|Birth: ||Jun. 21, 1940|
|Death: ||Feb. 13, 2010|
For those who've wondered, I did submit this memorial to Find A Grave as a "famous" person memorial, but my submission was rejected. Please visit my virtual cemetery of Famous, but not by F.A.G. editors for more famous person memorials.
Larry Aiken, 69, of Evansville, passed away at 5:55 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, at Deaconess Hospital, after a long illness.
Larry Aiken was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on June 21, 1940. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, due to his father's (Fred) employment with the Federal Prison System. Larry and his mother, Juanita, moved to Evansville after his parents' divorce. He attended John Culver and Stanley Hall Elementary Schools and Bosse High School. During his years as a student at Bosse, he became known as "Lonesome Larry" on radio station WEOA and hosted a teen dance party show on WEHT-TV. He broadcast his radio show at Austin's Drive-In on Kentucky Avenue and the Penny Can Market on Lincoln Avenue. He promoted his first show at the Veteran's Coliseum ("The Escorts") in 1957. After leaving Bosse in 1958, Larry became a Disc Jockey at WAKY (top 40) in Louisville, Kentucky, followed by the ABC affiliate station, KQV (top 40) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at KQV, he was sent to New York City to provide color commentary for NIT basketball games for the station. In 1962, he returned to Evansville to begin a career in show promotions. Larry promoted over 1,700 events throughout the United States including country, rock and pop concerts, Broadway plays and musicals, tennis matches, the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, the Harlem Globetrotters, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Lippizaner Stallions shows. He provided top-bill entertainment in numerous venues across the country. He opened the Music Inn at the then-new Washington Square Mall, rehabilitated the old Rosedale Theatre into Theatre A, Beck's Bar into The Pub, and the Columbia Theater into Cine West, which later became The Beer Garden, a popular nightclub which featured such live entertainment as Tony Orlando and Tiny Tim. He opened another Theatre A in Fort Wayne. He founded the Applause Dinner Theatre in the Executive Inn building, Records Tapes and Tickets at Washington Square Mall and Town Center Mall, the ticket agency Select-A-Seat, Chelsea's Restaurant, Greeley's Restaurant, Dr. Watson's Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, and the real estate development Lake Newburgh in Newburgh, Indiana. He bought WGBF AM-FM and made it into one of the most popular radio stations in the Tri-State. In Evansville, Larry presented shows at the Mesker Amphitheater, the Veteran's Coliseum, Roberts Stadium, Bosse Field, The Michael D. Vandeveer Victory Theatre, and the Vanderburgh Auditorium. In 2001, Larry sold his concert company to Jam Productions of Chicago and remained a consultant to Jam for many years afterward.
Though he enjoyed watching all sports, Larry loved the Indy 500 and traveled for many years to watch the races in Indianapolis. Larry's hobbies included reading, keeping up on current events, and being involved in political happenings. When his high school friend, Mike Vandeveer, became a candidate for Mayor, Larry became involved in local Democratic politics. When his friend, Rick Borries, ran for Mayor, Larry was there to help with his campaign. He became involved once again when Mayoral Candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel placed his name on the ballot. He enjoyed the planning of fundraising events and providing special programs and entertainment for Democratic events. Larry loved Evansville and enjoyed creating interesting places and special events in his hometown. He was deeply moved and honored by The Centre Auditorium being named AIKEN THEATRE at the February 28, 2009 "Lonesome Larry Roast".
Larry is survived by his wife, Suzanne, of 46 1/2 years; son, Andrew Aiken and wife, Clare, of Indianapolis and son, Anthony Aiken and wife, Carrie, and soon to be first granddaughter of Evansville; and his beloved dog, Spencer. He was preceded in death by his father, Fred Aiken, mother, Juanita Aiken, and brother, Keith Aiken.
Services entrusted to Boone Funeral Home, East Chapel, 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville.
Blue Grass Church Cemetery
Created by: William Taber
Record added: Feb 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48319857