This is the most difficult blog story I have ever written…
My dear, dear friend Gary Lycan has passed away. Part of the fabric of Southern California, he was the award-winning radio columnist of the Orange County Register for over six decades. Gary was also my cherished co-host on Forgotten Hollywood, a weekly radio program that airs on the Financial News and Radio Network. And, he wrote the Foreword and Introduction, to my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.
Though, we’ve been like brothers working on the Forgotten Hollywood franchise for these past 4 1/2 years, I’m smart enough to know that he had a really keen friendship with every Southern California broadcaster who has turned on a microphone during the Golden Age of Format-Radio. He was inspired by the disc jockeys, radio personalities, and news-related folks who worked at KFWB, KRLA, and KHJ back in the 1960s. He wanted desperately to join this fraternity. But, his unparalleled talent lay in the written, not spoken, word. Through his weekly radio column, he became an elder statesman to this so-called fraternity. Orange County folks learned about the business of broadcasting in a digestible, easy-to-read, and friendly way, which made you feel that you were part of the inner circle.
MANNY PACHECO GARY LYCAN DOMINICK GARCIA
Never to rest on his laurels, Gary Lycan also had longtime allies who fought for animal rights (a particular passion of his), and ultimately, the Golden Age of Hollywood community. During one of our programs, he secured an interview for us with the legendary Debbie Reynolds. This weekend, on 15-10 AM and 14-50 AM, we’ll re-broadcast a poignant early incarnation of our show. I had the foresight to interview my co-host early on, and the network of stations has been gracious enough to re-shuffle its programming this Saturday at 3p (pst) to air this fitting tribute. If you would like to honor Gary’s memory by taking a listen, but you live outside the broadcast area of Orange County and the Inland Empire… here's a link:
On his birthday in 2012, the Los Angeles Press Club honored Gary Lycan with their National Entertainment Journalist Award in the field of Print Columnist of the Year. He was really astounded at the fine outpouring of congratulations by radio broadcasters throught Southern California on his Facebook page. Of course, I wasn’t surprised at all. I knew what he meant to our community. His words transcended Orange County with the advent of the dot.com website craze and social media.
Knowing his time on earth was short, Gary wrote me a wonderful email on October 30th. I’m not known for sharing my most personal correspondence. However, I’m compelled to share this with you:
These have been the best days of my life – working with you, collaborating on ideas, hanging out with you, applauding YOUR work as a writer on the radio show and the blog, I want you to know how much I treasure all that. It just sucks to be saddled with illness at the same time, but I will keep on keeping on, as they say. I just want you and your family to know how much I value your talents and how much I enjoy our relationship. It puts a smile on my face every day. Best, Gary
As usual, I’m humbled by Gary’s words… As I wipe away my tears, let me just say… Gary Lycan was 68.
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