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Paul Harvey … Good Day!

picture of Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey (...pause...) Good day! was his signature line at the end of virtually every broadcast. This past weekend saw the the passing of that American icon, Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009) The picture on the right was taken when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the nation's highest civilian honor.

I enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey through the years. Long before Internet news sources, before today's talk radio format, and before the choices now available on cable TV for honest, thorough news coverage, Paul Harvey was unique in serving up insightful news that no one else was reporting, as well as off-beat or heart-warming stories about people, both famous and obscure. He will be remembered by many for his The Rest of the Story segments. Here's a neat one called "Gentle Legacy." (If you're reading this by e-mail or in a blog reader, you will probably have to go to the blog to view this video clip.)

He will also be remembered for his distinctive, resonant voice and for what has been been described as his "pregnant pauses." Danny Thomas once told Mr. Harvey, "You'd better be right, because you sound like God." (It's a unique voice, but I don't know if I'd go that far....) On another occasion Danny Thomas commented, "You can almost hear the amber waves of grain." Obviously, Mr. Thomas was a loyal Paul Harvey fan.

In my files I had a piece attributed to him that I especially like. I was able to determine at truthorfiction.com that he indeed wrote this piece.

If I Were the Devil
by Paul Harvey
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com

If I were the devil...

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.


Bet over at Dappled Things did a post yesterday on Paul Harvey. She found a quotation from him describing his entry into the field of radio at age 14: "As a boy, I fell in love with words and ran away from home and joined the radio."

Harvey is credited with coining or popularizing such terms as "skyjacker," "Reaganomics," and "guesstimate." I find it ironic that this post on Paul Harvey falls so close on the heels of my post on Dr. Seuss who also loved and coined words.

Do you think it would be fair to say that Paul Harvey was also a "word nerd?" Do you have any memories of or reflections on Paul Harvey's career?


"If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of ten it will." - Paul Harvey

=^..^= =^..^=

"I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist." - Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey ... Good day!

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12 Comments on “Paul Harvey … Good Day!”

  1. #1 Vikki
    on Mar 5th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Yes, he will be missed!! I loved listening to him. He would find some of the strangest stories to tell. One I remember concerned a home alarm. Apparently a family had left for a 2 week vacation overseas when their house alarm went off, driving the neighbors crazy. The police could do nothing and the system wasn’t connected to an alarm company. I sure wouldn’t want to be them when they finally came home and were confronted by their neighbors – probably wearing ear plugs.

    Here’s a quoted story of his I found online. It’s a great example of how he would tell a story.

    “For what it’s worth, Mark Hatterer of York, Pennsylvania, gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dog. I said, Mr. Hatterer gave mouth-to- mouth resuscitation…. To a dog, after the dog had nearly drowned…in a septic tank. The dog was drowning in a septic tank when Mr. Hatterer rescued it. After a veterinary doctor pronounced the Scottish terrier out of danger, Mr. Hatterer said, `You know…I, I hope I don’t ever have to do that again.’… Paaaul Harvey…….. Gooood-DAY!”

  2. #2 Rob
    on Mar 5th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    @Vikki – I too loved his story telling with all its dramatic pauses and inflections. The story you shared is so typical of some of Paul Harvey’s off-beat stories. Thanks for posting it!

  3. #3 Mrs. Troop
    on Mar 5th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Wonderful post! We have such fond memories of listening to him. 7:30 AM on the Coach’s way to school – the kids loved it, too. He will certainly be missed.

  4. #4 Zina
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 2:15 am

    I loved his story of The Birds. It is usually retold around Christmastime.


  5. #5 Rob
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 6:03 am

    @Mrs. Troop – I think he will be missed by many. That’s neat that your kids loved listening to him!

    @Zina – I don’t remember hearing that story, though I probably did at some point. Maybe I can find it somewhere….

  6. #6 Becka
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    They play the bird story that Zina mentioned every year on BBN at Christmas time.

  7. #7 Rob
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 9:22 am

    @Becka – I hope to hear it sometime. What time of day do they play it? Is it just at random?

  8. #8 Michael
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Listening to Paul Harvey was normally a treat for me. I associate his radio programs with long car trips when we would listen to the radio to pass the time. I always enjoyed the variety of the subject matter that he presented. He also had a knack for selling the products of those who advertised on his show.

    And, his piece about Satan is right on. I fear so many Christians in our nation believe that our founders earned blessing from God rather than God simply pouring out His blessing on us.

  9. #9 Sherry
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, M. Loach. I hadn’t heard of his death. It’s sad that the medium through which he made his living didn’t make more of his passing. We are, as he said it, “hungry for a little niceness,” and it’d be nice to stop hearing about our failing economy long enough to smile that he had lived! (Thanks for that thought, Dr. Seuss!)

    I remember listening to Paul Harvey on the way home from school back in Indiana. My dad was a fan and seemed to never miss the broadcast each afternoon. As a youngster who “hated” to hear the news come on, I was always thankful to hear Paul Harvey’s voice and knew a smile or interesting thought was coming my way! 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that he’s gone, but glad for the memories he’s left behind.

  10. #10 Rob
    on Mar 7th, 2009 at 6:40 am

    @Michael – Thanks for your comments on Paul Harvey’s broadcasts as well as your good observation about the piece of his that I posted. Satan is certainly active today in effecting some of those very changes Paul Harvey mentioned.

    @Sherry – That’s neat that you enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey when you would have otherwise not wanted to listen to the news. Quite a testimony to his appeal, not just to old geezers who grew up hearing him.

  11. #11 Janel
    on Mar 12th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    In 6th grade, my teacher, Mrs. Carson, would take out her Paul Harvey book after lunch and read to us each day and it is one of those memories that has always stuck with me. Truly a favorite part of the day! I’m sure she was thrilled that a classroom full of 6th graders could actually be entranced by the written word especially at that time of the day!

  12. #12 Rob
    on Mar 12th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    @Janel – That’s really great about your 6th grade teacher. Paul Harvey was a great storyteller and was able to connect with people of all ages – your comment and several others prove that he had appeal to children as well as to adults. Thanks for commenting!