The Man Behind The Voice
by Phil McIlrath, KDLT News
May 23, 2012 9:37 PM
Over time, if you stay at a job long enough, and give it your all, people are bound to take notice. For the case of one Pipestone radio announcer, his decades long career has been heard loud by a pretty prominent Iowa organization.
If you're a fan of oldies, you've probably heard him, but chances are you've probably never seen him.
"I Got the impression people think I'm short fat and have a crew cut,"laughed Pipestone DJ, Mylan Ray.
Despite what you think he might look like, his name is Mylan Ray, and he's been a radio announcer at KISD in Pipestone for almost four decades, It's a career that's been dialed-in for him since his teenage years.
"I wrote the Columbia school of broadcasting when I was 14 years old. They were nice enough to reply, but said, 'Hey kid, write back when you graduate high school,'" said Ray.
Mylan always knew he wanted to command the airwaves. Mylan says in high school kids used to tease him thinking he would be like the long haired, rough cut DJs of the 60s and 70s, but he really wanted to emulate someone else a little more clean cut.
"They asked, 'Are you going to be like Wolfman Jack?' I said, 'No, I want to be like Dick Clark." said Ray.
Over the years, that vision started to become more of a reality. Mylan wanted to be more than just a DJ, he wanted to know the people he was "playing" over the air everyday. For decades, he amassed thousand of Records, tapes, autographs and anything else relating to his passion for radio.
"It was said to me years ago that I need a museum to put this stuff in It's probably what I need!" said Ray.
However, it's not just the autographs that fuel Mylan's collection; It's the memories and those timeless meetings with his heroes.
"I'm in the first row. I look up and Johnny Cash winks at me! Years later, at the Sioux Falls coliseum I go backstage and tell him that story and he let's out a big laugh! He thought it was the coolest thing that someone would remember that!" said Ray.
With those memories come a richness and deeper appreciation for Mylan's craft. It's something the people at the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have noticed. Mylan is one of those lucky enough to be inducted this year.
"If you stay in a place long enough, people will acknowledge what you're doing. I've been here 38 years and I guess longevity has a little to do with it! It's quite an honor," said Ray.
A humbling gesture to honor a voice that has entered homes of tri-state area for almost half a century.
Mylan will be inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this summer down in Arnold's Park, Iowa.