Nina Joy Tribute on Radio Free Phoenix!

It was 2 years ago on Thanksgiving, that the First Lady of Phoenix Rock Radio passed away. Her name was Nina Joy and her name reverberates into a smile for those that knew her and listened to her on the radio in the 70’s. RFP  invites you to join us for a special encore presentation of Our Tribute to Nina, this Saturday at November 18th at  5pm (AZ/Mountain time) and Sunday, November 19th at 12 noon

She came from Vermont and got her start in Arizona radio on KWFM in Tucson – a year later she was hired by Bill Compton and joined the staff of the underground KDKB. Her name was Nina Joy, Arizona’s celebrated first lady on FM radio. As one of the early female rock radio air talents, her distinctive style quickly garnered her a faithful following and earned her the status of “radio legend”.

Nina passed away in late November 2016 and we here at Radio Free Phoenix wish to honor her this weekend with a musical tribute to her life along with reflections from many of those that worked with Nina.

Nina will be fondly remembered by many of those that knew and worked with her including Janie Snyder (of KWFM), Scott Niccolson (KDKB’s evening DJ) Ted Stratton (KDKB news guy), Mark Mykanen (KDKB news director), Steve Zind (KCAC, KDKB & KWFM), Barry Everitt (KDKB morning host era 1976), Johnny D, Bob Boze Bell, Lee Powell, Hans Olson, Marty Manning, Jack Alves and many others. Join RFP for this moving tribute to the memory of Nina Joy as hosted by Andy Olson.

It’s a celebration of the life of Nina Joy this Saturday, January 30th at 5pm & an encore presentation Sunday, January 31st at 3pm Arizona Time on Radio Free Phoenix.

Listen to  “TRIBUTE TO NINA JOY” Below

 A note from Nina’s sister, Laura……

Nina was beyond gifted in her ability to get under the lyrics as well as the music/to mix the unexpected tracks/to make political and personal statements all her own through the songwriting of others whom she respected so much (even as her own writing evolved). Her potential even in this unexpected last stage of her life was boundless. In the early days of her radio, she was thwarted only by her lack of business savvy and self-confidence: she was an artist and didn’t know, in a time where there were so few women let into rock’n roll (even worse than now!), how to play that game. It broke her heart but never stole her spirit or her humor.  I am forever grateful to have been her sister and do not know how to deal with a world without her.  She inspired me, annoyed the hell out of me and made me laugh so hard that we were forever grateful that there were always two bathrooms in the house when we were together.I send this on to share this small piece of my magnificent little sister with you. There was so much more we will never get to experience.


Doug Smith – Host of KDKB’s News Views recorded his song
“Toad & Hank & Bill” at the RFP Studios in 2009
Listen to it Here


  1. Terry Ward January 27, 2016 12:19 am  Reply

    Nina Joy was on the air one day and she had concert tix or a poster or something to give away and i was the lucky 7th caller. She said, “You won” and in my youthful exuberance i uttered an expletive which offended her… I felt bad about it and was even too embarrassed to go to the station (on Country Club in Mesa) to pick up my prize. I hope Nina will accept my posthumous apology!

    • JOhn P. Dixon January 31, 2016 9:52 am  Reply


    • Steve C April 27, 2017 3:38 pm  Reply

      Terry Ward. Did you live in Scottsdale on Vernon St?

  2. Nadine Thompson January 28, 2016 7:20 pm  Reply

    Anyone out there remember the handy dandy IUD? As I remember it involved a pipe cleaner & a scorpion! lol I didn’t know she passed My condolences to her family!!! Loved her 🙁

  3. Stanley Vorce January 30, 2016 4:59 pm  Reply

    The voice of Nina Joy transmitted so much feeling through the Arizona radio waves. She kept humor and music in her radio personality, naturally.
    A few phone calls to her and I was smitten with admiration for Nina’s relaxed enjoyment doing her “Krazy Dog Krazy Boy” air-shift.
    GOD bless you, sweet Nina Joy

  4. JOhn P. Dixon February 1, 2016 1:18 pm  Reply

    FROM: Robert Van Buhler III Wonderful tribute. My favorite Nina Joy story was when I (Chief Bob) was in the studio about 1 AM, fixing some minor turntable issue, and I asked her if she went anywhere without that damn dog. Wrong thing to say. She eviserated me between records for half an hour, and I finally retreated in craven dispair. When I came into the office about 10 AM the next day, there was an envelope on my workshop door with “Chief Bob Sorry” written on it. Inside was the biggest most perfectlly constructed joint I had ever seen to that point in my life. I don’t recall how I “disposed” of the item, but the gesture brought a smile to my face, and cemented our mutual regard forever. God bless her.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 ·

  5. Russ Kinsley February 1, 2016 8:09 pm  Reply

    She was my mentor in 1971 at WRUV in Burlington , Vermont I remember her saying before my first shift ” Don’t be afraid of the board you can’t break it ” Sorry to hear of her passing !

  6. Jimmy Magahern February 2, 2016 11:22 am  Reply

    Nice tribute, Andy. Was a loyal listener of Nina Joy during all her years at KDKB. Had no idea what she looked like (these were in the days long before every DJ had a Facebook page and a blog on the radio station website), but nevertheless had a big crush on her because of that voice and her great taste in music. Sorry to hear she’s gone. 🙁

  7. Stanley Brown December 6, 2016 7:47 pm  Reply

    I recently transferred some slides to digital, and I have a nice picture of Nina Joy. I just now found of her passing, and I would like to share this good picture of her. Where might I sent it to so it could get posted here or elsewhere.

  8. Terry Harvey November 18, 2017 2:34 pm  Reply

    I swear I never sat out in the desert Buzz listening to Nina Joy. I actually think everyone that lived in Phoenix at that point probably did that. Huge influence on my taste in music and a desire to do radio. Great DJ and a really nice lady.

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