Airwaves: February 29, 2008
Winters on Whittington
Jonathan Winters is the guest on "Sweet" Dick Whittington's show on KGIL/San Fernando (1260 AM) ... as we travel back in time to November 23rd, 1973 via the amazing time machine known as Uncle Ricky's Top-40 Radio Repository (www.reelradio.com).
Winters discusses the beginnings of his career with Whittington on this unscoped hour-long recording. Included are commercials for the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas ("see Jack Benny and Pearl Bailey") among many others, as well as the amazingly laid-back style of Whittington himself as he allows his guest to be the real star of the show. It's not top-40, but its another example of a version of radio that doesn't exist any more.
A small donation ($12 per year or an aircheck) is required to access the site, which is one of my absolute favorite internet destinations. Drives my wife Jean crazy, but I love it. And her.
While you're checking out that recording, listen to some of the other exhibits, including recordings of legendary top-40 stations KFRC/San Francisco, KHJ (930 AM), and KIIS-FM (102.7). Want to get angry over the state of radio? Search for Bobby Ocean on KFRC from August 8, 1986 ... Ocean's last day as the Big 610 gets ready to ditch 20 years of amazingly entertaining rock and roll. Great radio, even if it's a sad day for the Bay Area.
Debra Mark is the newest edition to the Doug McIntyre show on KABC (790 AM). Mark is the show's new entertainment reporter, and will also do weather twice an hour. She comes to KABC from a stint at Metro Traffic -- a job which included fill-ins at KABC -- and previously could be heard weekends on KFI (640 AM).
McIntyre's show airs weekdays from 5 to 9 AM.
I happened to catch the end of an old George Carlin bit Monday afternoon on KLOS's (95.5 FM) Five O'Clock Funnies ... an institution in Los Angeles if there ever was one. I really can't recall when KLOS didn't run it, although I didn't realize five o'clock began at 5:20.
Joe Benson hosts it now, although it has endured through various afternoon personalities. Seems like it used to be a little longer, but I may be remembering wrong. In any event, it's a great part of Uncle Joe's show and is a nice thing to hear as you drive home from work. Want to know who will be on? Find the schedule on the KLOS website, www.955klos.com.
Television has had Tivo and Tivo-style recorders for a long time. These boxes include a hard drive that captures video and allows you record your favorite programs easily for playback later.
While there are not any stand-along boxes to do the same thing with radio (well, outside of what we used to call a "tape recorder," but there are a few software programs you can add to your computer to do the same thing. One such program is called Radioshift, and it is available for Macintosh computers from a company called Rogue Amoeba (www.rogueamoeba.com).
Free as a trial version and $32 after that, Radioshift will do times recordings of internet stations and internet streams offered by your favorite AM and FM stations. More than 50,000 station and program listings can be found in the included Radio Guide, and the program can handle the popular formats including Real Audio, Quick Time, MP3 and Windows Media.
More Reader Response
"Your column, and the letters you received in response are right on," said reader Brian Ferguson of San Pedro. "Radio just isn't fun like it used to be, and a few companies are the ones responsible. It's no wonder that iPods, satellite radio and the internet stations are so popular."
Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.
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