Chicago Sun-Times
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Kevin Matthews returns to the airwaves after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

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matthews.jpgKevin Matthews, the radio personality who has cultivated large followings in Chicago and Grand Rapids, returned to the airwaves of WLAV-FM this morning after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

We wish him the best.

Much like my counterpart's relationship with recently departed radio host Steve Dahl, I'll never fully understand the impact Matthews has had on the cities that he's called home. After building up a base in West Michigan in the early 1980s, Matthews left town when I was two years old and much too young to listen to the radio. Then, after ruling the Chicago airwaves, he took his show back to Grand Rapids just before I moved to Chicago.

Matthews and I just don't have good timing.

But even though I never routinely listened to his show, it was abundantly clear the impact he had on the West Michigan region. It's remarkable how many times older co-workers or friends of my parents would ask me if I knew who Matthew's was. These queries were always followed up with a sentence of praise for his innovation, comedy or the way he was part of their mornings when "they were my age".

Clearly he was the background noise to a generation commuting to work. A collective voice around which to stay updated with what was going on in their world. With the glut of media outlets and the diversification of mediums today, I think we miss out on those things that bind a community together.

To me, Dahl and Matthews represent those ties. And I wish we could get a little bit of that spirit back.

Tell us your best Matthews memories, your reaction to his diagnosis and if you think there are those community media figures that keep people connected anymore.

Multiple sclerosis diagnosis won't slow DJ Kevin Matthews' morning drive   [Grand Rapids Press]

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10 Comments

Boy, there seems to be some kind of curse on radio lately, beyond just the financial woes that every industry is having. I'm not really prone to such superstitions but it sure looks bleak for the radio stars in the last couple of weeks here. No Steve Dahl on the air in Chicago is just weird, a number of big radio people getting unceremoniously dumped, Kevin getting a really crappy diagnosis. What is going on?!

Radio-broadcasting is probably an ideal-job for someone with M.S.--not familiar with this tumorous type, but I've presented relapsing-remitting M.S. for over 4 years now...it's an exercise in communication with the unwary public, but I was able to use organization-skills that I actually learned in RTV-courses in the late 1980s to survive...jockeying tape-carts with paralysis is demanding, I know, but thankfully only one hand and one leg are paralyzed as yet...so just keep on truckin', Kevin. ;)

Matt B.

Yes, a bad day for radio- at least Johnny B is still on the air at WLUP- I'm one of those in the old time commuting generation grew up listening to Steve and Garry, Johnny B and Buzz and Kevin and Jim Shorts- I still use Jim's old line about birthdays - you're not getting older - you're getting longer- unfortunately my kids don't get it.

I wish all the best to Kev and I'm glad I found him online, too.

C'mon, these guys, dahl, matthews, etc all had easy lives. now dahl is complaining about what to do with his spare time, he's bored and lonely. matthews lived in a mansion outside of chicago and has just about everything financially he needs. must i remind them 3 out of 4 people will go to bed hungry tonight and without a home in the world. sit back you radio ex-gods and let a new generation of hip-hop, rap, kathy and judy, and other insane unknowns take your place. we all are but a vapor. remember most entertainers have inferiority complexes and need their egos stroked routinely. not it's time to adjust. grow up, retire and move on.

Long time fan of Kevin Matthews. Back when he was on WLS AM! Very surprised of his diagnosis. I wish him well. I too was diagnosed with MS in 2002. Stay strong, stay positive! You Never Know What Type of Warrior You Will Be Until You Are Faced Wtih The Battle Of Your Life! MS is my Battle!

My thoughts go out to you.....signed Vault Nipples! (Jim Will Know!)

Long time fan of Kevin Matthews. Back when he was on WLS AM! Very surprised of his diagnosis. I wish him well. I too was diagnosed with MS in 2002. Stay strong, stay positive! You Never Know What Type of Warrior You Will Be Until You Are Faced Wtih The Battle Of Your Life! MS is my Battle!

My thoughts go out to you.....signed Vault Nipples! (Jim Will Know!)

I'm A Long time Kev Head...back when you were on AM in Chicago! Saw you in concert. Shocked at your diagnosis. I was diagnosed with MS Back in 2002. Stay strong, stay positive. Come join the MS Walk in Naperville, IL May 4th with Team Stepping For Cindy!

Signed, Vault Nipples....(Jimmy Will Know!)

Love Ya Kev

Kev, I have been listening ti you since Jimmy took his driving test,and almost killed the instructor,and have had many,many laughs. You are the funniest person ever!!!Seen you at concerts and at Tom Thayer's Mom's place in Joliet,I forget the name. Outstanding! Hope you make it back to Chicago radio someday. The radio here blows chunks!
Sorry to hear your diagnosis,but as the others say you need to stay positive. Many people are praying for you!

IS IT WRONG?

I sponsored one of the golf outings with Kevin and he is just one heck of a nice person. Always concerned with the kids at Maryville Academy I just wish Kev, Deb, Trevor,and Tigue all the best with this horrible affliction.

Hi Kev. We all miss you so much that we cant find words to explain. we wish you the best with your MS.
I had listened to you since the late 80's and almost everyone has left that we knew and loved. Sure I could go on and on but where would that take us...we would all like to know more about your MS.
Love ya,
dp & mp

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on December 8, 2008 11:57 AM.

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