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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Radio Reflections: Vintage Sound

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Tony Tone
Tony Tone
Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently stars in the Hy-Vee Today show, serves as the store's Marketing and Merchandising Director, and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

January 14th, 2013 was the first day I could legally be back on the radio. I had a non-compete from my contract at B100 that prohibited me from being on the radio for six months within thirty miles of their transmitter tower. So, January 14th will always be the day Vintage Sound 93.1 FM was born.

I’m incredibly proud of the eleven and a half years I spent on the radio. My time on-air in Muscatine was truly special. I had never done radio by myself up until January 14th, 2013, let alone my own morning show! I was confident, yet nervous, and I didn’t know what to expect.

Within the first week of Vintage Sound being on-air, I had some incredible experiences, mostly involving the listeners. One of my favorite stories to share came from day one of the station’s operations. I took a request from a guy who called himself Samurai. He wanted me to play “Fred Bear” by Ted Nugent. I told him I would, and within ten minutes after his initial call the song was playing. Samurai called me back and said, “What are you doing?! You’re really playing that song?!”

I was puzzled. “Yes, of course. You asked for it.”

Samurai paused. “I’ve been calling radio stations for seventeen years and no one has ever played it!”

David “Samurai” Wilson became my friend at that point up until his unfortunate death. David was a proud Marine and a lover of good music.

I have stories upon stories of people sharing their love of music with me. By the time I left Vintage Sound in December of 2017, our playlist eclipsed 3,000 songs, the majority of which were requests. You see, I never assumed to think I knew best. I listened to my audience every single day.

My ultimate goal during my five years spent on that station was to give Muscatine County a radio station they could be proud of. Why should we have to rely on the Quad Cities or Iowa City to deliver real, good radio? Local always wins, but in Muscatine it’s more than just that. I knew we had to be tangible and heavily involved in the community.

The only regret that I have looking back now is I would have featured even more local guests on my show, something I get to do via the “Hy-Vee Today with Tony Tone” show weekdays at 8:30 am, seen on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Muscatine Power & Water cable channel 5 (shameless plug).

Muscatine has done so much for my family–I’ll be forever indebted to the Pearl City. The same can be said for radio. Without it, I wouldn’t have met my wife (in 2009) then departed B100 (in July of 2012) for a job with The HON Company (left there in December of 2012) to work on Vintage Sound and then landing my current job with Hy-Vee.

When I’m asked if I miss radio my answer is always, “no.” I loved the time spent on-air but ultimately, my current role suits my family and me much, much better. Plus, radio companies are notorious for having bad health insurance, and with three kids that’s important!

Thanks for being with me on this journey. I truly appreciate it!

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