Memories play on for Ed Cundiff’s D.J. protege

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Guest column by Cale Tharp

By The Staff

I first met radio D.J. Ed Cundiff in January 1982. He always would play tricks on my mother who used to pass the showcase studio everyday on her way to work. When she would drive by, Ed would say, live on the air, “There she goes, Hopper (my dad). I don’t know where she’s going but she has on her long-dangling earrings.”

So one day she decided to play a trick on Ed-for his birthday. She made him the prettiest chocolate cake you’ve ever seen – out of cornbread. Only Ed didn’t know this until he took a bite of it.

I met Ed when my dad and I dropped off the cake. Even though I didn’t want to make the trip to a stinking radio station – I’m glad I did because it was then and there that I decided what I wanted to do with my life and I’m proud to say I’m still doing 25 years later – radio.

Ed was kind enough to allow me, at the age of 13, to “sit in” on the air from time to time and learn the ropes (unheard of today) So, I owe my career to Ed.

Back to Ed’s stories. If Ed knew you, he would say hi to you on the air as you passed the studio (even in the middle of a song) I recall one story he told was about the big lake in south Buffalo. Years later I heard a guy drove a long way to fish at this lake only to find out it was made up. 

Ed used to have then-mayor R.K. Keith in to discuss city stuff. He would talk about all of the policemen and referred to the late C.M. Davenport as “little fat sergeant.” I also remember the late Kenneth Druen killed his tobacco by using the wrong spray dope. After that Ed called him “Mr. Haney” (a character on Green Acres).

Even though the station by law had to sign off at sunset, if there was bad weather in the area, you could count on Ed to come in and sign on to keep listeners informed. Many people would just turn their radio down when the station signed off in case something happened.

According to his obituary, Ed worked as the manager and engineer at WAIN in Columbia for 23 years and then at WLCB-AM for seven years, 1976-1983. He left Hodgenville when the station sold to Bill Evans, who owns WQXE. The radio community and our local community truly lost a legend Oct. 18 and I will always be grateful to Ed and his wife, Gail, for giving me my start.