Did you hear?
Dave and Cindy sitting on the porch of his goat house at the Vero Beach farm. CHARLOTTE TRIPSON PHOTO
Radio personalities revel in sharing their amusing conversations
BY CHRISTINA TASCON
Although David Busch and Cindy O’Dare are self-proclaimed dorks, the hosts of the Dave and Cindy Show might be the most stylish and chic humans to grace Vero Beach.
According to Donna Mitchell, co-owner of Planet Vero Radio/TV, Arbitron rates for their show that airs at 3 and 5 p.m., Fridays, on 107.9FM; 7 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. Sundays on 101.7FM, as “owning” approximately 11,000 listeners. However, the two have never sold a single ad and only claim one regular sponsor, Southern Eagle Distributing whose president is Philip Busch, David’s brother.
“We have never made a dime,” Cindy says with a laugh. “We just come in and have fun and we hope others are having fun with us.”
Those who know the pair are not surprised. In addition to the fact that they probably don’t need the income, the show is obviously an amusing distraction. Cindy talks about it being syndicated, but David is not so sure. They have a new publicist adviser who talks about growth, but David wonders if they will feel comfortable saying whatever comes to mind if they have a larger listenership.
“We are just visiting with each other and sometimes we forget we are on the radio,” David says. “Afterwards, I am laughing and I tell Cindy, ‘I can’t believe we said that.’ ”
Just in case you were wondering, yes, that is David Busch of Anheuser-Busch, the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and the dynasty that has been involved with amusement parks like Busch Gardens and other enterprises.
You also may have heard of Cindy O’Dare, a multimillion-dollar broker associate with Premier Estate Properties. And she used to co-own the Miami-based business, Home at Last, which housed and fed musicians like Eric Clapton, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Bee Gees and Jimmy Buffett while they were recording.
WHY THE SHOW WORKS
Ask many of their fans and they have no idea what the show is about but they just cannot get enough of David’s deep, warm laugh and Cindy’s melodic giggle.
David’s brother, Philip, says the duo remind him of the clueless hosts on the famous Saturday Night Live sketch, NPR’s Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls — oozing smooth dulcet tones but completely cracking everyone up with their innocent wit.
Both have flawless style and an affinity for the theatrics — Cindy’s has a more beautiful magazine layout-worthy décor and personal style while David’s talent is presentation. He is in constant demand as a stylist for magazine photo shoots, events and anything else that requires just the right eye.
“David’s a farmer, a designer, a lifestyle consultant; he even picks out my perfume,” Cindy says. “He’s a shape-shifter.”
She also credits his varied life experiences and wide scope of friendships around the world with keeping the broadcasts interesting.
“Most of the show topics are from David,” Cindy acknowledges in her lilting voice. “He takes the time to do the research and write a simple outline. We get started on one thing and get off on tangents just like real, unscripted conversations.”
“We are famous for our tangents,” David says dryly.
The Busch name and its connections have offered David unique experiences and friends from Switzerland to Los Angeles, and Cindy’s former business introduced her to people from many walks of life. But instead of the show being a conduit for name-dropping, it is instead a charming and enchanting show filled with the niceties in life heard through chats between two friends.
“David always has his finger on the pulse of what is happening now,” says Cindy. “Like he will say, ‘Hey, did you hear of this dinner in New York City by the Explorer’s Club where they eat bugs?’ David is invited to places many have never been and knows the most extraordinary people around the world — celebrities, royalty, artists. I could talk to him for hours.”
In fact, they talk all the time and even text soon after they get home from the studio. Many times, they will re-listen to the show and Cindy will get a call from David who is laughing and saying, “Hey did you hear the show?” And they will review things they said while laughing at themselves.
“We think we are hysterical,” Cindy says as David agrees.
HOW THEY MET
David’s father, Peter Busch, moved the family and his business, Southern Eagle Distributing, from St. Louis to Vero Beach when David was 8 years old, but kept the family homestead, Grant’s Farm.
Cindy assisted Peter Busch in several of his real estate transactions and when David was considering buying a home in Savannah, Ga., his father suggested he first consult Cindy.
“We had a nice rapport right away,” Cindy says.
When David asked Cindy to come on board to help him with the inaugural Busch Wildlife Sanctuary fundraiser, their circles extended to include both families and cemented their friendship.
Cindy shares David’s deep affection for wild and domestic animals. She loves visiting the sanctuary in Jupiter and playing with the horses, baby chicks, goats, swans, donkeys, and the menagerie of 10 dogs at his mother’s farm in Vero Beach.
“My mother just loves telling the story that none of the dogs are hers, which they all absolutely are,” David says with a laugh.
The farm’s occupancy is always in flux. In fact, David just returned from his dad’s farm with a pair of new baby goats, Carlotta and Dolly (named after Dolly Parton) so they can winter in Florida.
Both are the oldest of a large group of siblings, so they feel the pressure of being role models. David is the eldest of six siblings plus 35 cousins; and Cindy is the oldest of five. They believe being the first child has made them “a bit bossy — but in a nice way.”
“That’s why Cindy and I get along so well,” David says.
“As the oldest, we know what is right,” she says in a joking manner. “We tell our siblings what to do and if they would just listen to us, their lives would be perfect.”
“We like to give our opinion and hope that our listeners can use it for their betterment,” David says as they laugh in a conspiratorial manner.
And that is the point of the show. They don’t have callers giving points of view or debating the news. The show is beloved by a passionate group of fans because it simply makes them feel like they are part of being on the inside of Dave and Cindy’s beautiful world. Their following is a result of its funny, feel-good discussions about life’s anomalies and the special things that catch their attention.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
David never imagined hosting a radio show, but when Wayne and Sally Dillon at Planet Vero Radio/TV asked him if he wanted to do a show, he asked Cindy for her thoughts. Not only did she want to do it, but when she used to travel on promotional tours with musicians, she felt the draw to be on her own radio show.
When Cindy and David visited Grant’s Farm, they found a book owned by his great-grandfather in the attic called How to Live by Fisher and Emerson published in the 1920s. It was all about how to live right regarding health, good manners, raising children, dressing properly and how a gentleman should act. They made it the cornerstone of their radio philosophy for many of their segments.
“Unbelievable how you can look at a book from the 1920s and it is still relevant today,” Cindy says. “And we just wanted to build on it and use it as a platform for living today.”
On a recent show, David used the section on manners to question four of his young nieces on the polite way to behave in different situations. It was entrancing to hear how David entertained these little girls who giggled adorably throughout while teaching them lessons that actually serve all of us well.
While many of the station’s hosts live-stream their shows, Cindy balks at the idea.
“I would have to do my makeup and my hair and I don’t want to do all that,” she says.
“This is our sanctuary,” David adds as he gestures to the dark, muted studio around them.
Whether the show goes into syndication or continues to charm this corner of the world, all their fans want is to continue to be included in Dave and Cindy’s chats. As long as they continue to be their funny, quirky selves, they are assured their listeners will continue to tune in faithfully.
“I am a big fan of Cindy and David, they are both hilarious,” Vero Beach Mayor Harry Howle says when asked what makes him listen. “They bring you into their circle and have a lot of experiences to share with us. I don’t think there is a mean bone in either of their bodies and they both care so much with hearts completely open to everybody.”
ON THE AIR …
What: The Dave and Cindy Show
Where/When: 3 and 5 p.m., Fridays, on 107.9FM; 7 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. Sundays on 101.7FM