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THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

By Dan Baldwin |

CHARACTERS “Sterling from North Dallas, you’re next on…..”

Regular listeners to Dallas talk shows know that the next sound they hear will be the deep, gravelly voice of a man who, usually with a touch of humor, will begin complaining about “some sham of modern life,” as KLIF talk show host NORM HlTZGES puts it.

STERLING HICKS, a 74-year-old retired chemist, has called them all. After 13 to 15 years (he can’t remember his first call), Sterling estimates he’s made more than 1,000 sorties into Dallas cars and homes, spending at least 40 solid hours on the air-and probably 85 hours on hold.

“Sterling has had more air time than some talk radio show hosts,” jokes KLIF’s KEVIN MCCARTHY. As with many professional radio people. Hicks’ voice is his calling card. Let him start talking, as he did during a recent lunch-time chat, and someone is bound to say, “Hey, aren’t you that Sterling guy?”

A talk show host’s dream, Sterling Hicks seems to have an opinion on everything: Rangers pitching coach TOM HOUSE and his staff (“How hard is it to throw strikes?”); psychologists (“Why don’t they get a real job? In my day people took care of their own problems”); himself (“I say what I think. I don’t pussyfoot around”).

He also speaks his mind on the talk-meisters. His favorites are McCarthy and Hitzges, but he’s down on KLIF’s “Jim Bob Whateverhisnameis” (BOBRAY SANDERS) and DAVID GOLD, whose shows run back-to-back. “Both shows have become very mean-spirited,” he says.

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