Beck worked at various radio stations around the Rochester region for more than four decades — most notably, he spent 24 years at WBEE 92.5 FM, where he acquired the name "Big Daddy Dave," hosted a weekly request show on Saturday nights and was Rochester's last live overnight radio personality.
His overnight work "was something he was extremely proud of — and he took that responsibility seriously — especially when it came to breaking news, emergency weather information and the like," said Bob Barnett, vice president and brand manager for Rochester's Entercom radio stations. Barnett hired Mr. Beck as a part-timer at WBEE in 1988.
"Looking back over the years, I’m proud of what he accomplished professionally and grateful to have had him in my life for so many years," Barnett said. "He was just a good man."
Barnett described Mr. Beck as a "quirky, outspoken, old-school curmudgeon" who was beloved by local listeners. "He was straight-forward, honest, real…he was one-of-a-kind," he said.
Beck started his career in the mid-70s at WNYR, Rochester's first country station, Barnett said. He worked at numerous local radio stations before leaving broadcasting in the early 80s to work for Bausch & Lomb and later Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.
Beck's most recent radio job was at Legends 102.7-FM and lasted one year, said longtime colleague and friend Terry Clifford, also a radio personality at WBEE. He broadcast one weekend shift per week and ended the part-time gig earlier this month, she said.
"He was a consummate professional," Clifford said. "Who you heard on air was exactly who he was...and he was a genuine, honest and faithful man."