Smokin’ Joe Heeno

How did I get started in radio? When I was little I would listen to the radio and play records constantly. I had three older sisters who bought records and my parents had records. I put a little battery operated radio under my pillow so I could listen to the radio at night. I was fascinated with radio. My parents bought me a little tape recorder and the family bought a cassette recorder/radio. I used to play around all the time recording stuff - music, sounds, goofy talking. I loved music and I loved radio. It never even crossed my mind about being in radio someday. I was just a kid playing. 


Like I said at that point I had never thought about being on the radio. I just loved radio and music. Well I was very blessed and fortunate to have an incredible 4th grade teacher. Mrs. Kidney pulled me aside one day and said 'I want you to lead the school assembly.' I was like WHAT? This 9 year old kid with a bowl-looking haircut and big black glasses. She said 'you have a great voice and I want you to do it'. I couldn't even fathom any 4th grader or me getting up in front of the whole school. I said 'why isn't a 7th or 8th grader doing it?' She said 'because I want you to do it.' Thank you Shirley Kidney. Thank you Shirley Kidney. An incredible teacher can influence a kid's life and boost their self-esteem. Obviously that was the first time I stepped in front of a microphone. It wasn't until later on in 4th grade that I thought if I REALLY do have a good voice, and if I CAN talk to people thru a microphone, and PLAY records, I can be on the radio!! I then told this one girl in the class that I was going to be on the radio when I got older. By the time I got to high school I knew this is what I was going to do. 


I grew up in Northeast Ohio near Akron and Kent. Cleveland was only 45 minutes away so I had a plethora of Akron and Cleveland radio stations that I was listening to constantly that have influenced how I sound on-the-air: WAKR AM, WCUE AM, WIXY 1260, WGCL G-98, M105 Cleveland, WMMS and the incredible CKLW Windsor/Detroit. I came down here and went to UD because they had incredible radio opportunities. I got my first job in radio at age 19 at an incredible rock station here in Dayton that doesn't exist anymore. Then I worked at WTUE, graduated from the University of Dayton and later worked at WIOT in Toledo. I worked at other radio stations around Northern Ohio and now I'm back in Dayton playing rock 'n roll at a serious kick-butt radio station!! The EAGLE PLAYS GREAT MUSIC. 


Besides being on the radio I just love music. I've DJ'd in dance clubs, rock clubs, weddings, etc. In the 80's, early 90's when I was in rock clubs and would hang out in the DJ booth, there were a couple songs that when a DJ played them would really get the crowd psyched up before the band came out...Cherry Pie from Warrant and Smooth Up In Ya from Bulletboys.


Thank you for Rockin' with us. I appreciate it. Rock on !! 


  • What’s the best concerts you’ve ever been to?
    • U2 - The Joshua Tree Tour - Cleveland Stadium
    • Peter Gabriel - Secret World Tour - Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland
    • Pat Metheny - Still Life Talking Tour - Meadow Brook, Rochester Hills, Michigan
    • Cinderella/Tom Keifer - Everyone of the 11 times i’ve seen them
  • What’s the first concert you’ve ever attended?
    • Sweet at the Akron Civic Theatre
  • What’s your favorite movie from the 1980’s?
    • Trading Places
  • What’s your favorite movie (any decade)?
    • It’s A Wonderful Life
  • What’s the first record you ever bought?
    • Transformer by Lou Reed
  • What’s your favorite 80’s TV Show?
    • Miami Vice
  • What’s your favorite TV shows (any decade)?
    • Late night talk shows
  • What’s your favorite food?
    • Pretty simple - Meat and vegetables
  • What are some of your favorite hobbies?
    • Concerts baby, concerts!

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