10 comments

  • I remember when Burl Barer appeared on the local feed of the Jerry Lewis Telethon back in ’60 something. I watched with my Grandma.

  • pugetsound

    L. Allen on KOMO all-niter. I don’t remember that name.

  • mikec

    Bellingham’s “Olde Gold” KISM was an instant success & huge hit in Vancouver BC becoming that city’s first oldies station. They promoted heavily in the Vancouver area & actually made it into the city’s station ratings for a few years. There was a large music/arts/counterculture festival culminating in a Stones/Stevie Wonder concert (that was excellent!) & it was there that I first met KISM’s Mike Pollack doing his duty to promote the new station. KISM could be heard all over Vancouver in stores/cafes etc & those KISM 92.9 car stickers with the red lips were everywhere

    • Steven Smith

      Mike,
      I remember that fully automated format. I liked the music they played but was really opposed to automation and it sounded as automated as sister station Kgmi……which was owned by the Jones family that was behind some of the earliest automation. The first announcers on automation did not realize that if they said some cutsie little bit, the audience would hear it over and over…..it stuck out like a sore thumb. The Kism tapes were quite bland. I was in college, had just started working in radio back then.

      I think you must mean Mike Bettelli. He was the PD operations guy, on the air, at Kism for many years. The two largest radio operations in town were owned by the Jones’ (Kgmi, Kism) and the Pollacks’ (Kpug, Keri to Knwr and finally Kafe). Mike was Bob Pollack’s son. Bob was known in the sixties as Mr. KPUG. Mike moved to Bellingham in the early 1970s to work into managing his dad’s stations. And he ended up owning and managing Kpug and the FM for many years. I knew him fairly well, despite our stations competing, and I never heard him say anything positive about the Jones family operations. He had sort of a Hatfield and McCoy’s attitude.

      • mikec

        Steven-I quite agree about the canned sound of KISM & that was it’s detriment. However, rock oldies hadn’t yet become a lucrative format & at the time seemed somewhat innovative. My only exposure to an oldies station at that time was KSND/KUUU. I didn’t hear it again beyond that summer as i left Vancouver to launch my own broadcasting career in northeast BC & northwest Alberta.

        Thanks for jogging my memories & correcting me – yes, it must have been Mike Bettelli from KISM that I met that summer. I DID meet Mike Pollack in Vancouver & that must have been around the late 70’s as he encouraged me to submit T+R as they had just acquired KERI & had flipped it to country. He was looking to hire a few people for VT/IDs but I didn’t get the job. I would imagine there was a fair amount of competitive tension between the Pollacks & the somewhat colourful Rogan Jones as they had been the 2 main players in Bellingham for many years before KENY & KOQT came along

        • Steven Smith

          Mike, they had acquired Keri not too long before I went to work at Kpug in summer of 1974. At that time it was still easy listening. It had this old Igm automation with the electronic push pins for programming it. Basically reels would spin and then the carousels would play spots depending on how the push pins were set. It was a throw away at that point, Fm not important. Even the person tending it….the Kpug jock….could care less. We always joked about it having one crazy listener, who would call and tell us the tape was playing backwards, it was totally dead silent at Keri, etc. At 1pm, the kpug jock pushed a switch and the Keri tapes were simulcast till morning. Mike Pollack used to cruise night spots, pick up girls, and he would call at like 2am asking for a request. He impressed the date if you could call it that by showing he had the clout to get a song played on the radio in the wee hours. So sometimes we would intervene at his demand and play some song for Mike. It was before he had any real clout, he was the operations guy of Keri and Bobs kid…that was it. I barely remember their country days, they had so little impact on Kbfw. Ckwx was more our competition than Keri. Later they did well with the bland Knwr rock format and boasted big numbers in Canada…better than here. Finally the glory faded and they switched to Kafe which was a smart move.

          • mikec

            Steven – fascinating stories but no surprises! What an absolute waste of a blowtorch frequency: 104.3 could be heard from Campbell RIver BC to Tacoma. At the time I thought: “why oh why don’t these people launch a “KPUG-FM” & seriously kick some rock n roll butt” Such a station would have put KISM in it’s place & gained some serious traction in Vancouver too. That city’s once pioneering progressive rocker “LG-FM” 99.3 was well on it’s way to a downhill slide that would need some seriously rebuilding. 11-7 KPUG was sounding pretty good in ’74 to my ears the brief opportunities I got to listen. No reason it wouldn’t have worked on FM too.

            The easy listening music framed astrange mish-mash of programming, including some Punjabi-language shows aimed at Indo listeners in the Fraser Valley. I recall this distinctly as I was on-air & also board op/producer for ethnic shows at CJVB 1470 Vancouver – a full-time ethnic station. One of the shows I seriously learned the ropes as a board op & producer. It was CJVB’s Punjabi show hosted by a wonderful lady named Sushma Dhatt who is now the owner/operator of “RJ1200” CJRJ a successful Indo/Canadian broadcaster in Vancouver. Her background includes on-air work for the BBC in UK & India. As well as teaching me THE ropes she had an elaborate set of hand-signals as she ran a very tight show & did talk-overs on the intros & extros of all of her records. Aside from professionalism in her program, she had recordings of the KERI Indo-language host using her records obviously recorded off air from CJVB for use on KERI. I heard these for myself & very brief clips of her voice could be heard on most of the music played. Sometimes a static burst or other slight signal anomaly could be detected in these too. Apparently her complaints to the KERI management yielded some results & I think the Indo program got yanked by the Pollacks shortly thereafter.

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