Tonight truly will be the end of an era on Kansas Public Radio. After almost 60 years of weekly broadcasts, tonight will mark the final regular airing of the locally produced “Opera is My Hobby.”
Jim Seaver introduced the show on Sept. 19, 1952, four days after KANU (now Kansas Public Radio) went on the air for the first time. After Seaver’s death last March, the station continued to repeat earlier broadcasts in the show’s regular time slot at 7 p.m. on Fridays. Tonight, a rebroadcast of a show featuring “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss will be the final broadcast of one of the nation’s longest-running radio shows.
The end of the show was inevitable after Seaver’s death. No one could have brought the same knowledge and passion for opera that marked the weekly broadcast for almost 60 years. Even those who didn’t share Seaver’s fascination for opera had to admire the expertise he brought to the show. Hearing the introduction music to the show, maybe on the car radio on the way out to dinner on Friday night, was a comforting tradition even for those who chose to tune in a new station shortly thereafter.
Both Seaver and “Opera is My Hobby” had tremendous runs, but nothing lasts forever, so today we offer a fond farewell to the voice and the music that were part of a great Lawrence tradition.