Goodbye Mr. Brasha
Philip R. Klein, Editor
It seems not long ago that I got a call from a morning radio host asking me if I wanted to host a Saturday show called “The Southeast Texas Political Review Weekly.” While I listened to this guy named Dominick Brasha talk about what he thought about my talent as a writer and being able to love the people that tend to hate politicians I told him I would go to lunch with him.
After that lunch – we agreed I would show up on a few shows to see if I wanted to get back into the radio business, as I had hosted a show in the 1990s for two years with my good friend and producer Ken Johnson. We did wonderful on that show even hitting number goals that the owner demanded we hit or end the show. In fact, that show, and the station lost the support of some advertisers but gained 10 more for everyone one lost. We had hit some good numbers. I was young – and frankly didn’t know what I was doing – but Ken Johnson – kept me in line.
After a few shows in the morning – and the phone lines on a show that was competing with the powerhouse KLVI at the time – and the man Al Caldwell – Dom told me “just do it for 4 months and let’s see if we can get through the book.” So I agreed. Every Saturday morning from 8-10 – two hours of the Southeast Texas Political Review Live.
To be honest – there were no sponsors – there were no ad’s bought when I started – and frankly, the management was so scared that they were monitoring everything I was doing on my screen and had a delay kill button. It was kind of scary. Management didn’t trust me – and Brasha said he did.
After the first few shows, which were terrible because I was bad, my producers were bad, and we had no ebb and flow to the show. But the good news was that we hit the book – to which management said it was a “fluke.” And I agreed – it couldn’t be.
Dom told me : “Just be you.” And said later “watch out KLVI here comes Klein.”
So I agreed to get some help. I called Ken, I called a producer over at KLVI, and I got some great advice from some TV people that I know. All of them agreed : “Just Be You.”
Armed with a new producer and a new state of mind I went in. And the story is history. Over the next five years we were not only in the hunt – but got some amazing numbers and even a share of number one. The phone lines were lit up walking into the studio and we expanded to guests all over Southeast Texas. And even Democrats came in and did an interview because they know I was fair – and asked great questions that everyone was scared to ask.
Did I do this all on my own? No. There was a guy there – my friend Dominick Brasha always leaving me notes, always calling me after listening to the show, and always telling me what I did not want to hear. He was wonderful and I hated what I heard – but I listened and he was right.
Today I have learned that Dominick died over the weekend at the age of 62 years. He died at home after a heart attack.
Management didn’t and could never understand him on the air – he never could overtake Al Caldwell (like who could?) – but he did do one thing for the company he worked for – he got the #2 slot on air. He brought them to a common name where politicos asked to come on and be interviewed.
Dominick bounced around from state to state – and landed in Montana – a place he loved. He hit a big market and his numbers were great. He was the same old Dom – raising hell and teasing the audience with his brand of humor that brought him to good graces with others.
Dom was a young man as his death again comes at the age of 62.
For those of you that never have seen him – here is a sample of his stick in Montana :
I have a problem in my life and a weakness. That is I always am loyal to those that have helped me achieve my goals in life. One was to crack the radio business where many told me that I would never ever succeed. Well, I did – because I learned from one of the greats – Dominick Brasha.
Folks, life is short. Life is fun. Life goes fast. Life is a long traveled road. Brasha lived a good life – a hard life – and most of all an underrated life. I think for one – Dom liked it that way.
Many radio listeners around the United States today will miss him. I will miss that every once in a while email or call I got from him over the last years just asked me : “How are you?” Guys like Jeff Roberts who was his man in the booth – once said to me – “he is an underrated talent that should have been.”
I disagree humbly – I think he was a great talent that just never found the right home.
To the Brasha family – peace and love to you all. And Dominic? I know you are going to find a gig next to the big man up there. You made us laugh and you made us smile – and we love you for it.
Man….life goes fast.
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