The death of radio broadcaster Derry Brownfield over the weekend leaves a vacuum for a wide-spread radio audience.
The Derry Brownfield Show with an hour a day of "The Common Sense Coalition" provided information for many listeners who felt he provided a needed voice and viewpoint which was not available elsewhere.
It was not uncommon for Missouri travelers in rural Kansas and Nebraska to be asked two questions: first if they knew Derry Brownfield, and second, how big was the thriving metropolis of Olean, home of his advertiser, the Olean Livestock Auction.
Although he was born in Boonville, Brownfield grew up in California. After his father died, Brownfield and his mother moved to California to the home of his grandparents on Howard Street. His grandfather George Stegner was mayor of California for many years.
After receiving a B.S. and M.S. from University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Brownfield was a VoAg teacher at Pilot Grove and Jamestown, then worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Director of the Kansas City Livestock Market Foundation before going into farm broadcasting more than 40 years ago.
The rest is history, first with the Brownfield Network, then Missouri Net and later the Learfield Network. He began The Derry Brownfield Show in 1994, began broadcasting from a studio on his farm near Marion two years later, then moving to a studio in California at the Village Green Shopping Center in 2008.
At the age of 79, Brownfield claimed to be taking it a little easier. In a recent interview Brownfield commented he did one radio broadcast a day, where he used to do 10.
One faithful California listener to Brownfield's "The Common Sense Coalition" is likely to have expressed the sentiments of many with her question on Sunday, "With Derry gone, where am I going to get the real news of what's going on?"
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