Doug Mackinnon

2003 - Disc Jockey

A colorful and talented personality, Doug MacKinnon made the radio waves entertaining and fun for many years.

Born in Battle Creek, Michigan, he traveled with his family and eventually attended the same high school as the internationally famous Dick Clark in Mt. Vernon, New York. MacKinnon moved to Des Moines in 1948.

He entered the United States Marine Corp in 1951 and was wounded in action in North Korea. After recovering from his wounds, he attended an electronic technical school, graduating in 1953 with FCC licenses, ham ticket and telegrapher endorsement. That same year he joined KIOA Radio and began a long, fruitful relationship with the station and its audience.

Although beginning his radio career as an engineer, his career changed in 1957 when Rock and Roll entered the Midwest market and he added disc jockey duties to his engineering job. MacKinnon took some liberties and had a very comical program that many a teen stayed up at night to hear. He did a number of voices and the element of the unexpected was always present on his shows.

When he moved to morning air personality in 1959, MacKinnon garnered #1 ratings in his time segment for over a decade, until July of 1964. He hit the road and worked for radio stations in: Indianapolis, Indiana; Omaha, Nebraska; the Twin Cities; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Santa Paula, California and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

MacKinnon enjoyed the privilege of being master of ceremonies for such important shows as the Beatles concert at the 1964 Indiana State Fair; the Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings gig at Red Rocks in Denver; the Roy Clark show in Tulsa; and Neil Diamond concert in San Antonio.

In addition to his years on the air, MacKinnon also was Editor/Publisher of “Iowa Scene” and “Night Life” magazines. Those publications were sold in 1993. He has since retired.

The MacKinnons (wife – Mary Lou) are the parents of three boys and three girls. The couple calls the Beaverdale section of Des Moines home now. In the fall of 2000 he was drawn briefly out of retirement to be guest host for Dic Youngs (Hall of Fame 1997) on the KIOA Original Saturday Night Oldies Show while “Youngsy” was out with an illness.

His comments and reminiscences gave all the listeners a wonderful window of insight into his career; a career so distinguished and memorable, that he joins the “Class of 2003” in the Hall of Fame.


The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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