Doris Day died this week. She was 97. She called me more than once on the phone. She became a “Star” and died somewhat a recluse. I was working on-air in Amarillo to first time Doris called me and was filling in for Art Bell on his “West Coast AM” overnight broadcast from Las Vegas the last time we spoke. She really didn’t know me either time, but she was most gracious.
I began contacting popular singers/musicians while working at KFDA and KRAY in Amarillo. I would first speak with their agents or record reps and set up a time for them to call for an interview. Many of these were broadcast live, but, unfortunately. not recorded. Doris was making a movie that featured “Wonderful, Wonderful”, a new release by Johnny Mathis on Columbia records. Mitch Miller was A/R for Columbia and he and I did many interviews and he put me in touch with many artists. I had played Johnny Mathis with his first releases many times and during our conversation about “Wonderful”, Mitch mentioned that it would be featured in the new movie starring Doris. I asked if he could also get me contact information for her. At that time, she was married to Marty Melcher and he was acting rep for her. I called him and he agreed to set me up during a break in filming. The station was day-time only, so we agreed she would call that evening. She did and gave me a great interview. Her enthusiasm was obviously real and I wish I had saved that tape. The next time we spoke was a quarter-century later. Art Bell lived in Pahrump, Nevada some sixty-miles over Mount Potosi from Vegas. Whenever he was weathered in, he called for me to fill in. He had warned me that should Doris call about her love for animals, “Do Not Identify Her, simply say her first name as an introduction”. I was very pleased to take her calls and had to fight the desire to remind her of our chat years before. It was obvious that Doris Day was a sad lady. Her heart-felt concerns over cruelty to animals had a sobering undertone. You couldn’t help but feel her pain. It made me love her the more, donchaknow. Really. It also taught me to respect the famous. They truly live in a ‘fishbowl’ and deserve our prayers along with adulation. Doris Day–gone but not forgotten.
And, that’s what I get from MY box of chocolates. AMEN