This was a few months ago, I wrote it an never got around to\nposting it...\n\nI only vaguely recall Skinny Bobby Harper from WQXI AM in Atlanta\nas I was growing up. Once I discovered "underground rock" on WPLO-FM,\nthat's about the last I listened to AM. Also, I'm happy to have quit\nsmoking ten years ago.\n\nHere's the link and story, the page is still up with his pic:\n[URL]http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/obits/0703/23harper.html[/URL]\n\n[ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 7/23/03 ]\n\nRemember, Bobby, God loves you\n'Skinny' DJ Harper dies: Longtime Atlanta radio\nstar a model for WKRP's 'Johnny Fever'.\n\nBy RODNEY HO\nThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution\n\nFile photo\nBorn in Canada, Bobby Harper had radio jobs all over the United\nStates.\n\n\nRelated:\n• Sign the guest book\n\n\nAtlanta radio personality "Skinny" Bobby Harper, whose outrageous\nantics in the 1960s and '70s became the model for a "WKRP in\nCincinnati" character, died Tuesday of lung cancer.\n\nMr. Harper, 64, of Smyrna was hospitalized at Emory University\nHospital on June 30, said his wife, Karen Harper of Stone Mountain.\nThe body will be cremated. The memorial service is noon Monday at Dave\n& Buster's in Marietta. Wages & Sons Funeral Home, Stone Mountain, is\nin charge of arrangements.\n\nMr. Harper -\- nicknamed "Skinny" for his lithe frame -\- was the\ninspiration for WKRP's scruffy, spacey Johnny Fever, said Hugh Wilson\nof Charlottesville, Va., who created and produced the sitcom that ran\non CBS from 1978 to 1982. "Bobby was more energetic than Fever," Mr.\nWilson said, "but he was a great starting off point for me."\n\nOver a nomadic 31 years, Mr. Harper presided over the mike at about 15\nradio stations from Peoria, Ill., to Detroit. In 1968, he landed in\nAtlanta, where he worked for seven stations including WQXI-AM/790\n("Quixie in Dixie") and WSB-AM. He was fired several times, sometimes\nfor unseemly comments on the air.\n\n"He was just too hip for radio," said Atlanta comedian Jerry Farber.\n\nHe was the dominant radio personality in Atlanta when what's now\ncalled classic rock -\- the Beatles, Rolling Stones, et al. -\- was what\nmost people listened to.\n\nHe rode a wild bull, ran in an ostrich race and belly-flopped into an\nimmense ice cream sundae. He posed nude for a local magazine with a\nvinyl record as a fig leaf. He got drunk on the air with 80-proof\nvodka to prove that drinking and driving is bad.\n\n"He was a star in his day, a wild and crazy guy," said Bob Neal of\nAtlanta, who worked with him in Detroit and at WQXI in the 1960s.\n"He'd speak first and think later. He was always getting in and out of\ntrouble. Some people said he had a dark cloud. I say he had an angel\non his shoulders."\n\nIn those early days, Mr. Harper was a heavy smoker, competitive poker\nplayer and big beer drinker, though he was not the laid-back pot\nsmoker Johnny Fever's character was on WKRP. "He was like Walter\nMatthau in 'The Odd Couple,' " Mr. Neal said. In the early 1970s, Mr.\nHarper played liar's poker with Mr. Neal and a not-yet-mogul Ted\nTurner at a bar called Trees. "Bobby would always win," Mr. Neal\nadded.\n\nBooze and boos\n\nIn 1969, Mr. Neal and Mr. Harper sat behind home plate at a\nBraves-Mets championship game. Mr. Harper spied a man with a Mets\nbanner. Spontaneously, he threw his cup of beer at the man, who\nducked. The beer instead hit a well-dressed businessman across the\naisle. Mr. Harper didn't apologize. "Get over it!" Mr. Neal recalled\nMr. Harper saying. The beer-soaked man got security, who escorted Mr.\nHarper out. "People booed," Mr. Neal said.\n\nOn the radio, Mr. Harper would spout strong left-wing political\ncommentary and racy-for-the-time humor. He mocked Richard Nixon and\nonce left a phone message for the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover, played on the\nair: "Tell J. Edgar I think he's senile." In 1970, WQXI dropped him\nfor making this joke: "A booby hatch. What is the question?" Pause.\n"What is Twiggy's manager waiting for?" QXI later rehired him.\n\n"I used to be an angry young man," Mr. Harper told The Atlanta Journal\nin 1977.\n\nBorn in Saskatchewan, hockey-crazed Mr. Harper would walk home from\nschool pretending to hold a mike in one hand, and say, "This is Bobby\nHarper, voice of the Montreal Canadiens." Mr. Harper majored in speech\nat William Jewell College, in Liberty, Mo., where his first on-air job\nwas doing news for the student public address system.\n\nHe started at a radio station in Shenandoah, Iowa, but quickly moved\nup the ranks, landing at a station in Cincinnati in time to bring the\nBeatles to town on their first U.S. tour. "I was arrogant, cocky," Mr.\nHarper said years later. After he was being stopped by the police for\nspeeding one too many times and placed on prison detail, his driver's\nlicense was suspended and he lost his job.\n\nHe eventually found his home in Atlanta and, except for brief stints\nin Louisville and Kansas City, stayed in radio here from 1968 to 1991.\n\n"He was a Georgia boy the minute he moved here," said Kathy Fischman,\nwho worked with him on WSB-AM in the mornings from 1985 to 1991, his\nlast on-air job. "And he developed the most amazing black book. Andy\nYoung, Sam Nunn, Lester Maddox, you name it. He could get anyone on\nthe phone at any time, even 6 a.m. in the morning."\n\nFor his shows, Mr. Harper created a host of character voices,\nincluding Rex the Wonder Dog and Officer Bruce, who was gay and\nlisped. His most famous was Laverne, an old lady with a pinched voice.\n"In my mind, she looks a lot like Granny on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'\nshow -\- she's got blue hair and she wears high-topped sneakers," Mr.\nHarper said in 1983.\n\nBy the early 1980s, he had mellowed. At 96rock, he ended his\nbroadcasts, "Remember, God loves you." Kim "The Kimmer" Peterson, who\nworked with Mr. Harper at his last job said Mr. Harper "never wanted\nto offend anybody. He always did these sweet, fuzzy interviews. I'd\nmake him cringe with my outrageous sense of humor."\n\nPunched out\n\nIn 1990, Mr. Harper defended his co-host's honor when another jockey\ninsulted Ms. Fischman on the air.\n\n"Bobby slugged the guy," Mr. Peterson said, "which is funny because he\nweighed like 115 pounds."\n\nAfter WSB-AM dropped Mr. Harper, he left radio for good, landing a job\nin the corporate communications office of Delta Air Lines, then\nworking for MARTA and Underground Atlanta before retiring.\n\nMr. Harper was a magnet for female fans, despite his signature\nbottle-bottom glasses that made his eyes look unusually big, said Ms.\nFischman, now living in New Orleans. "He was charming to women whether\nthey were 18 or 83," she said.\n\nMr. Harper spent Wednesday nights with a group of graybeard friends,\ndrinking beer at local taverns, most recently Padriac's in Vinings.\n"It's a hard-body haven, and we're the geriatrics," said Norm Cates,\none of the members and a trade newspaper publisher. "When we talked\npolitics, Bobby was always the token bleeding-heart liberal. No matter\nhow hard we gave it back to him, he was always resilient with the\nbanter."