Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dean Spratt

When I think of who CRT's most enthusiastic supporter has been, in all the years we have been around, I would say without needing to even think about it - Dean Spratt.

Dean passed away today, Sat. Jan. 20th, after suffering a massive stoke a week ago. I never met Dean in person - and I wish I had. Actually, we were supposed to meet in Minneapolis last July as I was planning on being in town for the Mark Time Awards, but my Dads illness prevented me from attending and we said "next time."

We first heard from Dean a week or so after POWDER RIVER first went on XM Radio, Sept. of 2005. He contacted us and wanted to air it on his weekly show, THURSDAY NIGHT POTPOURRI, which was a Satellite Broadcast on the W0KIE Network. We said "Sure!" and the show went on the air at 11pm EST, in November of that year - and stayed in that slot until just two weeks ago when Season 3 ended. He was currently running A PHIL BYRNES MYSTERY and was looking forward to airing Season 4 of POWDER.

Dean had such enthusiasm when he talked about POWDER, and our other productions - and I know he turned a lot of folks onto CRT. He had a great show on Thursday nights, and many times I had him tuned in on my computer to hear his latest gripes and the eclectic music he would play. He loved what he did so much - and it showed through more than many people I have heard on the air.

But still, it was something how he took to POWDER RIVER. He would talk to me about the characters, the plots, the effects, and he got even more excited when Chris Snyder became the series producer and we started editing in 3D sound. I was listening to his show one night after an episode ran, and he said "Man, how I love this series." That meant something to me ... to know that something I wrote could make someone feel like that. I asked Dean if he would like to appear in the show, and he said yes! He recorded his lines and sent them to me, and they were cut into two episodes, THE NITRO GANG and JACK SHERMAN ESCAPES. He did a great job, and wrote to me saying that it was hoot to hear himself with the cast. I will cherish those two episodes.

Dean was looking forward to season 4, and a couple of times quizzed me on "what happens next?" I wish he could hear them. I wish he were here with his family. I wish there was something I could do.

He had a great "radio voice." He was a wonderful entertainer. He was a nice man. From what I understand, I think he was on W0KIE longer than any other host. I only knew him for a year and four months - but it seems like many years. And many GOOD years. Maybe you've been lucky enough to have met someone like that in your life.
They are special people.
Very much so.

Powder River - Season 4 - will be dedicated to Dean Spratt.


Stephanie said...

Jerry, thank you for sharing your memories of Dean and for dedicating Powder River to him. He was a staple in this house on Thursday nights and his absence will be greatly felt. Our prayers and good thoughts go out to his wife, children, and family. Thank you for shairing him with us all these years.
Stephanie Scace and Family
Macomb, IL

Jerry Robbins said...

Hi Stephanie ~ it's quite a shock. I really thought he would pull through. Powder River won't be the same without Dean cheering it on. He was a big part in my doing season 3.

Anonymous said...

Jerry, I just wanted to let you know that I came across your site this morning and that your comments are appreciated and will be shared with the entire family. It really was very sudden and a shock to us all. We all sat at my mothers house last night and listened to a recording of Chris doing Dean's TNP show on Thursday night and all the get-well wishes from all his faithful listeners. We all find it to be very incredible the numbers of miles and people that Dean reached. Dean never got to hear those get-well wishes but his family got to hear them and we want to thank everyone for their heartfelt thoughts and prayers. Dean really did have a love for old-time radio and radio theatre and it is obvious that he shared that passion with you and his listeners. Thank you again for the kind words.
Kelly Spratt
(Dean's brother)

Anonymous said...

Dean was the stuff legends are made of
I feel honored to have known him.

Rick Parris

Jennie L said...

I knew Deano very well for my enrite life. From when I was very very small. He was my Dad's very best friend. My dad was John Lundell. They knew eachother since the begining. Since they both drove around just to look at traffic, before Metro networks, before eith of them became the pioneers they were. Dean was such a sparkle in our lives and I wish I could thank him for the things he has done and for being such a great friend to our family, and most of all to my dad. But, my dad gets to thank him himself now because you know they are up there hanging out with all their favorie music legends and directing the angel's of the roads of heaven. I'll miss Dean. I was honored to know him. You are all in our prayers and we are here for you

The Lundell's