BOSTON (CBS) – Longtime WBZ host Dave Maynard died Thursday in Citrus Hills, Florida, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He was 82 years old.
Maynard was a ﬁxture in Boston television and radio for 48 years. He began his career in 1952 at WHIL radio [now WXKS] and then moved on to WORL radio, working as a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey at both stations.
In 1965 he began hosting Community Auditions, a talent showcase that ran on WBZ-TV for 21 years and highlighted amateur Boston talent.
WBZ Remembers Maynard
In 1979 he began doing talk radio on the night shift from 12 A.M. to 5 A.M. One of Maynard’s most memorable on-air moments was one summer night when he kept a suicidal caller on the air for over an hour, saving the man’s life by tracking down his whereabouts.
One year later, Maynard was offered the position of WBZ radio’s morning man taking over for Carl deSuze who moved to the afternoon shift.
Peter Casey, Director of Programming for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 released the following statement:
“All of New England and the WBZ family has lost a radio icon and a treasured friend today. Dave Maynard ruled the airways and owned a special place in our hearts for many years. He was a Hall of Fame caliber broadcaster from the very first day here at WBZ. Generations of broadcasters learned how to be a communicator, entertainer, and friend from Dave Maynard. He was a pioneer at using the power of his voice and his radio program to raise money for worthy causes here in New England and set the standard on how to help his neighbors by being a friend on the radio.”
Mike Maynard on his father’s legacy
Maynard in the Morning, was number one for all of its eleven-year run.
During this time he also appeared on “Evening Magazine” as their resident chef and was the originator of “The Phantom Gourmet” radio program. Maynard also wrote three cookbooks.
The ﬁrst Dave Maynard Tried and True Secret Family Recipe Late Night Cook Book was a compilation of his late night listener’s secret recipes.
Dave once said of the show, “I loved the rapport that I had with my listeners. Many became like family. The show was always full of surprises. Some mornings I’d sing along with Olga or banter with Weldon. Granny Brown always had something to say as well as Genarosa. I was some 44 years at WBZ. Think of that, almost 50 years in one market and I didn’t even know where the bodies were buried!”
Classic “Maynard In The Morning” Spot
On December 1, 1983, Mayor Kevin White of Boston proclaimed “Dave Maynard Day” in celebration of Maynard’s 25 years at WBZ. In 1990, Maynard moved to the mid-day shift. Maynard announced his retirement from radio in mid June of 1991.
He won the Massachusetts Broadcaster of the Year award in 1999.
His “Piece of Cake” television commercials were not only hilarious they won 2 Gold Medals at the International Film and Television Festival in New York City and a New England Emmy.
Dave Maynard and Robert Parish
Throughout the years Maynard’s community involvement was quite extensive.
He raised money for Children’s Hospital through The Children’s Hospital Telethon and The Farm Stand since 1982.
On April 11, 1988, he helped run “The Children’s Hospital Penny Drive” which raised $13,955.97–all in pennies.
He raised more than three-quarters of a million dollars for the hospital with the annual Farm Stand event. Maynard was also involved with Easter Seals, Muscular Dystrophy and Eye Research.
In 1982 Dave organized a nationwide campaign to find a liver donor for Jamie Fiske. The appeal was successful, a donor was found.
Born in Larchmont, New York, Maynard graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emerson College and received a Master of Communications from Boston University.
He also taught at Boston University for 17 years in the Communications Department. He was an avid traveler, gourmet cook and golfer.
Maynard leaves behind a wife, six children and nine grandchildren.