Monday, July 11, 2005

RIP Freda Sorce

This is just awful.

I've just heard that Freda Sorce, the wife of Don Geronimo, has been killed in a car accident.

Don is half of Don and Mike, a local D.C. institution, wacky bad-boy afternoon-drive shock jocks who've been enlivening my evening commute since I discovered them in the late Eighties.

Ordinarily I'd have nothing at all to do with Morning-Zoo-style radio; it's silly and insincere and calculated and cynical. But Don and Mike have always evinced a healthy detestation of the radio business -- this becomes plain if you follow the show for a bit; they do a masterful job at subverting the whole stupid genre and making their show as honest and real as talkity-talk radio gets.

I loathe Howard Stern. I can't even be in the same room as a Don Imus broadcast. That should tell you how different and lively and, yes, dammit, humane the Don and Mike Show is, while never being mawkish or sloppy. Coarse, yes. Vulgar, absolutely. But in the right hands, these things can be funny.

Don and Mike are gay-friendly. Not a misgynist bone in their bodies. Although they don't make a big deal of it, politically their hearts are in the right place. Do you remember a few years ago, when that horrible hump Michael Savage lost his cable TV show because he raved out at a prank caller? The prankster was a Don and Mike listener. We were all proud of that moment.

One of the ways they make their show so uncharacteristically humane is by involving their families in the act, and this is why Freda's sudden death is such a gut-punch. She phoned in to the show nearly daily, along with their son Bart, whom I first "met" as a four-year-old wiener, and who is now a rising sophomore at Clemson. She browbeat Don for his gaucheness, his rudeness, his impecuniousness, but never in a way to make you dislike her.

Although I never met her, I considered Freda a friend.

About ten years ago, they had a Homemade Jingle Contest, in which they encouraged listeners to send in their songs. I whipped up a little something and sent it in.

Boy, did they like it.

(And now you know my real name.)

Some of the inside jokes: the "Queeg" referred to is shorthand for G. Gordon Liddy, who shared their studio and who famously bragged about the size of his tallywacker. Don and Mike had a running war with him. That's Wonder Woman doing the vocal there. Ain't she great?

Man -- that's 4-track cassette. Allowing for the compression from the radio, which breathes like a mutha, I didn't do a half-bad job. You really could load those things up with signal, couldn't you. God, I did the orchestral build of "A Day in the Life" on a 4-track. Beat that, George Martin.


handdrummer said...

GLORIOUS work Neddie.

I'm sorry that it took such tragedy for us to hear it, tho.

We should be so lucky as to have radio announcers of this caliber here in the mountains.

We do get the Queeg (every effin' day). (must remember to call in and ask him about 'the strawberries' sometime.)

And his talleywacker has apparently gotten even smaller since all he does is rant about 'the wusses on the left' in a clear exhibition of penis envy.

blue girl said...


Sorry to hear about your *friend.* When disaster strikes out of the blue -- you're right, it is a sucker punch.

I used to live in Reston, Va. 1974. Defining year that was.

Also, I have a good friend who used to be a notable DJ in the Cleveland market, during it's heyday -- it ain't what it used to be, that's for sure. It's so sad how much their careers have been degraded by the likes of Clear Channel, etc.

Anyway -- wanted to say sorry for your friend.

You are one ambitious, creative cat.

The Millionaire Playboy said...
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The Millionaire Playboy said...

I was stunned by the news...found out about it when I tuned in to WJFK after 7pm tonight, when the Redskins announcers were trying to somehow get started with the proper sports announcer attitude, but first had to get through their obvious difficulty by paying tribute to Freda's days of showing up when Don was doing the pre-game show, and making a complete impression of being interested from the back gallery.

And that jingle! By Neddie Jingle, indeed!

Linkmeister said...

Oh, man. I'm sorry about the loss.

What a lovely recording.

Mrs. Packer said...

Watch it Neddie, your musical influences are showing...ah, right. You never hid them to begin with.

Nice work (as always).

CraigC said...

Great work, but it must have been longer than ten years ago, because Sherry was gone when I first started listening.

I know it's a cliche to talk about it being like a family, but I was amazed by my visceral reaction when I heard the news. All I could think about was what it must have been like for Don to have to tell Bart....

Do we know whether Bart made it up there before she died?

RIP, Freda.

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