I was really sad to hear Larry Wachtel had died. I fell in love with Larry's irreverent style, not to mention his unconventional voice. Larry did financial advice on 1010 WINS for the better part of 33 years. He grew up in Brooklyn, went to L.I.U. and did serious time in the finance industry, retiring from Wachovia Securities in 2005.
With a thick Brooklyn accent it often sounded like Larry was not only chewing on his own tongue as he spoke but also polishing off a cheese danish soaked in coffee. It was endearing as it was enthralling.
Often times voices typically unfit for radio turn out perfect for radio. When someone has a peculiar voice, you want to listen to it simply because its so unorthodox and not what you're used to on the radio, that polished, Guy Smiley / Top 40 thing.
I may listen to radio differently than most, but someone with an interesting or idiosyncratic voice is really crucial. Voices need distinction; people pay attention to it more, listening to the intricacies of the bizarre cadence or inflection.
You could've played 1,000 radio voices and still you'd be able to pick out Larry Wachtel's in an instant.
More importantly, 33 years ago there was no Jim Kramer show and no Maria Bartiromo but there was Larry Wachtel. He boiled down the boring technical news to something that everyone could digest and understand. He helped redefine the way business news was provided to the public.
After the end of his financial report he'd announce a relevant birthday with his trademark sign-off "Gather those rosebuds".
I found it brilliant, sardonic and sublime; you could almost hear Larry rolling his eyes as he wished a 20-something celeb a happy birthday. It was nothing short of a riot.
Larry died suddenly of a heart ailment on Sunday. He was 77.
1010 WINS has posted a classic Larry Wachtel business report from 2003. Give it a listen and see what you're missin... Larry Wachtel Business Report from Nov. 5, 2003