Rick Dees grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his radio career in Greensboro on WGBG while he was in high school. After WGBG, Rick worked at WXYC in Chapel Hill, WSGN in Birmingham, Alabama and WKIX in Raleigh.
During the time he worked as a DJ in Memphis at WMPS-AM he wrote “Disco Duck,” which was a number one record in 1976 and sold six million singles. It was featured in the iconic disco movie, Saturday Night Fever. Dees won a “People’s Choice Award” from this hit but, ironically, was not allowed to play it on the air at the radio station where he worked. In fact, Rick was fired by station management when he mentioned on the air that “Disco Duck” was headed to being number one in the nation but he was not allowed to play it!
That was just a minor bump in the road for Dees, who landed a job on WHBQ in Memphis, then went on to host a popular morning radio show on 93KHJ AM in Los Angeles. From KHJ Rick went to KIIS-FM and led that station to become the number one station in the nation for revenues. With Rick in his morning show, the station was worth half a billion dollars and Rick was named Billboard Radio Personality of the Year for ten consecutive years.
In September, 1983 Rick began his “Weekly Top 40” countdown, which reached over 200 cities worldwide during its peak and was heard on the Armed Forces Radio Network. This show became the first English-speaking radio show to hit the airwaves in China.
In 2004 Rick left KIIS-FM but went back on the air in Los Angeles on KMVN Movin’ 93.9; he hosted that show with Patti “Long Legs” Lopez and Mark Wong. Rick left KMVN when the station changed formats but still hosted “The Weekly Top 40” countdown show as well as “The Daily Dees,” a four-hour midday show that’s syndicated.
He hosted a late night TV show on ABC, “In the Night Starring Rick Dees,” and appeared on a number of TV shows, including “Roseanne,” “Married..with Children,” and Cheers. He hosted the syndicated series, “Solid Gold,” and his voice is heard in the movies The Flintstones, as Rock Dees, andJetsons: The Movie, as Rocket Rick.
Rick Dees was the co-founder of the Fine Living Network, and DDN—The Dees Digital Network. He is active in Young Life, a Christian organization and remains active in Boy Scouts, where he was an Eagle Scout.
He was nominated for a Grammy in 1984 for his comedy album, Hurt Me Baby—Make Me Write Bad Checks; his other comedy albums include I’m Not Crazy, Rick Dees’ Greatest Hit (The White Album)and Put It Where The Moon Don’t Shine. During his career, Rick has received a Grammy Governor’s Award, the Marconi Award, was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, the Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Broadcast Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.