Bob DeForest – 2008 INDUCTEE

Bob DeForest has been very active in the Blues scene in Iowa and one of its staunchest supporters.

Speading the “gospel” of the Blues began earnestly for “Bobby D” 30 years ago when he became a radio DJ for KOJC in Cedar Rapids, spinning Blues, Soul and Funk for his listeners.

Nowadays, DeForest has a regular 4-hour radio show each Saturday night from 6 – 10 p.m. on KCCK 88.3 FM, the public radio station based at Kirkwood Community College, also in Cedar Rapids. His show is called Da Blues, and he has been playing the best of Blues for his loyal listeners since 1992. Bob keeps spinning music for another two hours, first with an hour of Blues and Jazz called The Crawfish Circuit and then an hour of Blues, Funk, World Beat, Jazz Fusion, and Rock & Roll on The Melting Pot.

The City of Cedar Rapids showed their appreciation for his devotion to the music scene by declaring an official day of celebration on the 10th anniversary of Da Blues.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette featured DeForest in a newspaper article in November of 2007.

DeForest grew up in the Los Angeles area and the first concert that he attended was by Jimi Hendrix when Bob was in the 8th grade. He visited his relatives in Cedar Rapids often and credits his uncle and aunt for turning him onto the music that he wasn’t hearing on the radio. Thus began his passion for the real-deal Blues.

Even though DeForest runs his own painting business during the week, his devotion for the music has led him to become a charter member of the Linn County Blues Society, also serving on their board. He has also emceed the Bluesmore festival since 1994, the Blues festival held annually on the beautiful grounds of the historic Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids.

DeForest has also hosted a party every Wednesday night for the last five years at Mahoney’s Irish Pub, where he serves as DJ, playing an eclectic mix of music for the bar’s patrons.

For his longtime and continuing devotion and support for the Blues, Bob DeForest becomes just the second non-musician honored with induction into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.

Photo by Levi A. Zinser