Donald K. Martin

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The Delricos

Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Donald K. Martin

Inducted 2010

Although we all knew him as Donald K. Martin, his real name was Darwin Ekholm. He grew up in the St. Paul Midway area before moving to the McDonough housing projects where he became one of the founding members of the Delricos, a St. Paul rock ‘n’ roll band that started out playing at dances emceed by local DJs who spurred Don’s interest in radio.  He attended Brown Institute and took his first radio job at KRIB in Mason City, Iowa, playing Top 40.  After a year he moved to KDUZ in Hutchinson, where he again played Top 40 but also country music and polka tunes.  The new owner of station KCUE in Red Wing heard him on the air one day and offered him a job, and he spent the next year there.  What he calls a “golden opportunity” came up for a position in the newsroom of rock ‘n’ roll station KDWB in the Twin Cities, where he did news and later the all-night DJ shift from 1963 to 1967.  After a year as program director and on-air talent at WMIN in St. Paul, he moved to the other rock ‘n’ roll giant in the Twin Cities, WDGY, where he worked from 1968 to 1977, when the station went country.  While at WDGY he became known for his “drop in” characters with Scott Burton and later Charlie Van Dyke on the morning show.  Don was acclaimed for his talent at creating voices, and he and Charlie were one of the first two-man teams in Top 40 radio in the Twin Cities.  Donald K. Martin was one of the true innovators of the golden years of Twin Cities radio.

Donald K. Martin passed away September 24, 2012 at the age of 74.