by Yvonne Aoll
Can you believe it’s been eight years since Richard Mercer last hosted Love Song Dedications?
For well over a decade, Australia’s ‘Love God’, Richard Mercer, dominated late-night radio with his honey-toned voice, endearing personality, and memorable love songs. Night after night, Mercer’s fans would call Mix FM’s love-line where he would listen to them, masterfully engaging in their love stories, before playing a befitting power ballad dedicated to their loved ones (or broken hearts). For most listeners, Mercer was a faceless, friendly radio voice who comforted them to sleep almost every single weeknight.
Whether it was teenage puppy love, the angst of love gone wrong, or yearning for the elusive, romantic happily ever after, listeners knew they could count on Mercer to coax them through their love stories. Dedications were sent to lovers near and far: some travelling overseas, others serving prison sentences, and some just on their way home from work. The love messages were sent by engaged couples, married partners, estranged lovers, the ones who got away, and everything in between. There would be messages for birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, apologies, reassurances, and sometimes, just to simply say, “I love you.” With his soothing voice, infectious laughter and palpable empathy, Mercer’s presence on the airwaves felt like a night balm for the soul, no matter the kind of day you’d had earlier.
For me, Love Song Dedications was great company en route to various work locations and as I made it through many a night shift. The broadcast accompanied me as I took buses to Greensborough, trains to St. Albans and trams to the St. Kilda Esplanade. From Thornbury to Brighton to Kew, Mercer smoothly and swiftly got me through the shifts, and before I knew it, it would be daybreak… the night had passed in a flash thanks to (as the popular radio tagline went), Love Song Dedications with Richard Mercer.
In 2013, after more than fifteen years of touching many lives, the radio legend hung up the love-line for the last time. Mercer’s last dedication was a message from his real-life partner, Sheryn, followed by the song, “How do I?” by Trisha Yearwood.
We’ll always remember Love Song Dedications, not only for reminding us to celebrate love, but also for playing us love songs by some of the greatest musicians of all time including: Keith Urban, Michael Bublé, K-Ci & JoJo, Emeli Sandé, Gabrielle, Jason Mraz, Seal, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Tracy Chapman among many, many others.
Wherever you are Richard, thank you for sharing your remarkable talent with us. Australia misses you.
Image by Budgeron Bach on Pexels.