Bye-bye morning Murray |

Bye-bye morning Murray

Summit Daily file photo/Brad OdekirkM.R. Murray, general manager of High Country Radio, did his last morning show Wednesday.

DILLON – For eight years, listeners woke up to the sound of M.R. Murray’s cheerful voice.Murray, general manager of High Country (Oldies) Radio, dragged himself out of bed every morning while it was still dark so he could give an enthusiastic greeting to anyone who tuned in from 6-9 a.m. He tried to make listeners feel as though they were sitting at the kitchen table with him, drinking coffee and preparing for the day. He updated them on the latest snow conditions or rock slides, and he respected them enough to only recommend businesses he liked and believed in – no matter how much money the companies were willing to pay for an ad. He didn’t pile up commercials, and he didn’t program competitors in the same slot.

But most of all, he focused on fun. He’d fire off a quip, then cut to a spirited oldies tune.”My humor (was) usually understated,” he said.For most of the eight years, he worked with sidekick Shannon Braithwaite, or “Shannon B.”

“I loved going to work every day,” Braithwaite said. “He became one of my closest friends. You have to really like someone to show up at 5:45 every morning and be happy about it.”When Braithwaite left because she had a full-time job, Maureen Keefe took her place.”I really think it’s an end of an era, especially for Summit County because Murray was very focused on community things,” Keefe said. “It was a personal touch.”

But Murray says, “It’s time.” Time for him to hit the road with Granby Mountain Broadcasting and travel nationwide to start new radio stations.He won’t miss getting up at 4 a.m., but he will miss the listeners and the advertisers. He ate breakfast with Arapahoe Café’s owner every week, sharing the ups and downs of life. Several listeners called daily, and regulars rang Murray at the same time every morning just to say “hi.”He looks back on his morning show with fond memories, his favorite being the Granby bulldozer incident. When a local Granby resident tried to run down the town with heavy equipment, Murray reported the breaking news. Ultimately, the town survived, and Murray won a Public Service Award from the Colorado Broadcasters Association.”It was total community involvement,” he said about his radio show.

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