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Bob Lind, Published February 28 2011

Lind: One foul-mouthed radio show

Neighbors receives lots of mail concerning local radio personalities from years ago.

Today, Neighbors hears from one of them: Gil Stout, Fargo, who wrote because of a column about Dave Henley.

“Dave hired me,” Gil writes, “when I started announcing for KFGO in 1951. At that time KFGO was on the ABC Radio network.

“At 7:55 a.m. there was a five-minute program called ‘The John Conte Show.’ Conte would sing one song each day.

“One morning he started to introduce a song, and a burst of profanity and four-letter words came out loud and clear for all America to hear.

“Verna Newell was in the control room with me. She said, ‘I don’t believe what I just heard.’

“Then a network announcer said something about due to improper programming, the rest of show won’t be heard.

“A couple of minutes later the phone rang. The caller was laughing and said, ‘I’ve never heard anybody swear on the radio before.’

“Lem Hawkins had just finished his morning show, and he heard the bad words and laughed with us.”

So you see, neighbors, bad language on the airwaves is nothing new.

Remembering Lem

Speaking of Lem Hawkins, Mike Knutson, Mayville, N.D., writes that while most folks talk about “ad-libbing,” Lem said he himself did “blib-blabbing.”

Mike once took a course at Mayville State University led by a professor who had played in Lem’s dance band. He said Lem didn’t allow any booze on the bandstand.

Ted Pease, Jamestown, N.D., sends in two of Lem’s favorite lines:

“I’m Lemuel Q. Hawkins: Q for Quick” and “You bet your boots and save your socks for Sunday.”

Ted says he’s a friend of Warren “Dutchy” Gerrels, who used to play with the WDAY Radio Co-op Shoppers and who had his own band and played at such local roadhouses as the Silver Star, near Dilworth, the Merry Go Round near Sabin, Minn., and other places, all now history.

Neighbors will have more radio history in coming days.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com