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Bob Lind, Published August 21 2012

Lind: Henley ‘one of the smoothest broadcasters’ ever heard

Neighbors recently mentioned former WDAY radio announcer Dave Henley.

In telling of him, Neighbors said the last it heard, Dave was living in Montana.

Unfortunately, that’s wrong. Earl Williams, Fargo, another local radio veteran, reports Dave died in 1979.

Earl says Dave “was one of the smoothest broadcasters I have ever heard.”

Earl also says Dave and Manny Marget, another radio voice out of the past, were the best of friends. Fact is, Earl says, Dave and Manny were born in the same month of the same year and died just days apart, when both were 83.

Their funerals were close together, too: Manny’s in Fargo, and Dave’s one day later in Grand Forks.

Where’s the table?

Then there’s Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club out of Chicago, which was carried on local radio stations and which has drawn many messages from its fans.

Every program included a band playing a rousing march, during which you were supposed to “march around the breakfast table.”

This brings up a story from Paul Groethe, Vergas, Minn.

“When I was a kid growing up in Kindred, N.D.,” Paul writes, “I listened to the program almost every day.”

In those pre-TV days, he says, your imagination would “run wild” as you listened to programs like this, “and the most exciting to me was when they would march around the breakfast table. At least, that’s what they said they were doing.

“In the 1950s,” Paul says, “I was attending a convention in Chicago and my wife was along. She had gotten tickets to the program and we decided to go; the studio was only two blocks from our hotel.

“It was our first experience at a live studio program and it was great.

“However, when it came time to march around the breakfast table, there was no table; there was no marching around it. It sounded to the listening audience that they were actually marching; however, they did not.

“I was surprised and disappointed. The bubble had been burst.

“As a side to this,” Paul says, “McNeill asked the crowd if anyone was good at putting on games on short notice. My wife raised her hand, as she was good at this.

“She had 15 minutes to put together a skit using nine students who were from a high school in Illinois. The skit went well.

“It would be fun to again listen to a Breakfast Club program plus all the great radio programs that came out of the Fargo radio stations.”

Sure would, Paul.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com