admin Thursday, January 18, 2024 Comments Off on MIKE SOILEAU ON “BUDDY” RUSS CONRAD

My ‘Buddy’ Russ was probably the only guy I ever met who was as geeked out about radio as I am. We both sat in our bedrooms as kids playing with record players and tape recorders pretending to be radio djs. In 2011, before he ever got into radio, Russ would come and sit with me on my morning show. He was funny and had the voice for the position. When we had a part time position open up, I immediately thought of him. 

He started off working the weekends part time and about a year later was working full time in the afternoons. He was a massive part of the Gator family, and he and I made a great team.

Russ married my wife and I. That’s how close we were. We were both super passionate about radio and loved doing dumb things. 

I remember one time we were broadcasting from an auto dealership and we got the bright idea to lay a tarp in the bed of the truck, fill it up with water and throw on swimsuits and record. We hadn’t considered the fact that electricity and water don’t mix very well. We were lucky we didn’t get electrocuted.

One of the coolest things Russ did was barbecue 400 hotdogs and pass them out to people stuck in traffic on 210. But my favorite memory, and I think our crowning achievement, was in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Gator was the first radio station back on air only 30 hours after the hurricane. Russ and I broadcasted live for 40 days straight. We were on-air every single day from 6 am to 7 pm, seven days a week.

I wasn’t surprised when Russ chose “Buddy Russ” as his radio name. He was everyone’s buddy. 

He would want that to be his legacy. He was a great friend, a giving guy who loved helping people. Losing him this past year was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. He was my partner.” 

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