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Bobby Dick
Born:  January 8, 1923
Died:  November 21, 2012
WHO Iowa Barn Dance Frolic
WIBW Kansas Roundup
WIBW Topeka, KS

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 that time.

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 "flash".

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

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