Cowpoke Legends · Cowpoke Radio

Dude Martin

Dude Martin and his  band, circa 1945
Dude Martin and his band at KYA, circa 1945: (back row, left to right) Bud Hobbs, Dude Martin, Squeak McKinney, Buck Cramer; (front row, left to right) Squire Girshback, Arvada Miller, Johnny Teixeira and Dino Beneti.

John Stephen McSwain — known to his family and friends as “Steve” — was born back in March 1915 on a farm in the Central Valley town of Plainsburg, located pretty much in the heart of California.

Steve would grow up, change his stage name to Dude Martin, and became a Western Music entrepreneur, performing with his own show band, writing songs, making records, working as a radio (and later TV) host, promoting shows and doing just about anything to make a living in the business.

Dude’s extensive work on radio, hosting programs on San Francisco’s KYA and KGO in the 1940s and 1950s, led to his induction in the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2008.

PHOTO CREDIT: Author’s collection. All rights reserved.