Alamo City Radio Icon Ricci Ware Dies

By on Oct, 21 2016 with Comments 2

Ricci Ware, the legendary San Antonio radio host who first gained fame as a Top 40 air personality for Gordon McClendon-owned KTSA-AM 550 before personally transitioning the station to its current News/Talk format in 1983, died Friday morning at the age of 79.

Ware retired from KTSA, now an Alpha Media station, in 2012. He is a 2014 inductee to the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame.

Ricci Ware is the father of Trey Ware — a San Antonio radio icon in his own right who presently hosts the 5 a.m.-9 a.m. time slot on KTSA.

In a statement appearing on the KTSA website Friday afternoon, Trey Ware commented, “My hero returned home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this morning. My dad Ricci Ware was my hero in every sense of the word. He was the greatest father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who ever lived. He never met a stranger, and always had a kind word and a smile for others. God put him here to bring joy to this life, and he did it so very well.

“His integrity and reputation were impeccable. You always knew where you stood with him because he was honest and straight-forward in all his dealings with everyone. He was a one-of-a-kind talent who had the natural ability to make you laugh and feel better about life in all circumstances. He could also cause you to think – deeply. From radio to television, movie acting and the stage, race cars to airplanes and motorcycles, he lived every minute of his 79 years.”

Ware says his family is “taking private time to be with each other” and will release information “about his home-going celebration” soon.

A 55-YEAR MARKET RUN

Ricci Ware began his radio career in the mid-1950s in Baytown, Texas. With his high-school sweetheart Mimi now his wife, they moved to Austin, Texas, where he took a job at KTBC radio and television — then-owned by future President Lyndon B. Johnson.

While passing through Austin, McLendon heard Ricci on the radio and offered him a job at KTSA. He stayed at the Top 40 station through the early 1970s, when he shifted to Country KBUC-AM 1310 and developed his Talk radio techniques, mixing humor with political commentary.

Along with his trend-setting talk-fueled morning show at KBUC, Ware was the owner of Pan American Speedway and a weatherman on ABC affiliate KSAT-12 in San Antonio.

About The Author: Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.

  1. Kent Burkhart Says:

    Ricci was one of the best Texas jocks ever!!!!!! He will be missed. Kent Burkhart.

  2. John Puffer Says:

    I’ve known Ricci and his parents since we were childhood friends in the early 1950s in Pasadena, TX. His mother often drove us to school, and he invited me to spend a weekend with him and his father in San Antonio where he had entered a model airplane competition at Brooks Air Force Base. He was a good friend, and I especially enjoyed following him and his success on radio and television in both Austin and San Antonio.

    Once when I was in Austin I went to the station, and Ricci was so kind to visit with me on the air. He was a remarkable individual who never forgot his friends. He was legendary.