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PLAYMichael Hagerty, KUKI Ukiah CA October 1977 (4:19)

. . . I'll be Warren Beatty, you be Julie Christie . . .

[Description by Contributor Michael Hagerty]

Ukiah, California. A beautiful place — now home to a growing wine industry. But in 1977, it was just a small town of 10,000 people with one major employer, Masonite.

KUKI (1400 AM, 1kw day, 250w night) was dying doing old-style small town radio. Sure, there was only one other station (an FM running Al Ham's "Entertainers" syndicated automation, a blend of beautiful music and big band). But just down the 101 freeway about 120 miles was San Francisco, which meant KSFO, KNBR, KFRC and other AM signals came in like locals.

KSFO and KNBR were sort of stodgy old-school personality MOR and KFRC was…well, KFRC — the best station on the planet at that time, as far as I was concerned. Taking a page from Bobby Rich's KFMB, San Diego, I positioned KUKI between KNBR and KFRC musically and skewed the flow and pacing more toward Top 40. I did mornings and this was a double-shift, no doubt. I was filling in for afternoon drive jock Rick Baca, who last I heard was doing traffic on KFI in Los Angeles, under another name.

Listening to it nearly three decades later, I'm amazed. Amazed that it worked as well as it did, amazed that my voice was ever that pitch, and amazed at just how many dimes I must have dropped into the KUKI Pepsi machine to keep talking that fast.

Michael Hagerty, KUKI Ukiah CA October 1977


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