There's a site up at tedheusel.tripod.com
Theodore "Ted" Heusel passed away about 1:00 am 04/27/2007. He will truly be missed.
Born in 1920, Ted broadcast in Washtenaw County for over 56 years. This talk show host, former WAAM News Director, and one time Ann Arbor School Board president was famous for his well-known talk show, originally airing weekdays, then most recently, Saturdays from 3-5pm on 1600 Khz. He worked at WPAG, WOIA and WAAM, all in the Ann Arbor area.
Theodore Heusel grew up on Dewey Street near Burns Park. He graduated from the old Ann Arbor High School, and recieved a BA in English and History from Eastern Michigan University, as well as an MA in theatre from The University of Michigan.
Ted's education was the foundation for a long and illustrious career in the broadcasting industry, and well as a rich history of involvement in community theatre and the school board.
The Ann Arbor District Library has a picture of the "Dewey Street Gang ca. 1935" - Ted is standing on the left in the back:
Dewey Street Gang (DSG) - A close-knit group of families lived in the Dewey Street area (off State Street, by Yost Ice Arena) during the Depression, whose membership grew with each newborn. There is some debate as to the "who's whom" in this 1930s Dewey Street Gang photograph. Notice how many related siblings there are.
The Ann Arbor News has a story: Ted Heusel made state's Hall of Fame
He was among the first talk show hosts to open his lines to listeners without pre-screening and to invite guests in to the studio for his broadcasts.
"He loved his city,'' said Nancy Heusel. "He loved this community. He really believed in local radio - that you had to have local things.''
On election nights, Heusel was always a visitor to the Washtenaw County Courthouse, where the votes were counted.
He was named to the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004.
"Ted has become a regional icon for broadcasting,'' Karole L. White, president of the association, said at the time. "He epitomizes everything that is good about local broadcasting.''
The Ann Arbor Civic Theater history tells about Ted's 40 year involvement there:
During the 50’s, Jerry Sandler was one of Civic’s directors, but from 1954-1960, Ted Huesel was the sole director of shows for AACT. In 1950, Todd Jones (then President of Civic) brought in Ted Heusel to direct a production of Silver Whistle. That began Ted’s 40 year involvement with the theatre.
In the early 50’s, Burns Park officials demolished our beloved log cabin (location of set building) to make a shelter and warming house. For a couple of years, Civic used the old schoolhouse on Ellsworth and Wagner to build and store sets. Then they moved set building operations to Main and Liberty, where they couldn’t get sets down the stairs—flats had to be lowered out the window. There was also rehearsal space at this space near the intersection of Main and Liberty.
In the 1952 production of The Spider a character is "murdered" in the audience. Ted arranged to have real Ann Arbor Police show up at the theatre at the proper moment and cordon off the audience. The audience was quite unnerved by this. The October 1953 production of Three Men on a Horse was another quality show, but tragedy struck during tech week. Todd Jones, former AACT Board President, was playing the lead, but on the night before opening he was killed when his car was struck by a train. When officers arrived on the scene, they found his script on the seat beside him. Is it possible that he was running lines? Ted Heusel himself went on with script in hand, which worked okay, because the character was a bookie. Later, a scholarship for promising actors was created in Todd Jones’ name.
YpsiDixit notes the character of radio in Ted's later years in The Ted Heusel Cult
Predictably, longtime local broadcaster Ted Heusel came on and rambled on about something or other. Mr. H. was given the key to Ann Arbor last Thursday by Mayor Hieftje, for no real reason other than for being on the radio for a million years. Every other broadcaster on WAAM, ranging from the ever-sycophantic Lucy Ann Lance to the Appliance Doctor treats Mr. H. with the reverence usually given to Catholic saints. Y. is a bit weary of the uncritical adulation, since, to her jaded ear, Mr. H. is not the world's most compelling broadcaster.
Yet, where will I be from 3-5 p.m. today? Why, right here, of course, glued to the Ted Heusel show as always. Sometimes the folks one disagrees with or finds irritating are the most interesting ones to listen to.
(missing - MP3s? air checks? youtubes? help me out here)