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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