Thursday, March 27, 2008
What could have been the biggest train wreck in radio pairings became one of the greatest. Jack Evans and Dick Zipf. To their thousands of fans, they were simply Jack and Dick.
Jack and Dick were paired together for a variety of reasons and probably not all of them good. WBNS radio was undergoing a lot of change, and Jack and Dick ended up being paired together. By choice? Maybe only they knew.
Jack was a smooth voiced urbane jock. Dick was the baritoned voiced country boy. Dick was doing farm reports on the station, much as his father had done for many years previously. Jack was already a jock at the station having arrived in 1972 from Buffalo New York when along with Dave Hammond who was returning to Columbus to program WBNS.
How this odd couple pulled it off was amazing.
Jack and Dick became the talk of the town. Dick's famous Yeah Boy after making declarative statements became part of the vocabulary in Columbus and eventually turned out to be a huge billboard campaign for the station. Jack kept the board tight and the show on track. It was great fun.
They immortalized the small town of Obetz on the fringes of the Columbus outerbelt with the fictional Obetz Arms. I know at least one year where a calendar was printed featuring the "hotel" that featured an old run down building. I believe the calendar s proceeds went to charity.
They would often play a piece from a comedy album. Often the cut was from a Bickersons recording, the famous radio arguing couple team of Don Ameche and Frances Langford. Evans would always open with it being a cut of John and Blanche Gordon during a recording made in their home. Gordon was the play by play announcer for the local ball club, the Columbus Clippers.
Dick was killed in an auto accident in 1998. He never left the Columbus area. Jack moved on in the early 80's and for many years was in parts unknown. I recently learned he does weekends at a country formatted station under the name of JR Evans in Florida.
I never had the pleasure of meeting either man. Still, they left a favorable impression and made mornings fun.