Freddie Bell back on morning local radio

Longtime broadcaster joins comedian and singer for his return to KMOJ

 

A legend returns: Freddie Bell, a favorite for years with Twin Cities listeners, is back in the Twin Cities at KMOJ-FM’s The Morning Show. AM drive time with the quintessential easygoing, ever-friendly voice is once again an engagingly personable experience.

Arts no chaserMany of us a recall a return to the air some time back under less-than-desirable circumstance. His program was pulled from the KMOJ airwaves, fans raised a royal phone-calling, letter-writing ruckus that got him right back behind the microphone and in the cars and homes of a loyal audience.

How many radio professionals can you count on one finger, with room left over, who’ve had that sort of impact? “I was surprised,” he recalls. “Humbled.”

Asked how it feels to be back, he readily answers with a chuckle, “Besides cold? It’s heartwarming. I’m amazed. I thought people had forgotten me.”

ent_Freddie Bell 62010That, as anyone who’s interacted with Bell over the years can attest, is not false modesty. And is, in fact, an integral part of his appeal. Bell isn’t one of those slick, self-absorbed types who firmly believe they are God’s own gift to the public. He walks it just like he talks it, a down-to-earth everyman sort.

He genuinely appreciates the avid following that has made him a singularly popular presence. And has no problem acknowledging that this new venture, The Morning Show, is by no means a solo outing. He says of his on-air colleagues, “Shed G and Chantele SinGs are wonderful talents. Shed is funny, quite the showman. Chantele, incredibly smart, is…serious about her craft.”

He adds that he’s “grateful to General Manager Kelvin Quarles who offered the [KMOJ] opportunity to work with these gifted pros who have promising futures ahead of them.”

For good measure, Freddie Bell has, over the years, quite appreciably expanded his profile. In addition to The Morning Show, he’s broadcasting weekends, in syndication with The Freddie Bell Show. It’s a three-hour foray into fun, entertainment, information, personal empowerment and, of course, music with a soup-to-nuts playlist that ranges from ABBA to the Whispers and beyond, trusting to the tried-and-true format that has made the program a hit since it debuted in 1994.

And Saturdays at one in the afternoon there’s New Beginnings (KTNF-AM 950), which his website (freddiebell.com) dubs a “Talk Show for Baby Boomers.”

The site goes on to say, “Its primary focus is Baby Boomers and those who care for them. You’ll find that Boomer needs are not all that different from everyone else. The difference is, there are 78 million Boomers in America! We visit with people from housing, finance, fitness, employment and entertainment. As a matter of fact, a key partner on that show is Joe McKenzie, the principal of Ripple Connects. Joe teaches people how to use their natural networks in connecting with people to make things happen, like finding the right employment opportunity. He appears with me each week.

“New Beginnings features experts in the above areas who share their expertise with our listeners as well. Current partners include Mike Nakashima of Innovate Financial and Henry Crosby of the YMCA in Minneapolis.”

The Morning Show with Freddie Bell, Shed G. and Chantele SinGs doing entertainment (hip hop and songs from the 1970s through the 1990s as well as contemporary R&B hits), news and topical talk and Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. giving sports news of the day airs 6 to 10 am on KMOJ-FM 89.9.

Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.