KDWB-FM 101.3 Minneapolis MN Jack Hicks 1983

Here’s a quick listen of KDWB-FM during it’s final days as an AOR outlet.  The station would soon revert back to it’s previous CHR format.  But unlike most format changes which occur abruptly and completely, 101’s flip took place gradually over a period of several months.  Here, they are what I always called “half and half.”  The music is still AOR tracks and album cuts.  But the formatics are now CHR with jingles and…*gasp*…talking over the record intros!  Notice also that the “Stereo 101” moniker has been dropped.  The station is now “Rock Radio, Twin Cities 101.”

Jack Hicks did afternoons on KDWB-FM.  He was preceeded by Hal Hoover and followed by Domino Rippey.  This is “classic Jack”, playing the tunes and having a good time.  Laid back, but not sleepy or boring.  I’ve always thought that 101’s airstaff was superior to (arch rival) KQ’s during this era.  Fortunately, Jack is still behind the microphone.  Today, he does mornings with Melissa Carlson and programs KLLZ-FM (“Z-99”) in Bemidji. 

I recorded this just 2 days before I left home for my first radio job in Colorado.  Being the true radio geek that I am, I wanted to roll tape one final time on my favorite local station.  The big Winegard antenna system had already been dismantled, but it wasn’t needed for 101’s short hop from the IDS to Apple Valley.  My Pioneer SX-3900, Technics cassette deck, and TDK D90 tape were used to produce this recording.  Approximate time is from 7:15-8:00PM.

Near the end of this aircheck, you will hear the late Domino Rippey do the 8:00 Legal ID.

5 thoughts on “KDWB-FM 101.3 Minneapolis MN Jack Hicks 1983

  1. Jon

    Hey Drew,

    When did Domino pass away?

  2. Drew Post author

    Hi Jon,

    Not sure on this, so I’ve asked a few “experts.” I’ll let you know what I find out.

  3. Jack Hicks


    Thanks for posting the aircheck. It brings back memories. It’s a little bit “sped up” but other than the higher pitch it’s really a nice sounding recording. It was weird at the time, because we were rockers and didn’t like the jingles, and the “Rock Radio” thing. I remember going from Judas Priest into Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton “Islands in the Stream.”

    Anyway, Domino died about 4 years ago from Lung Cancer. I got to see him at his place in Missouri not long after he got the news.

  4. Steve O.

    Sorry to hear about Domino. He was a fine man. He was just a couple years older than me. I was on air mate of his on the station. I was among the original group, hired, in July, 1979. Management needed an entire jock lineup due to their spitting the simulcast of KDWB AM & FM. They had some great numbers as a Top 40 station, and they had an advantage over the competition because they simulcast, thus 2 stations on AM, one FM. FCC mandated they split. They continued with the format on AM. We were switching to Rock, to try to cut into KQ’s audience. The problem was while the program director – David Thompson – introduced KDWB FM as a rock station (First song played was The Cars “Let the good times roll”) followed by Led Zeppelin “All of my love” we would play something totally out of character, like Eddie Rabbitt or the Commodores and some mush. In other words, the listeners that were left were probably going, “WHAT THE —- IS THIS?” Thompson was fired in December and Dave Hamilton took the PD position in Jan. 1980. Yup, that Dave Hamilton. He was 23 years old. I just remember thinking, “Wow. We are rocking for real”! In Arbitron, we debuted with a 5.2 share. Up from a 2.4, pre-Hamilton. We were essentially tied with KQ. Totally took their mojo. Dave sent their PD a dozen black roses. We called ourselves, “The Twin Cities Rockin’ BEST”. I have some air checks. I’ll post one soon.

  5. Drew Post author

    Hello, Steve Oliver! I was 15 when “K101” debuted. Pretty excited to have a second rock station to listen to. Zeppelin’s “In Through the Out Door” was released that fall and it was just as you described: “All of My Love” into some cheesy leftover from the Top 40 playlist. KQRS wasn’t great in those days since they were running Lee Abrams’ ultra-safe “Superstars” format. Even as a high sophomore, I remember thinking “These guys need to rock harder if they want to beat KQ!”

    Then, it happened. K101 became “Stereo 101. While the others are talkin’, we’re ROCKIN!” Gone was the chicken rock. The music was better. The positioning was better. 101 quickly became my “go-to” station for the rest of my high school days. Except for John Landecker on WLS at night, the guy who taught me how to talk up intros and nail the posts. But that’s for another time. Stereo 101 vs KQ92 was now one of the country’s great rock radio wars. Glad I was around to hear it firsthand.

    BTW, Dave Hamilton is a programming genius as far as I’m concerned. His track record speaks for itself.

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