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Radio AM to FM: December 8, 2000

Shopping Guide

A few local radio personalities are hoping to make your holiday shopping a bit easier with their own version of a shopping guide.

Or is it shameless promotion?

In any event, if you've never seen a Record Guide from Uncle Joe Benson, then you're missing out. With volumes covering Rock and Roll music from The Beatles to The Eighties, these guides give details and insight about every official album released by the covered artists, with input from the artists themselves. Consider the guides a cross between VH1's "Behind the Music" and Benson's own morning show on Arrow 93.1 FM. For more details, visit the Benson's web site at

If you'd rather hear the music than read about it -- holiday edition -- then you'll want the 3rd edition of KLOS (95.5 FM) morning duo Mark and Brian's charity compact disk series, Little Drummer Boys. The CD is a collection of songs and comedy routines performed at Mark and Brian Christmas Shows throughout the years.

Featuring Peter Frampton, Barry Manilow, Mel Torme, and many others, the CD is available in local stores as well as at some on-line music stores. Proceeds benefit the Mark and Brian Scholarship Fund, the M&B Music for Kids Program and the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

We Get Letters

And Calls ... Rufus Baker of Santa Monica had an interesting question: Since many listeners to the KNX (1070 AM) old-time radio "Drama Hour" are older themselves, why does KNX require the use of the internet to vote for next year's Drama Hour shows?

I can't answer that one, Rufus, except to say that age is only in the mind. In fact, former KNX morning host and longtime CBS employee Ralph Story -- now 39 -- cruises the net with a Power Macintosh. If he can do it, so can you.

Joan and Maury Benkoil of San Pedro, along with Joe Flynn in Gardena, Tony Ardolina of parts unknown, and just about every other letter that came in this week asked the same thing: Where is Don Imus now that KRLA (1110 AM) is no more?

Nowhere, yet. And unfortunately there isn't much that can be done to hear the program through other means either. The closest station to Los Angeles that I found that carries Imus in the Morning is KQSB in Santa Barbara, at 990 AM. Perhaps if conditions are just right, you can get it; otherwise you're out of luck: there appears to be no audio feed of the program available through the internet.

Joe Smith took me to task for not promoting talk radio more, stating that "you can continue to ignore intelligent-talk shows if you wish, but why not inform your readers before we lose more shows and stations?"

Good point, except that talk radio in general is not my cup of tea. I'll let you do it, through your web page at

And finally, closure to the KRLA saga that began in 1959 and ended last week with the debut of (ugh!) all-sports KSPN: Longtime behind the scenes Los Angeles radio guru Doug Brown wrote, "I believe KRLA really died when it left Pasadena. The corporateness of Greater Media stole the soul right out of it.

"KRLA was always more of a "people's" station. You could walk right in the front door at the hotel on Oak Knoll in Pasadena and watch the DJs from about five feet away (which I did). And they would always come out and TALK to you during a song. KFWB (980 AM) was "uptown," KRLA was "ours." More importantly pre-Beatles, they were THE surfers' station at the same time as being the East Side Latino Station. You'd hear Thee Midnighters, early Righteous Brothers, all the El Monte Legion Stadium commercials as well as the local surf hits ... Dick Dale, Bruce and Terry, The Fantastic Baggies, etc.

"I think giving up the call sign is a big mistake, Heck, KSCA's (101.9 FM) call sign didn't keep them from going from last to first when they changed formats."

Doug is being too easy on KRLA's new owner, ABC. The person responsible for changing the call-letters from KRLA to KSPN should be fired immediately. He or she cannot be too bright, considering what a boneheaded move that was. Another identity loss for Los Angeles. More KRLA memories can be found at


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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