Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, and what’s wrong with that? For decades, Delilah Rene Luke has been dispensing salt-of-the-earth advice and comforting soft rock tunes as part of her nightly call-in show, Delilah After Dark, which the genial host now records from the basement of a picturesque farmhouse in Port Orchard, Washington. Over on BuzzFeed, in honor of Valentine’s Day, writer Nick Murray has written an affectionate and informative article about Luke and her show called “You’re Listening To Delilah,” illustrated with photographs by Brandon Hill. The host’s honeyed voice and soothing manner have helped make Delilah After Dark a mainstay of syndicated radio since the mid-1990s, but Luke has worked in radio most of her life, beginning in her teens. Today, her program has an audience of millions, putting her in contention with such heavy hitters as Rush Limbaugh and Steve Harvey and positively dwarfing the ratings of Ryan Seacrest’s American Top 40.
Luke has long been typecast as radio’s answer to Oprah Winfrey, and her show is often thought of as being devoted to romance and dating. But, as the article reveals, Delilah After Dark deals with a whole range of human problems. Some people are just lonely and want someone to listen to their problems. Others feel the need to confess a sin. Luke handles it all with poise and equanimity. Her own biography has included four marriages and 13 children, both biological and adopted, so she has plenty of life experience from which to draw. As for the music she plays on the show, half of it stemming from listener requests, it’s a tough balance to stay contemporary and meet the demands of the various markets in which her show plays around the country. Luke has often been criticized for her musical tastes, but even she has standards. Overplayed songs like “My Heart Will Go On” and ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings” have been banned from the show, as has the entire canon of Katy Perry. As Luke tells BuzzFeed, “there’s nothing that Katy Perry sings that ties in with a call.”