Cutout Bin: Mysterious, Abstinence-Touting, Dead Christian Motivational Comedian Don Lonie

Don Lonie

Talks With Teenagers (1962)

Talks Again (1964)

Don Lonie's pair of albums from the early 60's were among the bestselling titles for Christian recording powerhouse Word Records. They sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and are thrift-store record-bin regulars. So why is it so hard to find out anything about the guy?

Called "America's No. 1 high-school assembly speaker," Don used his unique blend of slightly irreverent humor, "hip" teen language and a droll nasal delivery to get across his wholesome message of abstinence and personal responsibility. He is said to have spoken at over 4,000 schools, and any number of business meetings, PTA clubs, and churches.

Millions of people have heard this guy speak. He toured the country giving his talks for over 45 years. Yet we can't find even the most basic information about him, except that he was from Michigan and died in November, 2001. I did manage to find a few period newspaper ads for his appearances, including one from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was delightfully placed over an ad for "KATIBA: Queen of the Belly Dancers."

The kicker is, he's actually pretty funny at times. With an update of the language, a few of his jokes might go over at a modern comedy club. You can listen to one side of Don Lonie Talks Again at this blog. Of course, he comes down pretty hard with his cautionary tales about riding around with drunken classmates and the evils of wearing too much makeup, but who can really argue with that?

So do any of you Cutout Bin readers remember seeing Don Lonie at your high school assembly or church barn-raising? We'd love to hear about it!

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Nick DiFonzo