15 comments

  • mikec

    great profile of a great DJ at the greatest rocker in Peace Arch country! Growing up in Vancouver in the 60’s, KPUG was always my #1 station among the top-40 broadcasters I could hear (CKLG, C-FUN, KPUG, KRKO, KJR & KOL). Not only did they play songs before the Vancouver rockers, but had a larger playlist of 50 songs as opposed to the “Boss 30” on ‘LG & “C-FUNtastic 40”. They played more PNW bands & musicians than the others too. Kirk Wilde definitely stood out from the rest of the veteran crew & packed as much fun as possible into every on-air delivery. 11-7 KPUG forever!

    • Steven Smith

      Mike, when I first started listening to the station, Kpug would countdown the top 50 every Saturday starting about 2pm. That reiterates your comment about an expanded Playlist. When I started listening Wilde was their music director. One weekend, when I was in Jr high, another kid and I walked out there on a Saturday. Gary Shannon let us in and gave a tour. Wilde was live doing the top 50. Being teeny bopper, Shannon asked our opinion on records. The newbies on vinyl that week included Dylan’s Just Like a Woman and Tommy Roe with Hooray for Hazel. We had walked out Sunset Drive on a hot summer day in 1966 and I remember sitting in the production room with Shannon listening to songs, with Wilde and 19 year old Harvey Brown popping their heads in to visit. That was 50 years ago, but it was very exciting for a 14 year old, and I will remember the day for the rest of my life. Sounds funny, but in my nearly 30 years in radio, that is still one of my fondest memories of radio.

  • Steven Smith

    Mike….Wilde was the main inspiration for my getting into radio way back when.

    • mikec

      Steven – perfectly understandable & what a great ‘mentor’! Aside form the mighty Wolfman Jack I too was probably influenced by a few jocks while growing up in the 60’s wanting to get into radio. KPUG itself and ALL of it’s incredible up-and-coming talent were definitely a factor too. Any radio station that sounded THAT tight & having THAT much fun had to be a driving force in my desire to get on air. When I was starting out in 1972 I got shipped up to northeast BC & northwest Alberta stations to ‘develop my chops’. I tried & tried to hear KPUG at night but the French-language station in Edmonton on 1170 scuttled those attempts. As for Kirk Wilde’s disappearance from KPUG, a little later on I heard Kirk Allison on K-SND & thought ‘he sounds exactly like Kirk Wilde on KPUG’ and figured it must be the same person with an on-air name change. Too bad K-SND had such a short & crappy playlist. It might otherwise have attracted more listeners who would have discovered Kirk Wilde, Danny Holiday & other Wash. talent on air at 1590

  • mikec

    no I never worked for CKYL but did send them a T+R. Between ’71-73 I worked twice at CJDC Dawson Creek, CKNL Ft St John & part of on-air team signing on brand new CJXX Grande Prairie. BTW CKYL just signed off AM 610 & has flipped to class C FM. Ailing transmitter & rusty towers meant their last winter on air they just barely limped along. New FM should have pretty good coverage, fill-in translators will spread the signal out

    • Steven Smith

      Mike, my cousin and good friend, Robert Zens was the PD and operations guy in Peace River for many years. He was an inspiration for my getting into radio. He worked in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon as well…but I think he spent the most years at CKYL. We email and visit regularly.

      • mikec

        Steven – Robert’s name isn’t familiar & I don’t think he was at CKYL the 2 years I lived up in the Peace Country – I knew Ken Whyte, Gary Shaw & a few others I can’t remember names of. I got sent up there to work alongside the CKYL guys during ‘away game’ hockey remotes setting up & running the patch. Local hockey is a programming/sales bonanza staple of the Peace region stations

        • Steven Smith

          Mike. I guess he was the newsman, I was rechecking his chronology. I asked him about it a few years back and he sent this response at the bottom. You might enjoy it, knowing the stations better than me. By the way, I left a comment with a question you can probably answer on the Kbai post here at PSM,

          “I got my start at CFSL Weyburn Sask in October 1962 for the princely sum of 140 dollars a month. Then in August 1963 I went tio CKOM ( the home of Dave Palmer ) , In May 1965 I started at CFAC Calgary and then in August 1966 I began working at CKYL Peace River. I went to CJME Regina in April 1975 and left there in 1988. Back to CKOM Saskatoon where I ended my career in 1992. I worked as both a jock and newsie at CKOM in the 60’s, a jock at CFAC , then became a newsie for good in 1970 at CKYL.”

          • mikec

            Steven-that’s a great career for Robert & I know all of those stations well. I DO remember meeting someone named “Robert’ at CKYL – perhaps your cousin was using a different on-air name??

          • Steven Smith

            Mike, I left a prior comment. But it got the moderation tag and did not post as of yet.

          • mikec

            Steven-I too have been trying to reply/converse with you on a couple of topics but also get gobbled up by the “Moderator” – will keep trying & watching for your posts

          • Steven Smith

            Mike…maybe email me at kingofthehouse@comcast.net
            Till Jason gets it resolved.

  • John Ross

    Who could ever forget GM Jim Tincker and Dick Stark. Stark was actually a “Dick Clark”… but didn’t have a handle on his DJing prowess and let the grass grow under his feet.

    Yep, I was there too in 1971-1972, entering the scene as Ichabod (Randy Evans) was on his way over to KJRB/Spokane. Did a PD sting and the PM drive and had a blast in this college town before moving on to KMO/Tacoma (Fife actually) to help Chuck Ellsworth bring another “Jim” up to speed on audience capture with a country format.

    Wow, hard to believe the old KMO sounds like it’s now located south of the border! Meanwhile, in Puyallup, the Korean’s have taken over former KAYE. Ying-yang-wing-wang. OMG! So much for the FCC doctrine of serving the “public interest, convenience and necessity!”

    • Steven Smith

      John…was John Ross your air name at KPUG? I was about 19 then, just getting into radio myself in Bham. Did you replace Bob Tria as PD about then? I seem to have a blank memory between him and then Greg Collins as PD. I know Tria (O’Neil) went to Kgmi in that time frame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.