Born Free and Resting Merry

On Friday Steyn returned to a not quite so Golden EIB Microphone to remember a broadcasting legend through just a few highlights from the archives going all the way back to Rush’s very first TV appearance on public-access cable in the 1980s. Mark began the way he has through all the years of filling in for Rush:

Yes, America’s Anchorman is away, as I have said at the start of all these guest-hosting stints for fifteen years. America’s Anchorman is away, playing among the stars, on that great radio set in the sky for all eternity, because those radio waves never stop. So three decades of Rush are flying across the galaxies now and forever – and all those early disc-jockey shows too.

At Ronald Reagan’s memorial, the President’s dear friend Margaret Thatcher said:

‘For the final years of his life, Ronnie’s mind was clouded by illness. That cloud has now lifted. He is himself again, more himself than at any time on this Earth.’

Rush’s mind was entirely unclouded, right to the end, as you know if you heard his last show just a fortnight ago. But for this miserable ghastly final year his body was ravaged – and that cloud is now lifted and he is free of that wasted shell and, in Mrs Thatcher’s words, more himself than at any time on this Earth. And I am not a theological scholar so I do not know how it works in the great hereafter or whether they need bumper music of the spheres up there but I hope Rush’s hearing is restored and a grand old disc-jockey can hear all his favorite hits, like that spectacular intro to Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ that he especially liked.

Rush was unusual – unique and irreplaceable; nothing like him in the history of American broadcasting. Today, just forty-eight hours after a grim ending we all – deep inside – knew was coming, we will remember Rush and we will hear Rush.

We began, as all great shows do, with a great signature theme, and the story behind it. After that, we heard a few of the many millions who recall “the first time I heard Rush“. Next up was Rush in the Eighties comparing disc-jockeying with talk radio. From the archives we heard of the night Rush joined Harry Truman and Mark Twain in the Missouri Hall of Fame, and then a conversation between two guys who in different ways were doing the same job – Rush and Clarence Thomas.

This is a sad and somber time for all who loved Rush, but we didn’t want to get too lost in mawkish solemnity, because Rush’s show was, aside from anything else, the funniest thing out there – and he could find an angle on almost any story, such as: Does eating organic food make you a jerk?

Click below to listen:

Throughout the show Mark also took a few special calls from listeners. There will be more of that on Monday, when the great love of Rush’s life, Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, will be here to answer audience’ questions. Don’t miss it – Monday at noon Eastern Time.

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