One of my most popular blog posts is my 2007 tribute to the late NYC DJ Alison Steele. Nicknamed "The Nightbird", she ruled the overnight rock radio airwaves in this town throughout the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s until she died of cancer in September, 1995. Her distinctive voice gave thousands of listeners of joy, including yours truly. Her death at age 58, almost 20 years ago, was and is a great loss.
I listened to Alison Steele back in high school, sometimes when I was up late at night, but usually in the very early morning, towards the end of her shift. I would usually listen to the music on her show in the shower and then, when I got out, I'd be toweling off as Alison Steele would end her show, usually with a quote from a great poet (Blake, Wordsworth, or Shakespeare) or she would share an insight or some words of wisdom before she would "fly away." Then, usually about five to ten minutes later, Howard Stern would take the air and new day would have officially begun.
It was a great way to wake up. It's a great memory to have.
In the 6 1/2 years since I first posted my tribute to her, several Mr NYC have posted their memories of listening to Alison Steele back in the day. Their tributes, more than mine, I think show what a touching legacy she left.
So it was great to find Howard Stern's September 28, 1995 show that was broadcast the day after she died. The tribute that he gives her is pure Howard: wild, funny, offensive, and curiously touching. Apparently, she was very popular with her fellow DJs. And she loved cats. And she was hot. And she was also a radio pioneer.
This is also a great show because the movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert made an appearance on this show and are hilarious. In this episode, they even review the movie "Showgirls" and it's a hoot.
These were great talents and are sorely missed. But thanks to technology, the live on. So not only can we remember them, but still enjoy.