Dave Rogoway lives a double life. During the week, he’s one of the owners of a three-store Oregon jewelry chain, La Rog Jewelers. But every weekend he morphs into Dave Stone, jive-spouting, oldie-spinning deejay on local station KICN.
The split personality is not surprising—Rogoway always had jewelry in his family, but radio was in his soul.
The son of third-generation jewelers, Rogoway toured a radio station when he was 14 and got hooked for life. “A good friend of the family took me on a tour [of top 40 station KICN],” he recalls. “I took one smell of the place and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
He started as a gofer and eventually got on the air as a weekend deejay. By age 18, he had his own show. “They billed me as the world’s youngest disc jockey,” he recalls. “What made my show interesting was most of the disc jockeys appealing to 18 year olds were 35 or over. So I was the same age as the listener.
“The old shows were the best days of top 40 radio,” he recalls. “They were programmed by the masters, the most brilliant people in radio. It was very high energy screaming, yelling, big jingles, big everything.”
His moniker was Dave Stone—although he notes that the name had nothing to do with his family jewelry business. Soon, “the world’s youngest deejay” won fame and fans—and even a wife.
“I was broadcasting in what they call a fishbowl studio outside a big cruising spot,” he says. “All the kids would cruise by there. One girl came by and she was a ‘wow.’ I held up a big sign that said ‘I love you.’ I ended up marrying the girl. It was like a scene out of American Graffiti.”
He and the “wow” are still married.
Eventually he landed jobs in Miami and San Francisco, but the nomadic lifestyle of moving from market to market was wearing him down.
“I had enough of it,” he says. “I wanted to settle down and get married. The radio business is, next to surgeons, the biggest cause of breakups of marriages there is. You are a gypsy, basically.”
So Rogoway returned to the jewelry business. But about five years ago, he got the hunger to return to radio.
Fortunately, KICN still plays much of the same music it did from its heyday—and has many of the same jocks. Soon Dave Stone was back in business, doing a weekend shift with the same shtick he used in the 1970s—including his old jingles and theme songs.
Yet not many people associated the jeweler with the radio personality—until a local newspaper ran some stories on his double life.
He doesn’t know if that’s meant more customers for his store—but he says his radio career has been a boost to his jewelry one.
For instance, his store has saved money by doing its own media buying and producing its own ads. Plus there is a psychological X factor.
“Being on radio gives you a lot of confidence,” he notes. “If you do a live radio show and you can talk to thousands, you can talk to one customer.”