26 November 1940 - 22 June 2016
Larry Miller, 75; pioneer of free-form radio format at KMPX, San Francisco
Larry A. Miller, 75, died on Wednesday, June 22 after a six month battle with cancer.
Larry was born in Upland, California on November 26, 1940, attended high school in Hilo, Hawaii and began his work in radio at the age of 16. He worked in LA, Detroit, New York, and Boston and lately referred to himself as an "old hippie deejay." After his radio career, Larry earned a Masters of Education and taught at Boston College, Emerson, and Northeast Broadcasting School. He was a very dedicated teacher and mentor to his students.
At KMPX-FM and WABX-FM in the 1960s, Larry was the original underground deejay and programmer pioneering a free-form radio format which quickly spread across the country. The character played by Howard Hesseman on the television sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" was based on Larry Miller!
Larry had an ultra-mellow delivery and often played sitar music in the background during breaks because he felt it sounded "groovy". His overnight shows featured what he dubbed "spontanuity" – folk at WCAS, classical with WCRB, country at WDLW and traditional music interspersed with sketches, soul, monologues, banter, and news with a counterculture angle. His trademark sign-off early on was, "Bye for now, and may each of you find a little pot at the end of your rainbow."
In 1974, Larry and wife, Inge, met at Corner's Bistro in Greenwich Village and they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last October. Larry relished playing guitar, jamming, learning bass, and making beautiful Viking lyres. He studied ancient stringed instruments and then executed his original designs with great care.
Larry is survived by his beloved wife, Inge, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; his younger brother, Donovan, an artist in California; cherished goddaughter, Morgan, and her husband, James of Melrose, Massachusetts; best friend, Mary Bickerstaff, and her husband, Brian Whitney, of New Gloucester, Maine; and so very many other friends all across the country. You all know who you are.
A gathering to celebrate Larry's life will be announced on his Facebook at a later date (/larry.miller.7773).