Flashback: That Time I Produced the Dan Conry Radio Show
| From Talk Radio Fan to Producer for the Late, Great Dan Conry |
[Part 3 of the February 5th, 2009 Dan Conry Show – Click Here to Start from Part 1]
It took a while, as I’ve been extraordinarily busy lately, but I finally uploaded to my YouTube Channel, the concluding segment of the Dan Conry Show from February 5th, 2009. Why is that show significant? It’s the day I found myself filling in as Mr. Conry’s producer and sidekick.
Tragically, Dan Conry is no longer with us. He passed away while living under “lock down” conditions in New York, during the “Dark Times,” in May of 2020.
I was blessed to get to know this remarkable former NYPD homocide detective, turned comedic conservative talk radio host, after listening to him on the radio for years.
I first met Dan at the Minnesota State Fair, when I was serving as Sue Jeffers’ campaign manager in the 2006 gubernatorial election. Sue was a guest, live at the Fair on the Dan Conry show. I accompanied her to the appearance and took a photo or two of Dan and Sue together. He was, at the time on the newly launched FM station, KTLK, commonly known at the time as K-Talk. That station went through some changes including a frequency change and it was rebranded as Twin Cities News Talk. Sue didn’t prevail in her bid to unseat incumbent governor Tim Pawlenty that year, but the effort got her noticed and she actually ended up with a job hosting a weekend show on that very radio station! Then, Around the end of 2008, Dan Conry, for reasons I was never privy to was let go. I was surprised and disappointed as I’d become a regular listener and fan.
At the time, I was working for the non-profit outfit, Minnesota Majority, which led to other occasions to work with Dan Conry. I was a guest on his show because of the political work I was doing that was making the news at the time.
When Dan left KTLK, I thought there could be an opportunity there. Initially, I reached out to see about bringing him into our organization as an occasional spokesman for certain events and media and he did that with us for a while, but then, a new idea sprang up – A syndicated, live radio show and podcast, broadcast directly from Minnesota Majority’s underground offices!
KRWC, Radio for Wright County was the first station to agree to broadcast the show and Dan started calling on sponsors who’d supported his previous shows (before going to KTLK, he had a show on KSTP radio with co-host Ron Rosenbaum who is sadly also now deceased).
Dan and I worked together for several long days on actually building the studio from a couple under-utilized offices we had in our windowless subterranean “bunker” in North East Minneapolis. We were getting to be friends. When we were going to cut a hole in the wall to install a window, he brought me a gift, to keep from “messing up my nice clothes.” It was a green pullover, still sealed in plastic that was embroidered “NYPD St. Patrick’s Day,” from his days as a drummer in the Police Pipes and Drums band.
“This is way too cool to dirty up with sheetrock dust,” I told him, setting it aside unopened and with hearty thanks. I have worn it every St. Patrick’s Day, since.
I had a background in audio engineering, so I planned and wired up all the electronic gear. Dan showed off his carpentry skills, Dawn Igoe whipped the website into shape and we were off and running in pretty short order. The first episode of the new show was broadcast on January 19th, 2009.
Dan had brought in his former producer, “Super Dave” Harrigan to run the board, screen the calls and play the role (well) of sidekick to the host and the new cutting-edge, multi-media digital show was off to a remarkably smooth start. There was a live stream online, downloadable podcasts and a live radio broadcast. Even today, internet radio shows and podcasts that can actually take live callers are rare, but we were doing all that fourteen years ago!
Then, Dave came down with a pretty nasty illness and had to call in sick and Dan Conry, who I’d been a fan of for years asked me to come and fill in as his producer. How cool is that?!
I recently came across some of the podcasts from back then on an old hard drive and had a fun, but bitter-sweet time listening to them and I decided to share a couple of them as a blast from the past on my YouTube channel. Dan was a remarkable, warm, generous and hilarious guy and he’s missed by many, but thanks to these recordings, we can relive days gone by and enjoy his wit once more.
My most recent upload completes that wild day, when I was thrown into the pool to see if I could swim as a producer (I mostly could – I’d wired the studio so I knew how it all worked, at least in theory). For St. Patrick’s Day, about a year after Dan passed away, I’d uploaded the very first broadcast of his new show from the bunker, so there are now six segments of this slice of talk radio history that you can revisit on the Dan Conry From the Bunker Playlist on my YouTube Channel.
Check them out! Good times.
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