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Guest blog: Good-bye to the Youngster

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A more recent shot of Dic Youngs at KIOA's Iowa State Fair booth with Dr. Jeff Stein, communications professor at Wartburg College. Photo courtesy of Jeff Stein and Brian Allen

Note from Phil Roberts: Following is a guest blog written by my friend, Brian Allen of KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls. He writes recently of the death of Dic Youngs, “the Youngster,” a Des Moines rock radio legend. Although I didn’t know Dic, I feel like I knew him because I listened to him when I could for so many years. That happens in radio. After a while, though you’ve never met, you get to know the announcer whose voice comes through the speaker day after day. I admired Dic for staying in the business so long; that’s no easy task.

It’s sometimes odd what occurs to you in the middle of the night when you cannot sleep. It is tough when your heroes die. To know that their good works have come to an end and their voice has been silenced.


Early this morning, one of my broadcasting heroes lost his life.

His name was Dic Youngs. If you’re old enough, you’ve probably heard of him. He was a legend, spending more than 45 years in broadcasting. Most of that time was spent behind a microphone at KIOA in Des Moines. He WAS rock and rock in the 1960s and 1970s, eventually growing into the role of “radio grandfather” in the ‘80s, ‘90s and beyond. He was a mentor to so many broadcasters, directly and indirectly. Those fortunate enough to work with him benefited from his direct involvement. Those who benefited indirectly were provided with a road map on how to respect yourself, others and the business of broadcasting.

Every year, Youngsy would broadcast live from the Iowa State Fair. His booming voice audible even without the big speakers KIOA would set up. He was like Santa Claus in the Summertime; always quick with a joke or a smile or a pat on the back. I am 36 and have missed only a handful of Iowa State Fairs, so I had many opportunities to sit down and talk with Dic. But I never did it. Not really.

Every once in a while I would approach him and start a conversation but then almost back out of it. He wasn’t intimidating, not in the least. I just think every time I would try I would end up having a “you’re not worthy” moment and not finish what I had tried to start. But I would always admire from afar and be amazed at how well he knew people and how well he knew the music.


That was the thing: Every time Dic Youngs was on the radio you KNEW he loved the music. That he was particular about playing songs with strong lyrics and attention-getting guitar licks and bass lines. It was always a party with Youngsy — at least that’s how he made it appear and that’s why he was so fun to listen to.


For years, Dic hosted a Saturday night oldies show on KIOA. When I lived in Des Moines…and eventually when I moved away but would come back for visits…I would always turn the show on and listen. It always made me smile. What a master of the radio dial!


Which brings us back now to today and the horrible news which greeted me this morning. Dic had been hospitalized for a while now at Mercy in Des Moines. This morning about 1:30, his body apparently had enough and he passed into history. Going forward, it will be odd to think and talk about him in the past tense.


He made the world a better, more tolerable place….one record at a time. His jokes, sometimes corny, could bring a smile to your face and make you temporarily forget about your woes.

He was a big man in size and a big man in heart.


Of all the people I know who have worked with Youngsy, I have never heard one of them gripe about Dic and that is saying something. Broadcasting can be fairly two-faced and has it’s fair share of back stabbers. That being said, Dic Youngs was respected but more than that he was loved. And when someone you love dies, it’s tough to take.


###


Statement from KIOA (more, including audio clips of Dic, at http://kioa.com/Dic-Youngs-1941-2009/5251474):

93.3 KIOA and the Des Moines community have lost an icon. Richard “Dic” Youngs has passed away after a long illness.

Dic will always be remembered for his reverberating baritone, the way he helped entertain and inform Iowa and his quickness with a wink and a smile. Youngsy always wanted to have a good time and take his audience on the same ride.


Youngsy could spin a tale with such style that, even if he only had a few details, you listened closely and begged for more.  From the start he had one desire – give the audience a good time. And whether he was spinning discs at a sock-hop or counting down the top 10 on the radio, people danced and had the time of their lives.


But Dic was also able to help listeners through the tough times as well. If it was a recession, a flood or the 2001 terrorist attacks, people listened to Youngsy because his assured delivery was a comfort in even in the most trying moments.


So, thank you Youngsy for all that you have shared with KIOA and Des Moines in over 45 years of broadcasting. We will greatly miss our boisterous, kind, sweet and smiling friend.


-Your KIOA Family

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Give thanks: Something to think about

Guest blogger Brian Allen of KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Guest blogger Brian Allen of KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Note from Phil Roberts: Following is a guest blog written by my friend, Brian Allen of KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls. His message is so good I asked him if I could post it.

It’s sometimes odd what occurs to you in the middle of the night when you cannot sleep.

I am a notoriously bad sleeper. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason whatsoever, then I  begin thinking about things….ideas, people, etcetera…which then prevents me from getting back to sleep.

So overnight I had one of these spells, and I began thinking about the idea of thankfulness and stopping to take stock of one’s life. Do you do it? I try to daily…to keep things in perspective.

I think about Mandy and Austin and Cameron and how lucky and fortunate I am to have them in my lives. Some people right now go home to an empty house and have little to no contact with anyone, let alone people who love them.

I think about how thankful I am for my job, especially at a time when so many people are either unemployed or underemployed. I have a job I enjoy, and I make a salary that allows me to support my family.

I think about the freedom I have to practice my religion, knowing people worldwide are persecuted by governments or thugs who can’t stand the thought or a higher power.

I think about how good it is that Austin is excited about school and really wants to do well. I’ll admit, when I was young, school seemed like a chore more than anything else. I was about as excited about it as I was folding socks. Austin has a true intellectual curiosity that I hope he keeps his entire life. I am fortunate that I have my health and that my wife and kids are healthy. I know so many people my age who have serious health issues that they are working to overcome. I do not have that burden, and pray I never will.

Look at the world around you and count your blessings, not your curses. Everyone has a certain level of challenge they must overcome daily. What you have to do is compare your challenges to others in society. Do yours measure up to theirs? Or are you relatively well off but just think you’re not?

Would I like more time off with my kids? Yes. Would I like a bigger home? Sure. Would I like to be filthy rich? You bet. All of that said, the life that I have is good, and I appreciate it. While I strive for things, I don’t build my life around the fact that I don’t have them. I focus on what I do have and how it’s a lot more than some people have and that I am thankful to have it in the first place. But for a simple twist of fate, I could be single, no family, living alone, working at a job I hate. But I am not in that position.

Every once in a while, I will say a prayer, sometimes to myself, sometimes out loud and it goes like this: “I love my life. I love my wife. I love my sons. I love my job. I am thankful for a roof over my head and food on the table. Thank you God for being so good to me.”

This is more than taking time to smell the roses. This is picking the rose, looking at it, appreciating it for what it is and not noticing the rose may have a few missing petals.

Quote Of The Day: “The trick is to make sure you don’t die waiting for prosperity to come.” Lee Iacocca

Something You Should Check Out: Whenever I hear the song “Reign In Me.” I feel amazingly thankful for my life. Whenever this song is performed at our church, I will tear up. It is such a great song. I hope you agree.

— Brian Allen, KSFY

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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