ROCKVILLE, Md. — He's back!
After being away for several years, legendary disc jockey Don Geronimo is back on the airwaves in the D.C. area.
He’s doing the morning show on Big 100.
Geronimo, whose real name is Mike Source, took time away from radio, and the D.C. area, after his wife, Freda, tragically died in a car accident on the Eastern Shore.
But he's since remarried, he's rejuvenated, and he’s ready to rock the mic once again.
He recently spoke with WUSA9's Tony Perkins about how it feels to be back on the air in the area.
“It feels great,” said Geronimo.“Yeah, I think I have a little bit of perspective this time. I left Washington in 2013. I frankly thought that my time in radio was done. After Freda died, I got myself together, got remarried, moved to California with CBS until they sold the company and they fired everybody. And then I was really having a hard time finding a radio job and I gave up. I had actually given up and thought well, the industry passed me by and then BIG 100 called. So, I'm grateful.”
And if you think Geronimo seems happier now than the last time, he was on the air in the area, you’re not wrong.
“Doing mornings back here in D.C., it's a dream,” said Geronimo.“Six months ago, I honestly would have cut off my left arm. You'd go back to D.C., you can do morning radio, they're not going to tell you what to do, and you're going to have the time of your life. And really, that's how I feel.”
Several years ago, Geronimo was not happy. After his wife died, he admits he wasn’t a great person.
“I was a jerk,” said Geronimo. “I was mad at God. I was mad. I was mainly mad at God. Like, 'why take her and not me?' And I was mad at my listeners. I was mad at everybody. And I think that kind of came through on the air. So, I apologize for that. But I'm all better now.”
He began his radio career in an era where disc jockeys could push the envelope on what they said over the air. Tony Perkins asked Geronimo if it’s harder to do radio now when you need to be more politically correct.
“Not at all because it gets back to the same basic rules of radio, entertain, don't lose the license,” said Geronimo. “Before, it was pretty easy not to do the license because you could go right up to the line. Can't do that now. There are words that were used pretty frequently by me and my listeners before I don't use those now. I chastise listeners if they say that. I openly say ‘I'm inclusive. If you don't like it, step off.’ I think that's the route to go. People are still dying to be entertained. They just don't have to be shock radio entertained anymore.
Many longtime listeners of D.C. radio remember Geronimo from his days on the Don and Mike Show.
Geronimo looks back on those days fondly.
"I have nothing but great memories of [it],” he said. “I'm not ashamed of anything we did on this show. There's like we said there's things I wouldn't do now. But back then it was acceptable. Absolutely. And the main thing that I think I get out of the Don and Mike Show which I get out of this show now is, I know that the shows that I have done have helped people when they've been in tough times and that probably is the best thing that I've got going for me.”
Unlike Freda, Geronimo does not put his current wife on his show.
Fans of the Don and Mike Show might remember Don talking about his son Bart.
Well, Bart is 36 years old now, and Don now has a 5-year-old granddaughter.
You can catch the Don Geronimo Show Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on BIG 100.