H.G. Listiak Memorial - 5/1/2004 - Steele Indian School Park Phoenix
  Hosted by Stu Evans

On 5/1/2004, KMLE 108 presented a memorial for H.G. at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, hosted by his long time radio partner and friend Stu Evans. From Stu's transcript ...

Good morning! My name is Stu Evans, and it is my honor and pleasure to welcome you to the First and unfortunately, Last HG Listiak Sunbathing Festival.

Harley Gerald Listiak, yes that’s the name…Harley Gerald Listiak was born in the mid 20th Century to Henry and Lorraine Listiak.

He grew up with three brothers, Loren, Dean, and Keith, as well as many beloved and assorted animals, which in the interest of time and good taste, we will not discuss.

An avid sportsman and athlete, HG was fiercely competitive in basketball, and in football. He was proficient in marshal arts and would proudly show off his Samurai swords. He loved bass and fly fishing, relishing the Merle Haggard tournament on Lake Mead, during which Miss Tammy Wynette once cooked his supper plate. And HG loved to golf, but we’ll get back to that later.

Following graduation from Phoenix Union High School, at the age of 17, HG joined the United States Navy, eventually becoming a decorated aviator. During one mission, HG’s plane was hit with shrapnel in 75 places.

While HG had been stationed at Miramar Naval Base in San Diego, he would sneak off to “play radio”. This led to his first big job at the legendary KGB as evening News anchor, and sports reporter. A couple of years later, he landed at our own KOY, Phoenix, where he performed the roles of Morning Drive News Anchor, Sports Director, reporter for all the major networks, host of HG on sports on Channel 8, the Western Angler on Channel 3, columnist, and instructor for the Arizona Wildlife Federation. He was very well known for the HG Outdoors talk show. His tenure at KOY was approximately 20 years, absolutely unheard of in our business. But HG was on track to beat that record. He came to KMLE country 108 in 1989, and we just celebrated his 15th Anniversary grabbin a hump with all of you.

The awards HG won, aside from his military ribbons, and his athletic trophies, would take another ten minutes to tell. I know that he was proudest of his Associated Press and Scripps Howard Awards. He would often explain his qualifications to tell me how to do radio properly- by subtly mentioning these honors.

Ladies and gentlemen, members of his beloved Listiak family, and all of his many, many fans, of which I was the biggest, our job today is not to mourn, but to celebrate. Not to toast, but to roast our good good friend. So in that spirit, I would like to introduce to you the man who shared the microphone for better than 15 years with HG, another Valley Broadcasting legend, currently hosting afternoons on KFNN, Bill Heywood ...

... When HG arrived at KMLE Country 108 in March 1989, the station had just barely gotten started. He told program director Bob Glasco that he just wanted a chance to mess around with sports. Bob, also known to us fondly as Doctor No, said that he would not want him to mess around with the sports, but that he would love for him to report the sports and the news. HG messed around anyway. He started with Bill Taylor and Chuck Bear, Taylor and the Bear. When Chuck left the show, Barry Michaels became the Bear…it made as much sense back then too. When that storied team left the Camel, HG had a terrific time with his Brother Hogg, a fellow Arizonan, Steve Wood. After a few months, the permanent replacements showed up. Of course, permanent in broadcasting means more than eight months.
Representing one of HG’s favorite periods in his whole career, from the faithful competition, KNIX, please welcome from the Tim and Willy show, Willy D Loon, and Becky Lynn….

... HG brought something amazing to every show on KMLE Country 108, but some of our fondest memories were listening to him with the ever unpredictable Ben and Brian. HG always said that when you look in a mirror you see your true self, but when the man of a thousand voices, Ben Campbell, looked in a mirror he saw a crowd. Please make welcome, all the way from Washington D.C., where he and his partner wake up the famous on WMZQ, Brian Egan!! ...

... Whenever you heard HG telling you that you would be able to get through the Superstition Slingshot (that’s where the I 10 meets the US 60) in time for your supper plate…he really meant HIS supper plate, because that was his greatest concern. Every single week, HG would brag that he was going to dine with the Don. Don Vicente. I was always a little nervous to meet this man, until this week when I learned more about him.
May I present one of HG’s esteemed friends, the General Manager of Salute Restaurant, at 7th Street and Thunderbird, open 7 days a week for lunch from 11 – 2:30, dinner from 5 til closing, where you might dine with HG Listiak, EVERY Wednesday at 1900 hours SHARP, or every Saturday at 20:00 hours Sharp. Mr. Vince Messina! ...

... Now about golf, here we come to HG’s true passion. The reason that he was never too pushy about getting paid to do the radio job he loved was that HG figured he could make the money back from the slots at Bucky’s, or the suckers on the golf course. Well the Yavapai Prescott tribe is looking at a real budget shortfall in the next few months, but I know some golfers who are back in the black. If golf reveals character, then Ladies and gentlemen, with greatest pleasure, to speak on behalf of the very close few who knew HG better than any of us, I give you (The Code Man) Mr. Glenn Cody. ...

... As we told you earlier, HG was one of four brothers. His youngest has asked to say a few words, and I am deeply honored to oblige…please make welcome Keith Listiak

... I have so many thoughts about HG. I remember spending our first two years listening to his constant cracks on the air about not having nearly as much hair as I did. I was totally convinced he wore a toupee, until he got his brush cut. Hunter, are you getting yours anytime soon?

HG was the only person I’ve ever seen reprimanded for dressing too nicely at work. He always came to the KMLE in a dress shirt and tie, until the general manager told him to quit it. It was giving us all the creeps. So HG compromised. He started showing up in immaculately cleaned and pressed Wranglers, polished boots, crisp shirt, and a belt buckle the size of my shoe. And yes he did win it in the rodeo, or most certainly, in service to our country.

He called me Brother Stu so often that my new neighbors were convinced that I was a member of the clergy.

He was so fast with a dollar bill for the soda machine, but never let me or anyone pay him back. He once told Doc Holliday that his daughter needed a puppy, and tried to press two hundred bucks in his hand to take care of the purchase. Never mind what puppies do to furniture, shoes, or carpeting. HG had decided.

There are so many things to tell you, but I have shared many on the air, and will continue to do so. Let me tell you that HG was the only radio personality I’ve worked with who could and often DID speak fluently in military abbreviations…so


You promised you’d never leave your wing man….Roger copy? Out


Thanks to Andrew Scharnhorst for pictures shown on this page.

Thanks to the KMLE staff and management for their work in presenting this memorial for H.G.'s friends, fans, and family.

Copyright © 2004 Lake-Listiak & Associates All rights reserved