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Joe Donovan Page

Joe Donovan

Joe Donovan (Deuth) came to WHAS in 1977 and was part of the air staff for 20 years. Most of those years were spent overnight doing an oldies show that not only was popular in the Louisville area, but across the country thanks to WHAS' 50,000 watt clear channel signal.

On November 11, 2009 we spoke with the retired Donovan about his time at the Big 84, where he worked in radio before and after WHAS, the work that went in to producing a typical Joe Donovan oldies show, whether he'd like to return to doing a regular radio show, and more. That conversation is below:

Joe Donovan Audio Interview
22:51 - 8034 KB

Joe Donovan WHAS JAM Jingle
:11 - 175 KB

Joe Donovan Obituary
Published in the Louisville Courier-Journal January 22-24, 2014

DEUTH, JOE M. "JOE DONOVAN," 70, of Louisville, passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at Norton Suburban Hospital.

Joe was born in Forreston, IL, on May 6, 1943 to Milton and Sally Gohlke Deuth.

Joe is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Doris Weaver Deuth. He is also survived by his brothers Tom Deuth and his wife Judy of Kansas City, KS and Chuck Deuth and his wife Kathy of Sun Lakes, AZ; his sister Julie Mock and her husband Gail of Boulder, CO and several nieces and nephews including his goddaughter Tracy Ackley and her family of Indianapolis, IN; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Leland Weaver, his sister-in-law Ms. Jo Pippin and his brother-in-law Mike Weaver of Bowling Green KY. Joe is also survived by his best friend, Phil Ritz.

Joe's family relocated to Colorado when he was young. He grew up in Loveland, building his first radio station transmitter in his family's basement at age 14. (The FCC came to his parents' home and shut his radio station down). Joe's first love was radio, particularly playing vinyl records. His 45 collection was legendary, consisting of over 30,000 records at one time.

Joe worked as an on-air personality in Loveland (KLOV), Ft. Collins (KCOL) and Denver (KOA, KIMN), Colorado. He was considered a pioneer in the "Oldies" concept before it became a fad. He moved to Louisville in 1977 to go on the air at WHAS 840. His air work reached most states and several other countries that could pick up the 50,000 watt station all night.

Joe continued working for Clear Channel Communications until his retirement in 1998. He produced and announced the weekly radio ministry of Our Savior Lutheran Church from 2003 until 2013.

Joe's beautiful voice, sweet nature and amazing musical knowledge will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him and by all who listened to his work.

Visitation will be at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven from 2-8 p.m. Thursday, January 23, 2014. Funeral services will on Friday, January 24, 2014 at his church, Our Savior Lutheran Church on Nottingham Parkway at 11 a.m. with visitation at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Friday. Internment will be private.

Memorials may be made in Joe's name to the Our Savior Lutheran Church Organ Fund. He always loved it when the big pipe organ played and when the organist "pulled out all the stops."

Joe Donovan Artist Interviews
Joe had the opportunity to interview many oldies artists over the years. Below are links to the artist interview clips we have in our collection, dubbed from tape cartridges Joe used to produce his show.
Al Wilson
2:18 - 1082 KB
Billy J. Kramer
7:52 - 3687 KB
Billy Joe Royal
6:15 - 2936 KB
Bobby Goldsboro
12:32 - 5877 KB
Bobby Rydell
6:44 - 3157 KB
Bobby Vee
8:54 - 4177 KB
Brenda Lee
3:47 - 1779 KB
Del Shannon
7:41 - 3602 KB
Dennis Yost
3:12 - 1503 KB
Derek Leckenby from Herman's Hermits
10:38 - 4985 KB
Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean
9:47 - 4592 KB
Donnie Brooks
:46 - 364 KB
Fred Johnson of The Marcels
1:56 - 908 KB
Gary Puckett
8:03 - 3778 KB
Jim Pash of The Surfaris
5:40 - 2664 KB
Little Anthony
2:29 - 1171 KB
Little Richard
4:58 - 2335 KB
Mark Volman of The Turtles
8:45 - 4103 KB
Martha Reeves
4:29 - 2105 KB
Peter Noone
8:09 - 3824 KB
Paul Stookey
5:04 - 2378 KB
Rick Nelson
4:50 - 2270 KB
Roy Orbison
3:16 - 1535 KB
Elaine "Spanky" McFarland
1:48 - 848 KB
Tiny Tim
6:00 - 2818 KB
Tommy Roe
14:58 - 7022 KB
Joe Donovan Video

These commercials for WHAS radio, produced by Barbara Polk, feature Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan Photos
Standing L-R: Milton Metz, Gary Burbank, Jerry David Melloy and Joe Donovan
Seated L-R: Steve George and Wayne Perkey
Joe Donovan photo from a WHAS promotional postcard
L-R: Gary Burbank, Steve George, Joe Donovan and Wayne Perkey
Pictured on this WHAS billboard from the 1980s (in no particular order): Paul Rogers, Liz Curtis, Cawood Ledford, Chuck Taylor, Van Vance, Doug McElvein, Ralph Dix, Wayne Perkey, Fred Wiche, Brian Rublein, Joe Donovan, Paul Harvey, Dan Burgess, Mary Jeffries, Bob Lauder, Milton Metz, John Polk, Steven Lee Cook, Mary McCarthy, Mike Edgerly, John Ihrig, and Nancy Crane.
Joe Donovan photo from the back cover of the WHAS 1986 "Rock 'N' Roll Classics" record album
This airstaff caricature appeared on the back cover of the 1986 "Rock 'N' Roll Classics" record album.
L-R: Milton Metz, Doug McElvein, Joe Donovan, Wayne Perkey, Liz Curtis, Terry Meiners and Van Vance
Front Cover Back Cover
Joe Donovan Airchecks
Joe Donovan plays the oldies in September, 1977 on WHAS' "Saturday Night Revival"
Part One
26:03 - 9161 KB
Part Two
26:42 - 9390 KB

Joe brings back the memories on WHAS' "Saturday Night Revival."

Joe Donovan (June 2, 1979)
27:02 - 9509 KB

Here's an aircheck that will be of special interest to fans of the local Louisville music scene of the '50s and '60s. In this February 16. 1980 edition of Joe Donovan's "Saturday Night Revival," Joe's guests include Mike Gibson of the Monarchs, Len Cline of the Epics, Lenny Watley of the Sultans, and discographer Leonard Yates. You'll hear lots of stories about Derby City musicians and radio legends, plus snippets of the big hits.
Part One
61:48 - 21,729 KB
Part Two
61:03 - 21,464 KB
Joe does 8 to 11 on the morning of the 109th Kentucky Derby.

Joe Donovan's Derby Magazine (May 7, 1983)
56:36 - 26,531 KB

Joe Donovan (February 11, 1987)
37:52 - 17,756 KB
Joe Donovan produced a sample hour of "The Other Side of Midnight" designed to air
on WHAS in the 12 a.m. hour. The music is scoped but the commercials and promos are intact.

Joe Donovan "Other Side of Midnight" (September 8, 1988)
29:16 - 27,479 KB


Joe Donovan plays the oldies overnight in this scoped aircheck of the
midnight to 4 a.m. hours, recorded from the station's in-house AM stereo air monitor.

Joe Donovan (November 5, 1992)
55:07 - 38,756 KB

Joe Donovan (July 16, 1993)
10:25 - 3666 KB
Joe Donovan (December 4, 1996)
17:35 - 8245 KB
Joe Donovan (December 13, 1996)
21:37 - 10,141 KB
The Louisville hits and groups are spotlighted in this show.

Joe Donovan and Leonard Yates (December 27, 1996)
26:36 - 12,470 KB

Joe Donovan (January 23, 1997)
19:37 - 9198 KB
Joe Donovan (January 30, 1997)
22:30 - 10,547 KB
Joe Donovan (February 20, 1997)
31:53 - 14,948 KB
Joe Donovan (April 10, 1997)
22:28 - 10,534 KB
Joe Donovan (April 15, 1997)
23:37 - 11,072 KB
Joe Donovan (April 17, 1997)
28:24 - 13,315 KB
Joe Donovan and Wayne Perkey (April 18, 1997)
28:24 - 13,315 KB
Joe Donovan and Wayne Perkey (April 25, 1997)
28:33 - 13,385 KB
Joe Donovan (April 29, 1997)
22:10 - 10,398 KB
Joe Donovan (June 4, 1997)
16:17 - 7638 KB

JAM Creative Productions' Jon Wolfert does a weekly show (Sundays 3p-6p Eastern) on Internet station Rewound Radio. On December 9, 2018 he did a "Jingle Time" segment featuring the jingles of WHAS, including those that contained the name of overnight oldies DJ Joe Donovan.

Rewound Radio WHAS Jingle Spotlight
6:15 - 8840 KB

This ZIP archive contains 7 MP3 files with airchecks of Joe Donovan's final
WHAS show (August 29, 1997). Note: These airchecks were recorded hundreds of miles
from Louisville, so they're chock full of authentic, AM radio DX-type audio artifacts.

Download It!
279,925 KB

All audio is in downloadable MP3 format.


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