My Top 10 All-Time Radio Disc Jockeys, Part 2

By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11
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(Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

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You know, there are so many good radio DJs around our area and abroad (including overseas) so here is another list of my ten favorite radio disc jockeys of all time. Again, this is only a personal opinion and does not include everyone that I like:

1.  Tom Joyner (KKDA-FM Dallas/Network Radio Syndication): one of the top DJs on the urban music format in the USA. I first heard him on KKDA-AM before station owner Hyman Childs purchased a big signal FM station in Dallas and moved Tom to mornings. Later Tom was known as the radio “fly jock” who would do morning drive on K104 in Dallas, catch a flight to Chicago, go work out at the gym, do afternoons at WGCI-FM there, then catch a flight home….then get up the next morning and do it again (with technology today that’s not necessary anymore).  Has his own network radio show today and his own company that creates content for radio. Did some television too and one I remember was a show called “The B.E.A.M” on KXTX Channel 39 when I was there….Black Entertainment And Music.

2.  John Dillon (KRLD-AM/KZEW-FM/KRLD-FM/KZPS-FM): Legendary rock DJ in Dallas since the late 1960’s.

Built KZEW-FM in Dallas (formerly WFAA-FM), known to listeners as “The Zoo” with the sound of elephant. When on KRLD-AM for a short time could be heard in over 30 states with the station’s 50,000 watt signal. Fabulous voice.

3.  Dan Ingram (WABC/WCBS-FM New York): one of the funniest DJs ever. Was on WABC before it flipped to talk radio. Best known for his quick wit, fast pace, and ability to “talk up” or presell a song so that you didn’t tune out. Great satire as well. Later moved to WCBS-FM before retiring. Was still on the air the day WABC flipped to talk.

4.  Terry Dorsey (KSCS-FM/KPLX-FM Dallas):  legendary 96.3 KSCS country music personality in Dallas for years, started on KPLX (995 K-PLEX, for the DFW Metroplex, now 995 The Wolf). Good ensemble cast with him on his show.

5.  Dick Purtan (WOMC-FM/WXYZ-AM/Detroit and CKLW Windsor ON/Detroit):  longtime morning man at CBS Radio’s WOMC-FM as well as the Detroit radio market. One of the early radio personalities who used the power of radio for philanthropic purposes…”Purtan’s People”….by doing an annual radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army’s “Bed And Breakfast” program.  Retired in 2010.

6.  Dave “Kidd” Craddick (KHKS-FM/KEGL-FM Dallas Fort Worth):  enough said here. Another radio personality who was iconic but like Dick Purtan used radio’s power to help kids suffering from illness (chronic or terminal) by taking them on trips they will remember all of their lives. Craddick passed away on July 27, 2013 in Louisiana while attending a fundraiser.

7.  Charlie O’Donnell (KRLA/ Los Angeles):  Charlie had a fabulous career, not only as a radio DJ, but also as a TV announcer on WFIL-TV/Philadelphia, KCOP-TV/Los Angeles, including being Dick Clark’s sidekick on American Bandstand and a news director. But he is best known as a game show announcer and the most prominent one was Wheel Of Fortune, Charlie passed away in 2010.

8.  Eddie Stubbs (WSM/Nashville):  this man, who works 7p-12mn on 650 WSM-AM and is the announcer on the Grand Ole Opry, knows more about country music than anyone on the planet. Absolutely an incredible man. At night you can hear Eddie with WSM’s big 50,000 watt signal in nearly 40 states in the USA.

9.  Harry Harrison (WCBS-FM/WABC/WMCA New York):  smooth talking morning man in New York for five decades, simply known as the “Morning Mayor”.  When he arrived in NYC, the personalities on WMCA were known as “The Good Guys”.  He knew how to talk to his listeners and used a lot of trademark phrases that set him apart from others.

10.  Chris Tarrant (95.8 Capital FM/London): probably the most known and successful DJ in the UK….but there radio DJ’s are referred to as “presenters” and morning drive shows are “breakfast” shows. This station is a commercial station that was not under the control of the BBC but was subject to the rules and regulations of the UK Radio Authority. Capital FM (owned by Capital Radio for years) is the UK’s #1 hit music station and Tarrant was the morning presenter from 1987-2004. He has an extensive list of TV credits as well,  one being the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, coining phrases like “Is that your final answer?” and “But we don’t want you to give you that!”.   He is known for doing charity work in the UK but also having intermittent run ins with the police. Today Capital FM is owned by Global Radio. Check out their site.

See you next time.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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