KYA San Francisco Top 40 Radio Honored with DJs Norman Davis,Tommy Saunders








Top far left is DJ Lucky Logan (Norman Davis), who was on hand 6-23 when legendary Top 40 San Francisco Radio Station was honored by local Legends in Broadcasting. Also appearing were Djs Tommy Saunders and Gary Mora. 

 

 
 San Francisco Celebrates KYA Top 40 Day with DJs Norman Davis, Tommy Saunders, Gary Mora 
Legends in Broadcasting is a fine organization that celebrates its own radio personalities in the San Francisco Bay Area. It meets each quarter for a luncheon to honor a personality or radio station . June 23, 2016 was KYA Day, featuring DJs NORMAN DAVIS (known as Lucky Logan when he first came aboard in 1959), TOMMY SAUNDERS from 1962-1965 and GARY MORA from the late 60s and 1970s with noted DJ and media mogul BEN FONG-TORREZ as moderator. MORA continues to keep KYA alive with an internet version of the station with lots of memorabilia, concentrating on his era of the late 60s
 

 

From 1958 to 1963, KYA was the biggest radio thing in San Francisco  with popular DJs including those pictured above including ‘all night’ JOHNNY HAYES, PETER TRIPP, BOB MITCHELL, LUCKY LOGAN (Norman Davis) and TONY TREMAIN. GENE NELSON. TOMMY SAUNDERS and RUSS (The Moose) SYRACUSE  joined the staff in 1962 coming from noted broadcasting school in Syracuse. KYA was so popular several albums were produced with songs from the era and DJs pictured (partial) on cover (as at left)

 

VIDEO:Tommy Saunders and Norman Davis talk about the ‘happy days’ at KYA, circa 1959-1965. 
They describe how the station’s popularity was driven by the new ‘TOP 40’ format, which was sweeping the nation, thanks to Bill Drake and Bartell family. Top 40 was the rock and roll of the day but would hardly be considered rock and roll by today’s standards , what with the wide variety of music as shown   on the survey below…everything from Frank Sinatra to instrumentals with backing vocals by Anita Kerr Singers and novelty  songs.  Everything was fast-paced so as to cram as much as possible around a  fast-talking DJ…jingles, weather, newscast along with the great (in our opinion) music (even if Saunders and Davis weren’t big fans of it at the time). Sorry, time restraints don’t allow us to include the entire  lunch presentation.  In another   segment   the guys talk about one of the real ‘characters,’ one DJ named Harry Stevens (1959–1963) and his stories including one about a   playmate bunny.
We’ll try to put up some radio airchecks, too, if possible… the great Russ ‘the Moose’ and others
Top 40 (or Top 60 for awhile) was the rage in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to Bill Drake, Bartels family and others who introduced the format that combined a wide variety of the music of the day still called ‘rock and roll’ though it was a stretch (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett were played along side Elvis, Bobby Darin and the like. DJs generally talked fast so as to squeeze in as much ‘patter’ along with the ‘platters,’ jingles, weather reports and news as possible.  DJs of the time included Tony Tremayne and Jolly Rogers. See if you can’t make out some of those memorable songs from the day, above, by enlarging this official ‘Hit Parade’ survey from July 10, 1959.

 

 

Visable from left are NORMAN DAVIS (Lucky Logan), TOMMY SAUNDERS and Ben Fong-Torres (back)

 

Held at the Basque Cultural Center in So. San Francisco, the event featured a nice display of KYA memorabilia (see more on accompanying videos and photos .  A few hundred radio contemporaries joined the KYA folks to honor them and the legendary station 6-23-16

 

Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Temptations, Supremes, Crests, Belmonts, 4 Seasons, Beach Boys, Beatles, Elvis Presley


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Remembering JEAN SHEPHERD and his Christmas (Eve) Story

Remembering JEAN SHEPHERD and his

Christmas (Eve) Story

Great writeup by cofounder of Steely Dan about a pioneer of talk radio, when radio was still real fun and the ‘friend’ you’d take under your covers via transistor and go to sleep with. Didn’t know until now that Jean Shepherd  has since become, perhaps, more known for his connection to The Christmas Story movie than the wildly popular ‘hip’ early talk show on NEW YORK’ s powerhouse, WOR.    We grew up 3,000 miles away from where Shepherd reigned and never heard the man until recently, though we had many of our own out West  ( Bob Sherwood,  Al  Jazzbeaux Collins, Russ the Moose Ssyracuse, Bobby Dale, even Ira Blue, but perhaps no one person who could put it all together in one ascerbic session like Jean Shepherd.Here’s Fagen, who can talk much more intelligently about Shepherd than we can

On Christmas Eve, TBS will again present its annual 24-hour marathon of Bob Clark’s modern classic, A Christmas Story. Wrapping presents while watching Ralphie pine for a Red Riding BB gun has become a holiday tradition as beloved and durable as candy canes and eggnog. Yet the author and narrator of A Christmas Story, Jean Shepherd, had a deeper legacy of enchanting, subtly barbed storytelling as a longtime voice on nightly radio. In this piece from December 2008, Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagenrecounts growing up in suburban New Jersey enthralled by Shepherd’s radio show.

Remembering JEAN SHEPHERD and his Christmas (Eve) Story

Jean Shepherd.

Jean Shepherd

If you know Jean Shepherd’s name, it’s probably in connection with the now-classic film A Christmas Story, which is based on a couple of stories in his book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. He also does the compelling voice-over narration. On Christmas, TBS will continue its tradition of presenting a 24-hour Christmas Storymarathon. There are annual fan conventions devoted to the film released 25 years ago this Thanksgiving and the original location in Cleveland has been turned into a museum. But long before A Christmas Story was made, Shepherd did a nightly radio broadcast on WOR out of Manhattan that enthralled a generation of alienated young people within range of the station’s powerful transmitter. Including me: I was a spy for Jean Shepherd.
In the late ’50s, while Lenny Bruce was beginning his climb to holy infamy in jazz clubs on the West Coast, Shepherd’s all-night monologues on WOR had already gained him an intensely loyal cult of  MORE

KRLA Los Angeles Was Rock and Roll Radio Powerhouse 50s-60s

KRLA Los Angeles Was Rock and Roll Radio Powerhouse 50s-60s – Top DJs

Last Sat night was a treat with  Ride Radio (Seattle) and/or Top Shelf Oldies http://www.topshelfoldies.org/ playing the Top 50 from L.A. Powerhouse KRLA… One of the best surveys ever from this week in 1962 (Oct 26) as below…Fine guest DJ sitting in for the great Johnny G ….just heard #18 and #17  Torture by Kris Jensen and Leah by Roy Orbison. Don’t miss this Memory Flogger on future Saturnight nights, featurly various local, hometown surveys from the Golden Era… sounds you haven’t heard in years will bring back great memories. For now, we’ll highlight some of the show’s survey hits and other multi-media from that great LA station some of you probably grew up with.  Let us know what you think and we’ll try to bring you some more ‘Hometown Countdowns ‘ surveys from various city and highlight some of the songs ini the future… After we hear the #50 hit, we’ll have  a visit with original KRLA DJ , legendary Huggie Boy….

Music notes bouncing up and down

 

Let’s start things off with highlights from the above survey, counting backwards starting with #50 and the great Paul Anka and Esso Besso,  a little bossa nova thing from Paul Ankahttps://youtu.be/UV5S5FCjMeY

 #50 from the KRLA Top 50 week of Oct 22, 1962
Picking out some  of the other highlights before we get to the Top Five…

Checking in at #47 it’s   by Carla Thomas – her answer song to  to Sam Cooke’s original ‘Bring It On Home to Me’ https://youtu.be/9hnJALVZDXo

 

 #47  CARLA THOMAS ‘I’ll Bring It On Home To You’

 

We’ll Get Back to the survey in a minute, but let’s say hello to the top DJs of the Golden Era

 

Old moving animated radio speaker glowing

 

KRLA / LOS ANGELES DJs

KRLA, PASADENA NOV 6-13, 1960  – Remember any of these DJs. We do -3 would go on to big TV gigs – Wink Martindale as a recording artist, DJ and game show host; Bob Eubanks as a rock and roll promoter (Beatles and others), DJ and game show host; Jim O’Neill as host of Shindig and other things, and Kasey Kasem would come soon to KRLA shortly after this survey. See additional survey and DJs below

OLDIES COUNTRY's photo.

‘HUGGY BOY’ DICK HUGG, KRLA

As promised, one of LA’s premier DJs, Huggy Boy, who was still announcing up to a few years ago. He has since passed. Others were Hunter Hancock, who also lived long and then there’s Art ‘Mr Oldies But Goodies’ Laboe, who is STILL announcing after all these years… to the mainly large chicano market that LOVES oldies in L.A. KRLA and KFWB were THE stations during the era. We’ll get into the DJs another time…https://youtu.be/zeJDDXJpe5A  Hugg was a fixture at KRLA not only in the late 50s and early 60s but years later when KRLA lived on as an ‘oldies’ station. Hugg passed in 2012.

“Huggy Boy” (Dick Hugg) in this rare news story (that we did in 1998) spends time talking about old rock & roll radio, the early days of L.A. rock and a surp…

Classic LA sounds they still love on LA’s Art Laboe show, Mary Wells’ Two Lovers. Wells was Queen of Chicano oldies until she passed prematurelyhttps://youtu.be/oa4MqpN-A2k  You’d hear Mary often on Huggy Boy’s show. He probably even interviewed her a time or two

Art Laboe is probably the last remaining active oldies DJ from the era, broadcasting Sunday nights KQIE . He’s a young 90 now and been around since the inception of R and R, helped promote the LA doowop sounds of the Penguins, Larks, Shields and many more on his Oldies But Goodies albums (he also coined the term) https://youtu.be/G03f_sCDBG0. Interesting how so many of the LA disc jockies have lasted, at least until recently. Wolfman Jack was another who spend a long time on LA stations including KRLA…

Your Sunday nights are not going to be the same! Legendary Radio DJ Art Laboe is back on Q1047 every Sunday from 6:00pm to midnight! Playing all…

and then there’s THE ONE AND ONLY WOLFMAN JACK who came to KRLA. Here’s a classic aircheck of his https://youtu.be/GnJXLwnWDxI

Back to the KRLA survey from the week of Oct 26, 1962….
#40 JIMMY DEAN Little Black Book

The surveys back then had a lot of variety- all genres really including novelty, which you might classify this one by Jimmy Dean, Little Black Book that comes in at #40 this week in 1962https://youtu.be/9oQyNlYPNVU

From “Portrait of Jimmy Dean”. Written by Jimmy Dean.
And now, let’s hear an ‘extra’ or ‘bubbling under’  the week of Oct 26, 1962….

Midnight Sun was a jazz standard l, a tune adapted as a pop tune by the 5 Whispers, an instrumental ‘extra’ reminiscent of Santo and Johnny you would have probably heard on KRLA also in 1962https://youtu.be/dHXUFjknWLo

‘EXTRA’
Instrumental. Record released in 1962.
Music notes bouncing up and down
NOW, LET’S HEAR SOME OF THE GREAT JINGLES, INTROS and OUTROS you heard/ are hearing on KRLA thru time travel
 Old moving animated radio speaker glowing

KRLA jingles, DJ intros and sign-offs from the Golden Era of ‘the 11110 Men’ https://youtu.be/-YzFGAEW24Y Note the DJ names like then fast-talking Bob Eubanks and and Wink Martindale,another game show host who actually had a hit record (know it?), . KRLA was a true powerhouse, competing heavily against KFWB and later KHJ. Now they’re all memories… The call letters amy still be there but that’s about it… but they live on here!

This clip contains several jingles, DJ intros, and DJ sign-offs from AM Radio station KRLA in Pasadena (Los Angeles) California. The intros and sign-offs…

Moving animated gramophone with notes

From 1961 -one KRLA DJ was especially big on the East Coast, one Dick Biondi, who amazingly , is still on air today on WLS FMhttp://www.947wls.com/dick-biondi/ Chicago… learning a lot tonight on the Local Countdown show, which airs each week at this time on RIDE orhttp://www.TopShelfOldies.com 7-10 pm… Currently Elvis’ Return To Sender #6

 

BACK TO THE KRLA SURVEY for the week of Oct. 26, 1962

KRLA 10-26-15 tOP 50

 

Do to time and media constraints, we’re going to jump to the TOP FIVE songs on KRLA the week of Oct.26, 1962…

 

#5 Bustin Surfboards – Tornadoes

The surf craze is hot and heavy, especially in LA and Currently playing at #5 Bustin Surfboard by the Tornados https://youtu.be/HGBIirV_9MU

Mellow Surf Instrumental Used in the movie Pulp Fiction

#4  CHUBBY CHECKER ‘Popeye’ 

And at #4 a personal favorite, Popeye, from Chubby Checkerhttps://youtu.be/Hn0rihraUiA

Two dances in one from Mr. Ernest Evans. Great value!

#3 THE TIJUANA BRASS – The Lonely Bull

The hometown countdown continues with the new sound of Mexico from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass with the Lonely Bull at #3https://youtu.be/0EDW6gEQ2DU

OLDIES COUNTRY's photo.

 #2 CRYSTALS – He’s A Rebel

48 down and two to go…Well, you probably already know since we put up the survey (should have kept it a secret)… at #2 it’s Phil Spector‘s Crystals and a song written by Gene Pitney, ‘He’s A Rebel’https://youtu.be/G_SXJ18EkNw

 GOLD SPINNING STARS GOOG
Before we hear the #1 hit of the week of Oct. 26, 1962 let’s hear from one more legendary Los Angeles DJ, HUNTER HANCOCK as we go ‘Huntin’with Hunter,’ as his show was called

Hunter Hancock goes back before rock and roll when he broadcast rhythm and blues in Los angeles… and broadcast un until a few years ago. He was perhaps the highest regarded of them all and had a real energetic soung… and helped get rock and roll into the mainstream playing and promoting the LA groups like the Olympics, Penguins and others… https://youtu.be/LVLmRLLrXtw

I grandi dj d’America.
 GOLD SPINNING STARS GOOG

#1 FOUR SEASONS – Big Girls Don’t Cry

Drum Roll please…#1 with those boys from Jersey who are on a roll with the Four Season’s second no.1 in a row , ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry, following Sherry, which has dropped down but remains on this survey… Thanks for joining in on this classic KRLA survey on the Hometown Countdown Show… Until next week…It’s the Bopper signing off …Ending up with live performance of the song https://youtu.be/40bTOCv3_ak

KRLA_1960-11-04_1
We’ll leave you with this survey from KRLA  from 55  years ago next week…  Thanks for listening and viewing .We’ll do it again, perhaps Saturday night simulcast with TOP SHELF OLDIES!
SEE YOU LATER ALIGATOR…

Radio Museum Moves from Vintage KRE Radio Station in Emeryville

Radio Museum Moves from Historic KRE Radio

Station in Emeryville to Alameda

2-14   It doesn’t seem long ago we reported, below, the California Radio Historical Society in its ‘new’diggs at the beautiful old deco KRE radio station building in Emeryville, CA.  Just saw this morning this video of the CHRS moving out! Sad but true, yet founder Steve Kushman seems to take things philosophically here… So the CHRS era at KRE at the historic radio station near Oakland, CA  now  is a memory, but we’ve got it archived for you, below for posterity… not just for the old radios and CRHS memorabilia but for the radio station , which was one of the early ones – one of the three letter stations – with its high tower and all not far from the Bay Bridge. Hopefully the old KRE building will remain as a historical landmark but probably not in this day of developers scraping up 

 YOU CAN STILL SEE THE WAY IT WAS AT WHEN CHRS WAS AT KRE 

KRE 'On The Air' original studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Way It Was

Radio Museum Moves from Vintage KRE Radio Station in Emeryville