memories of this evening…)

The performance studio reminds me a little bit of an intimate club (that fifth of bourbon didn’t hurt the ambiance)…it’s not as big as I saw it in my head when XM Live Channel 200 broadcasts a concert from there, yet it’s quite comfortable, and the 30-40 people had plenty of room to relax while enjoying the show. I have to note the chairs were surprisingly comfortable, while still being simple folding chairs…the chairbacks seemed to mould to one’s back. It amused me to imagine what Aerosmith would look like up there, while in reality the stage was set with an intimate seating area on the right, and two tall stools on the left. (I was told that most of Bob’s office furniture was on that stage, including his plant…)

First Executive Producer Tish Valva came out and admonished us to turn off our cell phones. Not on mute, mind you, but all the way off. What she probably didn’t realize is that most of us would have pitched them into the Potomac had she asked us to, so thrilled were we to be there. Then Bob came out and gave us the depressing news, with a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor…

“You were told that Daniel Schorr would be here…and we all dearly wanted Daniel Schorr to be here…National Public Radio didn’t want Daniel Schorr to be here…we learned at the last second that he would not be coming, and putting him in a dilemma…but Dan’s only 89…he’s got to look out for his own future.” So NPR is still determined to yank at Bob’s chain. But I’m thinking they might consider a simple contrast-and-compare: last year’s 25th Anniversary “Celebration” for Morning Edition, and the first anniversary party for The Bob Edwards Show. NPR, Bob is doing just fine even considering your embarassing pettiness.

Ok, back to the fun. Bob hopped onto the stage, sank his lanky frame into a chair, placed on his headphones, and the familiar theme music pumped out of the studio speakers as Bob intoned the show’s opening, “Hello, and Welcome to The Bob Edwards Show for Tuesday, October 4th…” The applause was deafening, and this was the first indication that Bob wasn’t used to working with a live audience; instead of stopping, since that applause was about as predictable as it gets, he continued with the opening into the microphone. (Yes, I’m curious to know how the producers end up working that…)

Bob’s first guest was Hugh Panero, President and CEO of XM Satellite Radio, and the guy who created The Bob Edwards Show. The interview was interesting, and I have to tell you, I didn’t much envy Bob interviewing his boss. But even when Mr. Panero skirted a question, Bob came back to it, no differently than if he were interviewing a head of state.

After a break (which lasts a bit longer than the few seconds we’re used to hearing on the program), Bob’s next guest was Marshall Chapman, singer, songwriter, raconteur, and all-round “tall drink of water.” To try to describe her music, her stories, and her humor is…d*mned well impossible. You’ll need to listen to the show to hear about her gardening hat made out of duct tape and a cardboard box, or about her waking up in the garden in her underwear, or about how she, “Been Rode Hard and Put Up Wet.” Part of me wonders if Bob likes her simply because she has to be one of the few women he can look straight in the eye; talk about tall, the two of them made me feel really short. Anyway, lemme just get to a few photos:


After the taping of the broadcast show, Bob took questions from the audience. Our friend Russ Gifford asked an interesting one, which Bob ducked handily.

After the show, we mingled for a while, not wanting the amazing night to end (yeah, the irony of one of Marshall’s stories isn’t lost on me, although to my knowledge none of the show fans ended up lying nude on the ground). I finally got to meet Melissa Grey (who, as the son of a redhead and the father of a redhead, was a little like being at home), and Andy Danyo (who has the most impressive eyes) , both of whom I’ve emailed regularly over the past few months, but never met. The one comment I constantly make about the entire production staff is that they are so…young. Most of them have considerable experience in radio, and yet they are still so d*mned young, attractive, and energetic - it’s no wonder there’s an energy to this show. These professionals will be keeping Bob young and excited about radio for many, many years to come.

I have a bazillion other photographs, and I’m embarassed to admit the unfortunately sexist fact that I am much better at remembering names of young women than of young men, so before I post more, I’m going to need to beg someone on the staff to identify a few of the male members of the staff. (Guys, c’mon…considering the women you work with every day, can you really blame me?)

Final comments? Great food, great drink, a great show, and wonderful people. I dare you to find a better combination for the perfect evening. And Bob…only twenty-nine more years to go before you best your record at that other company. I’m putting in my reservation now for that party…but so you know, I’ll need to be back at the home by eight…

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One Response to “Hello, and Welcome to The Bob Edwards Show for Tuesday, October 4th…Part 3” »


  1. Russ Gifford Says:

    NICELY done, Chuck! It REALLY captured the evening, and it is wonderful that your camera recorded the visuals for everyone as well!

    And thanks for not mentioning that my promo in ‘Bob’s chair’ had me, a guy that has done live broadcasts and recorded work for 20, er, 25, er, 30 years (really??) ‘bobbling’ over my words like a first-time reader. Sigh. But it WAS a great night. Thank you for sharing it with the world, and thank you, Bob and XM, for sharing it with us.


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