Skip to comments.Lee Rodgers, Rest In Peace (KSFO, KGO conservative talk show host)
Posted on 01/31/2013 8:24:36 PM PST by CounterCounterCulture
Lee Rodgers, Rest in Peace
Written by Melanie Morgan
I really don't want to write about this, I don't want to think about this, and I don't want it to be true.
Lee Rodgers, friend and mentor, is dead.
I owe everything that I have in my professional life to Lee Rodgers, who took me under his wing back in 1988 in the halycon days of KGO Radio.
Lee was a nighttime talk show host, a former rock and roll DJ, hired by my husband Jack Swanson. He hired him twice, in fact.
"Lee Rodgers was a real radio guy. He was remarkable. He worked very hard, didn't always play well with other children, but always made our industry proud," Swanson said.
Lee and I worked together at KSFO radio on the "Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan Show, with Officer Vic" (and Sheri Yee) for 14 years, but it was always the Lee Rodgers show, and we got to go along for the ride. Lee was demanding, brilliant, perfectionistic, generous, very very loyal and HUGELY entertaining. I learned my conservative principles from him. He helped mold and shape my politics and you can sometimes hear Lee speaking through me on the radio. I learned to capitalize entire words on paper from Lee, like HUGELY.
Lee Rodgers first and foremost was a devoted husband to Susan, his 'bride' as he called her. They were married for over 30 years, and were inescapably in love and twinned forever. I talked to Susie and she wants Lee's fans to know that he was completely dramatic until the very end.
"Lee had 110 people in the operating room, which he loved. He told the nurse before he went under that since he was naked, everyone else should be too."
Lee underwent a 13 hour operation for a heart by-pass, and Susie said he just couldn't pull through.
Lee used to say "when I leave this vale of tears, I want elephants, dancing women and marching bands." Instead, Lee's ashes will be spread among his favorite hills of Arizona, where he and Susie have lived for the past decade.
This is the part where I am supposed to write my final thoughts about Lee but there will always be a million unfinished thoughts about him. He will be with me and millions of radio fans forever. All I can do is cry and mourn the passing of a genius, a total professional and the damned funniest man I have ever known.
Lee would like the last comment the best.
Although the genius part is a close second.
Lee Rodgers was great. RIP.
That is a very nice tribute.
Along with Rush...
HE WAS THE GREATEST...!!!
I freaking LOVED that guy! A genius! He’d start his show-prep for his 5 am start from MIDNIGHT.
A workhorse, and extremely funny..!! Only Rush is on his level.
I’ve heard them all, and this guy WAS TOTALLY AMAZING..!!!
He’d respond to my email on a regular basis, too. GREAT GUY!!!
Very sad. :(
He and Mel -AMAZING TEAM....! (his replacement is a complete duffs)
Just damn. He was great.
A shame. Rest in Peace.
RIP Lee Rodgers.
He grew up poor as hell in Tennesee, and he was a pilot. A world traveler...
He was cantankerous but funny, and when he did any interview he knew the guests background cold and his book solidly —none of that Larry King, “I didn’t read your book..”-b.s.
Just sharp as a whip, that guy. Very, very principled.
He was the salt, and Mel was the sugar —an amazing team.
Lee was terrific, RIP Lee
I used to wake up to Lee and Melanie when they were on KSFO. They were great. May he rest in peace.
When they let him go, I tried to find him his next gig —only now can I see the full picture, and why he might have suddenly gone, back then.
When he quit, I stopped listening to morning drive —it was never the same without him.
I’m SO SORRY to hear this. I just forwarded to a bunch of people.
RIP Uncle Ree!
There are few radio personalities in his league.. and even fewer worth listening to since he left the air.
I can hear him now, joking about his travels. He is and will be missed.
He was the greatest. KGO went downhill after he was no longer there. A man of substance. He was a no nonsense interviewer.
He was a real A-Hole-but I loved him.
One of the more odd interviews... The infamous Turkey Tugger interview...
Wow! That is a real loss. He was one of the last who was a true journalist. He obviously prepared for every interview, and asked insightful and probing questions of his guests. He didn’t let people slide with B.S. answers.
He was one of the few things I missed leaving California.
God speed Lee Rogers.
A few Lee-isms...
“We are soooooooo screwed.”
“What is wronnnng with you people?”
They BOTH went downhill. :-)
Damn. He was a GREAT talk show host.
RIP Lee. My morning drive buddies for many years. Was never the same without him.
RIP Lee...you ALWAYS made my drive into work every morning well worth it. You will be sorely missed my friend.
Prayers and condolences to wife Susan and everyone else that’s been affected.
My favorite grumpy old man. He told it like it was and took no prisoners.
Um, he was on KGO before he was on KSFO.
Yes, I know he was on KGO. I listened to him on both stations, but my initial comment I meant to say KSFO.
Sorry, I didn’t realize you were yelling at yourself. :p
Lee Rodgers, Dan Sorkin, Coyle and Sharpe.
Great radio in SF.
When KGO wouldn't renew Lee Rodgers' contract, I haven't listened to the pompous idiot who replaced him since. Not once.
" On Thursday morning, February 18th, with one minute left of his popular San Francisco Bay Area early morning talk show on KSFO 560-AM, veteran radio host and dedicated conservative, Lee Rodgers, received his pink slip without warning for refusing to. say nice things about Muslims.
Over the 15 years that Rodgers was morning host, he was famous for not suffering fools gladly and holding firmly to conservative principles. He repeatedly stated that the last, true President of the United States concerned with the actual welfare of America was Ronald Reagan and that the Islamic nation building conducted under President Bush II was a disastrous waste of American manpower and money. Rodgers advocated secure borders, reported on Islamic terrorism, cultural jihad and creeping sharia within the USA, and repeatedly hammered on the Obama Administration over its gross incompetence, corruption, conflicts of interest, bailouts and willful shredding of the Constitution.
ANother good one.....May the angels sing him home. He will be sorely missed
back in the 90s and early 2000s i listened to Lee, Melanie and Officer Vic every morning on my way to work...
May God rest your cranky old soul... we've all missed you and now you've really left without us!!!
I am so sorry to hear this.
Our Republic needs people like Mr. Rodgers, more than at any time in our history.
Please don’t let his message be lost.
Prayers offered up for Lee Rodgers and his family.
Thank you CCC for posting this tribute.
He was one of the few things I missed leaving California.
Used to enjoy listening to Lee kick that pretend-catholic pervert’s butt on KGO way back when. He was way ahead of the curve on that guy, as well.
We left the Bay Area in 1998 but thankfully the internet brought Lee Rodgers to us online. I would go out to our dial up computer early every morning and listen faithfully to KSFO. I would often email Lee and he always replied.
What a loss.
And by the way Mr. Sussman. You’re no Lee Rodgers
Lee is with the angels, that pretend Catholic pervert is where he belongs, too.
Gotta agree, the morning show now makes me wince at times.
I stopped listening to KSFO. Doing WMAL now.
Too bad Lee could not have seen the US come back to greatness. BOzo was probably too much for his ailing heart. He was one of the best.
Wow, how sad.
What a great loss to mankind, Lee was da man
Remembering Lee Rodgers
“I represent the spirit of free enterprise. I’m a no-holds-barred capitalist,” said Lee Rodgers in his characteristically brash, up front style. Known as the “open-line king” during the 10 years he was a host on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and moved to KSFO 560, where he hosted a weekday morning show with Melanie Morgan until 2010.
A passionate believer in the American Dream, Rodgers said, “It’s almost impossible for anybody to begin life in lower circumstances than I did (admittedly without racial handicap). I figure that if you observe the wisdom in the words ‘deferred gratification,’ and are willing to work your butt off, this society, with all its faults, offers you the opportunity to succeed. That’s the starting point.”
Rodgers was always been primed to succeed. He was born and raised in poverty near Memphis, Tennessee, lost part of a leg at age 13 working in timber industry and then spent years living in different parts of the United States. A self-described part-time coach, referee, catalyst and provocateur, he began his broadcasting career at WIND in 1963 as a disc jockey and sportscaster, followed by stints with radio stations in ST. Louis, Miami and Chicago.
After 10 years with KGO, Rodgers went north to KIRO radio in Seattle. One year later, he returned to the Bay Area where “the most interesting and spirited dialogue in talk radio takes place.” He believed, “Even with good guests, it’s the simulation of the callers that makes the show.”
He spent over 25 years broadcasting from San Francisco and continued making his voice heard even off the air through his blog at radiorodgers.com. His last blog entry was on January 28, 2013, two days before his death.
Certainly Rodgers show was spirited. With lines like “A conservative is a liberal who got mugged last night,” and “it’s my mission in my life to educate the heathen,” he took pot shots of government, liberalism and all aspects of American culture while championing rampant free enterprise. No one was safe from critical review as long as Lee Rodgers was on KSFO!