Sunday, January 6, 2019

Me and My Date; Sylvia Chase and Her Date, Larry King; Memories From 1987

Image result for Sylvia Chase
Sylvia Chase
THIRTY TWO YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, I had the privilege  of meeting and spending some quality time with Sylvia Chase; she'd only been in the Bay Area barely a year and one of the nicest, coolest, TV people on the planet.

I was invited to the house of Oakland Tribune columnist, Perry Phillips, who invited me over to have an eight-course dinner. It was like a scene out of a movie. You had to be there.

I took a date; someone I thought for sure I'd end up marrying but that's another story.

Anyway, Larry King was in town and so Perry invited me and asked King to attend; Larry accepted and Sylvia was Larry's date; Larry arranged for a limo to get all of us four to Perry's house in Danville. I'm thinking is this happening? Yes, it really was and it was historically great and funny too.

Sylvia, I mentioned, was very nice and gracious. She didn't know me at all but I told he how terrific it was that KRON had wooed her from NY to anchor its news. We talked a lot. Larry, I had known for many years and had formed a bond with Mr. CNN and Mutual Radio. The long night was memorable and something I'll always cherish. Larry was very good to me; acted like the father I never had. Was a good man. In the brief time I was able to schmooze with Sylvia Chase, as I said, just a very nice woman who oozed class and dignity all over the place.

I told this story to Gary Radnich who has talked about it countless time on his KNBR radio show and which made for the east-coast shtick/ fodder Radnich is fond of describing. Yes, the good old days.

Image result for Larry King
Larry King
Of course, we heard of the news of Sylvia Chase's passing and immediately, I recalled this event in my life. It is great sadness but in the end it's called life. And death too. They sort of evolve and end hand in hand.

Darn it.

I'm fairly certain Radnich will tell this story again and hopefully, a few words on Ms. Chase. He worked with her many years and the night she debuted at KRON, following the Super Bowl in 86-87, Radnich was in New Orleans and gave a throw to Chase. Memorable.

Like my night with Larry King, Sylvia and my date. You had to be there.


  1. Cool story. Always liked Larry. First listened to him late nights on Mutual. Still miss Larry King Live, a great show!

  2. Heartwarming story, Rich.. why can't you write more of these inspiring stories instead of all the hate?

    1. Yes agree with that sentiment. Also agree about the Larry King show, many thought he was too soft in interviews, but he got people on no one else did, and got them to talk. He was not trying to be Mike Wallace (whom was on his show) or Chris Wallace, I like all of them, although very different styles.

  3. Nice way to start the week Rich. Great story...

  4. The Chase is ON That was the focus of one, if not, the most expensive ad campaign focusing on one Bay Area personality. Buses, Magazines, Radio KRON spent at least 5-mil....1980's cash. First night up....a disaster. Combination of nerves and lack of anchor experience. Never really recovered. Much like the Joe Morgan Weekend Sports tryout on KGO a few years later. Morgan bombed big time almost had to stop in mid presentation, and never returned (to anchoring ). Great field reporters don't equal great anchors. Sylvia super easy to work with, Morgan not so much.

  5. Nice story, Rich!

  6. Sylvia looks like a secret agent in that photo at the top.

  7. Super Bowl XX was 1985-86, when pre-Bentley Radnich gave the throw to Sylvia Chase. Mr. Suspenders knew and knows everybody. No surprise he was a fan of the late great Perry Phillips. I bet Rich can ask Frosene about her own Sylvia Chase/Larry King story.

  8. I knew King's (nee Zeiger) lateyounger brother. His wife is a college friend of my wife. He told me a tale about visiting his brother when he was based in Miami. At was at the time "The Godfather" was playing in theaters. He and Larry went to restaurant to have quiet dinner. Upon entry they are greeted by older, man who insists that they join him. You don't say no to Meyer Lansky. King, who made a livng asking questions asked Lansky -- "... have you seen "The Godfather?" Lansky replied -- "...a work of fiction."