Oklahoma disc jockey legend Dale Wehba keeps spinning records, rock 'n' roll tales

Dale Wehba's voice boomed across the airwaves for more than four decades. The Oklahoma City native was the voice of radio stations that brought rock 'n' roll to the state and beyond.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Modified: September 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm •  Published: September 10, 2012

Dale Wehba picked up a watch with an alligator wristband and a picture of Buck Owens, and in his deep voice began to tell its story. His is a voice that boomed across the Oklahoma airways for more than four decades, introducing rock 'n' roll music to radio audiences.

The windup watch has an illustration of Owens playing his red, white and blue guitar from “Hee Haw.”

“Look, it looks just like him,” Wehba said.

Wehba was a disc jockey in the late 1960s at WKY radio when the country legend dropped by to take Wehba to lunch.

He rarely wears the watch, but keeps it tucked away in his northwest Oklahoma City home with other memorabilia from his career.

The office is full of framed gold records, photographs, cassette tape recordings and records.

Midcentury rocker

It was 1954 and Wehba was a senior at Classen High School when he got a job as a disc jockey on the bygone KLPR radio, a station that broadcast only during the daytime from Capitol Hill. Wehba hosted “Teen Canteen.”

He played Top 40 records and interviewed students about their high schools.

By 1958, Wehba was spinning records at KOCY. Then he worked at WKY and KOMA in the '60s and '70s — the days when those stations could be picked up at night from as far away as Canada or Mexico.

In 1967, Wehba was music director at KOMA when a band from Texas came in with a song called “Come Back When You Grow Up.” Wehba arranged for singer Bobby Vee to record it on Liberty Records, and the song sold more than 2 million copies.

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