Please email your memories of Bill to elliot.fong (AT) ucr (DOT) edu They will be posted here.
Photo by Rodrigo Ramos
William Russell Elledge
(December 30, 1946 to March 11, 2009)
William R. Elledge, a longtime broadcast engineer and program host has passed, having succumbed after a hard-fought battle with cancer. During his illness, until the final weeks, Bill chose to continue with his duties at UC Riverside’s radio station, KUCR. KUCR station manager Louis Vandenberg had summoned UC Riverside police to Bill’s home, after he failed to return phone calls or answer the door.
Bill Elledge was a founder of KUCR radio at the University of California, Riverside in 1965 and was its Chief Engineer from 1968-2009. His radio program of classical music and commentary was acclaimed by its devoted fans and was on the air in the Inland Empire almost continuously from 1971 through late 2008. Mr. Elledge also did engineering consultation for other Inland Empire radio stations, including KOLA, KHNY and KPRO.
Louis Vandenberg had this statement regarding his longtime colleague, “Bll Elledge helped build KUCR from scratch and took possession of it as its Chief Engineer. With Bill, everything was done right, always. Every aspect of the station as it is today was built by him. Bill was, without a doubt, completely committed to KUCR. He was selfless with his time and boundless with love of the station, its mission and the UCR campus. He wasn’t simply a superb and resourceful broadcast engineer. He was a wonderful original, with an unforgettable personality, profound intelligence and a deep knowledge of music, history, culture and politics. Bill was extremely articulate and would discuss all this and more at length on the air in his unique deep radio voice. That voice, very sadly, is now silenced. We at KUCR are very grateful for the gift that was Bill Elledge and will never forget his unparalleled contribution to KUCR, the UCR campus and our lives. May he rest in peace.”
At Bill’s request, there was no funeral and no memorial service. There is a Bill Elledge Memorial guestbook at http://kucr.org/2009/04/29/bill-elledge-guestbook/ for those who knew or met Bill, to share thoughts and memories of him. A fund has been established in Bill Elledge’s name to support a permanent memorial for his lifetime contribution to UC Riverside, KUCR and Inland Empire broadcasting. Donations by check may be made out to “UCR Foundation,” with “Elledge Memorial Fund” on the memo line, and sent to: UCR Foundation, 120-A Highlander Hall, Riverside, CA 92521. Online donations at: https://advancementservices.ucr.edu/onlinegivingform.aspx?dept=25&p=09&div=145&d=1174&fund=200599
Mar 19th, 2009
walter ovtha woodz
One of my favorite Bill Elledge Lines was .. “…and if your’e a pirate KUCRRRRRRgg… make those Neo-Cons walk the PLANK !”
Quintum of Solace
I remember Bill coming into the station during my show and asking me what was wrong with the music I was playing. He said something like “you know what’s wrong with music like this?” I, of course, asked what was it? He then said “it’s just not fast enough!” Ha! Because the music(k) I play is too fast you see! That’s sarcastic Bill for ya! He then followed with my favourite line of all time. Bill said, “you know what else is wrong with this music?” Of course, I asked again and he said “it’s just not loud enough!” He then proceeded to crank the volume all the way up! Hell yeah Bill! That’s the way to listen to ‘Musick for Riots!’
Mar 20th, 2009
The news of Bill’s death comes as a terrible blow. It’s like
reading a headline, “A big and fundamental part of your life
has just been removed.” He was so steady, going about his
business of keeping things working, that it was like a cycle
of nature–the weather, only more reliable. Bill put buckets
under the leaks. Bill went on the roof and straightened the
antenna. Bill carried out the stray opossums. Bill shushed the
skunks off the lawn. And all the while the station kept
running, with equipment that was crisp and floors that were
clean. Bill vacuumed too.
Bill was a man of the old school, the old values, not as a
political program or ideology of any sort, but rather as a
living embodiment of honesty, steady work, sincerity. He kept
newspapers, phone lists, a lot of the stuff that gets thrown
away, not just because he was a pack rat, but because he
appreciated the life that was lived, both his own and that of
others. He knew that the day an item was ready for the trash,
it might constitute a record of what we were doing. He was our
archivist. Who else in the world cared that much about us?
He took photos too, completely professional photos, black and
white, developed and printed by himself. His collection might
chronicle some forty years he spent on campus; if UCR alumni
were ever to see it, they would be surprised. No doubt they
would see images that would bring back memories, bring back
people and give much delight. Once again, he was there, often
not noticed, and he cared.
Bill read history deeply and widely, and retained everything
with a steel-trap memory that was legendary among his friends.
When doing research on a historical matter, I often would ask
him before going to the library or to Google. It was just
easier to see if he knew. His answer, without fail, would
either exhaust the question for me or direct me more
specifically to where I needed to go. He described President
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s illness in his last year and loaned me
two recently published books that turned out to be crucial for
my project. He told me about FDR bugging the oval office and
explained the technology involved. When I obtained an FBI memo
about a Soviet defector of 1944 and the recording of his
debriefing on 16-inch records, I asked Bill. “Ah, yes,” he
said, “they had a special turntable and they could be used for
voice recordings…” And he told me the technology, the date
German audiotapes came into usage, and so on.
He could have written books himself, but chose not to. I think
it was probably because he had too much reverence for history
and too good an understanding of its many-sidedness. He always
tried to soften my criticisms of FDR, which would cause me to
become even more virulent. At that point he would wag a finger
and say, “Now, now.” He devoted more than one of his programs
to the problem of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the great conductor who
chose to remain in Germany under the Nazis. He would touch on
the moral issues, the difficult choices in a real situation,
the good that Furtwangler could do for others, including
Jewish musicians, while serving as Hitler’s prize conductor.
He wrestled with this case, which has no final resolution.
I suspected that his hero was Winston Churchill, probably
because he had something of the Brit’s single-minded, but
jocular character. And also because Bill was something of an
Anglophile. He frequently played the music of Ralph
Vaughn-Williams on his show, especially the “London Symphony”
with the chimes of Big Ben. His favorite conductor was
certainly Sir John Barbirolli, whom he had interviewed for the
Highlander newspaper when the great man came to UCR. He had a
recording of that interview, and we used to play a snippet of
it to publicize the station, followed by Bill’s resonant
voice: “Listen to KUCR–you’ll hear many good things.”
When I listen to classical music now, it hurts to know that he
isn’t around and listening to it himself. This is the way it
is with others too, whose tastes in music I know. One odd
thing about Bill is that he stopped going to concerts. I
couldn’t persuade him to go, even to Mahler’s Symphony of a
Thousand when it was performed at the Crystal Cathedral in May
1996. (I still have the commemorative tee-shirt.) The station
had free tickets, but Bill said he had work to do. He loved
the music, he cared about everyone, but he remained very much
a loner, with his own ways and routines. His pick-up truck
rumbled through the empty streets at night.
It was easy to regard him as a character, and many of us did
at first. But with the years the true character (in another
sense) showed through. The thing I am thinking about Bill is
that he actually meant everything he said. He was perfectly
sincere. He didn’t use irony or sarcasm in his humor that I
can recall. It was just old-fashioned wordplay or
double-entendre. I found it rather quaint, but increasingly
charming. I could go to Bill to relax from the dazzling spin
of digital culture, and talk about music, history, culture,
politics as if with an older and wiser man. Sometimes I would
remind him: “Wait a minute, Bill, I remember that event! I was
a little kid, and you weren’t even born then.” He never
acknowledged that remark.
What the hell, I needed an older brother. We would talk at the
station till 2 or 3 in the morning, then go out in the parking
lot, with the balmy breezes and smell of night-blooming ivy,
and talk a half-hour more. As I turned to my car, I would hear
his standard parting: “Now, you take care.” I knew that he
Gary Kern Las Cruces, NM
Mar 21st, 2009
I am very sad to hear of Bill’s passing. What a truly unique and uncanny individual. Bill was a true engineer, a man who enjoyed “the classics” yet lived in the present. Some of my favorite memories of Bill were tuning in sometimes late at night to hear his opinions on life and government during his evening classical show. And of course who could forget the time we went up to Box Springs with him for the installation of the new antenna, there we were in 100+ degree weather and Bill with his camera was able to catch all the action. Well equipped for whatever engineering mishap may occur, there stood Bill with pen and screwdriver (either in hand or in his shirt pocket) ready to tackle the problem. Working with him during Basketball season was always a joy too, I’ll never forget him explaining to Jordan and I how to use the Bill Basketball Box (B Cubed) for our home games. Although we would often laughed about how it must of looked to have a giant metal box on top of our broadcasting equipment, looking back on it in all actuality that box gave us some great sound quality for our broadcasts. A talented program host, photographer, writer and engineer, I know he will be greatly missed. I hope all is going well at the station in his absence. Please know all you guys are in my prayers and I hope you will be able to find another engineer soon, although whoever it is will have big shoes to fill. Please keep me posted. Take care and God bless.
I’m just stunned. I had heard that Bill was in bad shape, and this is not surprised, but I still feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. Maybe the heart is more like it.
Bill was here the very first time i set foot in KUCR more years ago than I care to divulge here. He trained me to use the equipment (and no, the bad engineering of my show is my fault, not his.) Any time someone passes on that you’ve known for close to 30 years, it’s a blow.
What I’ll miss most is Bill’s vast knowledge of, well, everything. That’s not meant in a snippy way — he was knowledgeable in many things far beyond radio. So many nights, Bill and I would sit and discuss history and politics. He could go on at length, and in many people, this is an annoying quality.
But not in Bill. He kept me fascinated many hours, both in person and on the radio. I wish I had a dime for every time I was about to leave the station, and Bill would start on some subject I hadn’t thought much about, and an hour later I was still here.
Thanks Bill, wherever you are. You will be missed.
Mar 24th, 2009
I was fortunate enough to work with Bill as I was just starting out at KUCR as a basketball broadcaster along with Shawn Shahani.
I shall never forget how he referred to Shawn and I as “KUCR’s Dynamic Duo of Hoops” and his incredible stories acquired from years and years of driving the UCR campus at all hours of the night.
One memory that I particularly cherish happened on a particularly windy night upon which Bill, Shawn, and I were working a basketball broadcast. During halftime, Bill took over the broadcast from the KUCR control room to play some carts, and said nothing but: “WHOOOOOOOSHHHHHH WHOOOOOOOSHHHH. That’s the wind, Paul and Shawn.”
Bill taught me what it means to project confidence in my speech, both on the radio and as a citizen. I was only able to work with Bill for a few months, but I will always remember him as a genuine man, as one of the most complete persons I have ever encountered
Mar 25th, 2009
This came as a surprise, naturally. May his efforts live on.
Former UCR Student, A KUCR Founder
KUCR’s Founding Station Manager 1966
Dear Louis, I am very sorry and saddened to hear this.
James Sandoval, UCR Vice Chancellor Student Affairs
Louis, I know that as time goes, it will ease the loss. If you look around you might see alot of Bill in all the young students that worked with him.
UCR Equipment Manager
The conversations I had with Bill before his program, while I was ending the public affairs on Wednesday nights last year, will be in my memories forever. He was truly an unforgettable human being and I feel lucky to have known him. I am deeply sorry for your loss as well as KUCR. I offer my condolences to those who knew him as you did. May he rest in peace.
UCR Student, KUCR program host, KUCR/Barn Programmer, Member “The Debonaires”
I remember Bill and recall at how you guys got along with a humor that was very personalized and unique. Sorry to hear about this. I had no idea how far he went back with the station. Amazing.
Brother of KUCR Director Louis Vandenberg
Good Morning Mr. Vandenberg,
I’m rather speechless over this – your encomium to Bill was dignified, ennobling, and more than a little poignant. I would like to take a little more time to ruminate on this sad event before writing more. I’m feeling quite melancholy at this time. Would you mind if I emailed you again in the near future expressing what I’m feeling now? It’s so odd how a disembodied voice coming over the airwaves can create such intimacy with a listener. What a damn shame for Bill to be cut down before his time. I’ll write more later. Thank you for being so considerate and informing me of Bill’s passing.
KUCR Listener/Fan of the Bill Elledge “7PM Show”
Well said. Would you let me know about the funeral arrangements when they’re finalized?
Lafayette C. Hight Jr.
Former KUCR Staff Member
My condolences and very sweet, sensitive words from you.
Emeritus Professor of Political Science, UC Riverside
Director, Governance Project, Public Policy Institute of California
Although I know you had anticipated this loss, I still wanted to extend my sincere condolences.
Rest assured that we will include an acknowledgement of the passing of this special member of the university family in the upcoming issue of the university magazine as well as our Alumni Association’s e-newsletter.
I hope you find some comfort knowing that Bill will be fondly remembered by so many.
UCR Assistant Vice Chancellor Alumni Affairs
I am sorry that Bill passed away. Your words about him were thoughtful and kind. I remember Elledge’s wonderful, enlightening and, of course, fulsome descriptions of the classical music he played and so loved. His descriptions of Mahler’s third, it’s creation in Mahler’s Austrian get-away, and it’s relation to season and place stay with me. Elledge’s discussion of music revealed his passion for and committement to our greatest cultural accomplishment.
I know how saddened you are at Bill’s passing.
Dr. Jerry Carlson
UCR Professor, dedicated KUCR listener and fan of Bill Elledge’s “7PM Show”
What a moving tribute. It is clear from your words on the page, what he meant to you.
Dr. Yolanda T. Moses
Bill Elledge was an amazing man to say the least. I often talked to him before his show on Wednesday’s when i did public affairs during that slot. It was definitely entertaining as well as inspiring to hear what Bill had to say. He will be missed
Mar 27th, 2009
On Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Bill passed on… I believe that we must never forget to be grateful for those that helped paved the path before us. Bill Elledge was one of the founding members of KUCR Radio, a radio station at the University of California, Riverside. The station started in the 1960’s and continues today to educate, entertain, and celebrate music, current affairs, and cultural events.
I will never forget Bill’s humor, encouragement and assistance at KUCR. A long time ago, I had asked Bill his advice about whether or not I should apply for Music Director, and he totally encouraged me to give it a try, without his words I may have never have done it. Although the music director position went to somebody else, I knew I had a friend in my corner.
In the early years of doing my show, I had broken a few needles on my turntable at home, and I needed help finding some new ones. Those were pre-internet days (at least for me) and Bill had his own super information highway that helped me find exactly what I needed.
Whenever Bill was doing his show I would pop-in, say hi, and talk a bit before he was getting on the air. I enjoyed our conversations, and I will miss Bill very much! Bill, may you rest in peace. We will miss you at KUCR! ~tina bold
Apr 1st, 2009
Steven M. Nakada
Our sympathies and prayers go out to Mr. Elledge’s family, you and the KUCR family.
What a great tribute you’ve given to the life of your friend and colleague……who must have been a tremendous inspiration to you.
Please keep us posted on any memorial services.
God bless you and everyone at KUCR;
Steven M. Nakada AIA
KUCR Building Architect (Barn Complex)
The Pacific Mutual Building
Los Angeles, California
Apr 2nd, 2009
I was very sad to hear of Bill Elledge’s passing. I spent many an hour getting a deeper understanding of the world from this man on KUCR. People like him are a very rare commodity within the human race…
Apr 3rd, 2009
How does one begin to talk about Bill Elledge?
I first met Bill briefly in the late 1960’s, when I initially did a show at KUCR. It’s not surprising that our acquaintance was short. Bill was a very busy guy then, involved in all sorts of student activities, including the Highlander staff, editor of the campus yearbook, etc. But when I really got to know Bill well was in the early ’70’s, when KUCR had been off the air for some months and was in danger of having a challenge to its license. A flier came out on campus asking students to once again get involved with the station, so I did, and once there I watched Bill perform his one-man engineering act, scurrying around doing all manner of tasks to get the place going again. Since the main control room was still under construction, and there was pressure to get the station back on the air, we DJ’s started broadcasting from what is now Production Room A, on a Sparta mixing board that Bill had assembled (literally,as Beck would say, the set-up was “two turntables and a microphone”). But it worked, and KUCR was back in business because of Bill’s efforts and expertise.
There are so, so many memories I could share about Bill. In recent years, I used to call him often during his show, usually to get information about what he was playing, but also to share his wit and wisdom. We used to talk about music, University policy, the state of the world, and a whole lot of other things on which Bill was expert. Much of what I know about Classical music comes from discussions with Bill. He could, and often did, engage in intelligent conversation with the staff about a variety of subjects. Most of all, he was a good listener and an empathetic person, traits all too commonly missing in our fellow humans.
I recall that the last time I saw Bill, in a similar vein to what Gary Kern related, we were standing outside in the station parking lot at 1 or 2 A.M.,still continuing an hours-long conversation from inside. As we were leaving, the last thing I heard Bill say to me was “Big Bob, we’ll see ya.” If there is any kind of an existence after this planet,
I’m looking forward to it.
Robert J. Murphy
Ahh, Bill, a real character! I’d never met him ’til he began coming in to “pre-empt” my show on Sat. evenings (“Space Does Not Care”, ’99-’03) w/UCR Highlanders basketball games. My greatest memory (and on tape thankfully) is the night he came in for a game and had some technical difficulties w/the kid at the other end at the game-sight…when they’d finally properly connected, he shouted ironically “Slick As Snot Out of a Canary Bird!!”, unaware that he was still on-air!. Cheers, Bill
I first learned Bill was in the last stages of cancer from a letter he wrote me in January. (That was like Bill not to talk about his own ills.) So his passing was not unexpected, but still a shock when I learned about it from checking the KUCR site. Somehow I had hoped he would have more time on this Earth. It is a great personal loss, since Bill had been a good friend since we first met when he had just started working as a student at KUCR and came into the Highlander where I had just joined the staff. Sometime in 1967. We went on to work together on both the Highlander and the 1970 Tartan, which he edited. And all the while he was also instrumental in KUCR’s development. He was a great interviewer, and that one with Sir John Barbirolli was certainly his favorite.
Bill’s death is also a tremendous loss for UCR.
Gary Kern, you captured Bill’s essence really well. I’d add that as serious as he seemed, he had a wonderfully wry sense of humor, and as much as he studied and cared about history, he cared equally for current events and the state of the world, albeit with the perspective of a historian and an old-fashioned sense of justice and often indignation at the injustices that plague the world.
I haven’t had many chances to visit Bill in person since I graduated from UCR and went into a career in jouralism, but he wrote me long letters (self-edited in the old-school pre-computer newspaper way) about politics, photography and always keeping me up on what was happening on campus and with KUCR, which I think was like a child to him. And yes, Louis, he often mentioned you.
We shared a love of history, photography, music (although my tastes ranged much broader than classical) and writing, and even electronics, where Bill was a natural genius.
Bill did chronicle 40-plus years of history of UCR, and I hope some of it has somehow survived for future generations. Certainly, at least, the work he did over these many years at KUCR is a lasting contribution to generations of students to come.
Thank you, Louis, for allowing us to share our memories of Bill.
Ormond Beach, Florida
Apr 7th, 2009
Oh this crushes me. I learned so much from his shows (and had to unlearn a little bit here and there…). His commentary was priceless. Even though I don’t live in Riverside anymore, I am sorry to hear that when I come home to visit he won’t be there to welcome me.
Cheers Bill. I’ll miss you.
Apr 8th, 2009
Joanne Wolf Preston
I was just checking in on the KUCR site to see what was up with the old station and if you and Bill were still there. Imagine my shock. Bill was a KUCR institution. He taught me everything I needed to know about the equipment, station history, making PSA’s, doing the news, doing a show when I would sit in for someone and gave me a perspective on UCR and life that I appreciate to this day. Bill was first and foremost a gentleman in the old fashioned sense of the word. I loved talking with him and spent many late night hours just listening to him. I am saddened that his time with us was cut short. I will miss him.
Joanne Wolf Preston
Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 18th, 2009
I logged into the website today because my cousin’s son, Eric, has been accepted at UCR in the Fall and will be studying Electrical Engineering and I wanted to check and see who was still around at KUCR, so I could refer him for some practical experience.
Needless to say, I, too, was shocked to read about Bill’s passing,
I want to join the others in expressing my sadness at the loss of Bill. He was very patient with me when I, perhaps the klutziest, un-hip, fill-in DJ and engineer, was drafted to staff the booth during a baseball (or was it basketball???) broadcast from our home field/court. Though it was all a couple of decade in my past, just reading the news and everyone’s reminiscences made me realize what a special time I had with you, Bill, and our own late-70s Show that was KUCR while I was there. It’s a shame Eric didn’t have a chance to learn from and experience Bill.
Rest in peace, Big Bill. Your legacy lives on!
KUCR News 1976-1979
Apr 23rd, 2009
Bill was a phenomenal man and a KUCR icon. Who could forget that monotone bass, that dry humor, that ability to construct a radio station out of 2 “D” cell batteries and some aluminum foil. Bill dubbed our 1994-95 KUCR Sports team “Brilliance in Action,” but he was the one that was truly “brilliant in action.”
Bill was the one who made sure the KUCR Sports team was always on the air, even engineering games while suffering through painful kidney stones in 1993-94. Bill jury rigged a 1960s black telephone so we could broadcast from the old gym after the school cut our land line. Bill assembled the mysterious “grey metal box” that I still see used by KUCR to this day. We lugged that box to and from Louisville in 1995 and Bill insisted that we carry it on so some baggage handler wouldn’t drop it and destroy all of his hard work. I am positive that in this post-9/11 world of airport security there is no way would have been able to get that box onto a plane, let alone through airport security.
I am sad that I will no longer see Bill’s blue truck parked at KUCR on basketball game nights.
I am sad that I will no longer hear Bill on Wednesday nights when I am driving around.
I am sad that KUCR and UCR community as a whole lost a wonderful, kind and selfless man.
Rest in peace, Bill
KUCR 1991-95 (Sports Director, News and DJ)
I recently heard of Bill’s passing through a friend I met while at KUCR 30 years ago. Wow. I had kept in contact with Bill for many years after I left, but I’m sorry to say that it waned.
My recollections of Bill are simply that he cracked me up daily! I have a big, fat folder of KUCR memorabilia, including a pile of notes he left me in my box when I was a staff member. I wish I could share them but this is a “family” site. A number of them were written on toilet paper and paper towels, emphasizing his point that I needed to get some proper scratch paper for the station.
Quotes from Bill taken directly from staff meeting minutes that I kept:
Bill E says he has no idea when Prod Room B will EVER get done.
Bill E says Over-emotionalism is not appropriate over the air.
Bill E says KUCR is really HOT so people working here must do their best work.
Who can forget the time we were watching a movie in LS1500 (is it possible I remember a room number on campus from 30 years ago??) and suddenly we hear the unmistakable bellow of Bill, “THERE’S A HAIR ON THE SCREEN”. The entire room erupted in laughter.
And so much more…..Bill, I miss you.
Santa Monica, CA
May 4th, 2009
I knew Bill was ill at the tail end of last year. I worked with Bill from 1988 to 1993 at KWDJ/KPRO in Riverside. Bill was a private man but a very typical nocternal engineer…doing his work late at night and early in the morning. He did keep both stations always humming. My fondest recollection was went we were going to do some satellite/computer programming. When something was totally new…his answer was “It can’t be done”…but that only lasted a few minutes…especially when I told him 15 other engineers had done the same thing…and it was sounding great. That perked his curiosity…and yes…”It could be done”…He was truly a special person and will be missed..
May 21st, 2009
Even though I had heard Bill was in ill health, it was still very upsetting to hear that he passed away. Although I was at KUCR from 1969-71, I never met Bill then, but I did see him quite often in later years at what was then KWDJ, later changing to KQLH and finally KPRO. Bill was one of those people that called it like it was, which is why I liked and respected him so much. I loved his wry sense of humor. My favorite story of Bill is one day while I was on the air at KWDJ, one of the two lightbulbs overhead in the control room burned out. Ever the fix-it man, Bill came in to the control room between breaks and replaced the lightbulb. That should have been the end of the story. But one of the owners, Ollie, walked by to see what was going on and asked Bill what he was doing. “I’m changing a light bulb, Ollie.” She snapped back “Well, why do you need to put in a new one? Can’t you just fix it? You ARE the chief engineer aren’t you?” Bill’s classic reply: “Ollie, this bulb is so old it has Thomas Edison’s signature on it.” I nearly died of laughter and couldn’t talk on the air for half an hour after that.
What I always liked about Bill was that he seemed to genuinely care about what he was doing, and he cared about the people around him. At the same time, I saw a man torn between the things he would like to have done, and what he was allowed to do, and I think that was a major frustration for him. But for what it’s worth, I think he really cared about a lot of things, far more than any of us could have imagined. I will always think of him as a kind-hearted giant of a man, someone who ultimately enriched the lives of a lot of us because of his many contributions. I think it’s safe to say that we will all miss Bill, but we know that now his suffering is over, and he’s in a better place. Thanks for everything you’ve done Bill, we won’t forget you!
Former announcer, KUCR, 1969-1971
Former announcer, KACE/KWDJ/KQLH/KPRO, on anf off 1968-2006
Temple City, CA
I knew Bill from working at KPRO-AM 1570, of which he was also the engineer. He was a really nice person and did a great job with the antiqutated equipment there. His passing is truly a great loss.
May 25th, 2009
I dropped by this site to revamp the bookmark and check out the going-on of KUCR.
I’m shocked and deeply sadden to learn of bill’s passing.
I will always remember him for his melodious bass voice and his knack for building and maintaining the “nuts and bolts” of the station with very little at hand.
Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA
KUCR programmer 1971-1974
May 28th, 2009
Bill E. was a gentle soul and he will be missed. I am happy to have spent time in his presence and can attribute some of my success in my present career to his faithful encouragement to continue my academic studies and avoid putting too much credence in a career in broadcasting.”Requiescat in pace…that’s all she wrote”.
Fred Malkin (late show W.E. D.J. )
Jun 2nd, 2009
I am sad to hear that Bill has left the airwaves and gone to the heavens. Bill will be missed on the airwaves.
I used to have my show after his for a while from 11pm – 1am. He would always be considerate and was a dedicated engineer to KUCR. Each evening before my radio show and after his 9PM show was complete, I remember him calmly introducing my show: “stay tuned for Radio Daze… that’s daze with a “z””.
Do you still have that picture with him interviewing Ronald Regan?
His countless years of dedication to KUCR were appreciated.
KUCR 1996 – 1998 “Radio Daze”
UCR Alumnus 1998
KZSC 2004 – present “Here There & Everywhere”
Jun 11th, 2009
I sat down this evening to read the latest issue of “UCR” that came in the mail today. After thumbing through the magazine I came to the “We Remember” page, with Bill’s name on it. It was such a shock to read about his passing away. I still picture Bill as I knew him when he was a dorm room neighbor of mine. It’s such a loss. He will be missed greatly by those of us who lived on his floor.
“Here’s to you, Bill–one of the “Gentlemen of Edenborough,” as hall residents on Aberdeen-Inverness B-Wing East were known during our 1967-68 academic year.
Class of ’71
Jul 15th, 2009
We at the Bates household mourn the loss of Bill and pass on our condolences to Louis, the staff of KUCR, members of the UCR family, and the rest of the Inland Empire. His loss is keenly felt by all.
As a member of the KUCR staff, I had the good fortune of being at the station as it moved from the lowly FM transmitter atop the building to the bright and shiny world of stereo broadcasting from the top of Box Springs mountain. There I was, manning the board for a remote broadcast of Highlander basketball when the phone rang and there was Bill. “Flip this switch, turn this knob, and adjust this dial” (or words to that effect) and suddenly KUCR had moved into the 20th Century. I remember Bill’s excitement at having completed what was a long and perilous multi-year journey through the process of FCC approvals and construction; in seeing that his dream of making KUCR a true voice of the Inland Empire had been fulfilled.
Upon reading of Bill’s passing in the recent edition of UCR magazine we commemorated his passing with a moment of silence, a bit of classical music, and what will forever be an “Elledge-ism” used when testing the station’s equipment (pardon the language but after all, we are talking about Bill)…”testicle, testicle, testicle”
Class of 80
KUCR staff – program host, “Theatre of the Mind” engineer, basketball broadcasts engineer
Jul 16th, 2009
To KUCR and all who knew Bill,
I just learned yesterday that Bill passed away. I also knew Bill from the dorms in 1968-1972, at KUCR and after…..Bill was key in re-establishing KUCR after a year or two of languish…..I remember Bill helping to lead the efforts to meet with Chancelor Hinderaker and get the station going again….
The most dramatic aspect of this was when we found ourselves with Bill one day literally tearing apart the walls inside KUCR, so as to have more room and so Bill could better maneuver to rebuild the “board” so we could again have an active radio station.
But the best aspect of Bill, was his friendliness to all who met him…he never seemed in a hurry and he always had time for others. He also told me some stories of how he helped a number of people in his life with unusual problems and got them over whatever it was that bothered them…..Bill helped me to stay in school, believe in myself and encouraged all my efforts at KUCR….his sense of humor was well-known. If you were down he always brought you up….his wry humor was the “wyrest” I have ever known…..Especially when it came to humorizing UCR’s bureacracy….
Bill lived a good and honest life…..and I am sure is reaping his reward. Thanks for everything you did for me Bill…..you helped me to have confidence in myself when I most needed it….
Larry Cronin, Music Director, 1970-1072, KUCR
Well, I just saw the item today (July 15), too. I only knew Bill a little bit. I was there at KUCR pretty much at the start, and I worked around Bill at the Highlander. This was in the 1967-1970 period, when it seemed like everybody except Bill was a pot smoker, a hippie, and a socialist/communist. Bill was a guy who had 1935 written all over him, and it was like he was from another planet – especially with that penchant for going on and on in that amazing voice. Back then I rolled my eyes, but I secretly liked Bill, because I had the intuition that he really WAS the person he projected – completely decent, incredibly hard working, without a trace of guile or ill will. I wish I had been a little more mature back then, because I would have appreciated Bill more. A true original, in a very good way. Thinking of him makes me smile.
Although I was not a close friend of Bill’s, his work at KUCR certainly
helped change my life. As one of the first DJs at the station, my
broadcasts helped me grow in confidence and independence. KUCR allowed me
to interview an amazing array of musicians and get backstage passes to the
Monterey Pops Festival. KUCR and therefor Bill helped me grow from an
isolated desert girl into an international woman. Thank you, Bill.
Jean Foster Terry
Den Haag, Nederland
Aug 14th, 2009
As a part-time board operator/broadcaster at AM-1570: KPRO-Riverside, CA., I saw Bill occasionally when I worked an over-night
shift for one of the full-timers. Bill would usually come to the station at around 1:00a.m. looking at transmitter logs; to-do lists, etc.
I enjoyed talking to him on a variety of subjects, (including his long-running classical music program on KUCR). He was a bit coy
talking about himself-or his fine radio program; yet, one could easily recognize that this was a man of keen intellect and erudition.
Bill was always ready to defend KUCR and its broadcasters. KPRO Radio for many years was the broadcast home for University of
California, Riverside Highlanders’ Men’s Basketball. One evening I criticized KUCR’s student play-by-play broadcaster and
game analyst as not being very good, (in comparison to KPRO’s very own Dale Parsons). Immediately Bill upbraided me for my
comments and said those two young men were, “outstanding!” Who could argue with that?
Bill Elledge would be proud of the fact that he brought “outstanding” broadcasters-and-programs to the Inland Empire for the past
Arthur J. Uvaas
Oct 20th, 2009
Wow! What can I say other than I’m deeply saddened by this news. As the founder of the extremely popular Soul on Sunday in 1976 I can’t tell you how important a role Bill played in assisting me with every detail of creating and maintaining excellent programming and staff. He and Louis were very supportive and open minded from the beginning when I first shared the idea of making Sundays the Soul on Sunday experience. I can actually still remember doing my training with Bill. The toughest part was having to sit with him while he was doing his classical show. But, I managed to survive it, and of course with the VERY long pieces he managed to get in a lot of training. His jokes, his deep and slow speaking voice are going to be missed. Thank you Bill Elledge for all of your patience. support, and friendship. You were, and will always be a part of the Soul on Sunday Crew!!!
Much love and respect,
Lenny “Mighty Mac” McNeill
Dec 11th, 2009
Dear everyone at KUCR,
I just learned of Bill’s passing and am very saddened…I wish we hadn’t lost touch over the years. My morning chats with Gary and my evening chats with Bill kept me entertained, kept me sane, and made me a much more thoughtful person. I still have a letter from Bill that I often re-read, it is dated New Year’s Eve, 1993, my first year of grad school in Boston after graduating from UCR. It is typed with key sections heavily underlined in black felt tip pen. I must have sent him a Christmas card admitting that I was struggling in grad school and in his letter Bill stated that he wished he had done better academically (one of the underlined sections) and encouraged me to stay in Boston, finish my degree, and watch out for the weather. He also shared the latest KUCR gossip at the time, including Louis’ never ending struggle with VC Leo, the controversial music director decision, the scaling back of live basketball game broadcasts to home games only, how my replacement as news director had vanished and he and Gary were left to train an entirely new news staff, and this gem that still makes me laugh: “Right now, Louis is home with the flu. He sounds like hell, like the girl in ‘The Exorcist’.” However, the end of the letter is the reason I keep returning to re-read it, it is classic Bill. Although I dropped out of grad school then, I did go back later and finish, partly because of his words: “I think you’ve got a real ability to get things done, a sharp mind, and writing talent. Turning these into a successful life will be the trick because life has a way of often being unfair — I know this isn’t an original phrase, but it’s the best I can do at 5 a.m. I would, however, offer the further advice that it’s wise to learn different skills, so that if one area seems blocked, you have other paths to follow. Anyway, be good, stay warm, take care. My very best. – B.E.”
This world is a lesser place without Bill Elledge. May he rest in peace.
– Anna Rakstang, KUCR news director 1991 – 1993
Dec 21st, 2009
Today marks one year that we lost our beloved Bill Elledge. KPRO wants to let everyone know that we remember Bill fondly today and we really, really miss him.
Mar 12th, 2010
Sorry to hear of Bill’s death.
I met Bill way back in 1966 when he had his classical music show and also was the news director. Possibly we met in ’65 before the station actually went on the air.
Bill and I had our differences in some areas, mostly about his news broadcast running overtime… AGAIN! but he always did his best for the station, even if it sometimes frustrated some of us.
I had left the area before the station made the big move to more power and a stereo signal, so I have no memories of the changeover process, but I do have an appreciation of it since I was involved with getting the station up and running in 1966 along with Hans Wynholds and Kerry Kelts. The changeover must have taken a great deal of effort, and I now read that Bill did a great deal of that work.
Sometime Station Manager, Sometime Chief Engineer, Sometime DJ
Aug 9th, 2011
So many memories have just flooded back to my mind it’s hard to sort them out. Suffice it to say without Bill’s devotion to the station, none of us would have had the many enjoyable hours we all had as part of our association with Bill’s project. But it’s not only Bill’s efforts on behalf of KUCR that should be memorialized here. Bill was a kind and wise individual who mentored me and many others at an important stage of our lives as developing adults. His outward persona was kind of a doofy version of Doby Gillis, but inwardly he was one of the coolest people on earth. We all sometimes parodied him — hell, he parodied himself — but we all respected him immensely. I will always remember and miss him.
The Dirty Bird
[John Herzberg Class of ’77 and KUCR Rock Jock 1974-1977]
Aug 12th, 2011
Hello John and others,
I’ve been in touch with other old KUCR staffers especially from the 70’s.
Anyone who wants to e-mail me can, at bobkucr ( AT ) mail.kucr.org.
Best to all,
Sep 19th, 2011
I don’t know what prompted me to “Google” Bill’s name here in early 2012 some 35 years after I worked at KUCR as a student – but I did and was saddened to learn of his passing in 2009. I worked there 1976-1977 before and over the summer of a remodel that had Bill updating equipment, running cable and such. He was always approachable and willing to share his knowledge. I recall he enjoyed wry humour. One thing that I have never forgotten was his ability to name a classical piece of music just by studying the pattern in the grooves of a vinyl record – with the label covered!
I also recall Louis V. bringing in B. Mitchell Reed for a radio symposium around then as well. While I stayed in radio into the early 1980’s, I still obviously look back fondly to KUCR and the warm family of people who made it run – key of course an engineer extraordinaire.
Feb 28th, 2012
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