In Memory of Ted Quillin: Your Grandpa Talked About The Good Ole Days, My Grandpa Lived Them
He was an exceptional human being. This exceptionalism is what brought him the hippest of scenes back in the day, radio. His rich and deep voice coupled with his fun and jovial disposition led him to popularity and success in the tough business. Which brings me to my point and the title of this entry, “Your Grandpa Talked About The Good Ole Days, My Grandpa Lived Them.”
While your grandfather, sweet as he may be, talks about seeing Elvis on The Sullivan Show and the craze that was rock’n’roll, my grandfather was literally spending days at Graceland with him and living rock’n’roll. So, when I say that your grandpa talked about the good ole days while mine lived them, I mean to say that Grandpa Ted was there, right in the thick of it amidst the greatest musical revolution of all time!
Grandpa Ted was the first disc jockey(DJ) to play Ritchie Valens on the radio and undoubtedly always had a wonderful and fantastic story about himself and just about any celebrities of the time. I remember just quizzing him at times about the who’s who he met. He even said Johnny Cash called into his show! WHAT?! How many kids get to say, “Yeah, my grandpa hung with Elvis and had Johnny Cash called into his radio show. No big.”? I remember seeing the biopic “Ray” when it came out and asking grandpa about it. I was curious to see if the late great Ray Charles really could play, let alone record on heroin. Grandpa even told me about how he got to watch a recording session of Ray’s and that he had a golf ball size protrusion at his elbow where he injected himself that you could see through his shirt. Regardless, he said that Ray Charles was brilliant during the session and that was part of his majesty as an artist.
I will always remember his voice. You KNEW when grandpa was calling for you or was on the other end of that phone. He had this radio voice that seemed to boom and go on forever. Even in his old age he maintained this coolness about him. Sure, the family chided him at times for his comfy yellow croc-like shoes, which I might add he wore well before the fad (Grandpa Ted +1 for trend setting), but we loved his little eccentricities. All in all, he just had this confidence to him. It is that same energy that my father and uncle talk about to this day, him in his prime. He would command a room, attention, respect, the whole nine yards. It was this same energy and confidence that made him so much fun to be around as a kid. He was unafraid to be goofy or have a laugh. Whether it be a funny Betty Boop accessory or a funny one-liner, he seemed to never be in a poor mood.
Best of all were grandpa’s sayings, his most famous being his radio sign-off, “Blue Skies and Green Lights for You and Yours…”
My Grandpa was a Hall of Famer, a cool cat, a story book, a legend, and many more. But, most of all, he was my grandpa.
Blue Skies and Green Lights For You and Yours Grandpa. I love you.