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Magic Valley residents reminisce on Radio Rondevoo's history

Posted at 8:32 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 22:32:48-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Radio Rondevoo played a historic role in the Magic Valley for decades; connecting the community through its various services as a performance hall, radio broadcast studio, skating rink and event center.

Twin Falls Public Library Adult Services Department Head Jennifer Hill said Radio Rondevoo holds many memories.

“It’s really sad when you lose a historic building,” Hill said. “There’s probably a lot of people who remember going to dances, definitely folks who know when it was Skateland and remember going to other events.”

Doug Maughan said there was a time when Radio Rondevoo was the hot spot in town, especially when live bands were popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

KTFI radio station owner Florence Soule Gardner wanted a big space where live bands could perform, people could dance and they could broadcast that environment on air for people in town to listen.

In 1940, Radio Rondevoo was built. As time passed, the facility began playing different roles in the community.

“They brought in boxers, we saw cooking shows, different kinds of things as a community event center basically,” Hill said. “A place where people could hold these different events because there weren’t a lot of places in those years in Twin Falls that were able to do that.”

In the 1950’s Paul and Betty Cloud turned the venue into a skating rink.

Maughan said he can still hear the noise the skates made on the hardwood floor.

“It was built, I think, to injure as many kids as possible,” Maughan joked. “You got going really too fast and you didn’t know how to stop! All you could do was crash into this wooden wall. It was a great place.”

Years later in 1970, Doug Maughan began working his first radio job. When he was offered a full-time job as a DJ he hosted a show called Souvenirs and Sound, where he played music from the 40’s and 50’s.

“We had a great big studio with hanging boom mics, a grand piano, it was a wonderful space upstairs in the studio,” Maughan said. “You can tell the place was dripping with history.”

Now, Doug Maughan said he will continue to hold those memories at Radio Rondevoo close to his heart.