A Tribute to Ken Calvert

Much is being recalled and written about today on the untimely and tragic passing of Ken (“KC”) Calvert. And with good reason. He was a legend. Known as “The Casual One” he could just have easily gone by any number of other monikers – “The Personable One” or “The Talented One.” He was just that good on-air and good of a guy.

I was fortunate to work with him for couple of years in the early 90s during his stint at WLLZ-FM – first in Afternoons and later when he moved into Mornings with Ed Kelly. I was his traffic reporter yet I was instantly struck by how he treated me as an on-air show equal, allowing me to participate in (and initiate) comedic banter and discourse, not just relay what was happening on I-696. At one point I was even referenced in a station promo for the morning show. A thrill.

Though he possessed the voice of God that was just one aspect of what made him special and such a treat to listen to. His ability to turn a phrase and inject subtle sarcasm. His artist nicknames (“Guitar Stevie Miller”). And the fun and personable way he went about his business each and every day. It’s how you build a loyal and passionate following, which he did for some 40 years.

I was also especially struck, once he moved to WJR, by how great an interviewer he was. The best possess an innate ability to make the interviewee feel comfortable, like they are talking to a trusted friend. He accomplished that with everyone he spoke with and sought information from on behalf of his listeners.

I’ve always felt honored to have been able to stay in touch with him, at least to some degree, over the years and like many have greatly missed listening to him. Today, the airwaves are eerily quieter. And the silence is deafening.