READERS' PICK: Once again our readers have bestowed one of their favorite accolades upon KXCI's Kidd Squidd. Despite being chosen Tucson's favorite radio personality for the 147th straight year, Squidd will not rest on his laurels. Kidd Squidd's Mystery Jukebox airs on community radio KXCI every Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m., the perfect time to tune in while lounging around the pool with good friends and good barbecue. A self-taught musicologist specializing in all things rock and roll, Squidd customizes theme shows around his passions. These include blues, rockabilly, roots, 60's psychedelia, pop, chick singers and many other sub-categories of rock and roll. Having come to Tucson from Illinois via Haight-Ashbury, Squidd threads together the tunes in his themed shows with tales from his life as a rock music fan. He conveys a warmth and an obvious love of music and music-makers that is positively infectious. Many Tucsonans who move away do not leave before pre-arranging to have a friend promise to tape Kidd Squidd's Mystery Jukebox every week and mail it to them. Aren't we lucky that all we have to do is tune in?
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Betsy Bruce, KRQQ-FM 93.7. In a business where longevity is measured in months and the consumers are notoriously fickle, Betsy Bruce is an absolute icon. She's been on the KRQ morning show for a decade, which is 87.4 years in real-people time. Her smooth delivery, impeccable timing and knowledge of Tucson, its people, and its follies make her priceless to the Old Pueblo's Top 40 giant. Over the years, she has seen so many co-hosts come and go, she has come to regard them as transients. A couple have moved up the corporate radio ladder, one (Jimmy Kimmel) went on to win an Emmy, and others are now doing Sunday morning gardening shows in Billings, Montana. But Betsy rocks on. Truly a remarkable achievement.
LOOSE CHANGE: Hot Rod Ron, KXCI-FM 91.3. Hot Rod Ron is one of those increasingly rare-to-come-by D.J.s who does what he does for the sheer love of the music. Hot Rod Ron's Checkered Strip airs on KXCI on Tuesday evenings from 11p.m. to 1a.m. That time slot alone is enough to convince you that Hot Rod Ron spins tunes because he loves them and wants other people to hear them. His ever-changing playlist is comprised mainly of cuts from local bands as well as some rockabilly, psychobilly, surf, greaser, hot rod, old punk and old country tunes. He stirs thing up by airing Halloween shows four times per year. Halloween is Hot Rod Ron's favorite holiday, and he happens to love songs with spooky themes, so he just can't confine himself to one Halloween themed show in October. Think hot rods and plastic spider rings, and tune in to Hot Rod Ron's Checkered Strip. Vrrrrooooooom!