Whittier native Jimmy Reyes is about to achieve the dream that many aspiring, silky-voiced radio jocks are striving to achieve--taking over for Rick Dees. Reyes was recently named heir to the legendary jock's morning time slot from 5-9 a.m. Proving that hard work pays off, Jimmy appears all over the county meeting the Hot 92.3 listeners with giveaways and events all while holding down the successful "Old School Saturday Night" show from 7p.m.-12a.m.
With Dees exiting his morning shift on Hot 92.3, it's the perfect time for the veteran radio man to slide in and crack jokes on the morning mic. It shouldn't be too much of a stretch for him to become a sunrise sensation because he's earned and maintained a huge fan base while spending the past 13 years at the station. We recently spoke to Reyes about his new gig.
1. When did you get your start in radio?
Jimmy Reyes- I got into radio by going to the good ol' Academy of Radio Broadcasting in Huntington Beach in 1998. I was sitting at home one day and I heard a commercial for it and I just called and went through the whole program. After I graduated I went in and applied at was used to be Mega 100 "jamming oldies" because they had an opening for either a morning show assistant or a night producer. I went with the morning show assistant and what I did there was basically answer phones, make copies...I was like a gopher. Whatever they needed, I did it.
2. Radio has changed a lot over the years, what's the biggest difference you've noticed since you first started?
The localness. You hardly find any shows that are local. Not to make it sound negative but back then, everything was live. Now there is a lot of voice tracking going on. Like people from San Francisco, Miami, and New York are on out here.
3. What are your plans for making your new morning gig "different?"
I just want to bring some new blood and give the people something fresh. No disrespect to anybody who came before me because they were all great. I had the chance to work with a lot of talent throughout the years being behind the scenes so, I've learned a lot from everybody and I plan to use a little bit of everything and just freshen it up.
4. Do you feel the pressure of filling the big shoes of Rick Dees?
Well, Rick is and will always be a legend. I just feel like this is my once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm gonna make the best of it. Yes, I am very nervous and I feel like I will be carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders but you know, I'm just going to go in there and be me. That's all I can do. I'm just going to be the Jimmy that the listeners know and love. I'm not going to try to be anything different. I'm not a comedian but I'm very witty, quick, and sarcastic. I'm going to go in there and have fun!
5. Are you familiar with Rick Dees's song Disgorilla or Disco Duck and do you ever plan on making a song as epic as those?
[Laughs.] I am familiar with those songs but ummmm.....no. The closest I'll go is maybe doing karaoke to "Sexy and I Know It."
6. Will there be a bedtime adjustment because of your new shift? I assume it will be fucking with your sleeping....
Well not really because since back when I started I've always done something with the morning drive so I am already used to it. Even on my days off I can't sleep in for shit. It's already in my system that I get up at 4am every day. I stay up late too because I don't want to feel like I am missing out on anything but now, I'm going to try to have to sleep early so I have that energy in the morning. I'm not too concerned though because it's already in my nature to wake up at that time.
7. You do a ton of events with Hot 92.3, do you think that'll give you an advantage for reeling in a new morning audience?
I am everywhere! For the past 4 ½ years I've been the man on the streets so that's an advantage that I have. I'm out there on the other side shaking hands, kissing babies, hanging out with them, and living the actual listener's lifestyle. I mean, I consider myself as a listener so I am hopeful that they'll continue to support me.
8. Any stand out events that were like, "holy shit" outstanding?
We do a lot of live broadcasts and concerts and with my Saturday night show I've broadcasted at LA Live, all around downtown, the Greek and Gibson, and I've gotten to host concerts while I'm broadcasting. I'm all over the place. Those are things that stand-out. I get to do a lot of cool things and host fun stuff with the listeners.
9. Any events that were a total nightmare?
Nightmares....hmmm. Well we haven't done it in a while but we did a ladies night out event and the first one we held had like 3,000 ladies. There were male strippers everywhere and I was one of the many male talents that were there. I was getting grabbed in every way, shape, and form you can think of! At first I was scared and then I got used to them. Then I got brought up on stage, they tied me down, and ladies were taking those blow job shots off my lap. It was a sight to see! [Laughs.]
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.23. Do you think at this point you are living your "radio dreams?"
This is the moment that I have wanted my whole career. To have my own show in my hometown, who gets to live that? How many people get to do that? I grew up here on this station and now I get my opportunity to be on the radio each morning in my hometown. It's a dream come true and I couldn't be happier! With all the support from the Hot 92.3 family and listeners, it feels great.
Tune into Hot 92.3 on your way to work starting Monday (July 9th) from 5 a.m.-9 a.m. and start your morning off on the right foot listening to Jimmy Reyes. Find out more about what he's up to and when he'll be coming to your area with giveaways by checking out his Facebook and by following him on Twitter @DJJimmyReyes.