560 Memphis WHBQ Rob Grayson Chris Curtis George Kline Jack Parnell

Rick Dees in the Morning, 56 WHBQ Memphis – Part 1 | August 3, 1978

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Rick Dees
Rick Dees at arrivals for PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME Premiere, Grauman”s Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA May 17, 2010. Photo By: Michael Germana/Everett Collection

Rigdon Osmond Dees II(1) Is the subject of this absolutely hilarious morning show from the onetime ratings leader, 56 WHBQ Memphis. One time, because it was during Dees’ tenure that WHBQ finally unseated 1070 WDIA from the top position after being stuck at number two, neck and neck with its closest competitor, 680 WMPS (The Great 68).

Dees had been with WHBQ about two years at this point, and this is so good and so funny that it’s little wonder that RKO General tapped Dees to be the morning host at 93 KHJ Los Angeles. But there, the magical formula which worked so well here in Memphis was elusive, as KHJ was losing ground quickly to FM, and flipped to Country in 1980 leaving Dees without a radio home. We’ll leave the rest of that story for another time.

This is the first entry for brand-new Contributor Jerry Reed. Reed describes his contribution:

“Here’s the Rick Dees aircheck from July 1978. It’s as complete as possible. But there probably is a small chunk missing. As I recall, it was two tapes put together. I digitized it a couple years ago. Credit appreciated. Thanks!

Jerry Reed I’m a former on-air guy. Worked in many markets including: Watertown, NY; US Air Force (Armed Forces Radio in Thailand 1969); Denver, CO; San Angelo, TX; Binghamton/Endicott NY; Utica, NY I left radio for a new career in PR in 1987 and did voice work on the side for many many more years, finally retiring from everything in 2017. “

We really can’t thank Jerry Reed enough. For his first contribution, this is probably the funniest aircheck I’ve heard in a long time! Keep em comin’ my friend!

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Details
This aircheck was received as one long monaural aircheck. The quality is so good, that it sounds very much like the source tape is a reel. Reel or cassette, you’ll notice amazing clarity.
There are just a few hiccups in this. Tape dropouts which are very brief. Certainly, nothing that will get in the way of your listening enjoyment.
All the elements of the morning show are in there. Terrance McKeever News – and being the sidekick, supplying the constant laugh track and half the content of the Rick Dees Morning Show! You’ll hear the then-current WHBQ jingles, used sparingly. Full commercial breaks! All the spots, voiced by some people you in Memphis might remember. The political ad and I think one of the grocery store ads are voiced by the legendary Jack Parnell. Parnell is mostly retired today but still around and still doing freelance voiceover projects. He was part of the WHBQ airstaff during the Drake era in the 1960s!. And… the music. Well, just the bookends, folks. As always, to comply with current law we do have to edit out most of the songs… but see if you enjoy the smooth edits. Ok. Shameless plug for your founder’s audio editing service :).

Play

Overall, we think you’ll really enjoy this, the first of THREE parts of an hour and a half of the Rick Dees morning show on WHBQ!

(1) Wikipedia entry for Rick Dees (//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Dees)
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Author

Steve West is a 39 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve currently works on-air for the Super Radio USA media group out of Minnesota. Steve is the founder of the Airchexx Media Group and manages Airchexx.com and Airchexx Live - the official station of Airchexx.

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