Dennis Walker pens memoir of 40 years on air in the Okanagan and beyond

40 years of radio memories

A much-loved radio personality known for his time on air all over the Okanagan and Interior has turned his life story into a book, spanning his decades of experience broadcasting. 

Dennis Walker is known to Pentictonites for his time with Giant FM, where he spent roughly 30 years before an abrupt layoff during a corporate shuffling. He was also a constant face in the community during his time in Penticton, volunteering as MC at countless local events.

But his story in radio began long before that, when he would wake up early as a child just to listen to a little red radio his grandmother bought him. He was hooked. 

"The non-sleeping radio listening hours were forming my adult life, something I didn't know at that time, but I did know that I wanted to be the 'Man of the Radio' someday," Walker said.

That is the inspiration behind the title of his memoir, The Little Red Radio: Dennis Walker's Radio History Stories Released. 

"New Years's Eve 2019 as I was reflecting back on the years gone by, I started journaling some of the special memories in my radio career that had been sneaking up on 40 years: I wrote nonstop for 24 days," Walker said.

"When everything started to go down on paper, more memories would flood in so I just kept going...and going."

The book chronicles his journey as a self-taught broadcaster determined to follow his passion, from volunteering with local cable TV in his hometown of Creston to get his foot in the door, to years on the airwaves Osoyoos in the 1980s, to his time in Penticton and, most recently, Cranbrook. 

He chronicles stories and anecdotes from over the years, highlighting significant moments in his career and in the communities he covered. 

Walker self-published the book, and said it is dedicated to what he affectionately terms his radio family. 

"A radio family — like any others — become close, go through happy, sad and stressful times together and do it day by day. They contribute just by sharing information," Walker said.

"My listening family includes many people that I have never met, but follow a voice for reasons I can only be grateful for."

The Little Red Radio is available now for $25 at Dragon's Den and Sunshine Glass and Mirror in Penticton, or buy the Kindle version on Amazon. 

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