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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area TELEVISION and RADIO PERSONALITIES Historical Photo Gallery - click on image to view >> Rick Shaw, the voice of South Florida Rock 'n Roll Radio Photo Gallery - click on image to view >> May 2007 - Rick Shaw's Retirement Party Photo Gallery > Rick's Farewell on Friday, May 11th plus information on his Retirement Party
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Rick's Farewell on Friday, May 11th plus information on his Retirement Party

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MIAMI HERALD ARTICLE ON RICK'S LAST DAY~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted on Sat, May. 12, 2007
Radio's golden oldie signs off
Rick Shaw, the veteran disc jockey who stayed true to rock 'n' roll for a radio lifetime, retired amid tears, congratulations and sentimental memories.

Comforting sobbing listeners over the phone and playing obscure old rock 'n' roll songs calculated to make a program director wince, veteran WMXJ disc jockey Rick Shaw turned off his microphone for the last time Friday, retiring after 46 years in South Florida radio.

'Rock 'n' roll has a song for every occasion, and this one is no exception,'' Shaw, 68, said in an uncharacteristically shaky voice as he cued up the towering vibrato climax to Roy Orbison's It's Over, then segued gently into his longtime sign-off song, Goodnight My Love.

His goodbye at 9:07 a.m. in a studio clogged with TV cameras and station executives was seemingly light years away from his hello in 1956, when he was asked to read the news on the air during a school visit to an East St. Louis radio station. But Shaw said that they weren't all that different.

''The first and the last are both butterfly days,'' he told The Miami Herald a few minutes after his sign-off. ``It was pretty emotional in there.''

Shaw spent his final morning on the air alternating between phone calls from old broadcast partners, who reminisced about the prehistoric days of radio when commercials were spliced together from audiotape with razor blades, and distraught fans who grew up listening to his show.

A few of the latter nearly took him over the edge -- particularly a listener who put her 8- and 9-year-old sons on the phone to sing ``You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.''

He also greeted his replacement, Bruce Kelly, a competitor on rival South Florida rock stations in the late 1970s who's back in town after a long stint on satellite radio. Not that Kelly seemed unduly sentimental about his return. ''Welcome to South Florida, me,'' he said. ``Will somebody please slam into me with another car?''

Shaw went out playing the same music he played coming in. About half the songs he used Friday are no longer on the playlist even at oldies stations like WMXJ -- rock that ranged from literally garbage (the Trashmen's Surfin' Bird) to literally classic (Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale, which borrows heavily from a Bach cantata).

''I never got tired of playing these records,'' said Shaw, a former Top 40 jock who has been mostly an oldies DJ for more than three decades. ``They were the soundtrack of my life -- I played them at the beginning of my career and I played them at the end.''

Shaw's career, which began with that impromptu newscast in 1956 (the station hired him to read news on the spot and made him a DJ six months later), took him briefly to Omaha and Denver before he arrived at South Florida's WCKR (now WIOD) in 1960. ''I took a look around and decided this was it, this was the place for me,'' he said.

In 1963 Shaw moved to WQAM, a Top 40 rock-'n'-roll station with a teenage following so fanatic that at times more than half the radios in South Florida were tuned to it. And no WQAM DJ was more popular than Shaw, the first one in Florida to play a Beatles record.

From there he joined WINZ in 1970, and WAXY (now WBBG) in 1976. When WAXY shifted from an oldies format to classic rock in 1994, he joined WMXJ (or Majic 102.7, as it's known by its listeners), first in the afternoon drive spot and for the past eight years as the morning man.

Those 4 a.m. wake-up calls are the part of the job he'll miss the least. ''The older I get, the harder it became,'' Shaw said. ``I've always been kind of a nighttime guy. The idea of going to bed at 8 p.m. when the evening is just beginning really busted my chops. That was probably the main factor in deciding to retire.''

Shaw won't disappear entirely. He'll continue to work two days a week on the Majic Children's Fund, his charity that distributes aid to underprivileged South Florida kids. And WMXJ music director Mindy Lang invited him to stop by her noon request show from time to time.

''We'll play songs we're not supposed to play,'' promised Lang. ''Woo-ooh, now you got me,'' laughed Shaw, who pretty soon was playing one of those banned records, the last of an estimated 975,000 he had cued up during his career. It was Ray Peterson's Goodnight My Love:

If you should awake

in the still of the night

please have no fear

For I'll be there,

you know I care. . . .

From :
There is only one KING of radio in South Florida ... Majic's very own RICK SHAW! Join the entire Majic family on Friday night, May 11th from 7pm to 11pm at the Ten Palms Restaurant at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino as we honor Rick's extraordinary career and celebrate his retirement!

Join us for a 60's & 70's style buffet dinner and soft drinks, Chris MacDonald's "Memories of Elvis" live in concert, dancing, raffles, a cash bar and so much more!

Tickets are $75 each and all proceeds (except the cash bar) will benefit The Majic Children's Fund. To purchase tickets, please call 1-877-650-5001 Monday through Friday. In some cases, you may be asked to leave a message. If this occurs, clearly leave your name and a telephone number where you can be reached between 2pm and 7pm each weekday so we can get back to you as promptly as possible. You can also email your name, phone numbers and how many tickets you require to and a representive will contact you within 24 hours. We accept cash, checks, Visa and Mastercard.

We hope you'll help us honor a South Florida radio legend and our friend ... Rick Shaw on Friday night, May 11th!

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Steve Greene 27-Jul-2017 14:34
Hi Rick, Just took a chance one day that I might be able to pull up some info on you and Miami Tele Prod. To my surprise I found all this . Sure is great to read all about you and hope you are doing well. Hope you remember me, I used to work for you at MTP in 1972 In west Hialeah. We shared an apt together with you and Jerry. How sorry I am that I didn't keep in touch with you guys. Those were special times and very special memories. I'll never forget. God bless to you and your family, Steve Greene
Mardie Shonter 15-Jan-2014 09:14
Hi Rick, I grew up in West Palm Beach in the 60's and WQAM was THE station. So many fond memories of calling the station for contests or as the high school correspondent for Cardinal Newman High School im WPB ( what??). Yes, those were the days, my friend. It is good to catch up with you. I hope you are well and happy. you deserve as much happieness as you brought to all of us.
Sue 30-Jun-2007 20:21
Rick... Remember me an Evie Kapp (aka Beach's Jerry Lewis)? We knew all of you... Jimmy, Ronnie, Robie, etc., personally. You had Evie and I on your show as featured dancers a few times. Had breakfast with Ronnie a lot of times at Irvings, next to the station.... a bagel and a Dr. Pepper.... yuck! Sure missed you when I moved out of Miami in the early 70's.
Jose A. Tuero 22-Jun-2007 20:22
Hi Rick,
I moved to South Florida in 1973 and started listening to you on WAXY.
Thanks for all the years of great music and the memories that when with it.
I'm sure it's going to be strange for you not being in front of a mike, but remember
you did your time and you helped blaze a path for the future DJ's that will follow.
"There might be someone to replace you, but I doubt they will ever take your place!"
Thanks Rick, and enjoy your well deserved retirement. Ooh! don't be a stranger and stop by the station and say Hello to all your fans once in a while, would love to hear from you.
Most Respectfully,
Sandy 13-Jun-2007 22:01
Hi Rick...I use too be a Regular on Saturday Hop every Saturday! Me and ( if you Remember) Shirley Cardini Terri Orzini ...I don't know where they are now but i always think about all the fun we had trying too be the Saturday Hop Queen and all we loved just being involved had some fun times ..I remember you put me in front of the Camera I was a little girl about 4 ft with a boy about 6 ft and made us dance I was so embarrassed but laughed afterwards... anyway i would love too get a cd of those days I always thought about it many times ..would love too show my children and grandchildren I always talk about my childhood and those were the best days.. I grew up in Hialeah since 1954 went too Miami Springs Sr High those were the best days of my life .. I will never forget Them or You !! and also was on Popeye Playhouse with Skipper Chuck oh yes ... I was a girl that would just love too have fun and still do at my age.. I never grew up i'm still young at heart but its good too be that way .. I am 58 yrs old well hope you get back too me ... always Sandra
Gerald Ford 11-May-2007 16:53
I cannot believe the years have gone by so fast. Rick Shaw Rocks !!!!

Jerry Ford / Gables High 1964
Guest 10-May-2007 20:45
Dear Rick: You are too young to retire! I am 6 months older than you and haven't even looked "retirement" up in the dictionary, to know what it means!! I moved to Miami in July 1971 and have been enjoying your contribution to society since then.

I am pleased to see that you will continue overseeing the Majic Children's Fund.

I will "miss" driving to work with you in the early mornings. You and Donna have become a wonderful part of my day over recent years; and, I've enjoyed calling and talking with you both from time to time.

My wife and I will be there tomorrow night to celebrate with you. If you change your mind and stay "on in the morning", we will welcome you with open arms and big hearts. Thanks for all those wonderful moments, good laughs and great music.

Warmest personal regards, Ed and Jeaneth Mazzei.