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Park Rapids' KDKK radio is a 'great' alternative station

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If your readers are looking for a good alternative to talk, shock, rock, and jock radio, I suggest they do themselves a favor and tune in to KDKK, 97.5 FM out of Park Rapids. Did I say "good" alternative? That's an understatement. KDKK is a great radio station, its format is unique in the upper Midwest (I travel enough to know), and you won't find anything like it anywhere including on XM/Sirius, Pandora, or your iTunes Radio.

The stated format of KKDK is "Adult Standards," but that doesn't begin to convey the richness of their airplay. To begin with, the selections cover a period from the 1940s to the 1990s, seven decades! It truly is like listening to the soundtrack of America, albeit a mellow America. But the real genius of KDKK is the quality of the selections and how music from radically different periods fits together seamlessly. Mario Lanza following Stevie Wonder? Don Williams strumming through "Amanda," Vera Lynn's plaintively hopeful "White Cliffs of Dover," Dean Martin crooning "Sway," Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence," and then Artie Shaw's "Begin the Beguine" all in succession. That's one of the joys of this station. You just never know what you're going to hear next. You just know it will be good and you're rarely disappointed.

There are some caveats. First, KDKK is not for everyone. I frequently have to Taser my 17-year-old granddaughter to keep her from turning the station. (I, in turn, would have to be Tasered to listen to hers.)

Secondly, if you're wanting to avoid talk radio, you definitely want to skip the 9:30ish "Coffee Time" with host Ed De La Hunt. Unless, that is, you like listening to someone who sounds like Glenn Beck's crotchety grandfather. Indeed, one of the weird things about KDKK is trying to get your head around the idea that the man who does this wonderful music programming, including an absolutely delightful Sunday afternoon program of lesser heard hits where he sounds positively genteel (and a man who can call a pretty good hockey game) is the same guy on "Coffee Time" who can be reduced to inarticulate sputtering by the mere mention of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I guess Dr. Jekyll does the programming. In any case, Minnesota Public Radio is always available during "Coffee Time."

In closing, my wife and I love this radio station. We hope it continues in its current format for the rest of our lifetimes. We hope you enjoy it too and will support those businesses that advertise with them. P.S. You can also listen to them online.

-- Tim Kessler, Detroit Lakes

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