A month from today, a long-running Detroit radio show will mark its 45th anniversary on the air. Bob Allison’s “Ask Your Neighbor” now broadcasts on WNZK-AM (690), but the format is still the same: callers reach Allison with a question about just about anything household related, and either Allison or his many dedicated listeners will provide the answer. In a world of “shock jocks”, ratings battles, mindless radio talk hosts and narrowly-programmed playlists, it’s a wonder that show like Allison’s can remain on the air, but thankfully it does!
I grew up listening to Allison’s show. In fact, the show has been around longer than I have! As Mom worked around the house, or drove us around on errands, WWJ was always tuned in. While the other shows are now long forgotten, I still remember hearing Bob Allison’s voice and friendly, patient manner over the airwaves. Other locals remember when Allison was the host of our local “Bowling For Dollars” show, which broadcast from the Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park; this was a favorite after-dinner TV show at our house.
By the time 1978 came along, I’d begun listening to a couple of other radio stations that were in tune with my musical taste at the time; the same year, WWJ changed over to an all-news format, and Allison took his show to another AM station. These days, I’ve “rediscovered” radio via XM Satellite Radio; in fact, some of the channels I listen to are reminiscent of the “family” atmosphere between DJ/host and audience much like Allison has with his show. As for Bob Allison, he now has his son Rob as a sidekick, and loyal listeners still remain with his show, a few of which began listening when his show debuted in 1962! His son also runs their official website, Ask Your Neighbor, which has information about the show, and an archive of some of the questions asked on the show.
“Ask Your Neighbor” airs 9:00am to 11:00am, weekdays, on WNZK-AM (690). The broadcast is also available via webcast for those who want to tune in around the world–visit the site linked above for the link. Allison’s show is one of the best things left on terrestrial radio–don’t miss it!