Marr Sound Archives | Walt Bodine Collection
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Scope and Content of Collection
The Walt Bodine Collection consists primarily of audio cassettes and open reel tapes of Bodine's radio programs on KMBZ, WDAF and KCUR. Notable programs in the collection are the coverage of the 1951 Kansas City flood and the 1957 Ruskin Heights tornado. The collection includes interviews with Bobby Kennedy, Werner Von Braun, Charleton Heston and numerous other celebrities and historic figures.
Walt Bodine was born August 27, 1920, in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Longfellow Elementary School and Westport High School. As a youth he worked in his family's all night drugstore on the corner of Linwood and Troost.
In 1940, he began his broadcasting career as an announcer and sportscaster for KDRO in Sedalia. After a stint with KVAK in Atchison, Kansas, Walt returned to Kansas City where he worked for KCKN, WDAF, WHB and KMBZ. At WDAF Walt hosted Conversations, a popular talk show broadcast live from Bretton’s Restaurant in downtown Kansas City. In the mid-1960s Walt switched to WHB, where he hosted Night Beat, one of the nation’s first call-in shows. In 1983 Walt moved to KCUR, where he hosted The Walt Bodine Show.
Walt has a special knack for conducting an interview while keeping in mind the listening audience. Over the years, he has interviewed many historic figures including Martin Luther King, Jr.; Robert Kennedy; Dr. Werner von Braun; President Harry S. Truman; and Thomas Hart Benton.
Walt is a Kansas City and radio icon. He has received several awards for his work including a Truman Community Service Award, Bishop John J. Sullivan Award for Communications and a Kansas City Spirit Award.