Goodbye to

Skinny Bobby Harper


One of the best known, and most liked Southeastern radio personalities has died. Bobby Harper passed away from lung cancer July 22, 2003, in Atlanta.

Bobby was the inspiration for TV character, Johnny Fever, on the long running TV show, WKRP in Cinncinati. Skinny Bobby was known for his comical hijinks on 15 stations in 31 years.

CLICK HERE for our story about Skinny Bobby Harper

CLICK HERE for pictures and sound from Bobby's memorial service, July 28, 2003.


  CLICK HERE to see a short video of Bobby made last year talking
about his love for the City of Dreams - ATLANTA -
"...a pearl in a bowl of grits !" (35 SEC.)

CLICK below to hear the NPR Tribute to Bobby 7-24-03.
NPR used two audio excerpts from sound on this webpage. (Our entire audio segments follow the NPR versions.)

1. Excerpt from WAKY, Louisville, (Bobby's last day there) originally provided to us by Al Smith who was WAKY Manager in 1970 and is now cluster General Manager, Infinity Broadcasting, Fresno, California. Al was a life-long friend of Skinny Bobby's. (NPR used Bobby's story about the flying nun and birth control pills.)

2. An interview by Harper with Bob Todd and Bob Whitney in 2001 at Underground Atlanta where Skinny Bobby was Business Development Manager until his illnes recently. In this interview, Bobby Explains why he got fired so much. ( NPR excerpt is next. Entire Clip from follows that.)

 RealAudio Version

 MP3 Version

  CLICK HERE to hear Skinny Bobby's entire statement remembering his remarkable radio career, and how come he worked in so many places and got fired a so much.  

CLICK HERE....For..a wonderful 1970 aircheck of Skinny Bobby in Louisville, KY. This was Skin's last show at WAKY before returning to Atlanta to hook up with the video music program in 1970, The Now Explosion. The following note is from Bob Whitney, curator of

This aircheck of Skin is my favorite of all time. Bob Todd (Thurgaland) - (my presnt-day partner-in-crime at had been Program Director at WAKY in Louisville and had brought Bobby Harper there in 1969. I had been smart enough to hire THEM BOTH to be the first video DeeJays on the FIRST EVER music video program, The Now Explosion, to originate in Atlanta - ten full years before MTV and truly its forerunner. (Read about Skinny Bobby and the Now Explosion in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.)

After I heard Skinny Bobby Harper on WAKY, I could NOT imagine NOT having him on the Now Explosion and neither could Todd. Somehow we talked Bobby into joining us even though he was extremely susscessful on WAKY and had just celebrated the arrival of his daughter, Krissie, whom he refers to on the WAKY tape you will hear. This aircheck is classic Bobby Harper.

Al Smith, WAKY's General Manager should have taken out a contract on our lives for stealing Bobby from WAKY - but - instead - he came to Atlanta and went to work for Ted Turner. When Harper, Todd, Whitney and the Now Explosion got tossed out of WATL (CH36), Smith talked Ted Turner into rescuing the Now Explosion and it went on to syndicatation on Ted's Super Station and in TV stations all over the country. These were the most exciting and amazing of times and they would not have been what they were without Skinny Booby Harper - who then went on to charm Atlanta until the end of his life recently. We all celebrate Skinny Bobby Harper and we are terribly diminished and saddened by his passing...


CLICK HERE to hear Bobby Harper Atlanta airchecks sent here by radio historian Steve Farrington in Atlanta. They were provided by Farrington collegue, Charles McHan, who included this memory:

I guess I listened to Skinny Bobby more than any other WQXI jock, except maybe Pat Hughes. I even taped him many times on WIIN, though those tapes are lost. I'll never forget riding up from Macon to the Selective Service building in early summer, 1968, and hearing him play a cut from "Bob Van Camp at the Mighty Wurlitzer" and telling everyone that, being it was Thursday, we could "tell your parakeet that there were only two more days til the Saturday Green Sheet." Having disposed of WSB and the AJC in one fell swoop, he'd then play three in a row - unheard of for WQXI in AM drive!


CLICK HERE to read Bobby's Obituary on the WSB Radio website


  CLICK HERE if you would like to add something to Bobby's page
  CLICK HERE for OurRadioShow.Net - Home of America's Celebrated Radio Personalities