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Radio AM to FM: April 14, 2000

Reel Help

I've written many times about Uncle Ricky's Reel Radio Top-40 Repository, a sort of on-line audio museum of legendary radio stations and personalities from around the United States and Canada.

For the past four years, visitors to the web site have been able to hear airchecks, see photos, view documentaries and learn trivia for free, under the direction of former broadcaster Richard "Uncle Ricky" Irwin. Over 600 on-demand files of radio and media, primarily from 1954 to 1980 (but extending to 1999), are available for visitors with a reasonably good computer and an internet connection.

Since its inception, has been hosted for free by Sacramento Network Access, a division of PSINet. Due to various reasons, that connection will soon end. In order to maintain the high quality of the streaming media and other archives, Irwin has established Reelradio Inc., a non-profit public benefit corporation , and will be seeking tax-exempt status from Federal and California tax authorities as a free online museum of radio sounds and history.

To facilitate fundraising while direct tax-exempt status is awaiting approval, a group called the Media Preservation Foundation has established a reelradio fund to pay for internet services for The Foundation -- an early contributor to the website -- is an organization dedicated to the preservation of media archives.

Irwin hopes to have enough funds raised to move to new servers by the end of May. Quite a task, considering the amount of bandwidth required for the large files and the huge numbers of visitors each week.

For more information (and an amazing trip down memory lane with legends like LA's own Robert W. Morgan and Chicago's Larry Lujack), visit the site at

Classic Calls

KMPC has returned to the Los Angeles airwaves, this time on 1540 AM, the One-On-One all-sports station that formerly was called ... uh, K-something-something-something.

Why KMPC? Simple. KMPC is one of the most memorable call-letter combos in Southern California, having spent years on 710 AM -- many of which as a very popular personality-oriented station playing middle of the road (now called Adult Standards") music.

Owned until ten years ago by Gene Autry, KMPC also had an amazing sports heritage, running Angels baseball and UCLA football while under the watchful eye of the great Jim Healey, KMPC's sports director.

Ironically, it was a decision to take KMPC all sports that destroyed the station. Later sold to Disney, KMPC became a has-been talk station (710 talk) before Disney decided to drop the call letters for KTZN -- The Zone, and try a new format designed to attract women. It didn't work; Disney later made the station truly Mickey Mouse (pardon the pun) by adopting a childrens format and the call letters KDIS.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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