12th Annual Christmas Kettle Luncheon Honoree
The Salvation Army and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Advisory Board are pleased to Honor this year’s Distinguished Guest Speaker, Rick Dees.
Comedic performer and renowned radio personality, Rick Dees has made an indelible mark in the entertainment world with his captivating enthusiasm and quick-witted style. His number one internationally syndicated radio show, The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, is heard each weekend by more than 70 million people around the world, including virtually every city in the United States, 125 countries, 27 massive ships at sea, and on the Armed Forces Radio Network. Dees’ familiar voice and multitude of characters have become a mainstay of the American psyche and have even extended into Beijing, China becoming the first English speaking radio show to entertain Chinese listeners on weekends.
Dees became the hottest property in radio when he began hosting the top-rated morning radio show in Los Angeles on KIIS-FM in July of 1981. In a short time, he turned KIIS-FM into the number one revenue generating radio station in America. With unprecedented ratings success, Dees garnered many accolades including being named Billboard Radio Personality Of The Year ten years in a row. Additional honors included the Marconi Award, induction into the National Radio Hall Of Fame, and his induction into the National Association Of Broadcasters’ Hall Of Fame.
Latest ventures expanded Dees’ abundant entertainment brands to mobile apps. His innovative hit music app BYOChannel streams an ever-expanding universe of music channels, plus invites users to “build their own” personalized channels for FREE using its growing 40-million track song library. Dees further upped the digital ante with his RICK DEES HIT MUSIC app, putting his RICK DEES WEEKLY TOP 40 and DAILY DEES directly into the hands of every Apple and Android device owner.
Rick Dees’ introduction to the international entertainment arena began during the disco craze of the late 70’s. Dees wrote and recorded DISCO DUCK, the award-winning runaway hit that sold more than six million copies. This platinum recording earned him a People’s Choice Award and the BMI Award for highest record sales in one year. In 1984 Dees received a Grammy Award nomination for his comedy album, “Hurt Me Baby – Make Me Write Bad Checks” and was further honored by winning his own Grammy Governor’s Award.
Television came calling in the early 90s with Dees hosting multiple late-night television series on both the ABC and Fox Television Networks. He guest-starred on Roseanne, Married With Children, Cheers, Diagnosis Murder and many other hit television
shows while also hosting the popular syndicated hit series Solid Gold from Paramount Television. His globally-recognized voice has been enjoyed on numerous animated features including The Flintstones where he starred as “Rock Dees”, Jetsons: The Movie portraying “Rocket Rick”, and most recently a featured voice in the cast of the hit Fox Entertainment series Family Guy.
In feature films, Rick Dees held a leading role in the biographical film La Bamba portraying Ted Quillen, the young man who helped launch the career of rock ‘n’ roll star Ritchie Valens.
While his ingrained sense of the absurd and his fervent love of comedy have earned him top ratings in every city in which he has performed, Dees also has become a consummate businessman and entrepreneur outside the radio world. He is the founder/partner of what is now the Cooking Channel on Discovery Networks.
An avid outdoorsman, Dees is passionate about preserving the open land in America, and farms both crops and cattle in central Kentucky. He loves water skiing and golf, has a handicap of 6 on the links, and caddied at The Masters in Augusta, Georgia for PGA champion Mark O’Meara.
An ardent pastry chef, Rick loves to bake – especially anything with chocolate. His desserts cookbook Rick Dees All-Time Top 40 Greatest Desserts has received rave reviews. Dees graciously donates all of its sales to the Salvation Army.
Dees graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Radio, TV and Motion Pictures, and is an inductee in the North Carolina Broadcast Hall Of Fame. He also is a proud participant in the Boy Scouts of America. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout himself at age 15, in 2018 Dees was further honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award – the highest, most prestigious award presented in Scouting.
Rick Dees currently resides in Toluca Lake, a suburb of Los Angeles, with his wife Julie – an accomplished comedienne with numerous credits including being the voice of several “Smurfs” and voice of “Casper The Friendly Ghost.” Julie’s stand-up comedy has thrilled audiences around the world, and she plies these skills as a regular on Rick’s radio shows.
They have one son, Kevin, who owns a highly successful Real Estate business in Los Angeles. Kevin and his wife, Kristen Dees, are the proud parents of Ava Dees, who loves to help ring The Salvation Army bell.