Valley remembers radio legend Dusty Rhodes

This photo of Dusty standing with Les -Bluegrass another DJ at WSIG hangs in the stations studio.
This photo of Dusty standing with Les -Bluegrass another DJ at WSIG hangs in the stations studio.(WHSV)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT
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Friday morning, radio station WSIG in Harrisonburg honored longtime radio DJ Dusty Rhodes, who passed away Wednesday in Elkton.

Once the station learned of Rhodes' passing, they asked the community to leave messages or memories on their ;Dusty Rhodes Love Line' throughout the week to share them Friday morning.

Chris Chapman, a co-host of the Chappy and Lisa morning show, started off the show by saying there was another life to remember this Memorial Day weekend.

"We got some news this week that we all weren't so happy about, and very sad to be honest, about the passing of a Valley legend, Dusty Rhodes," Chapman said.

Throughout the morning, callers shared memories, including old coworkers and friends throughout the community.

"He was, truly, was a person that was well-liked, easy to talk to, and always gave his time to you," a caller said.

Rhodes, whose real name was Bob Long, also worked at 104.3 KCY Country in Harrisonburg for many years before retiring his first time in 2011.

"When KCY Country went on the air, it got retooled in the late '80s and became a morning show with him and Dave Berman," Steve Knupp, with iHeartMedia Harrisonburg, said."It wasn't anything like it at the time, it was brand new for the Shenandoah Valley."

Knupp said over Rhodes' career at KCY, he helped raise close to $1,000,000 for St. Judes Research Hospital and always cared about the community.

"Of course, for local communities and local charities, he always wanted to be a big part of raising money for the rescue squad and fire stations," Knupp said. "Whenever there was a charity or a community event, usually you can find him somewhere along the way."

Knupp said he often remembers Rhodes DJing at an annual Halloween event at the Valley Mall and weddings.

"I just wanted to say, Dusty, he did me and my wife's wedding, " A caller said, "He did a great job and he was a part of our wedding and we'll never forget him."

Rhodes retired from WSIG earlier this year due to health reasons. For a day in January, to honor Rhodes' retirement, WSIG rebranded their station in his name and became Dusty 96.9.

"To a country legend here in the Valley, we say, 'we love you, Dusty, love ya Dusty,' from all of us here at 96.9 WSIG," Chapman said.

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