The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation
held its June 27, 2008 Meeting from 11:30-1:30 P.M. at the Parkcenter Smoky Mountain Pizza in Boise.
Officers attending included President Art Gregory and Vice President Frank Aden Jr.
Members attending included Jim Johntz, Marty Holtman, Bob Ahmann, Bill Hatch, Judy Fisher, Shawn Kimmel, Larry Chase, Rick Hogue, Al Hale, and our guests of honor, Members Shanna-Dodds Jones and her husband Brent Jones. Bringing Jim Johntz to the meeting was guest was Andy Johntz, who also joined the organization that day. Welcome Andy!
After lunch, President Art Gregory did a brief introduction of all those in attendance. The June 27th Meeting was tribute to KIDO, KDSH, and KBOI Radio announcer Dar Dodds who passed away in Boise on June 4, 2008. Our tribute started with the viewing an excerpt from video of the 2005 Fox News Special called “War Stories” hosted by Oliver North. In the video, North came to Boise and interviewed Dar and several others who were there on Wake Island in 1941. They working for Morrison Knudsen as civilian contractors building a Military base there. Dar and the others gave first hand descriptions of what it was like to be attacked by the Japanese, captured as a prisoner of war, and then survive the ordeal and return to Boise in 1945.
The next segments were audio clips from various KDSH and KBOI airchecks, some dating back to the early 1950s. These segments were taken from the June 25, 1968 aircheck of KBOI’s “Big Switch” to 50,000 watts.
First, we heard Dar Dodds deliver a KDSH promo for the CBS Radio Network show “Gangbusters,” and then heard Bill Gratton do a promo for “Stump the Band” using his former air name of “Bill Graham.” Stump the Band was a popular “request” show co-hosted by Gratton and Dar Dodds in the late 40s and early 50s. Gratton also mentions the time C.G. Curt “Kiddo” Phillips called in complaining about someone signing along with the band during an Elks Ballroom remote broadcast on KIDO in the early 1940s. Yes, it Dar who was doing the singing, and Gratton told Mr. Phillips that. But Phillips refused to believe it saying “even Dar could not sing that bad!”
We then heard several more segments from KBOI's June 25, 1968 KBOI switchover to 50,000 watts. All segments saluted Dar Dodds and credited him with being one of the people who signed-on KDSH in 1947. Those mentioning Dar included; Bill Gratton and Gene Perkins (who were on the air that day), Bruce Whitehead from Salt Lake City, and Bill Ames from KNXT-TV in Los Angeles.
Next, we heard an early 60s radio commercial for All Jersey Milk from Young’s “Quality Checked” Dairy voiced by Dar Dodds. Dar’s voice was within the announcer “donut” of jingle produced by Gib and Jeanie Hochstrasser at “Music Ads” located above KBOI on 10th Street in Downtown Boise. According to a 1962 Statesman article brought to the meeting by Shanna, Darr was Sales Manager and sold jingles for Music Ads at the time.
We then heard excerpts from actual airchecks of the “Bru-Dar” Show on KBOI radio, the first of which dated back to June of 1958.
KBOI broke new ground with their “two-man” morning team Bruce Whitehead and Dar Dodds. The two had a sort “Bob and Tom” approach to their show complete with lots of clever comments and regular characters that dropped by the show from time to time. After the show ended in the early 1960s, Bruce Whitehead migrated to Salt Lake and worked in radio. After that, he joined Utah's premiere Public Relations firm of the day, W.S. Adamson & Associates. When Bill Adamson died in the 1980s, Whitehead stayed with the firm, eventually purchasing it from his widow. Last we heard, Bruce Whitehead is still running the agency.
The tape first featured a live Fathers Day commercial for Lee’s Candies and pre-recorded National ads for Double Mint Gum and Chesterfield Cigarettes.
A 2nd aircheck from 1959 featured their one year anniversary at KBOI and featured live ads for First Federal Savings and a pre-recorded ad for Brookover’s Ladies Store read by Louise Davis. We also heard a taped mention of Bruce and Dar’s show by Arthur Godfrey, saying he’d previously worked with Bruce at another radio station.
Bruce and Dar wrapped up the segment, and our tribute to Dar, by singing the song “Heart of My Heart.” The duo used to sing on the air all the time and was actually quite good together.Heart of My Heart, which was made popular by the Four Aces in 1953, reminisces about a gang of kids that used sing on the street corner saying “We were rough and ready guys, but oh, how we could harmonize!” Indeed, the last couple of lines said it all and was a fitting tribute and “send off” to our fellow broadcaster and good friend Dar Dodds when they sang…
“Too bad we had to part,
I know a tear would glisten
If only I could listen, to the gang that sang
"Heart of my Heart."
The meeting adjourned at 1:30. but several members stayed on to visit with Shanna and Brent who brought some great pictures of Dar, which they are giving the Foundation access to. A few other members then stayed and watched the entire 1 hour Fox News Program “War Stories” hosted by Oliver North that featured the story of Darr Dodds. After watching that program, one has even greater respect for Dar Dodds and the others who survived Wake Island, and we all realized, just how special of a man, Dar Dodds really was.
We miss you Dar, but your memory lives on here.