DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Our I Love Dayton campaign spotlights what is unique and what is special about Dayton.
WTUE qualifies as both, recognized many times as one of the leading rock stations in the country.
“Beaulieu” is French for “a beautiful place” and for nearly 40 years John Beaulieu and WTUE have shared a beautiful partnership.
Every guy hides out in his cave. John Beaulieu has been doing it for nearly four decades but this is not the mental retreat of the typical guy. This is rock and roll.
“We’re ready to go if you are. Come on in here. Take a load off and let’s get this week started,” B-Man said into the microphone.
Beaulieu is the B-Man and this is the B-Man cave at WTUE where he has been spinning albums since the vinyl days when DJ’s actually used to spin albums but he wasn’t supposed to be on this side of music.
B-Man said he, “was born here. Grew up some time in Chicago and played in a great symphonic band. I thought I was pretty good, then I realized I was a clarinet player.”
Not the instrument for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so as a junior at Centerville High School, he quit and joined the radio program. He was “King B” in high school.
Just before graduating from the University of Cincinnati he landed a real gig at WTUE. “The Mad Frenchman” then… Beaulieu cut his teeth on the overnight shift.
B-Man said, “I fell asleep in the middle of “Stairway to Heaven” on vinyl back in the day when I was doing overnights.” He continued, “I was in the chair and I fell asleep. I came to and the album was going (sound effect of an album being finished). I was like “Oh my gosh”. I literally played “Stairway to Heaven” 3 times.”
Nearly 40 years of stories from working with ESPN legend Dan Patrick, known as Dan Pugh then, to leaving the station for a year and a half after butting heads with another personality, but the best tales are from the stage or backstage.
“I remember getting thrown out (of the) Nazareth show because I bought a bootleg shirt outside once. They made me take it off. No, no. Take off all your clothes. Take everything off and put one of these shirts on. They embarrassed me and I did. I got naked in front of these guys,” said B-Man.
Charlie Daniels made an impression on him. He taught B-Man to chew tobacco. Stevie Ray Vaughn left an even more significant mark as friend and confidant.
“He sat in the studio for about 2 hours,” B-Man said. We were partying, having a great time. He literally took me aside and said, “You know what?” He said, “I got to get away from the Crown Royal to the Royal Crown.” He said, “I got a serious problem with that.” I said, “I’d like to do that to.” He said, “I got to find a way out of it.” He got away from it, and then he died tragically which broke my heart.”
As comfortable as he is behind the mic he is equally uncomfortable talking about himself skirting his own fame.
“It’s not been a perfect career by any means. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m still there. I honestly don’t,” explains B-Man.
But for how much longer? B-Man is 60. He’s not ready to retire yet but he knows it’s not too far down the road.
“You start thinking about retirement, but I honestly don’t know what I would do,” he said.
So, he will just keep on doing what he’s done for nearly four decades welcoming you into the B-Man cave and being grateful for every second you come to visit.
“I love what I do. I love where I do it here in town. I love who I do it for,” said B-Man.