Tribute to Don Gill January 17

News Release Date: 
January 13, 2014

For Immediate Release
NET Radio to Broadcast Tribute to Don Gill January 17

LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan.13, 2014)  - - A special “Big Band Spotlight” tribute to Don Gill will air Friday, Jan. 17, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. CT on NET Radio.  Gill served as host of the weekly radio show for 23 years as he offered commentary and played big band favorites from Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie and others.  Gill passed away Jan. 3, 2014.

“He was in person what you saw and heard on radio and television,” said Jeff Smith, who worked as show engineer with Gill since 1990. “He was warm, genuine and never had a discouraging word.  A prince, a really nice guy.”

The tribute show will include music from Gill’s recordings and some segments from past shows.  Special guests including Bobby Layne, Trudy DeMay and Leta Powell Drake will offer reminiscences of Gill’s 60-year broadcast career.  The show will begin and end with its signature tune “Moonlight Serenade.” This song was composed by Glenn Miller, first recorded in 1939 and was Gill’s favorite.

NET Radio Manager Nancy Finken said this will be the last broadcast of “Big Band Spotlight.” Beginning Friday, Jan. 24, “Performance Today” will air 7:30-9:30 p.m. CT on Fridays as it does Monday-Thursday on NET Radio.  Produced by American Public Media, “Performance Today” features concerts by famous artists in concert halls around the globe.

Gill started his broadcasting career with the Armed Forces Radio Network serving in the Army on Okinawa during the Korean War. He helped put KNCK, Concordia, Kan. on the air in 1954, and then joined the Bob Schmidt organization at KAYS in Hays, Kan. and as the company expanded, went on to stations in Goodland, Kan. (KLOE); in St. Joseph, Mo., (KFEQ); and in Alliance, Neb. (KCOW), where he was the station manager for five years. During this period he achieved many honors including Jaycee of the Year, Man of the Year and Boss of the Year. In 1972, he joined KLIN in Lincoln as sports director, where his Husker play-by-play announcing resulted in his being named the Nebraska “Sportscaster of the Year" five times. During this time, Gill also hosted the Nebraska ETV sports series “Cornhusker Football.” After rising to KLIN Station Manager, Don accepted the position of Director of Development at Nebraska ETV in 1985, retiring in 1997.

“Big Band Spotlight” is a production of NET Radio, a service of NET. For more information about NET Radio or to listen to live webcasts, go to To access NET Radio live from an Android phone, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, the free NET Radio Nebraska app is available from the iTunes store or Android market.  The NET Radio Nebraska app offers two streams, News/Classical (main FM station) and News/Jazz (HD2).


RELEASE WRITTEN BY: Mary Jane Winquest, (402) 470-6247, or e-mail at
NET RADIO CONTACT: Nancy Finken, (402) 470-6365, or e-mail at

NET Radio: NET Radio is a service of NET that broadcasts on the following frequencies: Alliance/91.1 FM; Bassett/90.3 FM; Chadron/91.9 FM; Columbus/89.7 FM; Culbertson/92.7 FM; Falls City/91.7 FM; Harrison/89.5 FM; Hastings/Grand Island/89.1 FM; Lexington/88.7 FM; Lincoln/91.1 FM; Max/93.3 FM; Merriman/91.5 FM; Norfolk/89.3 FM; and North Platte/91.7 FM.

NET Radio HD2: The HD2 schedule offers News/Talk during the day and Jazz at night and is available over the air with an HD Radio, on the NET website, or with the NET Radio Nebraska app.