James Michael VerHoef was born in Spencer, Iowa March 4, 1942. On Fathers Day 1945 when Jim was three years old the family went to a picnic at Lake Okoboji. When they got there everybody got out of the car and Jim said, "Daddy I can't walk!" It took two week to diagnose that he had polio. After three years in the hospital in Sioux City Jim went through a couple of years of crutches, braces, operations and rehabilitation.
When Jim was 8 years old, Ben Sanders and Mason Dixon at KICD Radio in Spencer took him on a March of Dimes tour of ballrooms around northwest Iowa. Jim's radio career began right there when he began reading kids books on the air. A fellow named Tom Shumate and his wife hosted. Little Jim would read and they would give him a sign like cutting their throat and then he would stop at the next period. The sponsor was Redmond Shoe Store with Buster Brown and his dog Tag who "lived in the shoe"
The VerHoef family moved to Des Moines in 1952. Jim entered a DJ contest at KIOA. The station was located in the old Onthank Building at 10th and Mulberry. Jim came in third.. In 1960 he competed in another DJ contest on KSO with Dick Vance and Bobbi, the Sweater Girl. Phil Thomas won and Jim came in 2nd, Mel Ott came in third. Phil got a full time gig and Jim got weekends with Mel also joining the staff. Jim later went to radio school at Brown Institute in Minneapolis, met his future wife Judi, who was in his same home room at North High School though they never dated in high school. Judi graduated from Brown and went to work in St. Cloud Minnesota and Jim ended up doing weekends there. When Jim graduated, he joined KWKY in Des Moines, with Smokey Smith and Irish Davis. In 1962, he went to KDFI in Wichita, Kansas. KDFI was actually the first country station to use rock jocks in a country format. The ratings were very good.
Jim got married in Wichita and then moved back to Des Moines. He then went back to KSO as Big Brother Bill Bailey. Dic Youngs and Jim became life long friends at that time. Jim then went to KBAB in Indianola. He had been there about a year when he got a call from Peter McLane at KIOA.
Jim Michaels joined KIOA in 1963 as a Good Guy and remained there until 1970. He was honored to be named " Bill Gavin Music Director of the Decade 1960-1970 in small and medium markets." A real highlight in Jim's career was a Hooper Rating while doing nights at KIOA that showed him with about a "63 share."
Jim went to KSO for one rating period, and then went to WMIN in Minneapolis. After some success and one brutally cold, blizzard filled winter he talked with Peter McLane after KIOA had just purchased KYNA 93.3FM. It later became KIOA-FM, then KMGK and Jim programmed it until 1976.
While working there he was very involved in the Iowa Jaycees. He was President in Urbandale, and in 1976-1977, was the Iowa State Jaycee President. he was then hired by the United States Jaycees and moved to Indianapolis and later to their national headquarters in Tulsa, Ok. While in Tulsa, Jim was Operations Manager of KELI, station Manager at KMYZ, and air talent at KVOO. He left the U.S. Jaycees and went to work for KIX - 104 in Fayetteville AR where he was very successful with the ratings.
Then, it was back to Ames and he worked for Bob Bunce at KEZT, until going to work as Executive Director of the Iowa Jaycees. The United States Jaycees rehired him and he moved back to Tulsa, and that is where Jim and his family call home to this day.
Jim Michaels -- Early 90's KIOA Good Guy Reunion
In 1998 Jim started his own business doing background employment checks. In 1999, Good Guy Jim Michaels was inducted into the Iowa Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
Steve Brown of Iowa Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Dic Youngs and Jim Michaels at Val Air Valentines party - 2000
More Jim Michaels pictures with other local personalities
Jim Michaels KIOA August 18, 1966
Jim Michaels KCBC 1971
Jim Michaels KSO 1971
Jim Michaels KIOA-FM 1973
Jim Michaels at KIOA Good Guy Reunion #1 1986?
Good guy logo picture courtesy of Iowa Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
Good Guy reunion picture courtesy of Dic Youngs
Airchecks courtesy of Bob Ogburn
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