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Airwaves: June 30, 2006

Finding Fulton

Don Barrett's is the news site of record when it comes to information about Los Angeles radio personalities. Subscription-based, it is a bargain to me at less than $40 per year. Barrett, a broadcaster himself -- he launched KIQQ/Los Angeles in the early 1970s -- has a way of connecting with people better than most.

Liz Fulton was the news director of KIIS-FM beginning in 1979. When Rick Dees arrived from KHJ in 1981, she became the reporter/sidekick to Dees. Her talent for both is one reason for the success of both Dees and KIIS-FM during that era. No one, not even Ellen K, compared as a sidekick to Dees; when Fulton left the station, real news reporting became nothing but a memory. Fulton herself became something of a memory. People asked where she was, and no one seemed to know.

That's where Barrett steps in. He found her. Even spoke with her at length. Seems reports of her death were exaggerated. Highlights of the series run at this week include:

• She loved Dees and KIIS-FM, but moved partly due to family concerns, partly to try something new.

• Her career brought her to Sacramento, Santa Barbara and Monterey; Monterey was her last job in radio.

• She explains how she could be such a good pairing with Dees, then take end the pairing with litigation.

Fulton now lives in Oregon with a "Bavarian hippie cowboy."

Holliday Passes

Sie Holliday, one of the first, if not the first, female rock and roll DJs -- died June 23rd from lung cancer.

I am not sure why, but Holliday was one of my favorites, even though I don't remember her that well. She is the only personality I can remember actually hearing from the "progressive" era of KRLA, keeping in mind that I was only 10.

She arrived in Los Angeles in 1962 to work at KRLA, where she stayed until almost everyone was fired and the station went automated in 1976. Her duties included playing records as well as playing the part of Daphney on "Hudson's Commando's," part of the Emperor Hudson morning show. She was also a major part of the famous "Credibility Gap," which also ran on KRLA. In 1973 she became the first female morning host in Los Angeles.

In 1976 she moved on to KMPC, then left in 1978 for Texas, where she acted and directed in local theater, never to return to radio again. If anyone has any tapes of her as a DJ on KRLA, I'd love to hear them; for whatever reason, they are exceedingly hard to find.

Holliday, whose real name is Shirley Schneider, died of lung cancer even though she gave up smoking over 30 years ago. She was 75.


Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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