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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

He said WHAT?!? If you care to read my MPC Hall of Fame speech, here it is...

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Presented for your acceptance Friday, October 25, 2013.  Potawatomi Bingo Casino Woodland Ballroom.  Roughly 8 p.m. CDT.

 

 

Thanks so much for this humbling and unexpected honor.  Previous inductees are either retired…or dead.  I’m still working, which begs the question: is there something y’all aren’t telling me?

Reitman and Mueller wasn’t planned or ordained.  Like most things in radio, it was the culmination of circumstances, happen-stances, serendipity: a 50,000 watt sonic shotgun marriage.    

It wouldn’t have happened if my sister didn’t come home one day in 1965 with a dog—our landlord didn’t allow pets, and we got evicted from our south side Sheboygan duplex. Instead of following in her footsteps at Sheboygan South High School, I end up at North, which, unlike South, had one of the nation’s few broadcast high school radio stations where I could turn a curiosity into a passion and eventually a career.

It wouldn’t have happened if my first commercial radio boss at WHBL in Sheboygan didn’t decide he didn’t need me part time in 1976.  I end up as a cub reporter at WSPT in Stevens Point and end up full time before my next college semester begins.  I quit school and never return.

It wouldn’t have happened if, while in Point, I don’t meet Dallas Cole—then the nighttime DJ, later a programming exec at VH-1 and NBC, at one point David Letterman’s boss.  Before that, though, he’d come to WKTI and decide that an iconic Milwaukee underground disc jockey paired with a hairy, pimply, foul-mouthed FM morning show co-host would make radio magic together.

It wouldn’t happen if Bob Reitman was so damn good, teaching his young minion that it’s far more rewarding to do good, clean clever radio than it is to go blue.  That we were the keepers of a tribal drum, hired to not just entertain a community but to serve it.   A radio partnership became a lifetime friendship—you know it when you never are at a loss for something to say on the air for 24 years, or when you can pick up your conversation in virtual mid-sentence at Solly’s over coffee, years after your last show together.

I love you, Bob Reitman—not in a way that’ll have us picking out china patterns later this weekend, but more like a brother that I truly never had.  We served Milwaukee, we saw the world, hell—we even saw each other in our underwear when we shared hotel rooms in the Soviet Union.  That’s radio partnership.

You were a joy to work with—a pleasure to have as a friend, the happiest coincidence, the most incredible happenstance, the best bit of serendipity to ever enter my life.

Thank you. Milwaukee Press Club, friends, relatives and fellow inductees, for this chance to look back, say thanks, and to spent one more occasion with one of the best people to ever enter my life.

 

 

 

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