Bobby Dick or "Mr. D" as they called him at WIBW in Topeka, Kansas,
was born in Allen, Kansas. Bobby was the oldest in a family of four
kids, but was the only one that took up a career in radio.
They wrote an article about him back in 1949 that we found that relates
his career started literally by "accident". It seems that he tried
to separate a mare from her colt, but got badly bruised leg instead
and ended up in the hospital and a long recuperation when an infection
set in. Because of that, his dad got him a guitar to help him while
away the idle time while he was on the road to recovery.
They said Bobby was all of 26 years old when he was at WIBW in 1949.
He had a wife named Jessie and two daughters, Cheryl and Barbara at
He must have been a bit of a flashy dresser on stage for the Bob Kearns
wrote in the article that folks in the audience would often ask if Bob
was color blind, but he always told them that those shirts were just for
Mr. Kerans mentions that Bobby made a few records and "sold boxes of them"
along with some 15-minute programs for an agency in Chicago that
was used by stations across the country.
In 1949, they said WIBW listeners enjoyed his version of
"I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows on the Midnight Hayride Hillbilly
Hit Parade. He also had his own show that aired at 8:05am
and again at 6:15pm.
Interestingly, we find out in this article that fans would
often request a copy of the music for songs they heard. But they
said that they couldn't honor those requests. This was because
the new material wasn't made available to the listening public
for quite a bit of time. The publishers would send those tunes
to the artist directly, but copyright rules wouldn't allow the station
to send the tunes on to fans in printed form. So, fans would have to
wait for the sheet music or a song folio to be published.
Bobby seemed to be your everyday guy down the street, for Mr. Kearns
ends the article warning folks, "If any of you happen to be
in Topeka and are near Topeka Boulevard and 11th Street about
6:31 p.m.BEWARE of that red flash. That was the redhead
at the wheel of his red Ford, dashing home to do the dishes."
Credits & Sources
- WIBW Round-Up; May 1949;
Published by WIBW Round-Up; Topeka, Kansas