This could be the start of something…

Twin Cities community radio station KFAI carries excellent drive-time music programming courtesy of its talented volunteer disc jockeys. Among them is David Cummings, whose weekly Rockin’ in Rhythm show airs on Wednesday mornings. Yesterday David paid tribute to “the genius of Steve Allen” for the entirety of his three-hour show. For the next few weeks, you can listen to the January 7 edition of the show via the archived audio here.

Allen died at the age of 78 in 2000. What was the occasion for the tribute yesterday? David explained to me that Allen’s birthday falls on December 26 and is usually lost in the bustle of the holiday season. He had long wanted to put together a tribute show geared to Allen’s birthday.

Allen was the original host (and self-proclaimed creator) of the Tonight Show, the author of many books, the composer of thousands of songs including “This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” and a very funny guy. I also found in a book I came across in college when I was preparing to interview Bill Buckley for the college newspaper that Allen had held up the liberal end of a debate with Buckley on the merits of liberalism versus conservatism.

Among other things, Allen pioneered comic “man on the street” interviews. In the video below (David played the audio during his show yesterday), Allen ventures out onto the street to ask passers-by if they could support an avowed heterosexual for the presidency of the United States.

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