The Bobby Dale Show
KEWB Channel 91
Sunday, August 4, 1963
Bobby Dale (1931-2001) worked at KEWB, KFRC, KSFO, KSAN, KTIM, KKCY (“The City”) and KOFY during four decades on the air in the Bay Area, earning praise from no less than Don Sherwood as “the Disc Jockey’s Disc Jockey.”
A latecomer to the broadcasting profession, Bobby Dale (born Robert Dale Bastiansen) left behind a series of menial jobs to work at a small station in the small town of Glendive in his native Minnesota.
From there, he advanced to KOIL/Omaha — apparently a required stop on every Top 40 DJ’s résumé during this era (Dr. Don Rose, Gary Owens and The Real Don Steele, among numerous notable others, each made stops at KOIL on their ways to and through San Francisco) — before returning to Minneapolis, his home town, at KDWB.
When platter spinners at sister station KFWB in Los Angeles went out on strike, Dale was flown in to work a shift in the Southland. After a brief stay in L.A., he was transferred up to KEWB, Crowell-Collier’s Oakland-based Top 40 outlet.
After his short stop at KEWB, he left Crowell-Collier’s employ for KRLA in Los Angeles, and then came back to the Bay at the newly-launched “Big 610” iteration of KFRC.
“He was singular,” said Ben Fong-Torres, author of The Hits Just Keep On Coming:
“Bobby had a jazz soul; a love of music ranging from pop to blues, folk & jazz. He loved breaking away from Top 40 and into the freedom he found at KSFO on the all-night shift and at the FM stations KSAN and KOFY. But even at Top 40, he was always his own guy, totally improv and off-the-wall, doing W.C. Fields/Lord Buckley-inspired riffs, goofing with live spots, and being so unpredictable that Chuck Blore once called him the worst DJ he’d ever heard, and then, months later, hearing him again, declaring him one of the best.”
Bobby Dale was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame as a member of the BARHOF Class of 2009.
Bobby Dale on KEWB (August 4, 1963)
I loved my Uncle Bobby – I thought he was so cool!
Bobby was your uncle? I loved him at KSFO in 1972….he and Carmelita broadcasting from the Tonga Room….I once went to the Fairmont late one weekend evening and pressed the call button at the door of the KSFO offices, in hopes of being allowed in to meet him. Carmelita came to the door, but I couldn’t get her to let me in. I was sooo disappointed! He played great music, but sometimes I suspected he must have had quite a tab at the bar.