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Dee-troit Deb

Co-host of Evening Blues

“How can the angels get to sleep When the Devil leaves his porch light on?” — Unknown. Dee-troit Deb has pondered that question ever since hearing it on an obscure radio program many years ago. Suspecting that the answer just might lie in the blues, Deb began hosting The Evening Blues, which you can hear on KCBX every other Saturday night from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, during the early 1950s and ’60s, Deb was exposed to a veritable plethora of musical styles. These ranged from classical to Middle Eastern music with American swing, rockabilly, and pop music thrown in for good measure. By the age of 10 or so, Deb began turning her attention to Motown soul and R&B, as well as to the sounds of the British Invasion and the subsequent drug culture music of the late ’60s–early ’70s by listening to whatever music was playing on the local radio stations. One of these was a Canadian AM station emanating from Windsor, Ontario, whose jingle “CKLW, The Motor City, where the hits just keep on comin’!” pretty much described the frantic pace of the two-minute pop song followed by one or more commercial advertisements. The miraculous and blessed advent of FM radio enabled Deb to listen to classical music on WQRS and to free-form radio on WABX, the first such format of its kind in the Detroit area.

After moving to Boulder, Colorado in 1974 to advance her career as a typographer, Deb became a loyal listener and supporter of public radio KGNU-FM. The eclectic format of the station fueled Deb’s insatiable interest in blues, gospel, jazz, and world music. But it was through the Boulder-based advertising agency where Deb was working that she met and married the man of her dreams with whom she later moved to California’s Central Coast in August of 1988. One of the criteria for relocating had been to find a local public radio station within clear listening distance of the new house. It was either that or the move was not going to occur. Happily, San Luis Obispo’s very own public radio station KCBX filled the bill, and the move was on!

Late one Saturday evening shortly after the move, Deb was listening to “Night Train” on KCBX, hosted alternatively at that time by Fred Friedman ( now of “Jazz Liner Notes”), Rick Mathews (now of “Freedom Jazz Dance”), Mike Moore (former co-host of “The Cutting Edge”), and Jimm Cushing (former host of “Jazz Toward The One” and other jazz programs on KCBX). It happened to be during the fall pledge drive, and Fred and Rick came on during one of the breaks to spontaneously offer what proved to be a life-altering, one-of-a-kind premium: “For a $60 pledge, you can come down here and host your own version of ‘Night Train’,” were the magic words that came enticingly out of Deb’s speakers that night, causing her to nearly spill her drink and fall off the couch at the same time.

The rest, as they say, is history. Deb made her $60 pledge, guest-hosted "Night Train" with Fred Friedman, who then trained her on board operations. Deb hosted the swing music show, "In the Mood" from 1989 to 1993, and also was heard during those years on "The Evening Blues" and "Night Train." She took a few years off devoted to business and family.

Fast-forward to November 2007: Deb stopped in at KCBX one day to say hello. That was when KCBX Music Director Neal Losey approached Deb with "an offer she couldn't refuse.” A new co-host was needed to replace Miranda Leonard, who had given up her position on “The Evening Blues” back in September of 2007, and Neal had determined that Deb was it.

And so, Dee-troit Deb returned to the KCBX airwaves in January 2008, where she gladly picked up where she left off so many years before. You can hear her with Big Daddy Cain as alternating host of “The Evening Blues” every Saturday night from 6 to 9 pm for the best of the blues; or, as one of Deb’s regular listeners phrased it, "all killer and no filler!"