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Radio Host Celebrates 90th Birthday

Radio Host Celebrates 90th Birthday

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Sam Penrod Reporting The host of a small-town Utah radio program celebrated a milestone yesterday. He taped his weekly radio show yesterday on his 90th birthday.

Inside the radio studio in Richfield, Joe Gentry spent his 90th birthday on the job. Each week he hosts a two-hour show, and it's the kind of music you probably haven't heard on the radio in a long time - Lawrence Welk and Lauren Ford.

We don't have to tell you that Joe has been doing this for a while. He says, "I started way back in 1956 when Art Tucker let me do a 15-minute radio show."

Every week, Joe rides his bicycle down the road to the station, bringing with him a stack of what we call old records. But he keeps up with technology and has a wide selection of CDs in his collection, too.

"I'm just totally in love with the classic guitar, pretty much, and the piano is a close second, you know," Joe said.

Joe gets fan mail every week from his loyal listeners. He tells us, "There's one fellow from Redmond who is in his 90s and he said, ‘Joe, keep those polkas a coming.' He said, ‘I get up and dance around the room.'"

Kevin Kitchen, the station manager, says, "Joe is really an icon in this valley. Everybody sees him riding his bike all over the place. He is the kind of guy who sees the simplicity of life and the things that really matter and showing people how to make that work for them."

And to Joe's audience, don't worry, even though he's turned 90, the music of his era and his trademark sign-off will still be on the air.

Joe is also, in his words, the chief sanitation engineer at the station. He says it's just a fancy word for the janitor. His show airs on 980 AM in Richfield every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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