Richie Whitt called last night with some odd news: KHYI-FM (95.3, The Range) morning-show host Dave Avery was dead. Why was it odd? Well, for one, Avery, who joined the station January 1, was a young man: 35, according to his MySpace page, which has no mention of his passing. And two, because just this weekend, Avery had MC'd a shindig at Love & War in Texas, where, by all accounts, he was in fine spirits. But there is no mention of Avery's death on The Range's Web site either. For that matter, The Range never got around to updating its site to mention Avery's hiring in the first place.
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After some investigating this morning, we discovered that our Friend Cindy Chaffin does indeed confirm what Richie heard last night. She doesn't mention a cause of death -- one source has told us it was a heart attack -- but Cindy does have a statement from Stacy LaRue, the station's business manager and late-night disc jockey, which reads, in part: "The staff of KHYI-FM, 95.3 The Range, and Metro Broadcasters sincerely regrets the loss of our broadcast colleague. At this time details for a memorial service are pending." Truth be told, I'd only heard Avery a couple of times -- The Range, after all, is about the only radio station in town worth a damn, no matter its format -- but word was, he was a good guy. And he loved Kinky Friedman's books, All the President's Men and Doug Sahm. --Robert Wilonsky