Author. Speaker. Actress. Singer. Broadcaster. Performer. Entertainer? Hall of Famer? Inspiration? Suzie is all of those things.
And, most importantly, she’s my friend.
I first met Suzie Humphreys the same way so many other people did: on the radio. I was a listener. Growing up with aspirations of being a broadcaster, Suzie was already a familiar fixture on the radio station my high school girlfriend adored. Naturally, I learned to love it as well. It wasn’t just what KVIL did that captivated me, but how. By the late 70s the station had perfected its positive, wildly-creative approach, and would go on to create a dynasty of which I was later privileged to be a part.
Perhaps the single-most important individual critical to that success other than morning host Ron Chapman was Suzie Humphreys. By the time Suzie arrived at KVIL, she’d already made a name for herself in TV – as co-host of WFAA Channel 8’s successful morning news presentation. But, like all broadcasting jobs inevitably will, that job had ended. That’s when Chapman called, with an invitation to do traffic reports from KVIL’s station helicopter. The rest is Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasting history.
Although the following interview will flesh out that thumbnail far more completely than any words I can write, it’s important to note here that for years stations across America attempted to duplicate KVIL’s success. They would send people into the Dallas-Fort Worth market to listen to what Ron and Suzie were doing, and then go back home to try to capture that same magic. As Ron frequently said, that was impossible – because to do it a station would need another Suzie, and there was only one Suzie.
‘Truth be told, never in my life have I met anyone of whom that could be more genuinely said than Suzie Humphreys. God didn’t break the mold when he made her, because he didn’t use a mold. He simply grinned and there she was. Though I revere and love Ron Chapman, even he recently suggested that most mornings all he did was sit back and listen to the laughter. We all did. Our team at KVIL possessed tremendous talent, but even within our own circle there was simply no one else like Suzie. You know how you can tell? To this day when people mention Ron’s name, they always say “Ron Chapman” – using both his first and last name. But with Suzie, all you needed was her first name.
That’s because she was everyone’s friend.
Behind the scenes (and often as a part of her on-air work), Suzie was also daughter, wife, and mother. All three roles were massively important parts of those laughter-filled days, and also in her writing and speaking careers later on. Whether it was her life with husband Tom or her precious son Josh, Suzie’s world was a reflection of our listener’s world – especially in moments such as the time when little Josh answered Ron’s call on the air and told him that mom couldn’t speak to Mr. Chapman because she was “busy talking to the officer“.
But even though Suzie’s journey hasn’t always been laughter alone – something you’ll indelibly hear in the following segments – Suzie finds a way to find joy in every moment. With each of those moments comes a song, some of Suzie’s favorites. I hope you’ll listen to them following each segment, because they are revealing – which is the entire premise of “Dusty Attics”: the people we know, their favorite songs, and the stories behind them.
Then at the very end, some of the best KVIL moments we ever enjoyed from Miss Humphries (and that Chapman guy, too) – including what I consider to be the funniest segment in all of KVIL history. I’m still not sure how we kept our broadcast license. Also, a gallery of photographic memories going back some 70-plus years. But it’s the interview segments I hope you’ll enjoy and appreciate most of all. Many contain stories Suzie has shared before hundreds of thousands of people over the span of her amazing career as a motivational and inspirational speaker – but to hear them this intimately and this personally? I believe you’ll find they have more impact than ever, and I can promise you this: some you have never heard before.
And, as the title of her book suggests, I believe that you’ll agree: when all else fails, laugh.
With that, it’s my honor to present “Dusty Attics” Episode #24…with my friend, Suzie Humphreys.