Bob De Leon – Aircheck

Bob De Leon graduated from Modesto High School in 1960.  In high school he became acquainted with Kent Whitt which eventually led to the formation of the band Kent Whitt and the Downbeats.  The band developed quite a name for itself and in December of 1963 was invited to participate in a USO tour to entertain troops in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Okinawa, and  Vietnam.

Kent Whitt and the Downbeats with a young Bob De Leon second from the right.

Bob attended Ogdens Radio Operational Engineering School in Huntington Beach CA. in the mid 60s. After receiving his Federal Communications Commission First Class License he returned to Modesto and started his radio career at KLOC working for Chester Smith.  Bob then went to work for KFIV (K5) in 1967 working the 8:00-midnight shift and eventually the morning shift. Bob was Music Director and Program Director during his time at K5.

Bob doing his show at a remote location. Remotes drew big crowds. Have Turntables, Will Travel.

Bob left K5 in 1972 to work for KTRB.  In 1974 he went to work as the Veterans Outreach Coordinator at Modesto Junior College and in 1975 he took a position at Manteca High School teaching a radio class.

After radio Bob spent many years working in real estate in the Modesto area. He worked for Continental Real Estate, USA Real Estate, Paul M. Zagaris Inc., Prudential California Realty and Century 21 M&M and Associates where he worked at the time of his passing.

During the 80s and early 90s Bob and best friend Derek Waring had a popular DJ service that they worked part time. Bob and Derek provided music and entertainment for many special events in the Modesto area. Bob was a founding member of the Modesto Radio Museum which began in 2004. He participated in two KFIV Graffiti Gold Weekends enjoying the reunions with his old friends from radio.

Derek Waring with Bob De Leon, lifetime friends.

Bob was honored with two Lifetime Achievement Awards by Modesto Area Music Awards (MAMA), one in 2011 for a radio and music career that spanned five decades. Bob’s other MAMA Award came in 2019 when he was recognized as one of the KFIV 1360 Classic DJs.

Derek Waring and Bob De Leon at the 2019 MAMA Awards

Bob passed away in Modesto on December 19, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. His voice, his smile, his charm will be dearly missed.

Circa 1968-69 – KFIV, A young Bob De Leon and Terry Nelson producing a Dennis Dodge commercial. This is a raw production tape with the outtakes left in.

1971 – KFIV, Bob De Leon –  Million Dollar Weekend

1973- KTRB, Bob De Leon reading the weather accompanied by Bob Lang on the Banjo. Good times.

1974 – KTRB, Bob De Leon talking with Derek Waring.

1974 – KTRB, Bob De Leon.  Air personalities names had been changed by the station owners which was not a popular decision with the DJs. Bob’s name became Johnny Gunn.  Although he did a few part time stints and reunion appearances post KTRB this was Bob’s final show of his radio career.

2012 – K5 Graffiti Gold Weekend. A number of DJs were invited to celebrate Modesto’s Graffiti Weekend by doing reunion shows on KFIV. Bob De Leon and Derek Waring decided to team up one more time to do “The Bob and Derek Show.”

2012 – K5 Graffiti Gold Weekend, Bob De Leon thanking folks for listening.

 

Read Modesto Radio Museum’s Tribute to Bob De Leon

Read Rick Myers Introduction of Bob Delon at the MAMA Awards

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5 thoughts on “Bob De Leon – Aircheck”

  1. SOMETIMES IN OUR LIVES WE GET TO MEET A VERY SPECIAL FRIEND THAT MEANS SO VERY MUCH TO US. THAT IS HOW I HAVE ALWAYS FELT ABOUT BOB. THERE WAS A KIND WORD, A HELPING HAND, A FUNNY STORY, OR A BEAUTIFUL SMILE. YOU ARE MISSED BY ALL.

  2. I’m sitting remembering when my husband Fred left K5 and Bob started at K5 how excited he was. He truly enjoyed everything he did. So many talents and helped so many.
    Roni my favorite story when Bob and I worked at RECORDS and he was going to marry you. What a great choice. LOVE

  3. What a wonderful tribute to my Life-Buddy, Bobby De. Thanks to people like Derek Waring, his memory will last for years. We’ve lost a wonderful friend. I was blessed to call Bobby my friend for more than 60 years. Rest in peace my brother ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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