Friends, family remember radio legend Herb "The Cool Gent" Kent during memorial service

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Remembering Herb Kent (WLS)

Friends and family gathered Saturday to remember Chicago radio icon Herb Kent.

The memorial service was held at House of Hope Church on the city's South Side.

Kent grew up on the South Side, rising from a housing project to a pioneering role in Chicago media. "The Cool Gent's" voice has been a near-constant on airwaves since shortly after World War II.

"He's been a friend of mine for over 50 years, and I love the guy," said Gene Chandler. "It was a shock to me because I thought Herb would never end. He still sounded like he did in the 60's, you know."

A memorial service for Chicago radio legend Herb Kent.

Kent passed away last weekend at age 88. He hosted his radio show on WVON the very morning he passed. For Kent, there was never going to be a retirement, only death could take him off the air.

Kent's work with 'The Duke of Earl,' Gene Chandler, and other rhythm and blues performers who have shaped America's music scene since the 1960s, is a big reason why so many went to the House of Hope to say goodbye.

"I love the guy," said Gene Chandler. "I'm really going to miss him and Chicago's going to miss him."

"There's not an entertainer in this place today that Herb did not help in their career," said Chris Arnold.

"It's ok because God is here with me, and my father is here with me," said Kent's daughter.

"He was our music man, living legend, hope people realize what his real importance has been," said Hermene Hartman.

This past August, Kent was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. He is recognized as the longest-tenured DJ in the world.

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