History of Idaho Broadcasting Member
Passed away peacefully Tuesday August 21, 2012
Left to right: Art Gregory, Bob Dye, and Del Chapman
Bob was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Portland on July 26th for gall bladder surgery, and was also suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. In a prior email to his many friends, Bob was not asking for miracles at this stage of his life, just a successful surgery and a few more quality years. Sadly it was not be.
Bob’s recovery from the surgery did not progress as was hoped for. He then ended up needing a second surgery, and after bad turn of events on last Sunday night, Bob became very ill and decided to stop treatment for anything other than comfort. Prior to his passing Bob wanted to relay his thanks for the many prayers and get-well cards he received. Bob’s friend Chris Warren and his step-sister took him his mail daily, and every comment was relayed, and according to Chris, was “appreciated, and gave him great comfort.”
Chris tells us that that instead of a funeral, Bob requested that a “celebration-of-Life” casual afternoon backyard get-together take place. That is being planned by and will be hosted by the family of Barbara and Barbara Whisnant at their home on the afternoon of September 22nd. More information on this site as plans come together.
Our thanks to Chris Warren, a wonderful friend of Bob Dye, for supplying us with this information.
A little bit about Bob…
Bob Dye grew up in Huntington, Oregon. His first radio job was at KWEI in Weiser from June of 1955 to February of 1958. Bob still remembers the time when Lon Dunn, then a Weiser high school student, came to the station to talk with him. According to Bob, Lon “had pipes like a cousin of God!” Bob says he encouraged Lon and recommended him to Station Manager Don Quigley, who was the one who hired him. Soon after that, Bob was transferred (at owner Mervin Ling's request) to KAYT in Rupert, Ling’s newest station. Bob says he lasted 5 or 6 months there before getting into an argument with the sales manager, whereupon Bob quit and took a job in Redding, California. That job lasted only 5 weeks - because the station was going under! So Bob came back to his home to Huntington, Oregon and got on at nearby KSRV in Ontario, where he did a brief afternoon DJ stint. It was while doing that shift that Bob got to interview Paul Revere, who in town was trying to get airplay for his new record “Orbit” on the Gardena label. According to Bob, Paul pulled up to KSRV in a pink T-Bird wearing his California shades! Unfortunately, KSRV wouldn’t allow rock on Bob’s show, so he couldn't play “Orbit.” But Bob did play Paul’s song “Like Longhair.” Bob’s main job at KSRV was not as a DJ, but as Sports Director. Starting in September of 1958 until the fall of 1961, Bob did play by play of 74 basketball games each season, plus all special events and on-site news stories.
Bob owned a record store in Ontario for a short time, but was best known for his dynamic radio spots promoting his legendary 60’s dances at the Ontario Armory! His commercials promoting these dances were frequently heard on Idaho radio and Oregon stations. He voiced the spots himself, which were often recorded at KYME and produced by Del Chapman. Bob then became a successful radio talk show host in Portland and later in Salt Lake City.
In 2009, Bob hosted a 40 year Reunion Dance at the Ontario Armory with some of the old bands and special guest Jack Ely, the singer on the hit song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen.
On July 22, 2010, member Del Chapman and I met for Bob for lunch. Bob was in the Ontario area visiting friends and met took us to a restaurant called Orphan Annie’s in Caldwell. Bob was also pleased that during that visit, he got to drive his grandfather's mail route for the first time in 44 years. We recorded some of his stores during our lunch, and will plan on doing an extensive article, or even an entire issue of our Newsletter on the many great things that were accomplished by Bob Dye.
Bob Dye was a “showman” right up until the end, and in his final email to his friends, Bob ended his message about going into to hospital with this quote:
as the "Great One,” Jackie Gleason used to say..."and away we go!'
We will miss you Bob. But as is the case with the many other great broadcasters who have left us,
WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.
Bob Dye friend and admirer
The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation