Topic: Legendary Philly and San Francisco DJ Dr. Don Rose passes away at 70
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999
posted 03-30-2005 08:56 PM
Link to local news story
Radio Personality Dr. Don Rose Dead at 70
Mar 30, 2005 12:18 pm US/Pacific
Dr. Don Rose, the radio personality who entertained generations of listeners in the Bay Area, died in his sleep Wednesday. He was 70.
Back when bell-bottoms were hip the first time around, top 40 radio ruled the airwaves and Rose was the Bay Area's number-one DJ on KFRC-AM. Rose commanded the radio in the 1970s and 80s with his morning show, incorporating hallmark sound effects and silly jokes.
"The moment he turned on that mic -- even off the mic -- the whole place lit up," said KFRC midday host Sue Hall. "He was a goofball. He was wacky. And that was his shtick. But the heart came out."
One characteristic joke, gleaned from an old recording: "The Pacifica Police Department restroom was cleaned out by burglars. The detectives have nothing to go on."
Rose's Bay Area career started in 1972. Dr. Don was fresh from Philadelphia, but in less than a year he went from number four in the morning ratings to number one. He stayed there for a dozen years.
"They were just the corniest, stupidest jokes you ever heard," said George Zema, who worked as Dr. Don's right-hand man for 16 years, cueing up the ever-present sound effects. "If you were to read them, they wouldn't be that funny... But with the combination of the sound effects and the timing and the music, it was golden."
Dr. Don left KFRC in the late 1980s but stayed in touch with listeners. He was a family man -- an original good guy. Recently he spoke with Bill Schechner about the sale of KFRC-AM. The station will soon only be on the FM dial.
"I think we bridged the gap," Rose said about his morning show heyday. "We were the force between kids and adults, between old and new."
Another news story posted at the Steve Hoffman Music Forums :
Dr Don Rose - died today
Dr Don Rose died early this morning in his sleep.
Noted radio researcher Bill Earl called him "probably the greatest air talent in the country....ever!" In a career that lasted 33 years and 28 days, Dr. Don was honored as "Disc Jockey of the Year," while both on the East Coast (WFIL, Philadelphia) and the West Coast (KFRC, San Francisco).
After four years at the University of Nebraska (he majored in accounting!) Rose worked at KOIL, Omaha; KTSA, San Antonio; and KRNY, Kearney, Nebraska, and with the same dismal result in each city; He was fired! It took several humiliating months to get another job, but Rose ended up at KWMT, Fort Dodge, Iowa, where his luck changed; He met his one and only wife Kae, and by default, inherited the morning show. ("Did you wake up grouchy, or is she still in bed?") Next Rose's career led him to Duluth, Minnesota; ("It's hard to be funny when it's 40 below.....you look outside at your car and there's a dog frozen to the wheel"). After five frigid years, he was off to Atlanta ("I said, 'Where do you do your cotton-pickin'? And the boss said 'cotton pickin' what?"). Then came six very successful years in Philadelphia; ("I spent some of my finest days in Philly. Vacations...weekends...sick leave").
All of this set Dr. Don up for the finest part of his career. In 1973 he landed the morning show at KFRC in San Francisco, and what a run it was! KFRC was voted "Station of the Year" four times by Billboard Magazine, with Rose as anchor. His morning program was #1 for a solid decade!
Dr. Don's 20 years of March of Dimes Superwalks raised more than $10 million. He MC'd a myriad of golf tournaments, including his own, which benefited Special Olympics and Special Education. Rose was featured in "Who's Who In California," and for more than a decade hosted Field Communications TV cartoons in Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia, as well as San Francisco.
Rose was an avid sailor (longest sail; Hawaii, broadcasting all the way), exploring, traveling, movies, and making the best Caesar Salad West of the Pekoes. He was active in church, enjoyed Bible Study, and playing Scrabble and cribbage with Kae.
Dr. Don Rose was an important part of the soundtrack of my childhood. I still clearly remember sitting in the kitchen having breakfast before school listening to Dr. Don's show.
In the mid-70's he also hosted the after-school kid's cartoon show on KBHK TV44 in SF, carrying over many of his trademark characters from the KFRC morning show.
When he broke his leg (in a hunting accident, IIRC), my family wrote him a get-well letter and a few weeks later we received an autographed 8x10 photo of him thanking us for the kind letter!
Dr. Donald D. Rose- July 3, 1975: Click to listen... (MP3)
Link to another Dr. Don aircheck (Warning: requires evil Real Player or generic alternative)
Rest in peace, Dr. Don. You will be sorely missed...
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Richard C. Wolfe
Master Film Handler
From: Northampton, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000
posted 03-30-2005 11:08 PM
It's been years since I've heard the voice of Dr. Donald D. Rose. It was sometime in the late 60s, 67 or 68 would be my guess that I first heard it. Having grown up in the Philly market area, about 50 miles to the north, I had always watched Philly TV, but seldom listened to Philly radio. We were also only 90 miles from New York City, but the over the air TV signals from NY didn't come through well, thus we watched Philly, BUT we listened to Americas # 1 radio station, 77 WABC New York. When I went off to college in Reading, Pa. about 50 miles west of Philly the NY radio signal faded somewhat and I discovered Famous 56, WFIL in Phil-a-DEL- fee-ah. It had a sound quite similar to WABC in NY. It was in the spring of 67 or maybe 68 that they started a promotion saying that on April 1st WFIL would give EVERY Philadelphian a rose. Every one of course, wondered how they could ever do that. But, of course the April fools joke was on us, as they gave us all... Dr. Donald D. ROSE for the morning show. Philly was never to be the same again.
Don Rose was the most remarkable morning radio personality I have ever listened to. Herb Oscar Anderson at WABC was very good, but no match for the Rose. I don't think there was ever a morning that I arrived at the office without a smile on my face if I had been listening to Don on the way in. It was a sad day indeed when he left Philly in the early 70s.
I often wondered what happened to him. I wasn't aware that he had relocated to SF. I'm happy to hear that he was able to settle down in one area and develop some roots and have a family. You folks out there in the bay area were a lucky bunch.
Listening to that sound byte and hearing that voice once again was a real pleasure. There will never be another Dr. Donald D. Rose.
Bless you Don... indeed you will be missed, even by those of us that haven't heard you for years.
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