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Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 05:44 am

EDWARD ‘FAST EDDIE’ RUEBLING

Apr. 10, 1944 – Oct. 22, 2010

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When the radio is on, his familiar voice is absent. Ed Ruebling embodied all that was good about WQNA: Play lots of music and speak only as needed. It was an approach that harked back to his experience as a listener during the golden age of rock and roll. He would have been the first to say that radio personalities come and go, but the music is why people should continue to tune in. Typical of the humility Ed displayed on the air, he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Fast Eddie, as he was affectionately known to his audience, was a unique presence on the Springfield airwaves. He put his heart and soul in everything he played on WQNA. His weekly shows, Country Classics and Days Gone By, gave him the opportunity to remind listeners that their love for music was what originally attracted them to radio. He nurtured this love affair by being passionate about the music he played and hoped that his audience would find enjoyment from his enthusiasm.

He worked hard at offering music that deserved attention, regardless of whether it was popular or lesser known. To him, success was not measured by the size of his audience, but rather by their level of interest in his unlikely combinations of artists that seamlessly fitted together despite sudden shifts in decades or genres. It was a personalized collection of music that defied the cold logic of data-based, musical programming.

WQNA Radio lost a dear friend and the Springfield airwaves lost a tireless advocate for enjoying music without all the self-importance and fanfare that seems to be the norm at other more commercial stations. The time he spent on the radio made listening simply more worthwhile.

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