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Royal Marshall, RIP

Royal Marshall,engineer and on-air sidekick to Neal Boortz died Friday at the age of 43. I was only an occasional listener to Neal Boortz, but I listened enough to appreciate what Marshall added to the show. Boortz could be a bit caustic at times, and Marshall's good humor often served as a sweetener to make the show more palatable. I never thought about it much before Marshall's passing, but   much of the Boortz show's appeal  has come  from the chemistry between Boortz, Marshall, and producer Belinda Skelton. He will be hard to replace.

I tuned into the Boortz show last night at midnight to see what he  would have to say. There was a guest host. In pre-recorded remarks Boortz explained he was going to be spending time with Royal's family instead of doing the show.,

Elle called me a few minutes later. She wanted to know if I'd heard about the passing of Royal Marshall. I told her I had. :) We both thought it was very sad, and I was not at all irritated with her for calling late. We have that kind of relationship.

I turned the radio off after a few minutes. Then Elle called again. She told me they were going to play "Boo Got Shot". For those unfamiliar, this is an interview with a young African-American woman after a shooting incident, accompanied by  a  translation from "street" to "broadcast" by Royal Marshall (who himself is African-American.) It's one of his finest moments, and certainly merits a late night phone call. Here's a video clip of it:

It's a lot like Barbara Billingsley's famous "I Speak Jive" scene in Airplane, but with the races and dialects reversed.I  wonder if Marshall will meet Ms. Billingsley in the hereafter. I'm sure they would have some interesting conversations.

Royal Marshall will be missed. He was a human being of SUBSTANTIAL caliber.

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