Tickling Your KJR “Way Back When” Memory Gland

In the late 1960s, I went to high school with Don Hedman Jr. I did not know until years later that his dad had worked in radio. When Don Sr. came to Bellingham in 1962, he worked for KGMI radio and International Good Music, also known as IGM (both companies owned by radio pioneer Rogan Jones Sr,). I had not heard from Don Jr. since a class reunion about 10 years ago (the 50th scheduled this year was delayed by the pandemic.) Last week I was in contact with Don Jr. after he commented on one of my posts about KJR. He pointed out that his dad had worked there. I knew of his dad, but we do not have that much info on him here at Puget Sound Media. I am pleased to report that Don Jr. has a nice collection.

Don Hedman Sr. was prominent in Seattle radio in the late ’50s and into the ’60s. On the air in Seattle, Hedman sometimes referred to himself as “Don the Horseless Hedman.” Don worked at several Seattle radio stations — KXA, KOMO, KJR and KAYO.




Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with QZVX.COM in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions. View other articles by Steven Smith
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13 thoughts on “Tickling Your KJR “Way Back When” Memory Gland

  1. KVAL, KBKW (newspaper article had it wrong, calling it KDKW), KXA and then KJR) and then where? It would be keen if we could get an audio clip. Thanks Steven! Good info.

    1. Jason…. Don Jr. says his dad left KJR in 1960 and went to KAYO and then moved to Bellingham in 1962. He says that Bill Schonely was also at KAYO doing Seattle Totems Hockey.

  2. Don Hedman and Bob Salter were big stars on KJR before, and into, the birth of rock and roll. I guess they’d been around but I don’t recall hearing them on any other station. The ad says Don’s program was called “Music Makers”. I only associated that title with Wally Nelskog.

    Don had what I would call a soft voice and mild delivery, even when he announced The Elvis Presley Show, thirty straight minutes of “The King” on Sunday afternoons.

    Chuck Bras, Dick Stokke and Rod Hammett were at KJR around that time too, unless my crumbling brain is playing more harmless tricks.

    In 1971, Don Hedman did mind-bending time announcements on KFKF-AM’s automated “yawn and snooze” format from IGM: “Studio time is 43 minutes after 7!”

  3. Dick,
    Thanks for the comments. Most of what he did was before my time. I know Gary Shannon recalls listening to Don as well. I do not think I heard his IGM time tapes….but I know what you mean. I heard many of those over the years. in their MOR and Country formats.

  4. Yesssss, I am so happy to see my dad, Rod Hammett, mentioned here!!! I am thrilled that you have developed this site—thank you so much!!! My dad was the most positive person and constantly helping people. He was the clown of the family—always making everyone laugh and our get togethers so much fun (our family gatherings are not the same without him). Sadly, my dad passed away September 5th, 2016 at the ripe old age of 96, just 6 weeks shy of his 97th birthday. My sweet and loving mama is still with us at 100 years old! I do know my dad (Rod) announced my birth in 1956 at KJR (I think the recording of that is in storage). In speaking of my birth in his announcement he said “I wanted to name her De Feet and my wife wanted to name her De Hips, so we compromised and named her De Knees (my name is Denise)🤪 Rod (my dad) worked for several radio stations—KTAC being one of them— prior to KJR, before switching to KOMO TV as an on-air announcer (possibly KOMO radio previous to that). He worked for KOMO TV for many years before finally retiring. My family and I would love to supply you with more information about our dad❤️ Denise

    1. Denise, If you can email some of the audio from any Rod Hammett airchecks we would be happy to post them here. Give us the date of the audio, if possible. That era is when radio started breaking away from network programming into more of a local direction. Personality was king. Names like Rod Hammett are legend and well known to old-timers here. Audio from that era is rare! Any would be appreciated.
      Thank you!

      1. Yes, Jason, I would LOVE to do that! Between myself and my siblings we should be able to “hopefully” find some of those recordings! We can for sure supply you with more information about his radio & television days. Thanks so much, Jason! Denise

  5. And in addition to what Jason said…photos too. I have done articles on early KJR and would not have had much without Don Hedman Jr. I will put a photo of your dad in that existing article if you send one or more…thanks.

    1. Okay, Jason, thank you! I remember seeing the article where my dad got “DJ of the Week” like the one shown above, and will see what else my family and I can come up with!

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