LAST LUNCHEON JAN. 23, 2015
Honoree: Rick Dees
One of America’s most popular radio personalities, stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist, Rick Dees, was honored at PPB’s celebrity luncheon at Sportsmen’s Lodge on January 23. PPB President Chuck Street presented the beautiful Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award to the host of The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown internationally-syndicated radio show.
Dees is a People's Choice Award recipient, a Grammy-nominated performing artist, and Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee. He wrote two songs that appear in the film Saturday Night Fever, plus performed the title song for the film Meatballs. Dees is also co-founder of the E. W. Scripps television network, Fine Living Network, and has been the host of the Rick Dees in the Morning show on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, as well as his own syndicated daily radio show, The Daily Dees.
Rick was born in Jacksonville, FL and reared in Greensboro, NC, where he began his radio career while still in high school. He has a bachelor’s degree in motion pictures, TV and radio from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
After working at several southern radio stations, Dees landed at WMPS AM in Memphis, TN and it was there that he wrote and recorded “Disco Duck, the award-winning hit that sold more than six million copies during the disco craze of the late 1970s. That success brought him to LA’s iconic 93KHJ as the morning show host, but when KHJ switched format to country music, he started his 23-year career on KIIS-FM in 1981. It was there that he worked daily with helicopter-pilot traffic reporter “Commander” Chuck Street.
Throughout his long career, Dees has garnered many accolades, including the prestigious Marconi Award, induction into both the National Radio Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. He is an inductee in the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame, the Tennessee Radio Hall Of Fame, has received the Billboard Radio Personality Of The Year award for 10 consecutive years and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In television, Rick Dees hosted his own late-night show on the ABC television network in the early 1990s, Into the Night Starring Rick Dees, which ran for one season. He has guest-starred on Roseanne, Married...with Children, Cheers, Diagnosis: Murder and many other hit shows. Rick has been married to the former Julie McWhirter since 1977 and they have a son, Kevin.
On the Dais: Front Row: David Sheehan, Fritz Coleman, Honoree Rick Dees and Wally Clark., Back Row: Tim Conway, Jr., Scott St. James, PPB President Chuck Street, and Joe Cipriano., Not pictured: Jerry Bruckheimer (David Keeler photo)