Mourning the loss of long-time volunteer disc jockey Bill Savoy, better known to his listeners as “Billy Clarke,” campus radio employees and friends gathered downtown last weekend for a two-part memorial service.
On Saturday, family, friends and co-workers packed Joe’s Café downtown to celebrate the life of Savoy. Attendees later reconvened Sunday to scatter Savoy’s ashes in the Santa Barbara Channel. Following his battle with cancer, Savoy passed away on Dec. 22, 2007. His weekly show, “Music Soup,” aired every Thursday night and offered audiences with an innovative mix of blues, country and rock.
KCSB 91.3 FM News Director Cathy Murillo said Savoy possessed a passion for all genres and generations of music and also said he had a creative touch for programming.
“He was inspirational in his vast knowledge of music,” Murillo said. “He loved all kinds, especially bluegrass. He would do themed shows. One time he did a whole show about trains and every song had a reference to trains. He was unbelievable.”
Murillo said Savoy retained an appreciation of disc jockeying as an art form.
“He had tons of vinyl, which really speaks to an old fashion love of music as an art,” she said.
Savoy was also actively involved in the station’s inner workings. His dedication to the station was evident in his active participation throughout the years, including numerous KCSB events and projects, such as editing audio cuts for the Santa Barbara Lecture Series.
KCSB Chief Engineer Bryan Brown, who worked closely with Savoy for the past eight years, said Savoy was a crucial and irreplaceable part of KCSB who would be deeply missed.
“He was an incredibly important part of the station and an active participant not only in terms of his radio show but in terms of keeping the station going behind the scenes, and he had a lot of fun doing it,” Brown said. “You just can’t replace a guy like Bill.”