The Passing of a Legend

RIP Kidd Kraddick. Thank you for all you did. Photo Courtesy:
RIP Kidd Kraddick. Thank you for all you did. Photo Courtesy:

By Will Martin

There is no sugar coating the following. Sadness has crept into the fabric of my life.

You see, when you’re able to connect with people on a momentary level to help fortify that which you love and have a passion for it makes it that much harder when you have lost one of your very own.

While finishing up on duties at a soccer game I heard the murmurs and I heard the gasps amongst my brethren as we were awaiting coaches and athletes to interview. My initial thought was, ‘If this is a Rick-Roll, I’m not buying it! No way!’

As Saturday night wound down the story grew legs and became in fact confirmed. Over a 30 year fixture in Dallas, Texas.

David ‘Kidd’ Kradick passed away suddenly at the age of 53 while on a charity golf outing in New Orleans. To say that we lost a wonderful person would be an absolute understatement.

Dallas, and the world, lost an absolute legend in the name of morning radio personalities. His charitable work to help underprivileged kids speaks volumes to wanting to affect change. Mr. Kraddick did it well. The tributes, the recollections, and the memories will far trump what I am about to share yet the sadness is just the same.

“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,” KHKSFM owner Clear Channel Communications Inc. said in a news release Saturday. The statement was attributed to Kelly Kibler, Clear Channel’s Dallas manager, and was confirmed by a Kraddick’s publicist, Ladd Biro.

“He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him,” the statement read. “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,” the company said.

Recently most of my recollections with Kidd was by way of watching the ‘Dish Nation’ segments on television. You could see and sense the excellent chemistry alongside Kellie Rasberry and the other guests in a given episode. Funny, witty, punctual, and entertaining. That kind of magic is a dynamic tough to come by in radio.

When I first arrived in Texas in February 2001, I worked at a very popular sports bar in Addison, Texas. There was one young man who was always paying a visit to get customer feedback on current events, something topical, an occasional bit, sometimes an absolute practical joke. Big Al was always a man on a mission to get funny audio for his morning show. That show of course was with Kidd Kraddick on 106.1 FM KHKS in the mornings.

While completing a run at 95.7 KJR-FM in the late 90’s current morning zoo personality in Las Vegas Chet Buchanan told me about ‘Kidd Kraddick doing amazing things in the morning time slot’. I didn’t understand then but I understand more now.

In May of 2011 right before the start of the Byron Nelson a pro-am is done at the Four Seasons Golf Course as personalities play a round with sponsors/friends/contributors. That May afternoon I noticed Kidd Kraddick and we spoke for all of about five minutes. When you are in the service industry you learn quickly to make people feel important.

Kraddick was exactly that when inquiring about family, health, dreams, aspirations. Cracking jokes and acting like a long lost family member we took two pictures together as we shook hands and went our merry way. No airs about the man. Impressed about the way he treated the people around me including myself.

If you seek a lifestyle that will bounce you around from city to city, from relationship to relationship in a true gypsy vagabond existence indeed you will find that with the pursuit of radio. It carries a certain mystique that once you think you have figured her out…like a good woman her needs change. You’ll do anything for the experience even if it means affecting personal relationships along the way. Such is life when pursuing the radio dream.

‘Kidd Kradick in the morning’ should go on and I hope it will go on in the honor of David ‘Kidd’ Kraddick. For almost three decades his shows have reached out across the nation and gotten so many of us to awaken in the morning, go on about our daily lives to suddenly realize just fast and how fleeting life becomes.

The tributes in social media, and along radio and television lines will be vast and generous. A legend on the airwaves and a gentle giant off the air who went about his life quietly, charitably, and dare I say joyfully doing what he loved.

The Kraddick family also issued a statement late Saturday night.

“We are all shocked and saddened by Kidd’s untimely passing. At this time, we ask that you respect our privacy as we mourn and grieve our family’s tremendous loss.”

Granted. RIP Kidd Kraddick. Thank you for all you did.