We’re sorry to have to report that Dave Dworkin, who was with 92 KQRS from 1978 to 1984, has passed away. Dave would have been 66 on Tuesday, 10/16
Dave was a Twin Cities native who graduated from Highland Park High School in St. Paul and started his radio career in Appleton, Wisconsin. He worked in Indianapolis for a time before coming home to KQRS, where he did his first afternoon show on December 6th, 1978. During his time on the air, Dave was known for:
- “Disco Destruction and Defamation Department” – the anti-disco promotion that KQ ran in 1979. In the late 70s when it seemed Disco music would push rock & roll aside, Dave would destroy disco songs on the air by dragging the needle across the vinyl record and playing the sound of an explosion, and following it up with a great rock song, along with doing special giveaways. He also created a listener club dedicated to supporting rock and issued membership cards
- Backwards masking and hidden messages in classic rock songs – Dave would point out the hidden messages in songs that were cleverly buried deep in the mix, notably in songs by The Beatles, Pink Floyd and ELO. Sometimes, he would play a portion of a song backwards to reveal a hidden message, as in Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” which supposedly contained the phrase “decide to smoke marijuana.”
After leaving KQRS, Dave started his own very successful business, creating and selling comedy material to morning radio shows and air personalities across the nation, with a service he initially called “Ghostwriters”. As time went on, he added sound effects, production elements, music beds, and music libraries to his products available to radio stations.
He changed the company name from Ghostwriters to the Radio Mall when he started mailing fliers of his wares out to radio stations and became “the shopping mall for radio professionals.”
His client list grew to over 7,000 and as he created a database of radio stations and the people that ran them, he realized that other companies could use a good contact list and he sold that information as well. Some of those he supplied it to were Habitat for Humanity, Fisher House, and even the Peabody Awards.
Dave’s sister Judy was unusually blunt in releasing the circumstances of his death, in the hope of shedding light on this killer disease that affects so many.
“My brother David lost his long struggle with alcoholism yesterday. David was a bright, clever, entrepreneurial guy who loved traveling to warm climates, rock and roll, his cat, and making people laugh. When we were kids, he could always make me laugh by saying the word “shishkabob.” I miss him, but I know his struggle with this horrible disease is finally over. A memorial service will be planned in the next couple of months.”
We here at KQ had really wanted Dave to be a part of our 50th Anniversary celebration and he had indicated that he wanted to take part as well. Dave also had severe back pain and mobility issues and that part of his health did not permit him to take part. We will miss “The Dwork.”
— Jay Philpott, for the 92 KQRS staff past and present.