In 1967, I had been on the road as a traveling musician with the Jim Bee Four, Sally was teaching school. On June 10th, 1968 Sally and I, along with our two daughters Kathy (6) and Sara (4), purchased a restaurant in Trempealeau, Wi., and called it "Ed Sullivan's", we incorporated an Irish theme. I quit the music business, and Sally quit teaching. On December 22nd, 1969, Paula, daughter number three arrived, now Ed Sullivan's was really a family operation. We did very well, in fact so well that in 1983 we decided to add on to the restaurant, a bigger dining room, along with a party room, and we added a gift shop.
But how did we get started in radio? This also started in 1983. We were approached by Mr. Del Lonquist (the owner of the radio station) to see if we would do an hour radio show on WKBH AM, which at that time was located in the Holmen Square Mall in Holmen, WI. We would call our show the "Blarney Hour", our format would be "Easy Listening, Big Band, Dixie" etc. Why not, it sounded like it would be fun, and we were excited about the idea, I could make use of my wonderful record collection and would be able to share all of this great music with anybody that would be interested. We gathered a few sponsors and the show was a go. After a couple of years, the show went from one hour to two hours and was renamed the "Blarney Party,” but we had the luxury of doing it from our house in Trempealeau.
Well, with the big addition to the restaurant, the radio, and all of the other things that we were involved in, things finally caught up with me, I spent eight days in the hospital in December of 1988, to say that I had to cut back would be an understatement, in fact we were going to quit radio all together. But, Pat Smith to the rescue, "NO DON'T QUIT", come to the La Crosse Radio Group and do a Saturday radio show on WLFN 1490, only one day a week, and guess what, we've been there ever since, and you know, it's really been great.
In 1992, with WLFN 1490, we started fundraising for the Children's Miracle Network, "The Blarney Party Challenge", and after seventeen years the good Lord helped us raise just under 1.6 million dollars. On March 1st, 2001, we sold the restaurant. In 2002 we started "Blarney Country" on WLFN 1490, every Friday from 11:00am to 2:00pm.
I would like to thank my wife Sally, our daughters, Kathy, Sara and Paula, their husbands Alan, Shane and Brad, our grandkids, Billy, Braeden, Alana, Erik and Nick, and all of our friends, for all of the love, dedication and support they have offered me. THANK YOU GOD!
MAY ALL YOUR LIGHTS BE GREEN, GET TO CHURCH, AND SAY A PRAYER TO ST. JUDE!
Ed , Sally and Family