Everybody knows that Art Bell had passed away on April 13, 2018 at his home in Pahrump, Nevada. Everybody knows who Art Bell was. But not everybody knows about:
THE LESSER KNOWN SIDE OF THE LATE ART BELL: (from Wikipedia)
Art Bell became an FCC-licensed radio technician at age 13 and once set a Guinness World Record for broadcasting solo for 116 straight hours while working as a DJ at KSBK in Okinawa, Japan:
By the age of 13, Art was an FCC licensed radio technician.
A few years later, as a young airman, Bell and an equally foolhardy buddy built their own pirate radio station right on Amarillo Air Force base, secretly broadcasting rock ‘n’ roll to appreciative locals.
These kinds of antics were not limited to bootleg military radio.
As a civilian DJ, Art Bell landed in the Guinness Book of Records for a 116 hour (and 15 minutes) solo broadcast marathon “playing the hits” on KSBK on Okinawa, Japan.
Then he raised money in Alaska that allowed Art to charter a DC 8, fly to Vietnam and rescue 130 Vietnamese Orphans stranded in Saigon at the war’s end.
They were eventually all brought to America and adopted by American families.
Art’s no-nonsense demeanor didn’t fool his listeners who sensed he was more complex underneath.
Art Bell’s political views were complex as well.
He spent years on the island of Okinawa, living a Japanese lifestyle and working for KSBK, the only English speaking station in Asia.
It gave him a Pacific Rim perspective and a grasp of international affairs that few talk show hosts really have.
That plus his military background and his love of the news, made Art Bell a natural talk show host, a man who understood how politics, human nature, and cultural dynamics can affect national and international stability for better or for worse.
It was such an honor for me to have appeared on his program, back in 1995:
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