KFRC 610 San Francisco – Dr Don Rose – January 20 1976
Dr. Don Rose was the King of Bay Area radio in the 1970s & 80s. King of corny one-liners and wacky sound effects, Dr. Don ruled as morning man at KFRC, “the Big 610.” No. 1 rated virtually from his October 1973 arrival until the station changed to a big band format in 1986.
At his height, the zany but kindly broadcaster was pulling down more than $350,000 a year, kept 15 joke-writing services busy. The Doctor faced a lot of naysayers when he arrived in the hippest of all radio markets with the squarest of all radio acts. With underground radio emerging on the FM dial, he was an old-fashioned entertainer who told rapid- fire corny jokes — and then punctuated them with noisy sound effects. He showed that you didn’t have to be hip and edgy, or sarcastic and shocking.
In his personal life, Dr. Don suffered decades of debilitating pain and medical problems that eventually caused him to lose his leg. He broadcast his daily radio show flat on his back from his home hospital bed for months. After KFRC, he went back to morning radio in 1988 on K101, but retired for good four months later after having a heart attack on the air. Rose died in his sleep on March 30, 2005, due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 70. To this day, fans of his show on KFRC will often reminisce about his show, and how much joy it brought in the morning. -Ellis