Apr 16, 2024 - News

WBT host Bo Thompson's moving tribute to his daughter Janey — and other "super nice" people

Janey Thompson and her father Bo, a WBT morning radio host

Photo: Courtesy WBT/Bo Thompson

Bo Thompson pulled on his familiar headphones Tuesday morning and returned to his familiar WBT morning show to do the most impossible thing for any parent: He paid tribute to his daughter, Janey, who died April 9 after complications with a blood clot.

  • She was 20.

"Janey would want me to do what I do," Bo said in his first show back in two weeks. "That's going to be my life from this point, is to do things the way that I think she would want me to do them, and in a way that would make her proud."

Context: Jane "Janey" Thompson was a sophomore biophysics major at Wake Forest University who's been on the dean's list every semester, according to her obituary.

  • She was a 2022 graduate of Myers Park High School, the same school her father graduated from in the early 1990s.
  • She played clarinet in Myers Park's wind ensemble and jazz band, and she played softball and basketball. She was the school's Female Athlete of the Year in 2022.

Between the lines: Bo's been the morning host for Charlotte's popular and historically significant conservative radio station since 2012. He'd dreamed of having the job since he was an intern at the station at 16 years old. He's a low-key host, centers his guests rather than himself, and speaks regularly of a hope for a better future for his hometown of Charlotte.

  • Some of his personality, it was clear from Tuesday's show, is him reflecting Janey.

One of her favorite descriptions of other people was to say they were "super nice." Bo said he would often tell her, "Not everybody in this world is super nice," because he didn't want her to be hurt by those who aren't.

  • "But what I realize now is she was super nice. And there are a lot of super nice people out there," he said through tears. "There are more people in this world that are that way than we give credit for. And we need to lift those people up, and concentrate on those people."

Thompson decided to return Tuesday after he and his wife, Scottie, sent their son to school on Monday. "I said if he can walk back into school I can walk back in here," he said.

He played music throughout the show, songs from Janey's Spotify playlist and others that reminded him of her.

  • There was Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," which he remembers being played at her 3-year-old birthday party at a little gym in Charlotte as the staff pulled her around the place on a carpet like royalty.
  • Then there's Echosmith's "Bright," a stringy tune about looking up and finding an out-of-this-world love. Janey performed it at a talent show at Cotswold Elementary when she was in fifth grade, playing both piano and singing vocals, to her father's amazement.
  • "I remember sitting there and going, I didn't know she had this gear," he said.

At the end of his show, he thanked people who've been "super nice" to his family over the past few weeks, from his WBT coworkers to paramedics.

  • As he spoke, that Echosmith song faded in: "Did you see that shooting star tonight?" the lyrics go. "Were you dazzled by the same constellation? Did you and Jupiter conspire to get me? I think you and the moon and Neptune got it right, because now I'm shining bright."
  • As the song played, Bo delivered his last words of the show: "I love my Janey bug."

Listen to the full show.

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