Skip to comments.Memphis radio personality John 'Bad Dog' McCormack loses battle with leukemia
Posted on 03/11/2011 3:33:25 AM PST by Sybeck1
Longtime Rock 103 radio personality John "Bad Dog" McCormack died shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday at Methodist University Hospital after he was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit in critical condition earlier in the day.
McCormack, 55, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009 and underwent a bone marrow transplant. He had relapsed and had been re-admitted to the hospital before his condition worsened Thursday.
His WEGR-FM radio partner Tim Spencer posted a message from McCormack on the station's website. He said the words were written by McCormack to be published in the event of his death:
"I have gone to be with God, and he is holding me tightly and I am surrounded by many of the Ronald McDonald House kids. Do not say you have lost a friend. One is only lost when you don't know where they are. You know where I am.
"I thank each and every one of you for your support and prayers. I love all of you and that will never go away . . . None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, make every day great, be the spiritual leader of your family. May peace be with you. Your friend, Bad Dog."
McCormack had been on the air with Spencer Wednesday as part of their new afternoon program, "Bad Dog and Tim." The pair had been part of the station's original "Wakeup Crew" with Bev Hart beginning in April 1988. McCormack had spent much of the last four years as part of a morning show with Ric Chetter until being reunited with Spencer for their afternoon show.
Chetter was at the hospital early Thursday when he said McCor-mack was moved to the intensive care unit with an aneurysm and lapsed into a coma. Chetter, Spencer and Hart said McCormack had been a passionate supporter of Ronald McDonald House and its annual radiothon. The men said they often played the straight-man role to McCormack's comedic approach to the airwaves.
His Twilight Phone routines often involved prank calls to unsuspecting people for comedic effect, but, Hart said, "He wasn't just all about the one-liner. He was a Memphian who loved Memphis, loved being from Memphis and loved everything and everybody about Memphis. He brought genuineness and a sense of ethics. He was about bringing laughter to people's lives not just to help people through the day but to make Memphis a better place."
After his diagnosis with leukemia in 2009, McCormack said a CT scan taken for the leukemia also revealed tumors in the kidneys and the pituitary glands. He sometimes said that leukemia saved his life.
In a "Live at 9" interview earlier on WREG-TV this year, McCormack said when he learned of his leukemia diagnosis he did not panic: "I thought, Lord if this is how you want me to serve you then let's do it . . . You hold my hand and we'll get through this together. I've lived a real nice life."
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Thursday night.
Oh no. I loved listening to him while I lived in Memphis and when we visited. We have lost a good guy.
In some ways, Bad Dog WAS Memphis radio. He was funny in the extreme. His “Twilight Phones” were the best. His bes “TP” was to a guy named Lannum (sp) concerning a cable bill. That was done about ten years ago. He had the guy going and about to pop a cap on Dog until he found out who it was. That became a classic bit.
Bad Dog, along with his Wake Up Crew mates Tim Spencer and Bev Hart did a lot for the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For twety years, in February, they held their annual Rock 103 24 hour radiothon for the RMC house. Over that span, they raise possibly millions of dollars to help those who needed it. That should be Dog’s legacy. Not all of the jokes he told. Someone said on a comments section somewhere that the house should be re-named the John “Bad Dog” McCormack Ronald McDonald House. Not a bad idea and one worthy of consideration.
Bad Dog is re-united with Cadillac Johnny now. Johnny can sing “The Friday Song” for him again. They can swap stories again. GailA and others here will know who I’m talking about.
Memphis radio has lost someone that will simply never, ever be replaced. He was a Memphis original and one of a kind. Drive time will never be the same. I offer him, his family and friends prayers. John “Bad Dog” McCormack will be sorely missed. Rest in peace.
Tribute today at 3pm on the station.
His voice will be missed...
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