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Monday, May 19, 2014

RIP Murray Saul, Cleveland Radio Icon

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Murray Saul has died at age 86.

The WMMS icon is best remembered for his Friday afternoon rants, always coming after "Born to Run" and issuing forth a galaxy of enthusiastic ramblings and the important plea that "We GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GOTTA GET DOWNNNN, DAMMIT!"

From Scene contributor Matt Wardlaw:

Murray Saul was a character — even if you hadn't been around during his '70s heyday as the "Get Down Man," he left behind quite a legacy of work. Meeting the older version of Murray Saul years later, there was still a mischievous twinkle in his eyes that gave a definite glimpse at the rock 'n' roll wildman who had once lurked within. On more than one occasion, I had the opportunity to talk with Murray and as we were walking away, the person I was with would inevitably ask me, "Who was that guy?" If they were unfamiliar with Murray Saul, they were in for quite a surprise, because after hearing audio from one of Murray's classic Get Down routines, you could see them trying to reconcile what they had just heard with the man who they had just met.

You hear a lot of things referred to as being something that was a "Cleveland thing." While Murray's Get Downs may have started out that way, they certainly eventually found an audience that extended far beyond Cleveland and even Ohio, with radio stations in other cities using bootlegged Get Down audio to do their own weekend kickoff. Murray's now-classic rants against the establishment and, especially, the "slave driver" boss are a truly unique audio snapshot of a time in radio that is now long gone. When you think of the idea of free-form radio, is there anything more "free-form" than what listeners heard when Murray did his Get Downs on the radio? Listen to any one of them and just imagine hearing that live on the radio.

Dig the audio here. The second clip, a five-minute Friday rant, is incredible.

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