OT: Reminiscence of My All-Time Favorite Talk Radio Show Host: Art Bell

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This year has seen drastic change in my life. I won't provide a list for all to peruse (fortunately for you all). Trust me, the list is a long one, filled out with occurences I never would have imagined. Never.

One particularly devestating event took place with the retirement of national radio talk show host Art Bell on April 26-27. Many of you may not have heard of Art Bell. He developed and hosted two talk radio shows. Coast-to-Coast AM was broadcast 1:00am-6:00am EDT, Monday-Friday. Dreamland aired Sunday evenings 9:00pm-12:00pm EDT.

Art Bell's name is synonymous with UFO's and the paranormal. He frequently covered spiritual matters and on occasion theoretical physics. What those who never heard the show did not know is Art was/is the consummate interviewer. His guests often remained for three, four, even five hours each night. Art's ability to draw the guests' stories out into the light of night, so to speak, is unequaled, IMO.

I miss Art Bell - hearing his baritone voice in the middle of the night, his fine bumper music which set the mood of any given show, his laughter, his "oh my". The child's wonder in his voice as a guest such as Michio Kaku explained, extrapolated, hypothesized, imagined life on other planets and what it would be like.

I miss Art Bell. His non-judgmental style was so refreshing. How rare to come across an interviewer who could step back into the shadows and allow the guest to reveal his/her theories at their own pace without fear of experiencing sudden personal attacks from the host.

And the callers! Unscreened calls from the United States, Canada and across the world. Art provided toll-free world-wide access for callers. No screening of calls such as you get with Rush, Laura, Liddy, Reagan, North, et al...all of them use screeners so they are not caught offguard by a caller. These hosts shape their shows with callers who reveal their comments prior to actually getting on air. Not Art Bell! "East of the Rockies, you're on the air!"

I miss Art Bell. The "Joe Six-Pack" of talk radio.

All Art's shows from the past 4+ years had been archived on the web for listening at his fans convenience. When Art retired the archives were pulled. I thought of him today and decided to perform a web search. I ran across a fan forum and read through it for a bit. Then I discovered this:

Art Bell's Final Show

If there are any Art Bell fans reading this and jonesin' for a fix - enjoy!


-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), September 23, 2000


Just came across a link to more shows:

Dr. Feelgood

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), September 23, 2000.

Rumor has it that Art may be returning later in the year. There won't be any big announcement, he'll just pop up on the radio waves again. Stay tuned.

-- intheknow (friends@higherplaces.com), September 23, 2000.

A friend of mine in LA played a taped Phil Hendrie {sp?} radio show that had him impersonating Art Bell's show.

It was GREAT - trust me you'd love it {I'm sure Bell loved it - down to his timing, the bumper music, the extremely eccentric guest, & creative callers}. Is his stuff archived, too?

{a side-splitter}

-- flora (***@__._), September 23, 2000.

I'd like to hear Art on the air again too, good personality. His "baritone voice" is a fake though, an old trick that many radio hosts and DJ's have used, just by modifying the tone with their sound mixing board. His real voice over the phone is much different, fairly average in tone.

-- (radio@wizard.com), September 23, 2000.


I was an Art Bell fan, 6 out of 7 nights, for all the time he was on the air. You're right Bingo, he had a warm, easy going style of interviewing, in his melifluous tone, that you thought he was your neighbor, talking to another over the fence to an old friend! And the topics of the paranormal and spiritual? Unheard of before and since, for a nationally syndicated show that was on almost every night. I still cannot believe he is gone. It is a great loss. Thanks for the links. Nice work! Just a small token of appreciation from another Art Bell fan!!

-- Aunt Bee (Aunt__Bee@hotmail.com), September 23, 2000.

The following began as an e-mail to a dear friend. As the words poured forth I realized its rightful place was on this thread. So here ya go...

Yesterday's reminisce of Art Bell really saddened me. I rarely cling to the past because it serves no positive purpose (logic over emotion, sun over moon). But Art and his shows were one of the greatest influences of my life. The night became an outlet for my imagination. My mind was able to go exploring with he and his guests to far away places and times and dimensions.

Radio, and the individual stations themselves, have served as beacons in the night for me as far back as I can remember. As a kid I received a red Realistic transistor radio as an early birthday gift. I was a baseball fanatic in those days, knew all the statistics by the age of five or six going all the way back to Cap Anson and King Kelly.

When the sun sets, AM radio waves bounce off the ionosphere (renewed each evening). Signals can travel hundreds, sometimes a thousand miles or more via the amazing vehicle of signal skip. As a kid I'd listen to music and baseball games deep into the night. Radio was my safe haven. The chaos of the day was over. My imagination could fly into the box seats at a Cincinnati Reds game, or the Detroit Tigers or Cubs, Red Sox, etc. I wasn't limited to the Amazing Mets and pitiful Yankees.

As I grew older my love for baseball diminished as the dollar signs became the main focus for all parties concerned. The game was secondary to the bank accounts. I turned away from Top 40 music also as I discovered the brilliance of Frank Zappa and Bob Marley. These two were not to be found anywhere on the the broadcast band. The red Realistic transistor radio faded into just a memory.

A turning point in my life came in October, 1996. I'll spare you much of the detail, save one evening I was far from home, staying in a hotel room in the town which I now reside. At that time I was living in NC and had travelled to Washington D.C. for a very special weekend retreat - one which changed my life forever. It had been suggested by a devotee I met there that I drive out to the Shenandoah Valley, to view the turning of the leaves. Autumn in the valley, I now know, is a special time. I decided to take this person's advice.

My first night in Front Royal, while staying at the Super 8 Motel, I awakened around 3:00 am. As per old habit then just recently renewed, I grabbed for my portable AM/FM/SW radio - yes it is a Realistic brand. I scanned the AM spectrum and came across a local station with a man telling a ghost story . I stopped and listened. Within a few minutes the man, who apparently had called into this radio show, finished his story and the host of the show announced: "you're listening to Ghost-to-Ghost AM and I'm Art Bell".

Art Bell? Ghost-to-Ghost ? I'd never heard of him nor the show. I listened to Art Bell and his callers that night with wrapped attention, until dawn. Ghost story after ghost story was related to the listeners - to me. Some were ridiculous, obviously made up. Others were eerily plausible. And the kicker was the host, Art Bell, was having a screamingly good time! He laughed when I laughed, and gave his familiar "oh my!" over and over again. He talked about getting chicken skin! This was great fun and also quite scary. Listening to Art Bell was stimulating!

In a matter of a single weekend I had found my spiritual path, discovered the place I would soon call home, and found a dear friend in the night - Art Bell.

to be continued...

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), September 24, 2000.

I remember this one night I could not get to sleep. I stayed in bed for 2hours, wide awake. Finally, I decided to get up. I put on the radio and there was Art Bell. He was discussing some sort of ghost stories and believe me, after listening to that, I didn't sleep for the rest of the night!!!

I like his topics, but I'm waaaaay to vunerable to these kinds of stories ;-)


-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), September 24, 2000.

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