Special Contributions to the Reel Top 40 Radio Repository

Not everyone has multiple contributions, and you will not find them in our "Collections". This is where our special exhibits go. We invite you to relish the rare and singular value of these GOLDEN GIFTS. If you find them enjoyable, please let the contributors know.

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Thanks to Tom Konard at The Aircheck Factory (Aircheck Acres, Wild Rose, Wisconsin 54984) for this rare and wonderful aircheck contributed In Memory of The Real Don Steele.


The Real Don Steele, KOIL Omaha, March 7, 1962 (17:33)

...by golly gumdrops, no!

The Real Don Steele counts down the latest KOIL Fabulous 50 on a chilly March afternoon in Omaha, Nebraska. For those who have never had the opportunity to hear Steele outside of the "Boss Radio" format, this 'check, "soft-scoped" from 4:00 - 4:30 pm, is a treasure.

KOIL was a Top 40 pioneer, and this aircheck, in addition to presenting the legendary Steele, features classic formatics. You can't help but be amused by The KOIL Bannerline, during which "Rosen-Novak Chevrolet chauffeurs you around the universe in 60 seconds!" The "Bannerline" ends abruptly with a production piece that announces: "Time's Up!"

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Thanks to Mike Larsen of San Diego for this very rare recording and a copy of his book!
3 Score and More

KROY Building, 1962

Mike Larsen, 1963

 


Mike Larsen, KROY, 1962 (8:06)

Description by Richard Irwin

When I arrived in Sacramento in 1978, KROY AM (1240 Khz) had already seen its glory days, dominating Pulse, Hooper, Trendex and Arbitron ratings for decades. While there was memorabilia of the station's past, including every FCC license issued since 1937, there were no airchecks of the original "Rock 'n' Roll KROY" of the '60's. For the 16 years I remained employed at 1240 AM, none appeared.

So, imagine my delight when, in August of 1996, almost two years after leaving radio, Mike Larsen sent me an aircheck of his overnight show on KROY, 1962, and a copy of his book, Three Score and More, with instructions to turn to page 123 and read about Color Radio KROY, circa 1961!

The book itself is a delightful autobiography, detailing Mike's incredibly varied career as a singer, radio and TV host, clothing designer, pilot, sheepherder and more. (Mike asked me to remind you that the book is only $9.99, and that's less than 10 dollars! Write him at mike@nesral.com)

Among the "I never knew that!" secrets about KROY that Mike reveals in the book were that engineer Bill Ennis worked on the original ATC cartridge machine at KROY; programming veteran Ted Randall consulted the station in the early 60's, and Gary Owens did mornings at KROY before hitting the big time at KMPC and Laugh-In in Los Angeles. In fact, Mike's book is filled with similar revelations about many other stations (including KSON and WJJD) and people (including many country music stars.) He heard about the Repository from Shotgun Tom Kelly, and has known our friend Gene Knight since Gene was a kid.

Mike, again, my thanks for your contribution. I am sure that many ex-KROY friends, listeners and co-workers will find it fascinating.

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Thanks to Bob Shrader, General Manager of KSTW at Southwest Texas State University for this re-creation from the Cruisin' series produced by Ron Jacobs. The description of the file which follows was written by Bob. For those of you who are unaware of the importance of Gordon McLendon and KLIF in the glory years of Top 40, listen to this authentic clone, created in the early 70's.


The Weird Beard on KLIF, Dallas, 1962 (7:03)

The DJ is Russ Knight, the Weird Beard, who was doing 7-midnight on the flagship station of Gordon McLendon's group of radio stations. The aircheck includes a short newscast, a promo for a concert KLIF sponsored, a cigarette commercial and a long bit that Russ did. The voice on one of the station intros is that of Ron Chapman, longtime Dallas-Fort Worth radio personality. At the time, Chapman was Irving Harrigan of the KLIF morning team of Charlie and Harrigan.

KLIF was among the pioneers of Top 40 in the U.S., and many stations mimicked the KLIF style illustrated here. I once had the opportunity to review McLendon's papers, which he donated to a library at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The collection is full of copies of memos he wrote to his station managers and program directors with directives on subjects most owners would leave to subordinates. Gordon McLendon's attention to detail and showmanship was one reason KLIF ranked among the best of the era.

- Bob Shrader

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Thanks to Ray Randolph of Hawthorne, California for this aircheck from his personal collection.


The Real Don Steele, KHJ, May 1966 (23:41)

The Real Don Steele celebrates Boss Radio's first birthday, in this "KHJ Birthday Bash" hour from 1966.

Amidst Steele's traditional high-energy performance, you'll hear birthday greetings from The Byrds and Roy Orbison, as well as Dick and DeeDee with a jingle for Triumph Motorcycles. Our favorite, however, is Louis Armstrong singing "You ahead in a Fo'd", and promoting the Mustang, now with stereo tape!

This one tails with a significant stiff from the Vogues, who ask "Where's The Magic in this Magic Town?" The answer, obviously, was afternoon drive on Boss Radio, with The Real Don Steele.

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Thanks to Rick Devoy of Waynesboro, VA. for this one. Rick was in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1970, stationed on a repair ship (the USS Klondike) out of San Diego. When this aircheck was made, Rick was spending a couple weeks anchored in the mouth of the Saigon River at Vung Tau doing repair work. Rick left broadcasting full-time in the mid '70's, got his BSEE, and today, is a computer software engineer.


American Forces Vietnam Network, April 1969 (11:49)

... time at the automatic tone ...

This rare exhibit of exported American Top 40 features Army Specialist Paul Bottoms on the Orient Express, and a short set from Army Specialist Pat Sajak hosting the DawnBuster show. We're also treated to "America's Top Ten" and the Capsule Countdown.

Along with PSA's reminding soldiers to properly wash and dry their tents, take their malaria medicine and buy U.S. Savings Bonds, we briefly hear Army Sergeant Wayne Cannon and Marine Corporal Rick Fredrickson with "news compiled from commercial and military news agencies."

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Thanks to Ken Levine, (Beaver Cleaver on TEN Q, 1977) for this Boss Montage!


Boss Jingle Montage, 1970 (3:33)

This is a medley of jingles, instrumentals and ID's from the Drake/Jacobs era. Stations represented are KHJ, KFRC, KYNO and WHBQ along with logos for the FM automated services: "Hit Parade" and "Solid Gold". The vocals are by the Johnny Mann Singers and the long instrumental is from Jack Nitzche. This montage was produced by me and a friend, Joe Klein, using three reel-to-reel tape recorders in 1970. Hopefully this will serve to reinforce what many of us believe -- that Boss Radio was the greatest Top 40 format of all time.

- Ken Levine
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Thanks to Gordon K. Hahn of Hamel, Minnesota, for the second volume of the Bootleg Top 40 series, and the graphic extras, below. (The graphics are not related to Bootleg Top 40, they're just some of Gordon's favorites. Gordon says that the color on the Lujack ad is the original color!) Bootleg Top 40 Volume 2 was produced and edited by Mike Suttle for Cabin Hill Productions.


Bootleg Top 40, Vol. 2, 1972 (44:02)

...This is a promotion of MEGA RECORDS & TAPES and is NOT FOR SALE...

Note that all the PLAY points on the right will continue playing after the selection, until the end of the feature.

Larry Lujack

Larry Lujack Afternoons Super CFL

WLS Musicradio

KRIB

KZFM
 WAPE - Jacksonville - Blooper
 KRIZ - Phoenix - Shotgun Tom Kelly
 WAXC - Rochester - Robert Craig Savage
 KUDL - Kansas City - Andy Barber
 WOKY - Milwaukee - Michael Lee Scott
 KROQ - Los Angeles - Charlie Tuna
 WKLO - Louisville - Chuck Brady
 KTLK - Denver - Harry Scarborough
 WPOP - Hartford - T. J. Lambert
 WPGC - Washington, D.C. - Harv Moore
 KSO - Des Moines - Ron Ross
 WTIX - New Orleans - Bob Walker
 KONO - San Antonio - Rick Reynolds
 WAVZ - New Haven - Joe Hager
 KNUS - Dallas - Christopher Hayes
 KGBS - Los Angeles - Don Imus
 WLOF - Orlando - The Janitor
 KXOL - Ft. Worth - Ron Selden
 WGH - Newport News - Jim Conley
 KJRB - Spokane - Steve West
 WCAO - Baltimore - Ron Ryley
 WMAK - Nashville - Scott Shannon
 KTSA - San Antonio - Sonny Melendrez
 WFLI - Chattanooga - Fast Jimmy
 WAYS - Charlotte - Jay Thomas
 KAKC - Tulsa - Scott Seagraves
 WBBQ - Augusta - Buddy Carr
 WDGY - Minneapolis - Johnny Canton
 KLEO - Wichita - Mike Miller
 WKBW - Buffalo - Sandy Beach
 WCOL - Columbus - Terry Tyler
 KILT - Houston - John St. John
 WPDQ - Jacksonville - Jerry Gordon
 KCBQ - San Diego- The Whole Damn Family
Originally listed as "THE WORLD'S GREATEST RADIO STATION" on the Bootleg Top 40 Vol II contents, the KCBQ aircheck is 5 unforgettable minutes that you must hear!.

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Thanks to Woody Goulart of Boss Radio Forever for this treasure from his Boss Radio archives!

The Real Don Steele: First K-100 Sign Off, 1973 (2:00)

...If there's an energy crisis, we're gonna do some on-shore drilling...

The legend was born in the Sixties at Boss Radio KHJ in Los Angeles and lives on today. The Friday afternoon sign-offs by The Real Don Steele - an incredible couple of minutes of rhymes and rock 'n' roll - defy explanation by mere mortal beings. You have to hear the mystical magic of Steele to "know and believe," yet you may still not figure it all out.

This rare recording was the very first of the The Real Don Steele sign-offs in 1973 on K-100 (KIQQ-FM) in Los Angeles. You will hear him (at 01:30) say "...six months is not too long to wait..." This refers to the approximately half a year absence from LA radio that Steele weathered following RKO Radio management's decision to terminate the Drake-Chenault programming at KHJ.

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Thanks again to Woody Goulart of Boss Radio Forever!

The Real Don Steele: K-100 Sign Off, 1974 (1:56)

...throwing down the gauntlet to the gods of no-no...

In early 1974, The Real Don Steele devoted his Friday sign-off on K-100 to bid a sarcastic goodbye to Barry Kaye, who was leaving KHJ and returning to Texas.  Steele's Friday sign-off was an "inside joke" to slam KHJ more than Barry Kaye, himself.

This rare aircheck of Steele stands as stunning evidence of the vendetta K-100 had for KHJ in direct retribution for RKO Radio management bouncing The Real Don Steele and the Drake-Chenault team from KHJ in 1973.  However, K-100 never succeeded in getting revenge against KHJ in the LA radio ratings the way the Drake-Chenault team had intended.

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Thanks to Dan Packard of the Portland Radio Guide for this rare slice of Seattle-style Top 40!

Andy Barber on KING, 6/77 (4:52)

...Call me right now, and I'll mail ya my picture...

Ready for a "Barber Boogie Check?" Complete with "all the bells and whistles", here's teen sensation Andy Barber, fresh from a featured write-up in Sixteen magazine.

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...Beaver Cleaver screamin' my guts out on a 50,000 watt major market radio station...

Beaver Cleaver on TEN-Q, LA, 1977 (19:15)

On a Saturday night in Los Angeles, November, 1977, Ken Levine rolls some tape on the KTNQ skimmer machine, and saves his performance as Beaver Cleaver on the New TEN-Q, never realizing he'd be on something called "the Web" someday...

19 years later, Ken Levine is in his second year as play-by-play guy for the San Diego Padres, has just completed producing, writing and directing Almost Perfect for CBS, and has one Emmy and two Writers Guild awards for his work in TV writing and producing (M*A*S*H, Cheers, The Jeffersons, The Simpsons, Wings, Frasier).

Levine's radio dues include those paid at KERN/ Bakersfield, WDRQ/ Detroit, KYA/San Francisco, KABC, KMPC, and KFI/ Los Angeles.

This "direct-from-the-10Q-control-room-skimmer" aircheck from 1977 boasts excellent technical quality and showcases the youthful exuberance and enthusiasm of TEN Q.

And what does the Beaver say today about this carefully preserved Exclusive RT40RR contribution ?

Ten Q was the last great AM personality station in Los Angeles. It was unforgettable radio playing very forgettable music.
Thank You, Ken.

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Thanks to Steve Nelson of Old Gold Music in Roanoke Virginia for the tape, and to Ron Rodrigues, Editor-in-Chief of Radio and Records, for permission to include this copyrighted feature in the Repository.

The Best of R&R's First 15 Years, Part 1 (45:08)

R&R&R&R The Best of R&R's First 15 Years was produced by Radio and Records in 1988 as part of the trade publication's 15th birthday celebration.

Radio and Records was founded in 1973. In 1988, founder Bob Wilson wrote: "There was a gaping hole for a newspaper with an objective approach."

R&R celebrates it's 25th birthday in Los Angeles the week ending 6/13/98, and it is still an important publication for radio programming and music promotion people. This classic 1988 audio offering includes some of the stations that appeared in R&R during the first fifteen years. We're pleased to feature it in the Reel Top 40 Radio Repository, and as always, invite comments and corrections.

 Introduction
 Jackson Armstrong, 13-Q Pittsburgh, 1973
     The full version of the Jackson Armstrong aircheck is available in the Michael Hagerty Collection
 Bob James, WGAR Cleveland, American Comedy Network, 1976
 Catfish Hodge, Wolfman Jack, X-ROCK 80 El Paso, Tejas, August 1974.
 Les Garland, Y-95 Dallas 1988
 Ron Chapman, KVIL Dallas 1988 (the promo that netted $200,000)
 WIZN Burlington April Foil Joke 1987
 WEBN Cincinnati, Safe-Sex Parade, 1987
 Aku (J. Akuhead Pupule), K59 Honolulu Easter Parade
 WMMR Philadelphia Turkey Trot 1974
 WMMR Philadelphia Louie Louie Parade 1985
 Ronnie's Angels, Indiana National Guard, WBAB, Long Island, KXRX, Seattle.
 WKYS Washington D.C., 1976, Stoney Richards, others
 WKYS Washington D.C., 1976
 WWRL, WWIN, WBLS, 1976
 WBCN Boston, John Belushi 1978, The Police, Steve Miller, James Taylor
 Format Changes: WWWE, WFEN?, WXEN, WNBC-FM, 91-X FM, WEGX
 Format Changes: WFIL, Philadelphia

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The Best of R&R's First 15 Years, Part 2 (45:36)

 WHTZ, New York, Z-100 Sign-On 1983, Morning Zoo, 1987
 96-X WMJX Miami Sign Off, 1981 (Bob Allen, Charter Broadcasting)
 KMET L.A. changes to "The Wave" KTWV (Boom boom - times up!)
 Frequency Swaps - Country 97 to Country 103.5, HOT 103 to HOT 97, 1988.
 WNEW_FM, New York, Elton John and Scott Muni, year unknown
 WIYY Baltimore Bob Rivers Orioles Marathon April 1988
 Rick Rumble, HITS-106, Sammy Davis Jr. calls Robert Goulet
 Randy Miller, Z-93 Atlanta, Michael Jackson calls Hugh Downs
 1979, Chicago - Steve Dahl Disco Demolition - the morning after
 1981 WZOK Rockford - Rolling Stones Concert Petition
 1976 WMAQ Chicago, Lee Sherwood
 KHJ Los Angeles, May 5-6 1977, Charlie Van Dyke and Charlie Tuna
 August 16, 1977, Elvis is dead, Steve Goddard, KCBQ San Diego
 1986, EJ Crummey, WNBC New York Phone Call from Elvis
 1988, WEBE Bridgeport, One Million Dollars for Elvis Interview
 1987 WSHE to WGTR Legal Mess
 Soupy Sales Leaves the Air at WNBC
 Close

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Thanks to Howard Hoffman. Howard's thoughtful and early contribution of this wonderfully "inside" treasure preceded the discovery of a similar Rick Sklar "Kiss Off" tape. The producer of that feature has asked us not to include it here.

The Julian Breen Story, WABC (12:23)

Description by Richard Irwin

Not only is this "a Blue Network Production" (in more ways than one), it was intended for those who knew and worked with Julian Breen at WABC. It was created for his going-away party when he left for KYA in San Francisco. Breen worked for the late Rick Sklar as Production Director, in the great Top 40 years of WABC. After KYA he joined the Greater Media chain. From his base in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Breen set out to redevelop Greater Media properties: WPEN-AM in Philadelphia was first, followed by WMGK. "Magic - FM 103" quickly caught on with its mix of "Soft Hits - Less Talk". Breen is a well-known consultant to radio stations today.

Anyway, this tape, intended originally only for those who had pumped flesh, features Dan Ingram, and Sklar, and Howard Cosell. Most of what we know about this came from the COMMENTS (below). Thanks to those who contributed.

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Thanks to Anonymous

WKBW Great Easter Hunt, 197x (3:17)

Description by Richard Irwin

Don't blame me if you are thin-skinned re: religion. This never made it to the air, but if you haven't heard it, and if you can take a joke, it's worth a listen. WKBW (Buffalo, New York) did a lot of great things over the years - this is not one of them, though it merits inclusion here because you might not hear it anywhere else.

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Thanks to Rick Dressler, a former San Franciscan who now lives in Minnesota. Rick says he's appreciated all the memories of home in the Repository, and has offered this one from his own collection. Thanks, Rick!

FRED Magazine presents KFRC, 1979 (7:36)

...Next time you visit the world's greatest city, hear us live...

Fred was a trade magazine published in the late 70's by Bob Hamilton (the writer) in collaboration with Buzz Bennett. Apparently, at least once, they included a promotional 45 in their mailing, which is how this 1979 composite was distributed. It features Don Rose, Tom Parker, Bob Anthony, John Mac Flanagan, Robin Bailey, Don Ste. Johnn, Rick Shaw and Harry Nelson, plus a number of KFRC newstypes. "Executive Producer" Les Garland, who was KFRC PD at the time, left in 1980 to launch MTV (1981). (Thanks to Elizabeth Salazar for the background.)

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Jim Hawkins of Jim Hawkins Radio Room in Middletown, N.J. is a ham radio operator, and a programmer by profession. He offered this sample of Jay Thomas, (most recently, the coach in Mr. Holland's Opus) right before he left radio for Mork and Mindy. Thanks, Jim!

Jay Thomas, WKTU, NYC, 1979 (6:59)

by Jim Hawkins

These are recordings of Jay Thomas when he worked for WKTU 92.3 FM in NYC, around 1980 in the time slot which is now occupied by Howard Stern. I remember listening to him every morning on my way to work, playing rock and doing funny routines with characters. I remember when he had just gotten the offer to become a part of the Mork & Mindy show. He went on and on about how excited he was about it and really plugged it. That was the end of his WKTU days and I miss him and his humor on the radio. He later played Murphy Brown's boyfriend and then was on "Love and War" with Susan Dey.

These recordings are of him doing his "Stupid News" routine and a few routines with a character called "The Amazing Needlebomb". I never did know who played the "Needlebomb" character, but it sounds like Chris Elliot to me.

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Thanks to Gene Christianson, as of February 2006, doing v/o and writing news in Kansas City, for what was the perfect aircheck to kick off 1998.
Thank you, Gene!
 TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
The WLS Number One Time Sweep, 1984 (23:07)

...At the tone, it will be Twelve Midnight, 1984, exactly ...

During WLS/Chicago's lifetime as a Top 40 giant, their various production wizards assembled an annual year-end montage of hooks from all the number one hits of the year. Every year, the new montage was spliced on to the end of all the old ones, and the whole thing was played on WLS after the stroke of midnight to ring in the new.

This one, broadcast on January 1, 1984, covers the approximate time span of 1960 to 1984.

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Thanks to Richard Wagoner (again!) for sharing this aircheck in Memory of the Real Don Steele. It was given to him by KRLA PD Mike Wagner when Wagner moved to France. Thank you, Richard!

The Real Don Steele Birthday Show, KRLA, 4/1/85 (15:28)

... I have something sweet and yummy for you ...

April 1st, 1985 - The Real Don Steele was 49 years young, and like all his birthdays, it was also April Fool's Day. Some of his jingles were switched, and an energetic young lady delivered a very special birthday performance just for him. Wolfman Jack is also featured.

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Thanks to Boss Jock Johnny Williams of 440:International who is sharing this aircheck from Richard Wagoner of San Pedro, California. Thank you, Richard!

 TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Almost the Last Hour of KHJ, L.A., 1/31/86 (49:55)

Caller: "I grew up listening to you..."
Robert W. Morgan: "You couldn't have done both..."

Johnny Yount, Dave Sebastian (Williams) and Robert W. Morgan are featured in this recording titled "The Car Radio Crash" from January 31, 1986. Can you name the original Boss Jock Lineup from May of 1965 and win the call letters?

This first part of the last hours of the legendary KHJ covers the archived parts of the 3pm to 11pm hours on the night "Car Radio" crashed. Former Boss Jocks and long-time fans are featured, calling in to say "So long..." Included: Machine Gun Kelly, Sam Riddle, Boss Trivia Question, KHJ Time Machine and Pat Garrett.


 TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
The Last Hour of KHJ, L.A., 1/31/86 (38:28)

"The last quarter hour. If there's gonna be any maintenance, this is it, right?"

Here it is - right up to the last two records (Louie, Louie and Rock Around the Clock), and the ID that replaced "KHJ" at midnight. Again, I urge you to enjoy the entire thing, but you can locate the following highlights at the approximate times indicated below.

  • Richard from San Pedro at 3:08. (None other than Richard Wagoner, who is sharing this aircheck with us all.)
  • Mark Dennis at 6:08
  • Scott Mason at 6:54
  • Ron Shapiro at 10:08
  • Greg Crawford (former KYNO Boss Jock) at 11:16
  • Terry Shay at 15:17
  • Ron Jacobs (the originator of Boss Radio) at 17:58
  • Brad Kramer at 24:10
  • Bobby Ocean at 27:00

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