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.

A wonderful read, contact Lisa Hull Hemstreet for purchasing info, https://www.facebook.com/lisahemstreet

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.”

(Courtesy American Radio History)

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.


Dave Hull & Bob Eubanks (photo by Lisa Hemstreet)


He loved the music he played. Most of his listeners knew Dave Hull was so strongly associated with the Beatles he was the “fifth Beatle” of L.A. radio. He spent three weeks interviewing the Beatles in the Bahamas (they were on location filming Help!). But I realized how much he really cared about the music and the music makers the day Bobby Darin died. While playing “Mack the Knife” and “If I were a Carpenter,” Dave would tell stories about the singer-songwriter who also was a TV and movie star. Darin was considered brash and egotistical recalled Dave, but he said Darin knew he was in a race against time – which was sadly true as Bobby Darin died at just 37.



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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THaGVDot0J8) 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…


I'll miss the Hullabalooer.


Comments

  1. Alan, when it comes to discussing Dave Hull, you are more qualified than I am, on that topic! Thanks for telling the story about what Dave did when 1020 AM KGBS signed off the air at sunset! I had almost forgotten how he would tell us listeners he had to run up the stairs to KGBS-FM...I loved that bit he did every day. I did not remember exactly that it was 7 floors up there, but I remember him always telling us he had to go upstairs to the FM, etc. That was great radio theater of the mind. Thanks for such a wonderful blog full of memories to honor Dave Hull. I enjoyed reading this, very much.

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    1. For some reason Blogspot did not identify the writer of this post as the aforementioned radio historian Jim Hilliker. I may have spent a bit more time with Dave Hull, but when it comes to knowing the history of the medium, Jim is the best!

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  2. THIS JUST IN > > > K-R-L-A . . . Dave Hull!
    Just sayin'.

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    1. Indeed! But I didn't know about the Hullaballoer until he was at KGBS. I did get to hear him during his second round at KRLA before he left after Greater Media took over the station.

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  3. So sorry to read about the passing of Dave Hull. Though I vaguely remember him from the KRLA days, I listened to him regularly on KMPC when he did his "Lovelines" program, which was hilarious (I was 19 in 1978 when Lovelines began). I met Mr. Hull when he was MCing an Oldies show at Upland High School (I believe it was 2015). He was exceedingly gracious (his wife and daugther Lisa were on hand as well). Of course I bought a copy of his book and highly recommend it for an inside look at another time in history. Needless to say, Dave Hull was one of the greats and he genuinely enjoyed meeting his fans the one night I met him. Peace, Tim James

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    1. KMPC had the "Love Lines" hosted by Clark Race, but it was more of a "clinical thing," as Dave Hull described it. It was a fairly serious, deliberate attempt to match people up using therapists and others. The Hullaballooer said it was truly boring. When Race left KMPC, the story is Robert W. Morgan (who was doing weekends) was offered the evening shift but he wanted the morning slot when Dick Whittinghill retired (since I heard him later doing afternoons at KPRZ, I was always curious about that retirement). Anyway, Morgan declined the offer but let the station know that Dave Hull would be a great fit for that time slot and that feature. Of course, the Hullabalooer took it a completely different direction with completely hilarious silliness. I'm not sure if he shared all of those details in his book, I'll have to take a look. Take a look at my posting about KGBS, it discusses the beginning of Dave Hull's days as the matchmaker in various manifestations. Thanks for sharing!

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    2. Yes I do remember the Clark Race version of Lovelines and it is exactly as you (and Mr. Hull) described it. Not a trace of humor or "fun." He does touch on that in his book, by the way. If I remember correctly, Dave started with just a single Lovelines episode per show but it quickly grew to three or four (one per half-hour segment). Ling Soo from Korea, Fat Debbie, Mike in the Iron Lung, Lopez, Randy from Fluff-n-stuff ("not too much fluff but plenty of stuff!" was his phone-answering line...Dave would "call" him any time he played Paloma Blanca by the George Baker Selection)...a great cast of characters for sure.

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