Paul Harvey died today at the age of 90.Â I’ve been listening to Paul Harvey on and off since high school.Â Here was a guy who was entertaining to listen to, even while he was telling me the news.Â He made it interesting.Â His broadcasts were “visits” rather than “programs”, and Saturday was all about human interest stories.
And you gotta’ hand it to him; he at least had the intellectual honesty to call his program “Paul Harvey News and Comment“.Â These days, comment is passed off as news.Â Would that today’s broadcasters held to that same standard and had that same transparency.
My favorite recurring line of his was “Self-government without self-discipline is self-defeating.”Â This would be the lead-in to some story about a government somewhere either behaving badly or reaping the consequences thereof.Â These days, the government of the Palestinians seems to be a daily confirmation of that line, but perhaps the United States today, throwing out fiscal discipline, will also find that to be self-defeating.
I absolutely loved his “The Rest of the Story” feature, even if some of the items were, indeed, urban legends.Â Most were not, and they gave us a look at the people and events of the news in a different light, and they always ended with, “And now you know the rest of the story”.Â In college, during my show on the radio station, I’d read from one of his books that had collections of them.Â I even wrote a “Rest of the Story” story of my own.Â Once, I recorded a number of his segments off the radio and made my own cassette tape full of them.Â And to give you an idea of his tenure, I also did that years later, recording off the Internet and making a CD.Â Sometime I read books to my kids, but before the evening’s chapter, I’ll pick up one of those collections and read something from there first.Â That is how my children knew Paul Harvey, and why even my thirteen-year-old was a little saddened when he heard of his passing.
My dad introduced me to this fine broadcaster, and my kids knew something of him.Â Thus was the staying power of the man, who ended every broadcast with, “Paul Harvey…Good day!”
And now we know the end of the story.
[To commenters below asking for copies of the tape & CD, I don’t want to infringe any copyrights, so they’re just going to have to be for personal use.Â However, there is a “Paul Harvey” channel on YouTube that includes some “Rest of the Story” stories as well as other broadcasts and tributes.]