Dave Hogendorn

2018 - Lifetime Achievement Award

Dave Hogendorn grew up with a love of rock ‘n roll music. He spent his high school years in the mid-1950’s dancing in the many great dance venues in and around his hometown of North English. Dave was an original member of the Danceland Bandstand Dancers, along with his sister and dance partner, Marsha. Danceland Bandstand was patterned after Dick Clark’s famous national program, American Bandstand, and aired live every Sunday afternoon on KCRG-TV.

Along with his father, he also spent those years promoting rock bands in the area. He helped James Moore establish The Flames (later changed to The Rockin’ Flames), which went on to become an Iowa Hall of Fame Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Dave began a nearly 40-year broadcast career in 1967 with the opening of KNEI-AM in Waukon, Iowa. In 1968, KNEI-FM took to the airwaves. As owner, operator and manager, Dave brought rock ‘n roll music to the tri-state area of Northeast Iowa, Southwest Wisconsin and Southeast Minnesota. Later, Dave purchased KZAT-FM in Tama, Iowa, and added a rock ‘n roll format to the station with “Sounds of Solid Gold.”

During his broadcast career, Dave hosted a big band show entitled The Sunday Morning Showcase on his KNEI stations, which featured hits of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. On Saturdays, Dave also hosted his own version of rock ‘n roll countdown for his listeners. During that time, he sponsored sock hops, street dances, record hops, county fair grass hops and a monthly car cruise and dance in and around Waukon.

Dave founded a four-star corporation which owned the Waukon Opera House that served as a venue for many dances. During this time, he also operated Rainbow Gardens Dance Hall in Waterville, along with Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer, Jim Juve. Together, they promoted rock ‘n roll bands and DJ’s such as Art Roberts, Dick Biondi, Lindy Shannon and singers including Jeannie C. Riley, whose song “Harper Valley PTA” was a #1 hit at the time.

In 1986, when Frankville native, Steve Gander, created the World’s Biggest Beach Party in Williamsburg, Dave helped promote the event for several years. The Beach Party provided national attention to the plight of farmers during The Farm Crisis. During its 10-year run, it featured such notables as Jan & Dean, the Ventures, Tommy Roe, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Johnny Tillotson, Chubby Checker and many others.

Finally, for more than 50 years, Dave has owned and operated a private tour business, which promotes group trips to such places as Dick Clark’s Theater and ‘57 Heaven in Branson, Missouri.

Dave and his wife, Katherine, live in Solon, Iowa, and are the parents of five grown children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Dave is honored to join the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and looks forward to being part of the group that includes many of his life-time associates and friends.

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