The most recognizable face and voice on TV and Radio in the Truckee Meadows disappeared when Bob Carroll passed away on June 6th. For me I was fortunate enough to meet Bob when he first came to Reno in the ‘50s and interfaced with him for more than sixty years in all types of media. Those events would probably fill several pages of this newspaper, but due to space limitations I’ll do what all writers are first taught – “Begin at the beginning”.
This writer’s first encounter with Carroll came sometime in 1958. At that time I was on my way to work at the Myles, Spencer, Trail Advertising Agency. As I drove into the parking lot, I was fiddling with the radio dial and happened to land on radio station KDOT. To my surprise, I heard a very resonant voice of a disc jockey introducing a record. I was amazed at the timbre and quality of his voice.
At first I thought the station might have received a tape from San Francisco or Los Angeles. I was even more surprised when the announcer noted he was Bob Carroll from Reno. When I got to my desk that day, the first thing I did was dial KDOT and asked for Bob. I said that I had enjoyed his voice on the radio and was interested in having him do some radio spots for our agency. He seemed quite happy about the call and said he would be available for an interview when he got off the air.
When he arrived at the agency, we gave him the copy for a 60 second radio spot for Home Furniture. He delivered the spot extremely well, and I later asked him what his talent fee was for the recording. He said that he had never done any outside work and didn’t know what to charge. I immediately offered him five dollars and he quickly accepted.
For the next 60 years, whenever you wanted someone to cut a radio or television spot and you needed a man’s voice, you always called Bob first. On the distaff side when you needed a female voice for radio or TV, you dialed Betty Stoddard’s number.
Among the many good promotional ideas Bob had over the years one of the best is his creation, along with photog Don Dondero, of the area’s Good Old Days (G.O.D.) Club. On numerous occasions, Bob and I would interview one another for newspaper, magazine articles, TV and Radio. At all of these sessions Bob was a quick study and enjoyed slipping in a few wisecracks and jokes.
Our most frequent recent appearances were on the “Old Tales of Nevada” television show. During those times Bob and I might have had different versions of the same long ago incident. Nearly ten years ago we roasted Bob as a benefit for the Kiwanis Club of Reno and Bob was quick to offer counter stories about the roasters.
Physically, Bob was a large man with a football player’s build and rugged good looks. As a sportsman, I know he played handball regularly and may have swung a golf club or two. This area lost one of the men to match our mountains in the departure of Bob Carroll.