16
Sep
08

ONE HELL OF A RIDE


 

 

Radio legend Doug Banks and daytime diva Dede McGuire, along with their co-host Rudy Rush are sitting lovely in their new syndication (which occurred in January.) Year after year, The Ride with Doug and Dede radio show continues to enter- and edu-tain  listeners across the east and southeast coasts with stimulating banter, hot gossip sessions and of course, the most searing Urban Adult Contemporary bangers.

The Journalista caught up with the broadcast family in their ABC Radio studio in Dallas to discuss their success, hear their views on satellite radio and politics and what it’s like to live in one city, but be heard in another.

So are the two of you enjoying your new syndication home?

Doug: Yes. We’re on in 31 markets across the country.  Chicago is our biggest… I worked in Chicago for 12 years before I came to the network.

You and Dede seem to have a close relationship. How long have you known each other? 

Doug: Dede and I worked together for 10 years. We worked in the morning together…   Since 1997, we’ve worked mornings and evenings together.

Rudy,you are a hilarious addition to the show. How long have you been a comedian?

Rudy: For almost 16 years now. 

How long have you been with The Ride…?

I’ve been with them for three years. 

What’s been your best experience comedy-wise? 

Rudy:  My best experience was hosting Showtime At The Apollo for three years. That was fun, just being from Harlem. I hosted right after Steve Harvey. I was 26 years old, I was the youngest host ever. It was a big time in my life. I had done Def Jam previously and a few other shows. I did a half hour special for Comedy Central, I worked with Dave Chapelle. But, the Apollo was definitely one thing I’ll never forget.

How is it living in a city where you’re not actually on the air-waves and Dallasites can’t tune in on the radio to listen?

Doug: Sometimes it’s cool because I can be out in the store looking a certain way, or I might have to smack my kids, and it’s not in the paper the next day. It has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s ironic, we’re on in so many cities that even when we’re in Dallas, people still stop us on the street and say “Hey.”
Dede: Love it! It gives you a lot more freedom. It gives you a whole different perspective of what’s really going on and what people are really like. I can’t even explain it. Your friends are your friends because they know…I can’t get them in the VIP area and I can’t really get them  concert tickets. (laughs) I like the freedom of it. It’s  fun. But, I do wish we could be on ’cause I think we would be #1 in the city. (Dallas) We beat every other radio station.   It would be great to educate this audience on what we do. It would be nice.

Rudy: I like it. It’s an opportunity to be incognito, a little bit. Being heard around the country in different markets, it’s such a big deal. If we were on in Dallas, [where we all live,] we would be more obligated to do [local] stuff like gas giveaways and movies premieres. The station would have us doing a whole bunch of stuff where as, if I get off work now, I can go to the gym, I could go home or to the movies and just have some “me time” as opposed to just running around doing a whole bunch of things. So living in a city where the show is not on air is a plus.
Satellite Radio is the latest in technological radio advancement. But how do you feel about the current state of “terrestrial radio?”

Doug: I think that satellite has its place. But it’s new. This is never gonna go away. Black radio is in the community. We pride ourselves in talking about things in the black community. A classic example is this whole election process. It’s radio “gold” because people are so passionate about this particular race. The fact that you have…two dynamics running for the most powerful office in the land. It just makes good radio.

Dede: I love it. I think that right now ti’s a good time for radio, certainly for black radio. I think a lot of people now are recognizing the power of it and what it can do for your brand. Now it’s just an incredible time for our country and for us as African Americans. Black radio is just in a great forwarding momentum and we’re loving  it ’cause we get to educate the audience and talk about what’s really concerning us. 

Doug, aside from being a radio air wave legend, you are also committed to some charitable organizations as well. Tell us about your literacy efforts.

Doug:  Yes, I’ve done some stuff with The Boys and Girls Club of America. We’re about to start fueling interns into our affiliates around the country to get students more involved in the process of radio and what it’s about… They will learn all facets of the business. All of our affiliates will be involved with our program of getting students involved. 

Dede you were on air at various other stations across the country before uniting with Doug, right?

Dede: I was in San Antonio at KTFM for a year, then Dallas K104 for two, then I went to Chicago WPNT for two years, then I was in Philadelphia WIOQ for three years, then I got here with Doug almost 11 years ago. I think we’re blessed, really.

 Rudy, will you be on the road soon?

Rudy: I’m on the road all the time. This year, I’ve been in Amsterdam, South Carolina, Atlanta, Oklahoma City. Tulsa and earlier this month, I UrbanFest in Clarsville, Tennessee. I’m all over the place. We put the stuff on the website and the people can log on and check out where I’m gonna be.

 So what’s it like to be on air with Doug and Dede?

Rudy: It’s cool.  It’s an experience. Just like any other family, you have your crazy times. We get along real well. The chemistry is great. If any of us were anywhere else, I don’t think it would be the same and that’s what partially keeps me here because I really like the situation with them and I’ve learned so much. A lot of comedians wanna do movies and I do have those aspirations, but radio is definitely an avenue where I thought I could broaden myself comedically, which I have..

 You’re right. People don’t realize that comedy fits into a lot of other occupations, as well.

Rudy: Yeah. And I do quite well on the show. And I’m still able to do my television shows and movies (if the opportunity came up.) It’s just that flexible, plus I have this to come back to.

 How do Dallas radio personalities treat you guys; knowing that you have fans in Dallas, which is not even one of your syndicated cities?

Doug: They’re cool! I’m good friends with Skip Murphy, Skip Cheatham. Radio is a very small fraternity. Whether you’re doing it on a local or national level, we interact well with each other.

Dede: They are so respectful. I mean being at this level and working with Doug, he is a legend at this business and he has done so much. I’m just blessed to work with him. When we go out, people know how long we were syndicated for mornings. (12 years for Doug and 10 years with Dede.)That’s what everybody aspires to do. It’s like the ultimate, to be syndicated and to know you  have longevity at it!? There’s been a lot of shows that have tried and didn’t maintain; that have come and gone trying to do syndication. Locally, every personality is just the nicest. I’m just really shocked by it! They’re so respectful. I’m just honored they feel that way. I’m always like “What?!” (laughs)

After all these years of conversing with media magnets, who has been your most memorable guest?

Doug: I’ve had good conversations with Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Denzel Washington. I had a great conversation with  Michelle Obama. The last thing she told me before we hung up was  that there were many mornings  that she would be on her way to work and laughing at me on the radio. And that it was a real honor and pleasure to talk to me. I hung up the phone and was like, “To me?” Here she is potentially on her way to becoming the first lady and she’s telling me that? If you take the time to come in and do this, I’m pretty impressed with you as a person.

Dede: To be honest with you, I’m more impressed with our  listeners. The people that we come across that are everyday people, that do something extraordinary in their community. I’m more impressed with those people that give back; not the pampered celebrity set. I remember meeting a woman when we were in Richmond. She came with her five kids. It was around Christmas time and she was working two jobs to make sure her kids got a Christmas. It made me think of my mother. I’m the youngest of five, so I know how that must feel. 

Tell us about some recent guests you’ve had on “The Ride.”

Doug: Earlier this year, we did Celebrity Takeover. We had Idris Elbaz, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, TO (Terrell Owens,) Chaka Kahn, Charlie Wilson, Bobby Brown, who I’ve  met a couple times. Bobby was very insightful. A lot of people got a chance to see a side of him you don’t see. Because the media portrays him to be a so called bad boy. You saw a softer, warmer side to him. Same thing with TO, who the media portrays as someone you can’t get along with, a distraction to teams. He had a ball.  Our Celebrity Takeovers’s are really good.  We’re looking forward to  bringing them  back  in the fall. It’s a  chance for the celebrity to let their hair down, play some music and have fun.

 

For Dallasites and other city slickers that may not get The Ride with Doug Banks and Dede McGuire on your local radio tube, you can always visit http://www.dougbanksshow.com to hear the trio do their thing.

 

And in the words of Rudy, being apart of the trio, whether you’re on-air or listening, it’s just “A GOOD RIDE.”

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