Bruce Williams has died

Tampa Bay newspaper

Back when NBC still did radio, Bruce Williams and Sally Jessy Raphael were pioneers in national syndication on a network called NBC TalkNet that was started in 1981 (many years before Rush Limbaugh)

Bruce Williams cheated death when he crashed his airplane in New Jersey. In the final years of his show, one of his main sponsors was Jersey Pork rolls, of which he was a co-owner. At that time, I expressed sadness that he didn’t understand it was time to leave the stage.

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6 Responses to Bruce Williams has died

  1. Mark says:

    This is very sad news. I remember first hearing Bruce as a child on long car trips. As an adult, I sought his program out and was a regular listener both on the radio and streaming. His brand of common-sense, practical advice with limited focus on politics is rare these days. I still consider him to be one of the great radio hosts, with a voice and personality perfectly suited for the intimacy of nighttime radio. I got the chance to see him in person when his road show passed through my area in the late ’90s. To this day, I still recall bits of advice that he gave about dealing with jobs, cars, houses, and other financial questions.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      We were watching some Gordon Ramsey stuff on Youtube. He has done several shows in the .uk and .us where he helps restaurant who are struggling to try to tyrn them around.

      One of the frequent Bruce Williams calls would go like this:

      Bruce: Hello Caller, welcome to Talknet, what’s on your mind?
      Caller: Hello Bruce, thank you for taking my call.
      Bruce: No Problem, how can I help you?
      Caller: I need some advice.
      Bruce: what kind of advice?
      Caller: i want to open a restaurant.
      Bruce: Do you know 80% of restaurants fail in the first year?
      Caller: Wow!
      Bruce: Why do you think your restaurant will succeed?
      Caller: I have some great ideas for meals that nobody else does.
      Bruce: Could there be a reason your ideas haven’t shown up in existing restaurants?
      Caller: i know they’ll work in my restaurant. My family loves my cooking!
      Bruce: Have you ever worked in a restaurant?
      Caller: No, but I enjoy going to restaurants.
      Bruce: My suggestion is you get a job in a restaurant and learn the business. You’ll learn the bartenders will steal you blind as soon as they see you don’t know their tricks. You also need to learn how to deal with customers and paying taxes. There is much more to running a restaurant than eating the food.
      Caller: so I should get a job as a waitress or cook and do that first?
      Bruce: you may get promoted if you show up for work and are reliable, and learn more
      Caller: but I want to be the boss! I’ll figure it out – it can’t be that hard!
      Bruce: well, you have my advice. Good luck on your restaurant!

      The woman in the first episode of Season 1 seriously needed someone to tell her that

  2. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    I just visited SJR’s wiki page and was surprised to learn that she is 84.

    It also mentioned that her last radio show was July 7, 2008.

  3. Mark says:

    Fred: Your Bruce Williams dialogue is dead-on. He touted success through hard work and learning. Just pursuing your dream without knowledge and a plan was likely to end in failure. I always loved his story about how he got into radio by contacting a New Jersey station manager daily for months until he was finally given a weekend, nighttime slot to make him go away. He ended up being on the air three hours every night on stations across the country.

    • foyle says:

      Jim Bohannon played a clip on his show as a tribute to Bruce after his death.It was that exact tale (of how he got his start in radio). I enjoyed hearing Bruce’ voice once again.

      I can remember Mr. Williams saying something along the lines that his show was ‘plain vanilla’ but that most people liked vanilla even if they found it boring. 🙂

      I personally learned a good bit from Bruce and the calls he took. I was an avid listener in the early 90’s. RIP.

  4. haiti222 says:

    I also was a big time listener to Bruce Williams. I use the things he taught a lot, and have given his advice to others over the years. A real credit to the NJ that he loved and then the FL he adopted……

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