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Don Swindell: 1953-2023

December 22, 2023

Don Swindell

On December 11, Detroit radio veteran Don Swindell passed away at age 70. Throughout his career, Swindell served as Creative Services Director/Executive Morning Show Producer at WDFN-AM (1994-2002); APD/Creative Director at WXYT-AM/FM (2002-2007), and Imaging Director for CBS Radio Detroit (2008-2015). More recently, he has been working as an independent voiceover artist, writer, producer, radio imaging, and production specialist.

Swindell's radio career also included stints at stations in Tampa, Fla., Chicago and Dallas, where he did in-game imaging for the Cowboys and Rangers, and he did some creative work for the University of Michigan.

At WDFN, Swindell, a trained trumpet player who studied jazz at Indiana University, composed most of the musical bits, including the theme song for the "Stoney & Wojo" show, and did voice-over work. Most memorably, Swindell portrayed a drunk version of then-Lions owner William Clay Ford. He did George Burns; he did Keith Richards. He also portrayed basically every character on a takeoff of "Hollywood Squares."

"If you wanted something, you ran it by Don, and he worked quick, he worked fast. He was so multi-dimensional. He could write, he could voice-over, he could put it together, he wrote music, he did everything," said former co-worker Art Regner to the Detroit News.

Swindell is survived by his sister Jill and husband Michael Magee, and nephews: Shawn Magee, Nicholas and wife Amy Magee.

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