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WRUV mourns its longest-serving DJ and radio station curmudgeon

December 17, 2014
L.J. Palardy

L.J. Palardy

WRUV DJs paid tribute this week—on air and on Facebook—to L.J. Palardy, a DJ who started spinning vinyl at the station 22 years ago.

L.J., known at the station’s curmudgeon—gruff but as committed to WRUV as a person could be—died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 73.

Doug Palardy, his son, shared the news Tuesday with WRUV DJs through their Listserv:

LJ has left me unable to open his obit with “he passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family” as the the tradition goes. LJ passed in the early hours this morning by himself on his own terms. He was most likely having a philosophical argument with his body telling it his mind has been ready to go for some time and the body better get on board. Classic LJ to the end. As he’d like to say “It’s my way or the highway.”

I want to thank all of you who gave him on-air shout outs the last few days. We were tuned in to 90.1 round the clock yesterday and it was really wonderful to hear all your stories and best wishes. It really made yesterday a lot easier for Michele and I. He had an effect on so many people and it was really wonderful to hear that affirmation.

In tradition at Vermont Respite House, the room of those whom departed is kept empty for 48 hours out of respect. We have requested that the radio be left on WRUV round the clock in his room for the next two days. His spirit will be carrying on with the music.

WRUV station manager Karla Noboa said the WRUV would host a memorial early next year, after students return to UVM. At WRUV, about half of the active DJs are students and about half are non-student DJs, like L.J.

During his more than two decades at the station, L.J. trained hundreds of DJs. A local jazz authority, he also served as WRUV’s jazz music director. He kept station paperwork up to date, sorted the mail (including thousands of CDs) and generally made sure the station was in order.

“I used to panic every time I screwed up cause I thought for sure LJ was going to call and give me the business,” DJ Colin Magarian wrote on the WRUV Facebook page. “His dedication and passion to the music and the station was beyond inspiring.

“He made the on-air booth feel like church to me.”

Vermont State Rep. Kesha Ram, a UVM graduate, posted on the page: “LJ taught me how to do radio interviews. He would remind me to smile and said people could always ‘hear’ if someone was smiling on air. Heart of gold, that man.”

WRUV DJs paid tribute Dec. 16 to L.J. Palardy at the station in UVM's Davis Center.

WRUV DJs paid tribute Dec. 16 to L.J. Palardy at the station in UVM’s Davis Center.

DJ Julia Moreno, a UVM junior, wrote simply: “best curmudgeon ever.”

L.J. this summer ended his regular Sunday-morning show, “L.J.’s Dream,” which featured jazz but also an eclectic music mix.

He made a special return last month to host his annual Thanksgiving special: three hours of salsa music that he called “Turkey Salsa.” It was his final show.

L.J.’s friend and fellow DJ Tom Tintle said that L.J. had donated his body to the UVM Medical Center.

Tintle said:”He won’t be cremated until he gets to show yet a few more UVM students a thing or two.”

Details about WRUV’s memorial service, planned for the end of January, will be announced when they are available.


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