On A Personal Note – I Lost a Mentor and a Friend Yesterday
My sister texted me yesterday around 10 in the morning. She said, "Did you hear about Dave?" I didn't know what she was talking about.
She lives in Florida and it was all over the local news there, but it hadn't reached me here in the Capital Region. My friend, former co-worker, and mentor, radio legend Dave McKay had died unexpectedly. I had the incredible opportunity to work on his morning show in Tampa at WQYK before I came here to 'GNA.
I was crushed. He was only 55. He was one of the most vibrant, kind, selfless, genuine people I've ever met. How could he be so alive one day, and gone the next?
Dave was not one to be late. He never called in sick, so when he didn't show up to work on Thursday morning, I'm sure it was alarming. A co-worker who lived in Dave's building checked on him and found him dead. Police have ruled out any foul play.
Dave McKay's real name was Steve Ehmke. He was from the same part of New York that I am from and he loved it. The skiing and the hunting and fishing. He was a country boy at heart! But he also loved downtown St. Pete, the vibrant city where he lived for a long time and became such an important part of.
You know what else he loved? Radio. More than anyone I know. and He loved his listeners. Dave taught me so much about radio and life.
I was on the air about 10 years ago, when I first started out in radio and Dave walked into our studio. My boss at the time, Mark Thompson was a friend of Dave's. Mark introduced me to Steve Ehmke. I said hello and struck up a conversation with him. He complimented me on my show and I said "thanks." Then I found out who he really was. He was DAVE FREAKING MCKAY! You see, I went to college in Tampa and listened to him every single day. I learned that day that radio is a really small world. I fangirled hard and told Dave/Steve how much I loved listening to him! He told me to stay in touch, and we have ever since. I ended up working with him every day and it changed my life. I probably wouldn't be here at 'GNA without him.
I'll really miss him, but I'm not the only one. The entire Tampa Bay area will miss him waking them up every morning. His friends and family will miss him so, and his co-host and best friend Veronica will miss him immensely. As a co-host myself, and because I spent so much time with Dave and Veronica, I can you that their bond is a really, truly special one.
Radio is a big family, and we lost a really important family member yesterday.
Love you, Dave.
Click here to read more about Dave.
Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Michael Ray, and so many more country artists and industry giants tweeted they're kind words about Dave. Click here to see them.