Airwaves: April 28, 2006
May 5th was supposed to be the day that Boss Radio made its Los Angeles debut in 1965. For weeks the personalities were busy practicing their craft in off-air studios: Robert W. Morgan, Sam Riddle, Don Steele, Roger Christian ... all brought together by programmer Ron Jacobs and consultants Gene Chanault and Bill Drake.
But something went wrong. One of the newsmen, afraid he'd be losing his job when the format switch took place, headed over to KFWB and told all in exchange for a job. Suddenly KFWB began running promos for Boss Radio, 20/20 News ... all the elements that were to be part of the new KHJ.
To prevent KFWB from stealing all of KHJ's thunder, the debut was moved up a week, to April 27th, when KHJ launched a "sneak preview" of Boss Radio. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In celebration of the 41st birthday of The Boss in Los Angeles, reelradio.com is presenting a KHJ triple-play. In addition to recordings of the Sneak Preview, you can also hear samples of this legendary station covering different eras: Robert W. Morgan on the first hour of the very first History of Rock and Roll in 1969, Johnny Williams from February, 1970, and a composite recording of KHJ's Summer 1975 sound featuring Charlie Van Dyke, Billy Pearl, Machine Gun Kelly, Big John Carter and Bobby Ocean.
This is how top-40 radio should be done. I'm glad I'm old enough to remember some of it ... and relive it through Reel Radio!
By the way, reelradio.com has numerous recordings of KHJ throughout its history, including 15 minutes with Bing Crosby in 1931. Stations from all over the country are represented as well. It is one of my all time favorite internet destinations, and definitely worth the $12 per year now charged for unlimited access.
The LA Theater Works' The Plays the Thing presents this week Pride and Prejudice Saturday night from 10 PM to 12 midnight on KPCC.
Written by Jane Austen, adopted for stage by Cristine Calvit and starring Miriam Margolyes and Kate Burton, the Pride and Prejudice is a romantic comedy telling the story of the Bennets, a family blessed with five daughters and a mother desperate to marry them off.
You can also hear the play for one week following the broadcast on KPCC's website, www.kpcc.org.
Well, perhaps it's not a true first, considering the many stations that broadcast 4-channel Quadraphonic surround sound audio in the 1970s. But WZLX/Boston is set to become the first station in the US to broadcast in digital 5.1 surround sound within the next 90 to 120 days.
The only problem? There are no radios on the market, and none on the horizon, that will decode the broadcasts. So why do it? To help set a standard for digital surround sound broadcasts and get people hyped about HD Radio, the broadcast system that allows it to happen.
Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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