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January 13, 2019 9:37 pm  #1


Dick Purtan On His Life In Radio

Came across this year-old interview with Dick Purtan, one of the great talents of Detroit/Windsor radio. He sat down for some reminiscences with Michigan State University and recalls a long career that was peppered with huge successes – and sometimes, a lot of controversy.
 
He talks about his start in radio, growing up in his hometown of Buffalo, no less, listening to and learning from Clint Buehlman, appearing as “Guy King” on WWOL there for about 10 minutes, how he came to The Motor City and wound up at WKNR Keener 13, a great story on why he was almost fired for defying a despotic PD despite having the #1 one show in town, how a PD at the station he worked at in Cincinnati (WSAI) took the place from an incredible 42 share down to almost nothing by making one dumb change, why he never went to WJR despite numerous offers, why he ultimately quit the business and the two surprising and unlikely mega-successful on-air personalities who still consider him their hero.
 
And that’s just a partial list of the topics covered in this terrific 45 minutes of memories. It’s rare that a radio legend gets into such detail about what happened behind the scenes at some of Detroit’s most famous stations and if you have the time or were a fan, it’s worth a listen.
 
The Life And Times Of Dick Purtan

 

January 14, 2019 3:59 pm  #2


Re: Dick Purtan On His Life In Radio

Yes, worth a listen. Thanks for this, RA. Quite entertaining. If you only take one thing from it, it's be true to yourself. Know your strengths, what you're comfortable with and be prepared to walk, if need be, when you feel you're right.

 

Yesterday 2:27 pm  #3


Re: Dick Purtan On His Life In Radio

Very enjoyable interview.  He only gave a very brief nod to his five years as the morning man on CKLW.  His  time there was successful, but the ratings really declined after his departure in 1983..  By the early 1980s, Top 40 radio was dying on AM and by 1985, the Big 8 had changed formats.

 

Yesterday 4:00 pm  #4


Re: Dick Purtan On His Life In Radio

I, too, was kind of surprised about how few references there were to the Big 8. But then, we don't know what they edited out. Still, I found it a fascinating look back from one of the true radio greats about a time when Motown radio was a special place to be. 

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