Everybody in the industry, and many others besides, are well aware of how little the voice of a DJ actually has to do with their physical appearance. The oft-cited instance of the “the DJ with the 98 lb. voice and a 250 lb frame,” is one that everyone in radio has run across at some point in their careers. This is more true than in the case of David Stewart, DJ and owner of WMFC (FM 99.3, AM 1360). I would like to end my postings for 2008 with his story; it’s an inspirational one.
You see, David is blessed with a rich baritone and, from reports, an equally rich and expansive personality. So what’s the surprise element here?
Via Roy Hoffman of The Associated Press:
Fifty-one years ago, Stewart, the third child of Bill and Carolyn Stewart — a physically normal couple with two normal-sized children already — was born with achondroplasia dwarfism, a genetic mutation affecting 1 in 26,000 to 1 in 40,000 births, according to the medical resource center of Little People of America’s Web site, lpaonline.org.
Now here is a little known fact about me. Until I was 13, I was in leg braces. Much of the time, I was either on crutches or confined to a wheelchair. The reason I bring this up is because that gave me some understanding of what it is like to grow up “different.” I found myself gravitating towards radio and writing, in lieu of many other social interactions. Thus, it does not surprise me that David Stewart found meaning and fulfillment working in his father’s radio station, a station he now owns. It also does not surprise me one whit that he got off to an early start:
His father let him host a Saturday afternoon kids’ radio show at age 10. Stewart was hooked on the joy of music and how his voice could touch people.
“It has sustained me in the lonely times,” he says of going into the studio to do a shift behind the microphone. There, stature was about how you sounded, what you did, not physical size.
Now he is married to an amazing woman, who is both a silver and a bronze medalist in the ParaOlympics. His adopted daughter is a college student now, and reportedly fond of dancing. They are an amazing family, and it is an amazing story. Let’s end the year on an inspirational note, shall we? Go read Mr. Hoffman’s story about David Stewart, and be reminded that in both radio and in life the only real limits are the ones that are self-imposed.
See you in the New Year! Don’t drink and drive!