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Freddie Bell, if that is his real name, loves broadcasting as much as speakers enjoy oozing out his voice.

Bell is back in the Twin Cities after a 13-year absence, anchoring the morning show at KMOJ. From 1994 to 2001, Bell was host of “Solid Gold Soul,” a morning show on AM 950. “The last year, I was living in Tampa and hosting with my morning crew back here in Minneapolis,” he said. “I lasted almost a year and they flipped the format. That morning show that you had, well, you’re going to be replaced with a stock market report. From that point, 2001, I have been trying to hold the vision, the focus to get back into morning radio. That is why I am here with you today. I speak on the power of focus. The life that I’ve focused on is unfolding here today. It’s taken a lot of years to get back in this chair behind the microphone, to reconnect in this market. Without focus, none of this would happen.”

In addition to this show, “I host a nationally syndicated general market show where we play everything from Abba to the Whispers, and then I have a talk show for baby boomers, a one-hour weekly show here in town. These three shows take up a lot of time and production. I love broadcasting, I love radio, communicating. It’s a vocation, it’s an avocation, but I have to be very judicious with that time, too.”

As you will see in my, Bell is considerably lighter than he was the last time he was on the Twin Cities airwaves. He got healthy by dropping 69 pounds.

In this version of the interview, Bell gave me an interesting estimate of the number of radio personalities who use pseudonyms.

Q: What is so seductive about Minnesota that you keep coming back here?

A: I like the four seasons! But sometimes it gets a little extreme; 93 inches of snow is a little extreme. My oldest daughter is here, so those two things. If it was anything else, I wouldn’t be here, believe me.

Q: Did you ever believe you’d return to morning radio?

A: I am so grateful to be back, to connect to the people in the Twin Cities. I didn’t think it would be here, I didn’t think it would be at KMOJ. I started in the Twin Cities but it’s really a pleasure to be back and the reception is heartwarming. I can’t thank the management of KMOJ enough.

Q: But some changes are coming?

A: Yeah, I’m paired with an incredible comedian, Shed G, and this week we are adding a female voice, Chantel SinGs. I understand she actually sings. Maybe if I convince her and talk nicely enough, she’ll sing to our audience. That will be an interesting dynamic and I can’t wait for that. Larry Fitzgerald Sr. covers sports and DJ Chuck Chizzle provides a 10-minute music mix each morning at 8 a.m.

Q: What are your aspirations?

A: To do the best job we can to be a voice for our community. To do the best job we can in delivering that information. And help the folks here, the other broadcasters, to better themselves and be the best they can possibly be. I don’t have an official capacity in that area, but if there is a way I can be a help, to make more money if that’s the case, be a better announcer, I am happy to do that. As Erykah Badu told me: to be the handmaiden to help folks along.


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October 2014
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