MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mourners are set to lay a Memphis legend to rest this weekend. Long-time radio show host Bobby O’Jay died last week at the age of 68.
FOX13′s Daniel Wilkerson spoke one-on-one Monday with another Memphis legend and radio personality, Stan Bell, who is mourning the loss of his dear friend.
As many people look to Bell as a mentor, that’s the way Stan Bell looked to Bobby O’Jay.
“When you’ve worked with someone as long as they have, that person becomes more than a co-worker. To so many at iHeartMedia, Bobby O’Jay was family,” Bell said.
News of O’Jay’s death still comes as a shock for many. No one perhaps knows that better than radio legend himself, Stan Bell.
“I looked at the inbox, the email from our market president, our area president, general manager of the radio station at iHeart. And he was saying that Bobby had a tough time the day he collapsed and that was pretty much it,” Bell said.
The news would come 30 minutes later.
“Another email, you know, thoughts and prayers were, you know, about his family, you know, his transition,” he said.
We now know O’Jay collapsed at the radio station. He was rushed to a hospital, but it was too late.
For Bell, his death is a lot to grasp.
“We’ve been feeling, we’ve been feeling down, to say the least. It was gut-wrenching,” said Bell.
The two had worked together since 1986. O’Jay had been with the station since 1983. Bell says O’Jay had a special connection with his listeners.
“You almost could be guaranteed that Bob would have a different take on something that you might think well about it differently,” said Bell.
Off-air he says O’Jay was not as abrasive as his on-air persona — he was caring.
“He’s always a family guy with his wife. You may see him Whole Foods, you may see him at the car, Walmart, you know, but he was a humble kind of guy.” Bell said.
As for where they will go from here:
“I would hope that the powers that be at iHeart would select someone that knows Memphis, you know, knows radio, has good management skills. I would hope that they have some idea of Bobby’s, you know, thought pattern,” Bell said.
Funeral arrangements for Bobby O’Jay are set for this coming Saturday, May 14.
It will be held at World Overcomers Church on Winchester Road.
More details should come in the coming days. We’ll be sure to have them for you.
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