SEATTLE — Hours after she returns home from work and her kids are tucked in bed, Delilah pads down to her basement home studio and punches one of the ubiquitously blinking buttons on the phone. It soothes her to take calls in the night.
It might be a woman wanting to dedicate a song to her husband. Maybe a daughter wanting to extol the virtues of her mother. Or a troubled teen, the scrape of pain raw in his voice.
"A lot of people just need to feel like someone gives a damn," says Delilah, 46, who hosts a nightly five-hour radio talk and music show broadcast by more than 200 radio stations across the USA and heard by 7 million people. Every day, 100,000 to 150,000 people call and an additional 1,500 e-mail.
Part DJ, part therapist, part minister — and a big dose of mom — you could call Delilah, born Delilah Rene Luke, the real "night listener."
Based on the novel by Armistead Maupin, the film The Night Listener
, opening Friday, is the tale of late-night radio storyteller Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams), who develops a relationship over the phone with a dying 14-year-old fan (Rory Culkin). Noone spends most of the movie trying to find out whether the boy is real.