Dave Hull, the Hullabalooer (1934 - 2020)
The news of the passing of Dave Hull came the same day the Dodgers tied their playoff series with the Atlanta Braves with three games apiece, a great comeback for the Dodgers. The next day, the Dodgers won the National League championship, winning three games in a row after being behind 3 games to one.
The Hullabalooer was a great Dodger fan. In fact, I can see his big smile from his perch in the heavens. That’s just one of the many memories I have of Dave Hull. I’ve started and restarted this posting several times already because there is so much that can be said about him.
The Hullabalooer lived up to his nickname. You never knew what sort of goofiness you’d hear on any given day. It might be him tooting his "little horn" after another double entendre, harassing another competing DJ on the air (he actually called Jay Lawrence live on KLAC after dunking his country music counterpart in the water during a canoe race), or laughing at himself when he followed “Maneater” (Hall & Oates) by playing “Classical Gas.”
I’ve a somewhat unique memory. While at KGBS, Dave did afternoons on an AM-FM operation where the AM was a daytimer, disappearing at sunset. Dave would sign off the AM but told his listeners he would now “run up seven flights of stairs” and continue his show “from the palatial studios of KGBS-FM. Toodle-ooh!” A door would slam and the AM would go silent. But on the FM, it was time for a melodic jingle (“K-Gee-B-Esss” [a whispered “FM”], Loooos Angeles!”), then another door slamming and Dave Hull panting hard, seemingly ready to collapse. It sounded so real that maybe he really did race up multiple flights of stairs. Of course all he did was flip a switch while seated in the same studio, but he created that “theater of the mind” or perhaps even more appropriately “theater of the bizarre.” And he was the reason I emptied the piggy bank and purchased my first FM radio.
I was just a listener, there was no reason for Dave Hull be as cordial as he was over the years that I knew him, and yet always so truly good to me. If I wrote him a letter, he wrote back. I felt privileged to be on his Christmas card list, all signed with his distinctive “D.” Vin Scully said to fans at his Dodger Stadium farewell “believe me, I’ve needed you more than you’ve needed me!” Somehow I think Dave would agree – he had a reputation of being genuinely appreciative of his many fans.
I did talk to Dave a month ago. He said he was happy to hear from me, but he said he was very limited in his activities. Normally he’d tell me a story or two and offer an update about his family and his current activities, but after just a few minutes he uncharacteristically – albeit politely – asked if he could end the call as he was very tired. So when I heard of his passing, I was shocked but admittedly not surprised.
My best to Dave’s widow Jeanette (married 56 years!), his five children Mark, Mike, Clark, Lisa and Brian that he was very proud of, and all of his family and friends.
I hope to write more about Dave Hull as there’s so much more I can write about one of the best of L.A. radio. But I end with a reminder from radio historian Jim Hilliker (he’s far more qualified than me to talk about Los Angeles radio, by the way) who remembered a verse from the infamous record “Dave Hull, the Hullabalooer” performed by the Scuzzies (hear it here) saluting their “favorite DJ” –
Someday when we’re old and gray
And all our days are dull,
We’ll look back in memory,
To those carefree days with Dave Hull…