I'm driving home from doing my afternoon show, listening to Matt Ryan and "Saturday Night Jersey '80s" when I hear the "Breaking News Sounder."  What just happened, I wonder...as Matt breaks the news of  Whitney Houston's death at age 48.

To say that we're in shock is an understatement! Not just because she is one of Jersey's own, but anyone who has played, or listened to, contemporary (Top-40) music in the last 25 years, has been touched by Whitney's talent.

I was a brand new " Baby DJ" at a little AM radio station in Plainfield in 1985-1986, when the "Whitney Houston" album debuted. We played "You Give Good Love," "Saving All My Love For You," "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love Of All" from that vinyl album, which had a stunning "beach" picture  of Whitney on the back.  I don't remember whether it was someone in the news department, or the front office staff who noticed, but it was soon known throughout the station that us "young guys" always placed the album cover on the console while playing the singer's music on the air.  We'd all just smile....but once when asked, one of my fellow jocks summed it up right by saying about the picture in question: "Its everything a growing boy needs."

Since I was in the Central Jersey area, and young and naive, it was always fun to imagine that while I was playing Whitney's music, maybe someone from her family was passing through, and could hear me... (at this long-gone station, I worked with now-New Jersey 101.5 traffic guys: Bob Williams, Mark Mitchell and Pete Tauriello).

Flash-forward to the 1990s, and I'm working at a Philadelphia FM music station where Whitney Houston is one of our CORE artists.  And while I meet many recording stars, Whitney never graced our studios with her presence. Sadly.

This is "breaking news" as I write...and there's a Headline story here at nj1015.com that outlines Whitney's life and career.  The incredible highs (no pun intended), and the incredile lows, like that "reality show." I wouldn't be too surprised if it pops up on cable in the coming days...

In the meantime, we celebrate the life and talent of one of our own....and as I always say on-air when remembering an artist: "Thanks for the music!"  And, the movies, Whitney!

Now, where's my copy of "The Bodyguard." I just bought it recently...from a "cut-out bin."  One of those dvds "priced for quick sale."  For at least a little while, its "value" has gone up...and I want to watch it!