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Don Kent at KWIZ, 1967
Don on Oldies-formatted KWIZ, 1967

Don Kent at KNX, 1972
Don Kent on the board at KNX, 1972

Don Kent taking transmitter readings at KFWB, 1973
Don Kent taking transmitter readings at KFWB, 1973


Don Kent in the KTLA-TV control room, 2004
Don Kent in the KTLA-TV control room, 2004

The Don Kent Collection

Don Kent graduated high school in early 1964 and writes:

"I had NO idea what career path to take. During my Senior Year I browsed through several college catalogs and came across "broadcasting" at Los Angeles City College. That sounded like fun. Besides, my dad had been in radio during WWII and it was sort of like following in his footsteps; well, kinda! I did pretty well at it, getting straight A's and a place on the Dean's List, so I figured that I'd found my "calling".

Back in those days I collected a bunch of aircheck tapes from my, then, favorite stations. I studied the techniques for school, but I just liked listening to them, too. Eventually, I connected with others who had done the same and we traded.

While I was still in school I took a job doing the news part-time at KBLA in Burbank, CA. That was in 1965. It worked into a job offer from KWIZ AM/FM, Santa Ana, which, so far as I know, was the first all-oldie station anywhere.

That ended in 1969 and I returned to the station in Burbank, which was now KBBQ (Country). I HATED the Country format, but by then I had a wife and son and I needed the job (didn't have to turn the monitor up, though!).

The P.D. from KLAC, Los Angeles, heard me on the air and offered me a job at his station. Needless to say, I took it. After several months I switched over to the Engineering Department there. The station was co-housed with KMET-FM and I did Production-Engineering for both.

In 1970 I moved over to KFWB, Los Angeles, as a Production Engineer. A couple of years later I briefly moved to KNX/CBS but didn't much care for it and returned to KFWB, where I stayed until 1979. That's when I moved over to television, where I did freelance audio work (common in that business) for a short time.

That led to a staff offer from KTLA-TV in 1980. I started there doing "doofus work", but moved up the ladder to the position of Senior Engineer and later Crew Chief.

Don Kent at CBS Central Control, 1972
Don Kent on the Pacific Network Switcher in CBS Central Control on the first floor of the CBS Radio building in Hollywood. This is the switcher that controlled all the network traffic during the heyday of live radio. It was still in use in the '70's. The CBS Network was "reversible", that is, programming could originate from any O&O station on the network.
Since moving to television my aircheck interests switched to restoration of early videotape recordings. I did all the restorations for the UCLA Film and Television Archive between about 1987 and 2002. In 1988 I won a Primetime Emmy for restoring the earliest television show recorded on color tape; "An Evening With Fred Astaire" (1958). Since then I have done several others, including The Nixon-Krushchev "Kitchen Debate" for the Library of Congress. I'm real proud of how those early shows turned out.

Many years ago I collected rock 'n' roll records, but the "sound" changed from what I liked and I hung that up. I still have about three thousand records from back then though.

In the intervening years since college, I just put those old aircheck tapes on a shelf in the garage. I haven't listened to them since the early 70's but they still sound pretty good, so enjoy!

The Repository thanks Don Kent for sharing!

[Descriptions by Don Kent]

 

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Elliot Field, KFWB Los Angeles, January 9, 1959 (29:02)

. . . My mommy listens to KFWB . . .
Elliot Field, 1958
Elliot Field, 1958

This is what "Color Radio KFWB" sounded like when it first began. I remember hearing the station in this form back when I was in junior high!

[Uncle Ricky: Elliot Field started KFWB afternoon drive on January 2, 1958, the birthdate of Chuck Blore's Channel 98 format, and stayed with the station until 1964. KFWB was celebrating the first anniversary of Color Radio on the date of this aircheck.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5Khz)
Gary Owens, KEWB Oakland, CA. September 29, 1959 (34:13)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (17:29)

UNSCOPED

'SCOPED


KEWB/91 Logo
KEWB Logo
. . . That song ranks number 8 in the rankest songs this week . . .

It starts with a Jack Morris newscast. Gary Owens sounded pretty good here, in the early part of his career. This is the earliest example of KEWB I've heard.
Picture of Gary Owens
Gary Owens

[Uncle Ricky notes:] This aircheck is an absolute treasure. If Wink Martindale's Deck of Cards isn't enough, you'll enjoy the Clinton S. Feamish Tap-Dancing Weather and The Thing that attacked downtown Milpitas ... and his orchestra.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Don MacKinnon, KEWB Oakland CA., 1961 (8:31)

Don MacKinnon, KEWB 1961
Don MacKinnon, KEWB 1961
. . . KEWB is better than ever, get some today . . .

Don MacKinnon did the morning drive show at "Cube" for several years, prior to moving to Los Angeles in February of 1965.

This KEWB aircheck from late 1961 concludes with Big Bay Bannerlines, the newscast on the half-hour, with Ted Meadows.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Bobby Dale, KEWB Oakland CA, August 4, 1963 (13:49)

Bobby Dale
Bobby Dale, early '60's
. . . I have 500 albums in my living room, but don't try to get in there . . .

Bobby Dale went through the new Fab 40 Survey each Sunday on KEWB. He had been at KFWB just the year before, and would go on to KRLA later. But Bobby sounded the best, and was most at home, on "cube".

[Uncle Ricky: Bobby Dale left radio in 1985. Los Angeles Radio People, Volume II (1997) reported that Dale was retired and worked part-time for a pre-school as a crossing guard in the San Francisco Bay area. Bobby Dale was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away on January 17, 2001. Bobby Ocean contributed a special remembrance for Bobby Dale.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (14.5Khz)
Ted Quillin, KRLA Los Angeles, August 27, 1963 (32:28)

Ted Quillin, 1959
Ted Quillin, 1959
. . . Blues for Breffus and KRLA Big Monkey Time . . .

This came from Ted Quillin's personal collection, such as it was. It was recorded at KRLA. Ted was doing "housewife-time" then.

He let me copy this in the early seventies, when he was working for Ernie Freeman Productions in Hollywood. He had NO airchecks from the years of his earlier on-air jobs!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Ken Holiday, WABB Mobile Alabama, 1964 (11:55)

WABB Logo
. . . the life and sound of the great Gulf south . . .

The production director of KBLA, Burbank, a man I worked with 35 years ago, received this audition tape when he was P.D. of a station in the east. He had saved it and gave me a copy.

Here's Ken Holiday on WABB Mobile, Alabama, on a Sunday morning in September, 1964.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Don MacKinnon, KFWB Los Angeles, March 1965 (5:33)

Don MacKinnon, KFWB 1965
Don MacKinnon, KFWB 1965
. . . a little while later I'll make a noise like a choice beef . . .

This was the opening of Don MacKinnon's 12-3PM show on KFWB in Los Angeles, March 15, 1965. Joe Yocam, who had filled that timeslot for many years, was out of the lineup for the time being. Yocam was President of the L.A. Local of AFTRA and was involved in a legal dispute with KFWB.

Don MacKinnon died in a car accident in June of 1965 before Yocam's situation was resolved (in December) and he returned to KFWB. Larry McCormick filled the timeslot between the two.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5Khz)
B. Mitchel Reed, KFWB Los Angeles, December 1965 (23:42)

. . . Lord Tim is a . . .
B. Mitchel Reed, 1965
B. Mitchel Reed, 1965

From BMR's second tour at KFWB: B. Mitchel Reed is heard in morning drive with newsman Cleve Hermann in December, 1965.

[Uncle Ricky notes]: KFWB is playing PAMS Series 26 & 27. BMR plays an exclusive from Petula Clark, and newsman Hermann does a bit about the Seventy Sickers.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5Khz)
Dave Hull, KRLA Los Angeles, January 1, 1966 (8:24)

Dave Hull
Dave Hull
. . . with a toot-toot salute . . .

It's New Year's Day in Pasadena, KRLA, 1966. Dave Hull makes reference to the Rose Bowl game, won by UCLA that year, and he is playing the number one songs from 1965.

[Uncle Ricky notes]: Note the Chuck Blore Encore jingle package, also in use at WCFL in 1966.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (16Khz)
KFWB Custom Funky Jingles, 1967 (9:49)

. . . KFWB Channel 98 . . .

This was the last jingle package used by KFWB as a music station (1967). It's a custom package labeled as featuring The Count Basie Orchestra and The Vandellas (without Martha!)

This tape was salvaged from the KFWB attic in 1971. It includes several instrumental-only (thematic) cuts. Bob Oakes, KFWB Program Director in 1967, claims this custom package featured "the best of the best of LA's sidemen backing several different vocal groups including a group called The Blossoms." (see COMMENTS, below)

[Edited for online presentation, does not include duplicate and remixed cuts.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14Khz)
Bob Hudson, KFWB Los Angeles, January 10, 1968 (49:21)

. . . [cough] You come to work fourteen straight days with a hundred ten temperature, and you're bound to drag a little . . .

Bob Hudson
Bob Hudson
"Beautiful Bob" Hudson (aka Emperor) had been on KRLA before joining KFWB.

This aircheck is from January 10, 1968, just after the announcement of the format change, which was to take place two months later.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14Khz)
Joe Yocam, Gene Weed, KFWB Los Angeles, Jan 11, 1968 (1:03:05)
Joe Yocam, 1965
Joe Yocam, 1965
Gene Weed, 1965
Gene Weed, 1965

. . . this is Joe Yocam, makin' trouble for you out there . . .

This was Joe Yocam at the end of his long radio career. After the KFWB format changed to News in March 1968, Joe went to KCET Television in Los Angeles, where he was the staff announcer for several years. He died of cancer in 1974, at the age of 55.

Gene Weed (1935-1999) is heard after Joe. Gene went on to country music (he came from Texas, after all). He did some radio and also produced the Country Music Association Awards Show on CBS for several years, among other things.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (9Khz)
Gene Weed, KFWB Los Angeles, January 11, 1968 (1:00:03)
Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (23:21)


UNSCOPED

'SCOPED

. . . even Joe Yocam had it but then it went limp and he doesn't know what to do with it . . .

This recording of the late Gene Weed is a continuation of the afternoon show above, after the announcement of WB's format change.

We hear the station evolving from Top 40 to M.O.R. It wasn't the best in town at either! Here's a typical show, regardless of the impending change.

George Dvorak and Beach Rogers are featured with news.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (16Khz)
Charlie Tuna, KHJ Los Angeles, February 23, 1969 (01:25:49)

. . . How do you follow the History of Rock and Roll? . . .

Description by Uncle Ricky (3-25-2001)

Charlie Tuna, 1969
Charlie Tuna, 1969
I was excited to find this rare aircheck in a box with other surprises from Don Kent. It's 85 minutes of KHJ and Charlie Tuna, beginning right after The History of Rock and Roll, at 5pm Sunday, February 23, 1969. The History of Rock and Roll, the first ever rockumentary, was originally broadcast on KHJ as a 48 hour special beginning on Friday, February 21, 1969.

What a treat to hear KHJ just minutes after the greatest Top 40 radio special ever conceived! Don recorded it on 1 mil quarter-inch, quarter-track reel tape, at 3.75 inches per second. It included some electrical noise and hetrodyne whistle, most of which was removed for presentation here. The length of this exhibit made additional processing prohibitive, but overall, the fidelity is really very good.
REELRADIO pays music licensing fees to present unedited music online. If you enjoy full-length airchecks like this one, your tax-deductible contribution to our operating fund will help keep this and other "unscoped" exhibits available.

KHJ gave away a tape recording of the entire History "and a tape recorder to play it on". Promos are heard for that contest, as well as Bill Brown with a complete edition of KHJ news. Tuna is typically tasty, and again, we are dazzled by the elegant simplicity, brilliant balance and professional quality of Boss Radio.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 16.2Kbps (8Khz)
The Hamster, KHJ Los Angeles, 1970 (10:46)

The Hamster
The Hamster
. . . Could I be Hamsterized? . . .

Description by contributor Don Kent.

Robert W. Morgan was subbing for fellow Boss Jock Bill Wade, and having a good time doing it. In fact, he was having so much fun that he decided to go incognito, calling himself "The Hamster".

[From Uncle Ricky: The fidelity on this rare recording is very poor, but the content is so good we had to share it.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (16Khz)
Elliot Field, KFWB Glory Years on KMET Los Angeles, 1972 (01:11:39)

KFWB Swinging Gentlemen
KFWB Swinging Gentlemen (l-r)
Joe Yocam, Earl McDaniel, Bill Ballance, Gene Weed, Elliot Field, Ted Quillin, Bruce Hayes, B. Mitchel Reed

. . . It was, and is, a beautiful obsession . . .

[Description by Don Kent]

In 1972, KMET (an album-oriented FM) produced a two-day salute to the old KFWB Color Radio format.

They brought back several of the KFWB voices, and coupled them with the original music, production and Sande and Greene & PAMS jingles. Unfortunately, they had to run some of the then-current KMET commercials.

I supplied the jingles and the records, although Dr. Demento got the on-air credit for the music. This partial aircheck features Elliot Field and long-time KFWB newsman Cleve Hermann.

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Additional Exhibits in The Don Kent Collection...
Gene Weed, KFWB November 23, 1958
Bill Ballance, KFWB August 18 1959
Bill Ballance, KFWB March 1 1960
Bill Ballance, KFWB May 12 1962
Gene Weed, KFWB October 1962
KBLA Los Angeles Jingles, 1964
KGFJ Los Angeles Jingles, 1964
Dick Biondi New Year's Eve KRLA 1965
Larry McCormick, KFWB March 13, 1965
Lohman and Barkley Phoners, KFWB 1967
Lohman and Barkley, KFWB January 1968
Lohman and Barkley, KFWB February 29 1968
Lohman and Barkley, KFWB Flight 98, March 8, 1968
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 12N-1PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 1PM-2PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 2PM-3PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 3PM-4PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 4PM-5PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 5PM-6PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 6PM-7PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 7PM-8PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 8PM-9PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 9PM-10PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 10PM-11PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 21, 1969 11PM-12M
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 12M-1AM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 1AM-2AM
Visit The Norm Garr Collection for KHJ HORR 2AM - 8AM, February 22, 1969
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 8AM-9AM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 9AM-10AM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 10AM-11AM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 11AM-12N
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 12N-1PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 1PM-2PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 2PM-3PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 3PM-4PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 4PM-5PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 5PM-6PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 6PM-7PM
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ HORR, February 22, 1969 7PM-8PM
Bob Foster, KFRC San Francisco, August 1971
The Don Kent Collection - Established August 8, 2000.

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