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.

Dave Maynard

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.

A photo of WBZ-AM's Morning Team from 2009 at the Hall of Fame induction. (Photo credit: Michael Epstein, WBZ News Radio 1030)

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.

Comments (79)
  1. DonnaMM says:

    Thinking of Dave Maynard brings back so many wonderful, happy memories of my teenage years. He was such a humorous, thoughtful, and intelligent person, God Bless you Dave and God Bless your family.

  2. Don Kenney says:

    I played bass in the Community Auditions backup group. On piano was Bob Winter, on drums the late Bob Varney. We had a lot of fun with Dave, sometimes playing tunes with a common theme. One night we played a series of tunes starting with ‘Just Friends’ , then ‘Cant we be Friends’, winding up with ‘Rosetta’. Dave was puzzled by the third tune and aske us how it fit the ‘friends’ theme. Bob Winter cracked “Oh, she’s a friend of the Bass player’. I broke Dave up…..

  3. Jack Wyatt says:

    I remember watching Dave cue the 45’s and run the show from the WBZ Sundeck Studio at Paragon Park, Nantasket Beach. I was only a teen and as I watched I often thought “Boy, would I love to do that!!!!!”
    Dave was my hero!!

  4. sloopjohnB2 says:

    My deepest sympathy to his family. He was a REAL pro.. Really enjoyed listening to him. May god bless him.

  5. jack says:

    Dave was a true gentleman…my sympathies to his family.
    Many people forget about the fact the Dave did the “overnight shift” (midnight to 5″00 a.m. on WBZ radio for a few years.
    Just a quick story….A number of years ago WBZ radio ran a dinner for Dave at the Lantana in Randolph Mass. Listeners to the radio station could win tickets to the dinner by mailing in their “favorite memories” from the career of Dace Maynard.
    I won tickets by “sending in THIS memory.
    I wrote about the time that Dave fell asleep (on the air) while hosting his call-in talk show.
    You could actually hear him snoring!
    Other hosts might put their listeners to sleep…only Dave could put “himself” to sleep!
    Dave….we all miss you!

  6. Jim Anderson says:

    Dave was a great person simply because he had “no baggage”. He was “Dave”. He did not speak for any group or cause. He was “Dave”. People loved him because of his honesty and straight forward style. RIP Dave, if there is a Heaven on Earth, you are there.

  7. Polly Hawkins says:

    Dave kept me company many nights when I could not sleep. He has always had a special place in my heart, so very many fond memories, never to be forgotten.

  8. Annie says:

    When I think of Dave Maynard it reminds me of some of the happiest years of my life in my 20’s. Always enjoyed his “Maynard in the Morning” show–what a great way to start the day with all those laughs! His passing is such a great loss to all of us who loved him so, and what a shame that younger folks will never have had a chance to hear what a truly great radio and tv personality he was, nor will there ever again be anyone like him.

  9. Sherm Chester says:

    God Bless Dave and his family.

    Thank you for all the smiles and laughs over the years.

    Last week I was riding a euphoric high having finally had a chance to broadcast on WBZ….sitting in with Jordan Rich.

    When I was signing off I mentioned that as a young child in the late 1950’s I would listen to Dave on my first AM transistor radio..a Zenith and talk into an oversized pencil which was my make believe microphone. I always tried to emulate not imitate his style and delivery. He was my mentor.

    So for all of us who were inspired to get into the broadcasting business by Dave….I hope we can make him proud.

  10. Karen Harrison says:

    My condolences go out to all of Dave’s family,freinds and collegues during this tought time.. I grew up listening to WBZ (still do ) … Dave was such a staple on WBZ and as others have said has done lots outside of WBZ too.
    Rest in Peace Dave Maynard and may you and other former collegues such as Larry Glick meet up again ..

  11. Lori L'Heureux says:

    Dave was the most enjoyable radio personality in my time. Enjoyed his show daily during my morning commute to work. In later years, I took several European (and one to Hawaii) trips with Dave and his lovely wife, Pat. They were GREAT to be with. BRAVO Dave for your work for Children’s Hospital.
    R.I.P. David Manard ~ Mr. Personality +

  12. Joan Noble Pinkham says:

    With sympathies to Dave’s family. He was my inspiration at B.U. and Cambridge School of Broadcasting so many years ago. Having been in radio at a very early age, I had much to learn and Dave was an excellent and patient teacher. A good friend with so much talent. Always the gentleman and will always be missed.

  13. Dick McDonough says:

    Dick McDonough – While in high school I met Dave at a record hop. He was so kind to me when I told him I was going to get in to radio after high school. He seemed thrilled. I always enjoyed listening to his countdown show on the weekend on BZ. When I started on the radio listeneing to Dave, Jeff K. and Bruce Bradley, their commercials readings were not line mine. Then, by paying close attention to all of their styles, they were speaking to me and not reading a spot.

  14. GP Brefini says:

    I have been a fan & listener of Dave Manyard my entire life, from a child to the days when I had my own family. I remember on three separate occassions meeting Mr. Maynard; twice in a plane going to Florida on business and once in Florida with my family on vacation. Each time he was warm and sincerely friendly. I recall our dicsussion at 35,000 feet of how he wanted to bring back Community Auditions and I wished him well on that because it was one of my favorite locally produced programs here in Boston. He had a wonderful relaxed style on the radio and TV and his radio show often got me into classes at Northeastern thru the worst weather and traffic. I will miss him, his sense of humor which made me smile when I saw his TV promos for WBZ radio. I am very sorry he has passed away. My condolences to his immediate family and his radio family at WBZ, We have lost a great human being and broadcaster.

  15. Clive T. Smith says:

    I helped Dave at many Farm Stands for Children’s Hospital.
    I miss him. Love to Pat and Dave’s children.

  16. Cliff says:

    Celebration of Life

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