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'The rest of the story': Paul Harvey's impact

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(CNN) -- Every day for decades, it was an essential part of the day for millions of listeners. A voice would boom out over the radio airwaves, announcing, "Hello, Americans, this is Paul Harvey! Stand by for news!"

Retired radio host Gerald Dimmitt met Paul Harvey at a dinner, where they discussed the war in Vietnam.

Paul Harvey gave Brent Burns his "big break," giving one of his songs national exposure for the first time.

After more than 70 years on the air, Harvey died Saturday at the age of 90. His broadcasts were heard on more than 1,200 radio stations, according to his Web site.

iReporters shared their memories of hearing Harvey's program through the generations and told how he affected their lives, and in some cases their careers.

When Anna Hiller of Albany, California, heard of Harvey's passing, she was immediately reminded of spending time at her grandparents' home in Baltimore, Maryland, as a child.

"His voice was inescapable, ubiquitous and energizing, emerging from the silver radio in the kitchen," she said. She describes Harvey's broadcasts as a "ritual" for her grandparents.

"The voice of Paul Harvey would echo throughout the entire first floor, and even though I was too young to follow the stories, I knew my grandmother was listening intently, as was my grandpa from his study."

John Hargis Sr. has memories of his mother listening to Harvey every day as well. "I once asked her why we couldn't watch TV when Harvey was on, and she replied that Harvey gave her honest news," he said

Hargis has since lost 70 percent of his hearing and says that Harvey's voice was one of the few he could understand. He lost his mother in 2001, and Harvey's death reminds him of her. Hargis pays tribute to Harvey, his mother

Bev Cummins of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, was captivated as a child by Harvey's skills as a storyteller, as heard on his second daily broadcast, "The Rest of the Story."

"He enriched our young lives with his quiet, warm voice that phrased words so well in my mind," she said. "It had all the comfort of a story being read at bedtime."

Cummins says that she modeled the way she told bedtime stories to her daughter after Harvey. "The lucky ones among us still have the love of a good Paul Harvey story."

For some iReporters, Harvey was not just an important part of their daily lives. He gave one his "big break."

Brent Burns of Gulf Shores, Alabama, was at the beginning of his career in the music business, with a few recordings released but nothing hugely successful. Then, Harvey played his song about the 1970s gas crisis, "Cheaper Crude or No More Food." "It bounced me onto the world stage immediately," he said.

Burns says he appeared in magazines and television after this first major exposure. "It just goes to show how well-loved and listened-to Paul Harvey was," he said. "He was just a brilliant guy who really had a command of the language." Burns believes that his song might be the only one Harvey ever played. 'Integrity was Paul Harvey's middle name'

After entering giant frogs into the famous Calaveras County frog jumping contest in 1990, Andy Koffman of Seattle, Washington, appeared on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" as well as other television programs. "But," he said, "the one thing I will never forget is Paul Harvey's voice talking about me and my giant frogs on the radio."

A retired radio host himself, Gerald Dimmitt of Vancouver, Washington, will never forget hosting a dinner where Harvey was the guest speaker. At first, Dimmitt was unsure if he wanted to take the job because of Harvey's then-support of the war in Vietnam.

"Due to the fact that he was an icon in the business, I went ahead and did it," he said.

Dimmitt and a small group of attendees at the dinner discussed the war with Harvey. Toward the end of the conversation, Harvey told them to listen to one of his broadcasts coming up in a few days. Dimmitt listened to that broadcast, and heard Harvey announce his opposition to escalating the war. Dimmitt remembers his dinner with Harvey

As for Hiller, her grandfather is gone, but her grandmother now lives in Virginia.

"I have a hard time not believing that the same radio that carried Paul Harvey's booming voice throughout the house on Gibbons Avenue is set up in Grandma's room in Virginia, and that she will miss him telling her 'Good day,' as he had for over 50 years."

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