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I just wanted to tell you how Very much I appreciated discovering your
broadcasting history site. I think I have listened to *everything*. It's
terific! I got there through the FCC History Project at FCC.GOV. I was
intrigued because I grew up in Ottumwa in the 60's and 70's, and was always
a big radio listener, mostly listening to KIOA and WHO. but, I was aware of
all the stations, because we sometimes traveled to DM, and often traveled to
Vinton as well, and I was always tuning the radio on the way. Even at
Vinton, we could get KIOA, KSO, and KRNT. One day, I even got KCBC on a
little six transistor radio up there. I thought I was pretty big stuff that
day. <grin>

Remember how KSO would quickly insert a high pass filter when they
announced the outside temperature?

have you found any clips of Roy Foxx. He was always so great with those
drop ins. I used to try to imitate him when I was in student radio at ISU
in the Early 70's. Nice try... <grin>

It's so nice to find other people who clearly have such a reverence for the
radio business of yester year. You and George have obviously put a lot of
loving work into this, and it shows. In your writings and interviews, I can
hear that you have the same nostalgiac appreciation I do for the golden age.
I am particularly interested in the AMs. I especially liked the sound clips
and interviews. If I had any relevant material, I would happily contribute.
but, I'll certainly pass your site on to people I know who will be as
interested as I am. Great Job!

Jim Snowbarger

Dear Ray,

Of course I remember you...but I do NOT remember the party. However, I
do remember the great days at times! Doo Wop Dennis huh?
You happen to be talking about my FAVORITE kind of music. I was doing a
weekly oldies internet radio show for about a year until they went belly
up. It was fun...I did it with a buddy of mine, The Rock and Roll
Dentist. I have a personal collection of around 16,000 45's...I'm close
to having EVERY record on the Billboard Top 100 from 1955-1970..need
about 15 more.

I'm in sales for Clear Channel selling AM talk...for KOA, KHOW, & Zone.
I've been in sales since my Des Moines days. I sold for the country
station here for 18 years before moving over to Jacor (now Clear
Channel) 8 years ago. I still keep in touch with Chris Collins
(remember him from the pm shift at KGGO?) using Chris Knight at
Magic in Colo Springs where he rules the roost. He spent several years
touring the country in St.Louis, San Diego, Minnesota, and on and on. I
lost track of every one else.

Love your web've done a tremendous job. Yes, I heard the air
check...much to my surprise. Always interesting to hear and air check
that you didn't even know existed.

For a while in the early 80's, Chuck Buell (remember him from WLS?) and
I did a syndicated oldies show called Super Gold. Chuck remains a good
friend and he lives in San Diego.

Let me know if I can be of any help...loved perusing the web

Ted W. Scott

Editor's note: Aircheck of Ted on KGGO where he was PD in the mid 70's


Enjoyed finding your website. I did mornings @ KIOA for two year '75 & '76. Del Monico & I [Mike Ross]...Ron Phillips, mids, Peter McLane, PM Drive, and at night, I guy I've lost track of, Bill Allen. The GM: Ed Wodka, Sales Manager: Jim Johnson...and of course Dic Youngs...what a the time in sales...but spending quality time lining up the next High Hooper game. It was a short, but memorable ride. I loved Des Moines!

Some years later ended up at KOOL-FM/Phoenix..where I worked with Del Hull [pd KOOL-AM]

Today, I live in Greensboro, North Carolina...Production Director for the Entercom cluster.

Gary Michael Ross


Just found your site. Actually, I had seen it once before...but that was back when you first got it going and there wasn't much there. Hadn't seen it for several months.

WOW!!!  What a great site!

I grew up in Minnesota, but spent some time on-air in Ft. Dodge.  KKEZ (Z-94) from August, 1986-April, 1987. Then, I helped the Linders move KRIT from Clarion into Ft. Dodge and was at "Super 97" from May-November, 1987.

Because of their directional patterns, I could also get a good signal on KSO and KRNT from Minnesota most nights.

In these days of corporate crapola radio, it's great to be able to listen and remember the way radio was.  Thanks for the time and effort you put into your site!

Drew A. Durigan
Orlando, Florida

Hi Ray,

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you've done with this website. Not only your tribute page to my dad, Walt Reno, but the entire site. It's a thoughtful, professional and long overdue salute to Des Moines broadcasting.

I'm 43 now and living in San Diego, but I was born and raised in Des Moines and I grew up in Des Moines radio and tv studios, literally. During my wonder years, dad was at KRNT, then KSO. I spent a good part of that happy time hanging out with him while he was on the air, cutting spots, etc. It was a blast. Your website brings back so many great childhood memories. My entire family enjoys it.

As you know, before dad died in September, 2002, he checked out your site, and really loved it. He left Des Moines more than 30 years ago, but Des Moines never left him. He came back often, and always checked in with his friends and former colleagues at the local radio and tv stations. Dad kept in touch over the years with so many, they're like part of my family: Jim Zabel, Bill Reilly, etc, etc...

Gary Barrett has some very kind comments about my dad, thanks Gary!

Keep up the great work, Ray.

Thanks and cheers,

Jamie Reno

Walt Reno got me started in radio at the ripe old age of 14. I met Walt at the KRNT studios at the Iowa State Fair and told him about my interest in UFO's. He told me he'd like to have me on the air-and got my phone number. Not only did he invite me to the studio to do an interview, he kept my phone number when he moved to KSO, and invited me over several times. Walt remained a good friend for years until both our lives kind of separated.

Something that keeps getting left out of Walt Reno's bio is how he got hit with the "Hollywood bug." First it was the movie "Fever Heat." It wasn't long after that we saw Walt packing up his things and moving to Vegas. Walt was very proud of the parts (although his humility kept him from bragging too much) and I hope this information can be added to the bio you have sometime.

Take care-and keep up the good work!



I just recently found your site, and it's
wonderful. I didn't see a place where I could post this tribute, so I
offer it here as a lengthy e-mail message in case you care to add it to
the others.

We moved to Des Moines in 1953, when I was 1. I grew up listening to or
watching so many of the people featured on your site. Wow! Just the
mention of Betty Lou McVay (Varnum), Walt Reno, Dick Vance, Russ Van
Dyke and Smokey Smith brings back countless fond memories of them, their
programs, and their contributions to my formative years. (I lived in
Des Moines through 1975.) Over the years I watched all the local TV
stations for news, weather and sports, and I listened to a wide range of
popular music that aired on KSO, KIOA and KFMG, but here I will limit my
comments to KIOA.

Seeing the survey sheet from the week ending December 5, 1964, and
hearing a few sound bites from the 1960s reminded me of how important
those guys and the 45s they spun were to my overall well-being. The
KIOA Good Guys were bright and very funny (even when they talked over
the intros or fades of my favorite songs). They kept the request line
open. Heck, they even gave away cash and merchandise. I once received
a can of Turtle Wax, but I wasn't old enough to drive yet so I gave it
to an older buddy down the street. He had a vintage jalopy he'd fixed
up. When I told him I won the Turtle Wax from KIOA, my "cool" factor
increased exponentially in his eyes.

I remember Sandy Shore emceeing my first rock concert: Buffalo
Springfield and the Turtles in the spring of '67 at KRNT Theater. What
a venue! (I think an obscure folk-rock band, the Robbs, opened the
bill, and Sopwith Camel ['Hello, Hello'] was a no-show because the band
broke up shortly before the scheduled concert.)

I remember Dic Youngs -- my all-time favorite KIOA deejay and a great
guy in person -- and how his "hot pot of steamin' coffee and a big ol'
fat CEE-gar" kept him going late into the night. Jim "the Village
Idiot" Michaels was another of my favorites; he lived just a few blocks
from me when I was a boy. Like Youngsy, Jim had a wonderful sense of
the absurd when he was on the air. Peter McLane, yet another of my
favorites and someone who possessed a very smooth delivery, seemed like
the calm presence in the center of the madness swirling all around him.
And madness it was. I mean, even Phil Thomas, after he delivered
KIOA's news break, would occasionally banter with whichever jock was on
the air at the time. I often thought Phil would make a solid addition
to the WCFL team in Chicago who gave us "Chickenman." Later, of course,
when Phil sat before the WHO-TV cameras to deliver the news to a viewing
audience, I stopped thinking that. (Bet he's still droll, though.) I
also need to mention Stu Adams and both Don and Doug MacKinnon, all of
whom injected their own unique wit, energy and qualities into KIOA's
broadcast day during their respective eras. I remember them and many

Perhaps most of all, the KIOA Good Guys played the hits I loved. Not
just the Beatles and the Everly Brothers, the Shirelles and the
Ventures, the one-hit wonders and the frequent chart-toppers, but bands
such as the Pete Klint Quintet, DeeJay and the Runaways, the Fabulous
Flippers, and many others whose records I eagerly bought. I always
admired that about the KIOA Good Guys -- they helped promote local and
regional talent.

There was so much good stuff, so many great sounds, blasting from the
various radios I cranked up from the late 1950s through the mid 1970s.
It was an exciting time for us who tuned in, and I imagine it was for
the DJs as well. Thanks, KIOA Good Guys (and all the other on-air
personalities on the other Des Moines stations I listened to).

Still rockin' to that backbeat,



Wow! That is the only way to describe this site. Even though I'm am fairly
young (25) I am very interested in the history of Des Moines radio. I was
hoping that there was a possiblity that maybe you could find more info on KGGO
from the mid to late 1970s and early 80s. I am interested in the "Go95" era of
KGGO. If there are more airchecks from that era I would love to listen to
them. Also I would like to see more info on KKDM when it was "the got" circa
1995 to 1999. I miss that station. Not to metion the old KFMG 103.3 circa mid
90s before Lazer took control.

Thank you,

Ken Reed

Editor's note: Hang on - it's all coming! We wanted to get started on the older
material first while some of the players are still alive to assist us, but we will
add more recent material as it becomes available.


I talked with A.W. Pantojaa about a month ago. He is living in Florida. Not working at this time. His station was bought out. I do know that he has had some good auditions around the county. He is doing very well. Some of the other folks who worked with us at KIOA at the time, Gary Stevens. Gary is living in Minnesota, I think he still works part time, and if I remember right, he is working for JJ Sebastian (bill fink). JJ worked for Gary at KIOA. Mike Judge is a lawyer in Clinton. Steve Kosbau is a vp with abc radio in Washington dc.



Roger Summitt


What a hoot!

There's nothing like reading a memo one wrote almost 39 years ago.


Peter Cavenaugh

Editor's note: Perer was refering to his programming policy memo on KSO Whitehall era page. Peter has written a book entitled Local DJ - Rock n Roll History that is currently in print.



What a great introduction to anyone who's interested in classic
Midwestern broadcasting! I'm a relatively young man of 30, but I've
always loved radio and television, so I've been spending hours
downloading and listening to the airchecks and program lists from the
'60s and '70s. I'm amazed at how true KIOA in particular has remained
to the music that was popular in its "heyday."

Whatever you do, PLEASE keep this site up as long as you feasibly can.
This is a treasure trove for any Iowan who's interested in broadcasting,
and a rare gem in the labyrinth of the internet. Besides, it's more
interesting than the history of WLS!

Thanks again for a lot of fun stuff!



This site was such a blessing to find.

When I was a teenager I lived in Lincoln Nebraska and spent a goodly
amount of time listening to Des Moines stations. I loved them and the people on
them. Somewhere, I have some DM stuff from several of the stations. I
would not throw it away. There are letters and program charts.

I cried when I heard Dick Vance's voice after so long. I will have such
fun and many happy tears exploring this site.

What a joy to find on my
birthday when I am so wishing for the old radio stations.

Mary Ann (Goodson) Chidlow

George and Ray:

I would direct the applause to both of you. It obviously is a labor of love and I am impressed with your dedication to accuracy and form.

I have already received E-mails from three persons in my broadcasting past.

Persons perusing your site and the links will get a good historical baseline of the broadcasting business as it unfolded, grew and changed in Iowa. You should feel good about your work.

I'm proud to be associated with you.

Tom Read (referencing Tom Read WHO Newsman section)


What a wonderful experience to peruse the new site! It would be my pleasure to forward any memories I have archived for use on your site! These radio legends like Dic Youngs, Steve Gibbons, Van Harden, Doug McKinnon, and many others deserve the tribute. I feel blessed to have worked with each of them. How 'bout you track down A.W. Pantoja? I always enjoyed listening to him as a kid.

One other suggestion...there were many great characters in the business who never cracked a mic. Why don't you create a special section for stories about some of these people? Joyce Eckrosh from KIOA comes to mind. Just a thought!

Have a big time with the site and keep up the great work!

Shane Finch


First of all, I want to say I love your site! I just discovered it
this evening..and it is great to listen and look at all the great Des
Moines radio history. In fact, I'm going to be real sleepy on my radio
show tomorrow morning because of

I did notice that Jim Davis is not mentioned on the site. Is this
because of his troubles in the early 70s or is it just because nobody
has submitted audio or info?

Jim gave me my first job in Fort Dodge in 1986 and then again in 1995
in Green Bay. I would just like to hear some audio. I hope that
someday it will be submitted by someone.

Again, I love the website! Excellent!

Phil O'Reilly
Kalamazoo, MI

Hi -- I am a Des Moines native and stumbled onto the site. I think I've
spent over two hours here, listening to airchecks and reading about
names I grew up with. I still listen to Dic Youngs when I come home to
Des Moines each summer -- one of the last links to the great days of
radio in Des Moines. I look forward to doing that in just a little more
than a week, when I come home for my 25th HS reunion (Hoover).

Thank you SO much -- I love finding good Des Moines sites on the Web.

Julie Gates


Found your website while cruising the net. As a former
Des Moines resident from 1970 - 2001 I found out where
most of my favorite radio personalities have gone to.
In New York we don't have what would be termed "local"
jocks, everything is voice tracked.

I had so much fun reading the surfers comments, my God
they brought back so many memories.

One posting was looking for Dave Mason the former Love
Songs guy at Star 102. I happen to know that Dave is
alive and well in Des Moines. He'still connected with
broadcasting as a radio consultant and works out of
his home. If your interested I can give you his email

Ray, keep up the great work and keep the memories


Bill Romine

Hi Ray,

Keep up the great work on the website, enjoy it. The last files you put on from KDMI say they are from 1966, when I was there was in the
spring of 65 just before I graduated and Dick Vances era was pretty much gone, they had lost the "fishbowl" on Ingersoll and were only on the air
from 4 to midnight, In the spring of 65 I would go out at 4PM and open the station and go on the air, Bill Patterson was supposed to be on from
6 to 9 then Russ Lavine from 9 to midnight, Dick was gone by then I think, unless he came back to try to resurrect the station later I think those jingles would probably have been 1964-65 era.

Steve Brown

Mr. Dennis:

I don't believe we've met. I have a vague recollection of your name, associated with KRNT Radio (?) in 1970/71, which was about the time I was leaving Des Moines.

A former boss of mine, from 1971, Mike Scott/KCRG, Cedar Rapids, sent me the address of your site about a month ago and I've been struggling to get a ton of 'inside' work done before spring hits here in Colorado, when I'll want to spend most of my free time outside. (I got a DVD burner for Christmas and have been going through 350 hours of video tapes and burning them.....finally finished last night). I went to your site.

I've got some audio for you.....I've got every jingle KSO had while I was there.......I've got all of those stupid BEE YOO TEE FUL MUSIC, KDMI jingles. I'vebgot KBAB's stuff.

It is very, very fun to visit your site.

Keep up the good work...


James C. Stimson

Editor's note: Jim, that will be much appreciated by all

I never thought I'd be calling myself an "Old Timer" but after reading some
of the comments, I guess I am. I started full time December 1964 and still
working radio today.

I am a Ohio radio broadcast guy and I think your radio web page is GREAT!!!!!!

I only wish we had something like this for Ohio Broadcasting. I wish you
all the best and keep up the good work.

John H. Cavinee

Hi, Ray. I've gotten many chuckles from your web site. At first, I was
amazed that so much of historic and noteworthy importance had happened in
Des Moines broadcasting.

I was at KIOA from about 1983 to 1987. Most of the time, I did afternoon
news with Lee "Rock'n Roll" Githens. Lee will probably deny that is his
"official" nickname, but unfortunately I'm physically incapable of writing
or saying his name without the words "Rock'n Roll". I know that sounds
weird, but it's the way it is, and you just have to play the cards that are
dealt you, Ray.

Well, keep up the good work. I enjoy your web site.

Steve Dahlman

Dear Ray,

It is hardly necessary for me to repeat it.....BUT THE WEB SITE IS GREAT!!!
We're so pleased (my wife and kids) that you have taken on such a big job.
They have never known about that part of my life, since I've never shared it
with them. Now they have a place to go to find out what kind-of-a-world I
kicked around in durning my late teens to mid 20s.

Ed Carney

Editor's note: Ed was "Ed Roberts," overnight man on KSO in the early 60's


I really enjoyed browsing through your pictures of the old RCA transmitter at KRNT. Back in 1971 my first full time job included reading the meters
at the KRGV (now KRGE) transmitter - an RCA just like the one at KRNT. I was a 17-year-old with a first class FCC license and I learned a lot at that transmitter site.

Have a good week!


Andrew Dart (AE5D)

Nice job...this is one of the most entertaining sites I have come across. I particularly like the interview with Peter McLane.
It's fun to remember some of the things that took place in Des Moines when I was growing up. Thanks again.

Larry Daniels

Hi: Hi stumbled across your website tonight and was fascinated. I grew up listening to Dick Youngs, Jim Michaels, Peter McClain and a host of djs on KIOA in Des Moines, My name is Ted Mann (Mahn) and I worked in Sioux City Radio for about 30 years. My partners and I started KG95. I was named Ted Mann in 1970 by Perry St. John at KSO there in Des Moines. I worked there part time while I went to ISU in EE. I also worked with Ron Pepper (his real name is Ron Mott and he was a sales rep at KMNS, Sioux City during the early 70s. I believe you are correct, he is in Indiana. In 2001 we sold our cluster of 5 Sioux City stations to Clear Channel and I retired. I got bored and today am the GM of 4 stations here in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Keep up the great work. I enjoyed those old air checks a bunch.


To: George and Ray
From Jim Woodard ... past Des Moines radio and TV guy

I just discovered your site and am fascinated with it -- especially the profiles of past radio and TV personalities. I worked with many of them. Particularly memorable are Walt Reno and Don Bell.

You might mention me on your site --

I was an announcer and evening DJ on KSO during the early 1950s. I had "The Jim Woody Show" each weekday night from 10:15 to midnight. My favorite night was Friday, when I invited Des Moines area teenagers to come to the studio, than on the 10th floor of a building at 10th and Grand. We packed the kids in, and many would bring boxes of donuts and cookies, along with soft drinks, to share with others. There was no behavior problem. We all had a great time.

I then went to Omaha, working on WOW radio and TV, KOIL radio (again with the Jim Woody Show), and KMTV-TV.

In 1955 I was married and returned to my home town of Des Moines, working as staff announcer for KRNT radio and TV (now KCCI-TV). In 1959, I moved with my wife and two small kids to California.

I'm now a professional oral storyteller -- the resident storyteller at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. I also present programs at public libraries, schools, museums and other venues. I have a continuing series of programs at our local Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

I recently received the top national award in the area of public communications from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge -- the 2002 George Washington Award for Excellence in Public Communications. It's primarily for my series of patriotic stories. It's the first Freedoms Foundation award given to an oral storyteller.

I come back to my home town whenever I can to present storytelling programs. In recent years I've presented programs at the Des Moines Art Center, the Iowa State Historical Building, Living History Farms, Des Moines Public Library, and others.

Jim Woodard


I heard about this site from Mark Campbell (Mark and I worked together
at KWBG in Boone in 1968) and I am delighted with it.

I did a three year stint at KCCI (news) in the late 70's and early
80's. I was the "Inflation Fighter" in addition to doing regular
reporting and some anchoring. I also worked as the assignment
editor/weekend anchor at WOI-TV in the early 80's and did a couple of
years at IPTV (working for Dan Miller) on "Market-to-Market".

The photos of the KCCI newsroom took me back. In fact, my desk is in
the foreground of a couple of the pictures....and I swear my trenchcoat
is draped over my desk in one of them! I have a news team photo pretty
much exactly like the one you have up on the site...same
people.....except it was taken on the news set and I'm in the picture.
It also has the names of everyone in the photo printed at the bottom.
The one you're showing must have been taken just before I came on board
at KCCI in August of 1978.

I have some airchecks of when I did Des Moines radio (Started with Dick
Vance at KDMI...worked at KCBC briefly.....did weekend news at WHO in
early 1978). I also have a ton of video tapes from my years at KCCI,
WOI and IPTV. Of special interest, perhaps, is a thirty minute "Time
Capsule" program hosted by Connie McB. and Kent Peterson showing a "day
in the life" of KCCI news in the fall of 1978.

I also have a jingle (taken from a record) of Dick Vance when he was at
KSO in the 1950's. The lyrics go: "Everybody in Des Moines who is in
the know, tune to radio 146 and the Dick Vance show. Hey Daddy-oh say
hello...." etc. I also have station jingles from KCBC, WHO, and KDMI.
Also, I have a 15 minute segment from KDMI when Russ LaVine received a
phone call from Governor Harold Hughes. (I was running the board that
night for Russ and kept the tape). All of this stuff has now been
dubbed to CD and DVD.

Let me know if any of this would be of interest to you for use on the

As for me, my broadcast career went from 1967 to 1984 (with time out for
law school in the mid-70's). I did top-40 in Cedar Rapids (KLWW) for a
number of years while I was going to college. Along about then I
switched to news. In 1984 I quit the broadvasting business and hung out
a shingle in Des Moines and practiced law there until 1998.

I now live in Las Vegas and am a Deputy Attorney General for the State
of Nevada.

Mark Braun

Editor's Note: Oh Yes, we are interested in your items.

Hi. I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your Des Moines Broadcasting History
web site. I’m from the DM area originally but stuck elsewhere now but still
get a kick out of seeing names and faces from eons ago – and based on your old
pictures these faces haven’t changed. Ha, ha...

I don’t suppose your website takes requests, does it? I would love to see
something regarding the Betty Lou Varnum and Dolph Puliam shows, which along
with Floppy, I can remember watching though I don’t remember squat about
anything: just blurs of puppets, cartoons, floating eyeballs in a closet and
Felix the Cat.



Dear Ray & George,

I was poking around on the Internet yesterday, looking for airchecks to reminisce a bit, and I stumbled onto your site. I can't tell you how much fun I had reading and listening to it! There were things I haven't heard for 20 years, such as "Wonderful Town, Wonderful People" and Steve Gibbons waking Pete Taylor on the air. I have both of those clips, somewhere in a box of tapes in my basement, where they've gone unplayed since about 1980, when I left KSO.

When I was 16 I worked weekends for a year for Jerry Sleigh at KDMI. Del Hull hired me for the Sunday night shift at KRNT when I was 17, and I worked there until 1976, first as a weekend DJ, then full-time in news (where I wasn't very good, and probably was a thorn in George's side). From 1976 to early 1980, I worked weekends at KSO, under Perry St. John, J.P. Andrews (John Prigge), and Jarret Day.

Dave Johnston

Hi, Ray...

Interesting site. I am possibly the least known 8 year veteran of Des Moines radio. I spent all of that time at KDMI in two stints, 2 1/2 years when it was on FM in the 80's and 6 years on AM from 1995 until the format flip to KXNO. KDMI was not the place to become famous, but that was perfectly fine with me. I grew up in Northern Iowa, so I didn't experience a lot of Des Moines broadcast history first hand. However, I got thorough exposure to it through the memories of KDMI manager Jerry Slegh and my fellow announcer Jim Beam. Jim also worked at KSO and KWKY and currently pulls the overnight shift at WHO. I'm looking forward to spending more time on your page.

Scott Taylor









What ever happened to the Star 102 love songs guy Dave Mason. Anyone know where he's at?

Donna Thacker

Editor's Note: Let's see if some of the other surfers can help on this one.

Hi Guys,

I stumbled across your site today and it brought back a lot of great
memories. I saw Bob Ogburn's name and ran to my photo album so I could
scan and send you the attached picture. I have lost touch with most
everybody in Des Moines so I hope you could forward it to him.

The photo is of Bob Day, myself and Bob Ogburn standing in front of CBS
Studios in Hollywood
. In 1975 we all worked at KCCI-TV and decided to
see a little bit of California.

I moved on to Iowa Public Broadcasting, then worked on TV mobile units
in Pittsburgh and New Orleans, and ended up as a computer graphics
engineer at NBC in Burbank.

I have a few pictures of KCCI-TV and IPB from the 70's that I can send
if you like. Thanks for a great site.

Don Sears
Burbank, CA 91523

Hi George.

Happened across the KIOA home page. I was a devout listener from 1956-? using my hearty transistor radio. I loved listening to Doug McKinnon and lost many hours of sleep with him. BTW, I lived in Sioux City at the time.

I always thought Doug was a ham, as one of his air personalities was Hashafisti Scratchi. This name was also one attributed to a character
writing for CQ magazine. Can you confirm this? And, did he write that column?

I understand he is retired in Des Moines and I do hope he is in good health.

Anyway, sorry to take your time but I just wanted you to know how much enjoyment I derived from KIOA.


Yours truly,

Dean Norris, K7NO

Editor's Note: Doug confirmed that he did write the CQ articles and also drew cartoons for the magazine. (CQ is an amateur radio publication)

May I add my reminiscence of KIOA? I'm Jim Stokes, and I recall listening to KIOA when I was a student at the University of South Dakota in the late 50s, graduating in 1960. Don and Doug MacKinnon were memorable anouncers.

I recall Don working afternoons and Doug working the all-night shift. Those entertaining days of radio are gone! Radio has gone from prime rib to rancid dog food.

I'm just grateful that I heard radio when it WAS great! And that includes the old time network radio shows as well.

I spent around 15 years in the radio biz in South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Thank You!

Hey Ray,

Stumbled on to your page while "nostalgia strolling" across the
website. I was at KSO in 72-74 with Steve Randall, Cazzy James,
Perry St. John, Tad Murray and the rest! I'm the guy doing the
"million dollar weekend" roll on the Perry St. john check! FYI
the unidentified newsman on the KSO check with Tad Murray is
the late Chuck Shramek aka: Vern Walker at KSO> He went on to
some fame in Houston and his wacky obession with comets, ufos
and the like. A great website...It's too bad every market doesn't
have a site like this. I have some odds and ends if you're intterested
including the infamous KSO "Ugly Announcer" hoax.
Let me know,

Mel Royer
former KSO Production Director (72-74)

Dear Ray,

I've just spent some time on the broadcasting web site. It was sure fun to hear Doug MacKinnon, Smokey Smith, and that phone
interview with Dick Vance.

The KIOA photos bring back memories. Lyle Nolan is standing in the old production studio. The tape recorder in the rack on the left
is an Ampex, which had been shipped to Korea during the Korean war and used by a KIOA correspondent to record interviews with
Iowa servicemen. The window behind Lyle was a small announce booth. Going through the announce booth, a door on the left side
entered the dark room, where Ron Edwards had a photo lab to develop pictures he took at accidents. I never understood why a radio
station was taking photos, but perhaps Ron had a sideline selling them to insurance companies.

The photo of Don MacKinnon is at the air studio. The RCA board he is using was bought by me for $100 from Collins Radio when
KIOA traded it in on a new Collins console. A few months later, the new one was destroyed in the fire, but the old one was safely in my
basement. I eventually gave it to a friend in Kansas City, and I heard from him a few years ago that they had only recently
disposed of it.

Stan Zegel

Editor's note: Stan was Stan Richards, a part-time jock at KIOA and he regularly ran the board for Russ Levine on Hawkeye Nightline. The reference to engineer Lyle Nolan and the studio pictures refer to pictures on the Don and Doug MacKinnon personality pages.

Hi Ray, I echo all the nice comments that have been posted on the email
page of you site, you are doing a great service to the History of Radio
and of course RockNRoll history in the Des Moines and Central Iowa
Area. I need some help. Last week we inducted the Lee Harris Record
Hop, that was on WHO TV, into the Iowa RockNRoll Music Associations Hall
of fame. We had several of our directors working long hours and
contacting people to try to locate any of Lee's family to present the
plaque to. So far we havent located anyone. I haven't given up. If
anyone knows where we might find a son or daughter of his I would
appreciate information. The last we could find out was that they moved
to the Glenwood Co area but thats where the trail ends. I have the
plaque and would like to find it a home.

Steve Brown,
Iowa RockNRoll Music Association

Lee has been found!

Ray, thanks to Bob Ogburn I have located Lee Harris, he and his wife
live in Grand Junction Co. I talked to him Friday Afternoon and he is
elated at being inducted into the IRRHOF, He would love to hear from old
friends in the Des Moines Area. I told him about your website and he
would like to talk with you also and contribute information. Peg, his
wife is alive and well also. They are 80 years old now and dont travel
any. Thanks for your help!

Steve Brown

Great web site! Found out about it in the Polk County Press Citizen. Doug MacKinnon may still have some fun audio from when Steve Gibbons worked at a station somewhere out of state. Doug played it on the air about 20 years ago when he had his afternoon show on KRNT.

My wife and I know Walt Reno's daughter (Michelle Brown) who lives in Clive. We'll let her know about the clip you have on the website.

The Dick Vance interview brought back the memories I have of when he owned KDMI-FM back in the 60's. He had Russ LaVine's Hawkeye Nightline on from 9 to midnight. Wasn't his wife Bobbi the sweater girl?

Kevin Flagg

I couldn't believe that I stumbled upon this tonight...I've been reading and listening for
two hours, I think.

My father is George Wylie -- he started in the DSM area in High School (or just after)
as Jack Shelly's gopher, driving a WHO Radio news vehicle (if I am remembering all the
stories correctly). At some point later he was on KRNT Radio with Steve Gibbons,
and then, of course, spent many years doing the morning and noon news on KCCI,
from 1971-1984, I think, and a few years in the main anchor chair at WOI-TV (84-89).

I spent time at KCCI with dad, and have oodles of great memories getting to tag along.

Anyway -- great site...let me know how/if I can contribute.

Best regards,
Eric Wylie

Hi Ray,

My name is Mary Day and I do middays for Lite 104.1 and KRNT, for the Des Moines Radio Group. I love this site but did see a mistake. We are Lite 104.1(not 104.9). I used to work for 104.9 which is an Oskaloosa station which at that time was KOSK FM.

I will come back here often to look for updates, etc.

Mary Day

Editor's note: Thanks Mary, we got you back on the right frequency.

George and Ray:

I really enjoy the Des Moines radio history site...I check it pretty often
and I'm intending to put a link up on my own radio-geek site


Brian Davis

What a great site. I grew up in Iowa listening to KIOA. I especially enjoyed
the Peter McLane interview. Peter was my General Manager from 91-94 at KGGO.
He is one of the good ones and has a great deal of wisdom and insight. Not
to mention some great stories to tell. Keep up the great work.

Jeff Lynn
Program Director
Entercom Communications
Madison, Wisconsin

Am writing this while reading "The End of the Road for KSO" and listening to
Jarrett Day's goodbye.

I worked at KSO (nights and weekends) with Jarrett, Perry St. John, John
Charleson, and some others I can't remember, during the first half of 1978,
before leaving Des Moines for Iowa City, and then leaving radio for good (?)
in 1981.

Great site. I keep coming back for the memories.

Bruce A. Ingham
Attorney at Law


Great job with the
site! What a great thing it is to be able to
stop by and re-visit Des Moines radio.

I worked in radio in Des Moines from 1987 to 1995
and had a ball. I'm really lucky to have gotten
a chance to work at KIOA over on Keo Way with
Steve Mathews, Dic Youngs, Lee "Baby" Githens,
Jay "Miami" Weiss, Scott Kaye, Les Howard, Doug
MacKinnon, you and others.

It has also been great watching the progress of
the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bands like
the Pete Klint Quintet, Dee Jay and the Runaways,
Tommy T and the Federal Reserve, the Echoes V,
etc. etc. are a slice of history that needs to be

Again, great job with the site...let me know if
you'd like me to contribute anything.

All the best...
Rob Mikels


What a great site. Dick Vance gave me my first job in radio in 1963 at KSO
when I was a tender 17 year old at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines.
Those were great days. I've always had fond memories of Dick and so many
others during those wonderful radio years. I also worked with Dick at
KDMI-FM in Des Moines after KSO. Unfortunately, KDMI didn't go over
well...not enough FM receivers in those days. I lost track of Dick after
1965 and I have always wondered where he was and how he was doing. I would
love to talk with him. Would you please let him know of my e-mail. Thank
you for the web site and the preservation of Iowa Radio history.

I should add that Dick Vance certainly deserves hall of fame recognition.
He was a radio genius and well ahead of his time.

Doug Reece

I like your site. I was wondering if you have any information on the early days of KIOA (mid to late 50's)? I am good friend with a former KIOA personality, "Bobbin" Bob Allen. I have a complete jingle package from the late 50's featuring his theme song along with themes for Frosty Mitchell, Bob King, Lee Western and more. I also have some spots and sounders from that era as well.



I couldn't believe it when I was made aware of the Des Moines Broadcasting website by a childhood and still current buddy of mine today! I don't know if you remember me or not but back in '72 you asked me to consider working for you in Davenport when I was at KSO. Yep, my air name was "Steve Randall" and you have me as one of the 1972 Memorial Day weekend air checks on the site. Gad, was I surprised! What kind of stuff are you looking for to help build the site?

I look forward to chatting with ya from all the way up here in Anchorage, Alaska.

Hope to talk with you soon!

Randy Brandt
aka: "Steve Randall" on the Rock of Des Moines

Hear Steve Randall aircheck

The real Bob in "Hey Bob" came from the name of Bob Hasset, who was the
elected Public Safety Commissioner in Des Moines. He started the safety
program. It was good politics too because kids calling out for the safety
commissioner when they saw something awry kept his name before the voters

I remember attending Hey Bob shows at the KRNT theatre in the 50s.

Stan Zegel
AdValorem, Inc.

Bill Riley Hey Bob Show

Hi Ray, it's Lee Githens........... I can't believe this Web Site you've put out! I never realized
how much I've missed Radio!! If you're not careful, I'm gonna go back to making peanuts and
work full time on the Radio!


Editor's note: Lee was heard on several Des Moines area stations, including KIOA and KLYF in the 1980's and early 90's.

The KWKY web site is neat!! I think I came there in 1960 or 1961 and Don Johnson was

During my brief tenure at KWKY, I did mornings - from a studio that Lyle Newman and I
built at the transmitter. Don Johnson followed for mid-day from the downtown studios and
then Ray for afternoons. I have forgotten who did nights and weekends.

The studios downtown were really ahead of their time and were mostly custom built. They
had ATC cart machines, I think. At the transmitter everything (except the music)was
played on Magnecord PT-6's. The studio boys would dub all the stuff I needed for the
morning show to 3" reels of tape, I would stop by the studio at 0500 to pick up the stack
and then head out to the transmitter site to sign the turkey on and do my 0600-1000
morning show.

Radio will never be like that again. Those were the fun days and I think of them so very
often when I hear the new batch of group-owned stations that all sound the same. Cheap
Channel sounds the same in almost every market as does Citadud, Infinitely Bad/CBS and
the rest.

Time marches on!!!


Personal regards from the only part of AZ that's not ablaze this afternoon.

Richard Haskey.

Editor's note: Richard was "Barry Lucky" on KWKY. The "Ray" he refers to was "Ray Vecchellio," later known as "Big Al" on KSO. We have learned that Richard passed away in June of 2003.

Just found your Des Moines Site.

Good Job.

Sure brings back great memories. Remember summer of 1958, after earning my first "paid vacation" from 250 watt station job in SD.....driving to Des Moines.
Visiting Doug McKinnon as he did overnights on KIOA from the Transmitter Site SE of Des Moines.
His brother Don was doing Mornings.
KSO was pushing them most of the time.
KCBC was playing MOR music from their transmitter site...........somewhere on the east edge of DM.

Keep up the great work.


Dean Sorenson, CRMC
Sorenson Broadcasting - Sorenson Southeast - Eternal Broadcasting

Editor's note: KCBC was built on the bank of Four Mile Creek. Announcer/engineers went to work via row boat during high water.

Dear Ray,

I went to junior high and one year of high school in Centerville. So some of
the Des Moines AM stations were influential, mostly KIOA for Top-40 and WHO
for news. Less so were KRNT and KSO.

I got a kick out of the Russ Van Dyke blooper, too. KRNT radio wasn't much
of a factor out our way but, after 1968, CBS television for us was from

Years later, when driving one Saturday between Kansas City and Columbia on
I-70, I tuned into KIOA, by then simulcasting oldies with its FM station,
and heard Dic Youngs, still going strong. That was a fun listen.

George Davison and I have been in contact periodically over the years.
Please say hello!


Mark Roberts
Oakland, California

Hey Friends!

Thanks so much for the KWKY story. KWDM/KWKY switch 1959

The Quickie story was accurate. I'd only add that Curt Palmer, the PD of
KWDM, was retained to help us restructure the station.

Another sidebar was our hiring of Hugh Semple, a black postal worker, as
a weekend announcer. To the best of my knowledge, he was the first of his
race to appear on the air in Des Moines.

After 25 years in radio I opened a small but successful broadcast ad agency
in our native Minneapolis. Today Patty and I spend 8 months a year at our
home in Estero, between Ft Myers and Naples in southwest Florida, and
summers here in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin.
I'm still active in voice-over jobs.

Best regards.

Jim Ramsburg

Editor's note: Jim was program director of KWKY in 1959. Hugh Semple was indeed a good newscaster!

Heard about your site and stopped by today, looks good, hope you include other
radio stations in the Des Moines area and how they evolved like the old Q-102
turning into Star 102.


Gary & Donna Thacker


This site brings back many great memories growing up in south central Iowa. I grew
up with the KIOA "good guys" and was given my first radio "freebee" from Dic Youngs
when he was broadcasting from the Iowa State Fair with KSO. Peter McClain was my
favorite jock. He, Sandy Shore and Dic inspired me to pursue a radio career which
has lasted 34 years. Thanks guys and thanks for the memories!

Steve Lager
Morning show host
KCIY "The City"
Kansas City, Missouri

Hello Ray & George,

I saw the posting for your site on one of the radio newsgroups -- looks like you're performing a
real service by preserving some great history. Way to go!

Greg Barman
Denver, CO.

Great site! I love hearing all the stuff that came before I was
around. I've been following Des Moines area radio since my
grandma, aunt, and uncle moved to Pella in 1990. It was nice to
see what had happened before 1990!

Jon Ellis - Luck, Wisconsin
WXCX Program Director

Holy Crap..!! This looks like its going to be interesting. Definitely a bookmark on this........
Steve Locker

Hi Ray---------

Just checked out your new web site. It looks GREAT. Yes, I have some
pics that you might be ble to use. Also have other bits of Radio and Tv

Bob Cannon (Boomer2) I'm glad to see this happen and good luck------------

Congratulations on a great start on the Des Moines radio site. I was very surprised to
see my name on it as one of the KIOA Good Guys of the '60's. Wow, it brought back
many pleasant memories of Des Moines radio during that wild and crazy era. If you would
want it, I can provide you with a scan of a KIOA 9+40 survey that was published at the
time the Good Guy Lineup promo aired. It even has pictures of all of us who were on the
promo. Somewhere in the garage I have an aircheck or two I could get over to you. Just
let me know if you can use any or all. I also have an aircheck of my hero, Don MacKinnon,
when he was at KLAC. Actually, he was one of two heros of mine, with Doug being the other.

Best of luck with the site and we'll be checking in from time to time to see how it's progressing.

Stu Seibel (Stu Adams)

Ray, in the mid-70's, Jim Rogers and I removed an old transmitter and
amplifier from the KRNT transmitter building. The transmitter was much
like the RCA you have pictured on the web site. If I recall, it was
built into the north wall of the control room. I still have the meter
panels and lots of tubes from that transmitter.


I've had a chance to look at your site and it's
wonderful, particularly featuring Don Bell, who felt rather unappreciated in
his old age and who was a brilliant, celestial talent beyond compare.

I would think that the radio broadcasters would be supportive of your site
since it builds prestige for the medium and could help them market to
advertisers today. I hope so. Any way it's a wonderful effort and let me
know how I could be of assistance.

Best Regards, Ray and say "Hi" to the Captain for me,

Phil Thomas

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