Friday, April 09, 2010

Bobby Dale

Bobby dale is dead, long live Bobby Dale.He was interviewed on his deathbed in 2001 and from those transcripts, a biography was written by Lou Waters. Bobby talked like a hipster, because he was one. In some ways he was an archetypal hipster embodying what was hep after the word hep went out of fashion. Lou knew Bobby from their time together on 630 KDWB-AM in Minneapolis back in 1960. Lou's own fame came from his time at CNN. The book is spectacular.

He was born Robert Dale Bastiansen on July 27, 1931, in Minneapolis. He left town at 25 for his first radio gig. But he wasn't from San Francisco at all, not even California. Bobby Dale started out in Glendive. The Bay Area Radio Museum says it's Glendive Minnesota. But, there is no Glendive in Minesota. I assume they mean Glendive, Montana. Don't feel bad, other sources also get it wrong, even citing Glendive Missouri. Bobby left Glendive in 1960 for a job at KOIL-AM in Omaha, NE where he replaced 18-year-old Gary Owens. Owens had left for KFWB, as Bobby would soon as well.

Less than a year later KDWB Minneapolis. In 1961, when the talent at 980 KFWB-AM went on strike, Booby flew down to start as a scab. In a stroke of irony, B. Mitchell Reed of KFWB flew to KDWB to take over Bobby's now vacant position. He stayed there until 1963, moving to KRLA in 1964, after a short spin at KEWB. Then he plowed through almost every station on the dial. He was on KFRC in 1966, and KSFO twice. He did a year in 1968 when it was an MOR station and returned in 1971 for another 4 year spin while they were an AC station. In between he tried weekends at KGBS and KSAN.
In the early 1980s he moved to the north side of the bay spinning swing music at 1510 KTIM-AM, in San Rafael, CA, a daytimer. Then he went back to San Francisco to work at KKCY. The station became KOFY in 1986 and he remained on board. He retired from full-time radio in 1990 but still made time to make an occasional appearance on the University of San Francisco campus station, KUSF.

Things went downhill rapidly for Dale. In 1992 he lost his voice. In the exam before an operation to remove nodules from his vocal chords it was discovered that he had diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and heart problem. He succumbed to liver cancer in 2001, he was 69 years old.