World-famous radio personality Rick Dees is showing no signs of slowing down after decades in the entertainment world.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in North Carolina, Dees began making his mark in Tennessee armed with a bachelor’s degree in Motion Pictures, TV and Radio from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He parlayed his talents into becoming not only one of the most recognizable radio personalities around the globe, but also an established comedian, actor, voice artist and television host. He even put himself on the music charts with the hilarious #1 hit “Disco Duck” in 1976. “I was and still am so proud that two of my songs, including ‘Disco Duck’ made it into the movie Saturday Night Fever,” Dees says. (“Doctor Disco” was the other.)
He then made it to the top of the radio echelon with his famous internationally syndicated radio show The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown, which he started in the 1980s. Here in Los Angeles, Dees is revered for his years hosting morning shows on KIIS-FM (beginning in 1981 and helping to take the station to #1) and later on HOT 92.3.
Recently he found the time to write Rick Dees All-Time Top 40 Greatest Desserts cookbook now available on Amazon.com. For “Chef Boy R. Dees” as he has referred to himself, this cookbook is “a true labor of love…I had a hand in everything,” he admits. “I was there for every photograph!” The renowned Wolfgang Puck provided the foreword for the book. “I was so honored he wanted to do that,” Dees reveals. “He is such a kind, personable man.”
Dees initially decided to go into showbiz back in the fourth grade: “I was a fat kid then, so to fit-in I made people laugh,” he said. Not a bad start for someone who’s proudest moment became receiving the People’s Choice Award. Influenced by the zany comedian Jonathan Winters and also a fan of the loony Dr. Demento, Dees was featured in the documentary Under the Smogberry Trees, regarding the latter comic.
He has also received Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year for a decade straight, a Grammy nomination, a Grammy Governor’s Award and has been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. Dees got his coveted star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984 prominently located on Vine St.
The multi-talented artist has also been very successful on TV hosting Into the Night Starring Rick Dees on ABC and Solid Gold, and performed roles on hit shows such as Roseanne, Married… with Children, Cheers and Diagnosis: Murder. His voice can be heard in many animated features including The Flintstones and Jetsons: The Movie.
He continues his syndicated Weekly Top 40 show and hosts Daily Dees Monday through Friday both online and on radio stations and worldwide via Dees Digital Network. “I can’t believe how much people in Samoa love the show,” he says. “We became the very first English-speaking radio show to air in China…amazing!”
Besides on Amazon, you can order his cookbook on his website, Rick.com, which happens to be just as loco as his radio shows and so fun to poke around on! Dees does have one serious tip: “Follow my exact directions or it won’t be the same,” he explains. “Please don’t substitute ingredients…for example if my recipe calls for butter do not use margarine instead.”
Looking to his next entertainment platform he offers: “I am moving into podcasts, an entertainment gamut across the board that will blow your mind!”
Denise Ames is a celebrity columnist who has contributed to Entertainment Today, All Access magazine and CNN HLN Local Edition. She has also hosted TV’s “Focus in the Mix with Denise Ames” and “The Rustam Report.”