KDWB-FM 101.3 Minneapolis MN True Don Bleu 1978

True Don Bleu aka “T.D.B” is a legend in Twin Cities broadcasting.  He spent 10 years at KDWB, holding down afternoon drive from 1968-78.  When Don departed to join KHJ Los Angeles, it created a void on the radio dial.  By 1978, KDWB was pretty much the only Top 40 game in town.  U-100 was long gone, WDGY had flipped to Country the previous year, and 15 KSTP was dying a slow death as listeners gradually migrated from AM to FM stereo. 

Sadly, KDWB was very rigid with DJ formatics during that era.  The jocks were allowed to give the call letters, time, weather, song, artist, and very little else.  A personality jock like T.D.B. was obviously stifled under such tight content restrictions.  Being the pro that he is, Don makes it work by inserting little quips whenever he can.  You can hear examples on this aircheck from January, 1978.

Unfortunately, the audio quality of this is not as good as my other tapes.  The tape unit had broken in my handy, dandy AM/FM/phono/8-Track stereo.  Most likely, this was caused by repeatedly pulling the cartridge out halfway when recording so that the tape cleared the head but the capstan continued to run.  I’d do this so I could get a clean-sounding edit between songs, rather than capture the dreaded “pause noise” on the tape.  Hey, I was a professional audio geek even at age 13! This was recorded on a plain old Sears AM/FM/Cassette mono portable, using a Scotch Highlander 60-minute cassette, receiving the FM frequency  For those who don’t know, KDWB was available on AM only from 1959-76.  The AM and FM were simulcast from September, 1976 to September, 1979.

These days, Don Bleu (he has since dropped the “True”) is a legend in San Francisco radio.  After a few years at Los Angeles’ KHJ, he traveled up the coast to KYUU, KIOI, and finally, KOSF.  In 2007, Don was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.  He was on the air in San Francisco for an amazing 35 years!  Back in Minnesota, we knew him best as the guy who would open every show on KDWB with that famous line: “Hiiiiiiiiiii, Twin Cities….how are yewwwwwwww?”


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