Radio Legend “Rockline’s” Bob Coburn Has Died – John Beaudin’s Tribute

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 23: Bob Coburn attends Calabasas Magazine Celebrates Its First Annual Music Issue at House of Blues on August 23, 2005 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – AUGUST 23: Bob Coburn attends Calabasas Magazine Celebrates Its First Annual Music Issue at House of Blues on August 23, 2005 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

He was easily one of the great ones. Coburn had that friendly conversational style. He influenced me as a broadcaster. I use the term ‘stare at the speakers” way too much when describing really tasty music that has legs but Bob Coburn was one of those personalities that made you look at those speakers since it was like he was in the room with you.

A few days ago his station KLOS in LA announced that he had a few more days to live adding, “Bob was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year, and while he has been fighting like a champion ever since, all rock and roll journeys eventually come to an end. Bob is comfortable, in good spirits, and he’s spending his final time with his family.”

Today the station posted this message: “The outpouring of love and support for this man has been truly beautiful, and we are saddened to announce that our family member and friend, Bob Coburn passed away today at 12:32 P.M. He wasn’t in pain and he was with his family. Today the music world lost a legend and he will forever be in our hearts. Rest easy, BC, we love you!”

He was born in 1948 and was mostly known for his syndicated show Rockline where he was at the helm of the show longer than anyone else. Eventually Coburn bought the show that interviewed some of the biggest names in Rock and Roll including George Harrison, Van Halen and David Bowie.

Coburn took a radio 101 course in community collage because he didn’t want to continue working in insurance. He was on the air at some big station including Chicago’s WLS-FM and WMET where he was the Program Director. In San Diego he worked for KPRI and KGB and six station in Los Angeles including three stints at KLOS

Coburn told All Access that when the dust settled he had his stories to share with the listeners, adding, “I’m blessed to have so many stories about the artists we play that there’s not enough time in the remainder of my career to tell them all and now that I’m culling through about a quarter-million minutes of shows looking for great Rockline clips and songs it reminds me of things I may have forgotten.”

As for Memorable moments Coburn told All Access. “The famous George Harrison show from 1988 was fascinating and deep, cosmic even. Van Halen in Atlanta in 1984 was outright insanity, strippers, Schlitz Malt Liquor, Jack Daniels, a few “other” things and David Lee Roth’s boom box of drop-ins. The 1000th Rockline at the (then) Museum of Television and Radio in New York City with David Bowie and about two dozen superstar guests, some of whom heard it on the radio and just dropped by, including Ronnie Spector together with Joey Ramone showing up was downright amazing.” Other highlights include interviewing Paul McCartney and Robert Plant half a dozen times. Then there was Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and Elton John.

We always miss the great ones. Rest in Peace Bob Coburn. – by John Beaudin

John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver.

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