Friday, August 16, 2013
Kidd Kraddick fans, with Ben Folds, “look up” during Victory Park Plaza tribute
Kraddick's catch phrase coined the evening: “Keep looking up, ’cause that’s where it all is.”
“Everyone knows it and is probably sick of it,” Caroline Cradick had said before the service began.
But as she sang “Over the Rainbow,” the crowd of hundreds fell silent. All anyone could hear were her crisp, high notes bouncing around Victory Park, and the occasional gulps of audience members choking back tears.
Big Al Mack, Kidd’s on-air cohort, removed his sunglasses and hid his face in his hand.
Caroline Cradick’s performance was the highlight of the service for her father, who died July 29 before a golf tournament in New Orleans benefiting his Kidd’s Kids charity.
At times the event resembled an affectionate roast: Kraddick, said his longtime on-air co-host Kellie Rasberry, “was the most aggravating human being ever to grace the earth.”
At times it felt like a dance party, with a DJ playing music and exhorting the crowd to “make some noise.”
But Caroline Cradick said her father wouldn’t have wanted a somber affair. He’d be angry “if we’re sitting here blubbering,” she said.
“Nobody made everybody around him feel better than Kidd Kraddick,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said.
The people who filled the Victory Park Plaza came because they shared that sentiment. They grew up listening to Kraddick and laughed at his morning show on their way to work.
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“Everybody was his best friend,” said Joel Folger, former KEGL-FM disc jockey and program director. “He was just a genuine, lovable guy. He meant so much to so many. He changed lives.”
Throughout the evening, videos showed light moments from Kraddick’s career — dancing, making faces, acting silly.
But there were also video tributes from nationally known bands and other friends, including Dr. Phil McGraw. They signed off with Kraddick’s catchphrase: “Keep looking up, ’cause that’s where it all is.”
He and Kraddick were not friends, but Kidd had the words of a Folds song, “The Luckiest,” tattooed on his arm.
And though he played that song, he played another as well.
“Still Fighting It” was, Cradick said, “our song,” one she shared with her father.
So on the night she planned for Kidd’s fans to say goodbye, Folds sang: “The years go on and we’re still fighting it/You’ll try and try and one day you’ll fly/Away from me.”
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