Gregg Henson

Life is hard, get a helmet

Don Swindell Has Passed. Let’s Celebrate His Brilliance

Former WDFN Creative genius Don Swindell has passed.  I do not have any details on his passing but I can tell you a little about Don and his special talents.

Don was the brilliant creative force behind the hijinks that took place at the original WDFN.  You could give Don a seed of an idea and after much pacing around talking to himself like George Burns he would return with a brilliant bit or parody song.  He would write, sing and produce it all by himself in a little, inadequate production studio in the little garage downtown.  He was a wizard.  Here are a few examples of his amazing talent!

The Pizza Man about former Tiger owner Mike Illitch

Dey Wear Panties by Claude (Don Swindell) Lemieux – about the Colorado Avalanche vs. Chris Draper incident

More Claude Lemieux taunting Red Wing fans.  People thought this was really Claude when he would call the show.

On the Lion QB controversy between Ty Detmer and Charlie Batch!

A couple of other classics

Don was one of the most amazingly talented, thoughtful people I have ever crossed paths with in or our of radio.  I was lucky as a young Program Director to have a talented teammate like Don.  He was my bench coach and taught me a lot about running a radio station.  He always had a great piece of wisdom or insight when there was a difficult task.  He was challenging in that he was an absolute perfectionist.  He never thought his stuff was good enough and there were times we had to tell him “Don, let’s go, get it on the air.”  He was always spot on!

It is sad that in radio today, there wasn’t a place for this brilliance, he could have only worked at WDFN.  Because of the creativity in the building, Don was allowed to create in his own way at his own pace…the way it ought to be.

Rest in peace Swindler!  You will be greatly missed by those who loved your brilliance!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter


Gregg Henson

Radio Host formerly of WDFN, WXYT, WKRK, KVET,WOWO, KRLD, WPEN, WBGG and WRVA.  Currently on the air at WLAV in Grand Rapids

Content Creator-Air Personality

Gregg Henson