Dennis Owens Death, What happned to Dennis Owen, cause of deathJanuary 6, 2022
Dennis Owens Death, Cause Of Death – Dennis Owens, the witty voice of classical music radio in Washington whose rumbling bass voice could throw off the atomic clock, died Sept. 26 at a hospice center in Naples, Fla. He was 87. The cause was degenerative heart disease, said his wife, Christiane Owens. For nearly four decades, until his retirement in 2005, Mr. Owens dazzled his listeners on WGMS with tongue twisters, told gently ribald tales of wayward composers, sniped at radio industry consultants eager to make every station sound the same and delighted loyal listeners with antics generally heard more on pop stations than on the august airwaves of classical outlets.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Dennis Owens. Our own Nicole Lacroix remembers him as “the sweetest, kindest man who would do anything for you…We Choral Cranks and Beltway Bashers will just have to ‘bash on regardless.’” Classical music is like sex,” he explained to Washington Post columnist Bob Levey in 2002. “You never know how long it’s going to last, and it’s embarrassing if you clap at the wrong time.”
Having worked as a country and western DJ in Canada and a pop jock in Bermuda, Mr. Owens brought to classical radio a brash, sometimes biting style that he used to break the stereotype of the classical DJ as a stuffed shirt who might order you to turn your radio off if you mispronounced a German composer’s name.
“This is not music for people who understand it,” he told The Post in 1997. “It is music to be enjoyed. The people who complain when I play ‘Star Wars’ are retired, in their living rooms, prepared to be concert-hall entertained. I play music for people who are in their frigging cars, they’re agitated by the traffic and they want something to soothe them.”
Mr. Owens worked several shifts at WGMS before enjoying his longest run as a morning show host from 1981 to 2002. His show drew a big audience, regularly landing among the region’s top 10 most highly rated programs — a rarity for classical music.
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We are saddened to hear of the passing of Dennis Owens. Our own Nicole Lacroix remembers him as “the sweetest, kindest man who would do anything for you…We Choral Cranks and Beltway Bashers will just have to ‘bash on regardless.’”https://t.co/u8u5eXgu4S
— classicalweta (@classicalweta) January 6, 2022
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