Detroit Remember When | A Tribute to Long-time Detroit Personality and Philanthropist Dick Purtan

Celebrate the life of a Detroit Radio Legend Dick Purtan

Fans of Detroit radio can celebrate the life and extraordinary career of Dick Purtan in a televised remembrance of his legendary journey as a radio personality and community philanthropist, to premiere on DPTV Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. as part of a “Detroit Remember When” segment. This special documentary highlights Purtan’s life on and off the air, told through audio and video clips, archival film and interviews with Purtan, his family, friends and colleagues. The 60-minute documentary film features some of the most memorable moments from Purtan’s top-rated morning show, including his infamous “Put-on Calls,” where he entertained generations of Detroiters with a whimsical mix of radio satire, one liners and dead pans delivered to his audience each day along with his “Purtan’s People” ensemble cast and crew.

In addition to his successful radio career, the film looks back on Purtan’s community outreach on behalf of the many charities he supported and the ways he used his position of influence behind the microphone to help the less fortunate.

Watch more “Detroit Remember When,” and other DPTV Documentaries here.

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  1. Tricia Grabowski

    Wonderful production. Being 81+ remember when Dick Puritan first came to Detroit and had a midday radio program believe it was 1969. One program stands out as it was quite daring for the time—having a discussion after the birth of another daughter about not having the Y chromosome wanting to know where or how he could get it. Also remember him raving about the song MacArthur’s Park. He is truly a legend and the Detroit listening area was truly blessed to experience a one of a kind. Do miss his special kind of humor.

  2. Allan

    Well done tribute to a Detroit legend. Thank you for sharing your joy with all us listeners.

  3. Harvey Easton

    I never missed his morning show on CKLW. Dick and Tom Ryan were a hoot with their many cast of characters (Captain Dirty, Granny Styvers and boyfriend Leo Millar, Clayton Harris from the Mount Clemens 7 to 11, Dr. Bigilby, Reverend Moly, etc) and his put on calls were a riot.