KVSI’s “Voice of the Valley” retires after more than 60 years on-air
After more than 6 decades as the on-air personality for KVSI Radio in Bear Lake County, Keith Martindale is turning off his “mike” and heading into retirement. His last day on air was July 31, 2018.
Martindale began his radio career in 1957 after graduating from Pocatello High School. His gift of gab and pleasant sounding voice made him a natural for radio. His first on-air job was at KBLI in Blackfoot, Idaho. After short stints at KTLE-TV in Pocatello and KRDG Radio in Redding, California, Martindale moved his wife and young family to Montpelier, Idaho in 1966. He was initially hired as the manager of KVSI Radio, and would later become sole owner and operator of the station.
Residents of Bear Lake County could tune in and listen to Martindale at 6 am every morning Monday through Friday. He became known as the “Voice of the Valley” and has been a fixture on the radio and in the local community ever since. Listeners depended and relied upon Martindale not only to entertain them with great music, but keep them updated on news, weather, sports, and local events. Even after the onslaught of satellite radio and the internet, residents of the valley remain loyal and the station continues to be profitable today.
In addition to playing music, Martindale began broadcasting “live” for the Bear Lake County High School Bears football and basketball games soon after he arrived in the Valley. He often found himself driving through some nasty winter storms to bring locals play-by-play action as he traveled to places like Snake River and American Falls.
He was also the first reporter on scene during the 1986 Cokeville, Wyoming bombing where more than a hundred children and teachers were taken hostage. He broadcast to a national audience throughout the ordeal.
Martindale was not only the “Voice of the Valley” on KVSI radio but has been Master of Ceremonies for countless local events, including the Miss Bear Lake Pageant, the county fair, parades and programs at the Oregon/California Trail Center.
This past July 4, KVSI held it’s 40th annual Fun Run. The 8.6 mile run begins at the radio station parking lot and ends in Paris, Idaho. What started out as a small community event has turned into a yearly tradition for many people including some of the more than 100 participants that attended this year.
If you would like to post a memory or wish Keith a well deserved farewell, you can post a comment at KVSI.com/thanksforthememories.