Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why I'll miss Jess Cain

Back when I was far too young to know how good I had it, I worked in Boston with some of the finest people I've ever known.

Jess Cain was one of them.

Jess, the long-time morning man at WHDH Radio, worked at a time in radio when you had to be funny and clever without being vulgar, and if you think that's easy, turn on the radio sometime and hear how many people don't know how to do it.

I've written before about how strange life's twists and turns are. When I was 13 -- 1967 -- I followed the Red Sox in their Impossible Dream year. I threw a tennis ball against the garage wall with every pitch Jim Lonborg would make. The Sox won the pennant that year, spurred on by Carl Yastrzemski.

Over the winter, we all sang the Carl Yastrzemski song, made famous by Jess Cain. (Listen to an mp3 download here). Then I grew up, went in the radio business, and somehow I ended up working with Jess Cain. He was a big star, and I was a news editor who wasn't worth a minute of his time. But he always had time to say "hello, Bobby" and occasionally we'd chat as if I actually was somebody.

Jess died this morning, and I can't believe my unbelievable good fortune for having known him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was just recently that I heard that Jess had passed. I worked with Jess for a short time back in the mid to late 80's. I was doing traffic reporting for WHDH and worked with Jess during morning drive. I was a rookie in Boston radio and working on-air with Jess was an adventure. He could get me laughing so much. It was a great experience and he was a remarkable man......Signed, Bruce Clark