Sunday, March 11, 2007

Big Tom Rivers

In last weeks local news I read that my favorite radio entertainer, Gary Burbank, was retiring at the end of the year.

Gary is now 66 and has been in radio most of his life. I don't get to listen to him as much as I used to. I'll sure miss him and his unique sense of humor and look at the world.

The next day the newspaper ran an article asking readers to pick someone that they would like to take Gary's place. I don't think this can be accomplished, but it did get me to think back to one of my favorite personalities that made a brief mark on radio in my fair city.

Big Tom Rivers landed a morning drive time job on one of the FM stations. It was a pleasure to listen to him for a few hours every morning. He was hilarious. Tom would announce the call letters by saying, "This is Big Tom Rivers your morning man on WGGR FM. I'm playin' the hits while you're sprayin' your pits."

One of Rivers' bits was The Shaving Cream Weather Report. He would ask his listeners to spray shaving cream on their bathroom mirror and follow along with him. He would have a squirting noise and another squeaking sound like he was drawing the weather map with his finger on a lathered up glass mirror.

One morning he announced that he was going to read a story called The Princess and The Pee. He rambled on about this young lady that was sure she was a princess so she traveled to the nearest castle to prove her royalty to everyone. The wizard told her the only way to do this was to spend the night on a mattress that was piled up on 10 other mattresses. She needed to take a pee on the very bottom mattress. If she woke up the next morning and could feel the pee, that was proof that she was a princess. He must have gone on for 10 minutes about the princess sleeping on the matteress that she took a pee on. Rivers was not on the air the next morning.

In searching for him I learned that he had passed away a few years ago. Big Tom was a funny man.

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