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Radio AM to FM: May 31, 2002

Benny on CD

Internet's Radio Spirits ( continue to release more and more episodes of Old Time Radio programs. The latest exciting news is the release of Jack Benny Programs on CD.

Benny just happens to be my favorite comedian of all time.

The web site is a clearinghouse of old radio programs, and the company provides some of the programming for stations that run such shows, including KNX here in Los Angeles. Additionally, you can hear some of the programs directly from the site, provided you have a supported computer and the right software. Definitely worth checking out.

May Days

While Johnny Hayes may have been let go from KRTH (101.1 FM) earlier this month as the station tries to make itself become irrelevant, the month actually marks Hayes' 37th anniversary working in Los Angeles radio.

Hayes began his Los Angeles career at KRLA (now KSPN) in May, 1965, after a successful stint as a KGBeach Boy on KGB/San Diego where he was the number one afternoon personality.

For all but one of the next 27 years, Hayes stayed at KRLA; his one year away was spent at KDAY in 1971. While at KRLA he became known for his knowledge of music and his great delivery on the KRLA Countdown Show. He was also one of only two personalities on the station during part of the "Hit Radio 11" format when he and Art Laboe handled all on air shifts themselves ... with a little help from audio tape.

He left KRLA for KRTH in 1992; his wonderful style and personality came through as much as possible in KRTH's dreadful version of the oldies format, but it was obvious that the higher-ups wanted to restrict him (and all other jocks) from having too much personality. Hayes still managed to make KRTH listenable during his shift, but it was not nearly the same as when he was on KRLA.

When Hayes received Billboard's Personality of the Year in 1984, he said,"If they give me 20 seconds of my own personal time between records, I'm gonna try to make every word count and try to say something that touches somebody and has some meaning." Hopefully he won't be off the air long.

May Days II

May was also the 37th anniversary of Boss Radio KHJ. The best information I can find has KHJ's full-time Boss format debuting at 4 pm May 3rd, after the Million Dollar Battle had concluded.

However, due to leaks at the station and KFWB's attempt to steal some of the thunder, KHJ was actually forced to launch a "Sneak Preview" of Boss Radio on April 27th.

Party Time

Happy birthday today to former KMGG (now KPWR) personality Sonny Melendrez. And tomorrow to LITE-FM (92.7) personality Paul Freeman.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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