2009 Recipient – Les Paul
In April 2009, Brave New Radio’s General Manager Rob Quicke along with George Dassinger, CEO of Dassinger Creative, traveled to the Iridium Club in NYC to present Les Paul with the ‘Bravery in Radio’ Award. It was the inaugural ‘Bravery in Radio’ award and it honored Les for his 1950 radio show, The Les Paul Show, that he recorded in his basement with his wife Mary Ford. In many respects this radio show was pioneering, and could be considered the very first podcast ever produced. It was often recorded in an environment where police sirens, noisy neighbors and other unplanned sounds crept into the homemade recordings that were then broadcast across the nation to millions of listeners on AM radio. The fact that it was recorded in Les and Mary’s apartment just added to the authentic charm of the shows.
“We were ushered backstage as Les sat at a table eating his dinner before the start of the gig. As he saw me he smiled and invited me to sit down next to him as he ate. As we talked he listened intently and then asked me about the award he was being presented. When I told him it was a radio award he lit up with joy. “I’ve never received a radio award – never!” Clearly he felt excited that his 1950 radio show was now being recognized. After an interview and photo shoot, I turned to leave he told me not to. “I can’t accept this award here”, he said. “You must come up onstage and present it to me in front of the audience” he said with a huge smile.
And so it happened, rather unexpectedly that I was invited up on stage during Les’s first set and I presented him with the award in front of an audience that gave Les a deserved ovation for his work in radio. It was truly a special moment for everyone that was there that night – the moment that Les Paul was finally recognized for his pioneering work in radio.” – Rob Quicke.
In the end, little did we know that it would be Les Paul’s last ever interview. Les Paul passed on August 12, 2009.