Monday, May 9, 2011

Rick Dees' Humor Returns To LA Radio On KHHT

In the 32 years since Rick Dees arrived in Los Angeles, he had worked at just three radio stations: KHJ, KIIS-FM - where he spent an amazing nearly quarter of a century waking up Southern California - and Movin' 93.9.

Last Wednesday, he added a fourth employer, Hot 93.9 FM (KHHT), where you can hear Dees from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays. Technically, he's on until 10 a.m. but the last hour is continuous new old-school.

According to a story by Richard Wagoner, at, it was just over two years ago that Dees left Movin' due to a station sale and format change, and it has been more than seven years since he left the employ of Clear Channel Communications, replaced on KIIS-FM (102.7) by Ryan Seacrest.

Did Dees think he would return? Did he think he would make it back to morning drive, and on another Clear Channel station?

"I have to admit right now it feels a little weird. Great, but just a little strange," Dees said in an interview Wednesday, after his first shift back on the air. "But I am so excited to be back and so excited to be working with old friends again. We have some amazing people here."

Those people include Greg Ashlock (Clear Channel Los Angeles market manager), John Ivey (Los Angeles programming manager) and Ron Shapiro (Hot 92.3 assistant program director).

"We have some of the most talented people in the business, and we have a mutual admiration for each other," Dees said. "At the same time, it is humbling to have had my name in the survey."

The survey Dees is referring to was one conducted by the station asking listeners who their favorite radio personalities were. Two names dominated - Art Laboe (heard on the station nightly) and Dees.

Humbling, perhaps, but not unexpected. You don't have a 23-year run on one of America's most popular radio stations without building a reputation - in this case, a reputation for good, clean, usually family fun, someone you can listen to as you drive your kids to school.

To celebrate his return to the morning airwaves, Dees threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Dodger game April 27. It was a throwback day, with the Dodgers and Cubs both sporting old-school uniforms - the perfect way to highlight the old-school tunes Dees is playing on Hot 92.3

At Hot 92.3 (website), Dees is bringing back old favorites, some with a twist: "Candid (Smart) Phone," celebrity gossip "Dees Sleeze," and the "Cast of Idiots" including Willard Wiseman.

Humor is where Dees shines, of course. And if you pay close attention, you'll notice he always leaves the more risque humor or double entendres to one of his alter-egos, such as the Wiseman.

Not that it ever gets out of hand. Dees is a master of clean humor and, like Jerry Seinfeld, can make people laugh over everyday events.

"I want to be there when Justin Bieber's voice changes," he quipped.

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