My first thoughts are for Bill’s family – his former wife Patty, daughter Lisa and grandson Noah – a terrible loss, and our hearts go out to them.
Bill’s vast ‘radio family’ is also grieving – he was known and loved by hundreds of former co-workers, at radio stations all across the continent. There’s yet another, even larger circle of people who might not even know what they’ve lost – yet. The millions of listeners and the thousands of musicians Bill Gable also ‘touched’ – through his daily routine of hosting a brilliant radio program.
He enthusiastically ‘presented’ the hottest songs of the day by the biggest (and occasionally not-so-big) artists of the day … delivering each song with his trademark passion, wit and charm to his audience. And what an audience ! From his ‘Brother Bill’ days at Windsor/Detroit’s CKLW – the ‘flame-throwing 50,000 kilowatt monster of the Mid-west’, with listeners scattered across states and provinces … to his days with the oldies station in Orlando, Florida and of course his final stop, back in Canada, at Zoomer Radio/AM 740 – another 50,000 watt clear channel station heard across most of the north-east, Bill Gable entertained many millions of people during a brilliant career.
Twice he won the coveted Billboard Magazine Top North American Radio Personality award … he wasn’t merely a ‘big voice’ with some funny lines – although he was that too. Bill was a deep reservoir of music knowledge, a skilled interviewer, a top-notch producer who really kept ‘a tight board’, a fountain of experience across music formats, in small to medium to large to major radio markets; he was also a very decent man. Kind-hearted, gentle, generous and optimistic – Bill made you feel you (and your station) could achieve anything, and everything. And anyone and everyone could rely on him for a steady-hand, a fair-treatment, and a solid performance – every time.
Zoomer Radio, in its previous incarnation as ‘AM 740’, was fortunate to attract such a talent. It was a happy accident, I suppose, that at the very moment we were looking for an afternoon host in 2006, Bill was also looking for a way to return to Canada. Since he and I knew each other, it was the perfect move for both of us. Bill revitalized the station, upped the standards for all of us, and frankly, helped get us ‘Toronto-ready’, when in 2008, Moses acquired AM 740, and re-launched us as Zoomer Radio, and physically brought the station into the city.
Moses had the vision for a 3-person ‘Happy Gang Morning Show’ – anchored by Bill Gable, with co-hosts Eva D and John Gallagher. It was a great morning wake-up team and Bill’s experience and skills were the foundation for the new station. We missed him greatly upon his retirement, and miss him even more now.
With much love, fond memories, profound respect … and deep appreciation …