Wally Nelskog – KIXI Station ID

Steven L. Smith sent along this CLASSIC recording dating back to his days at KIXI. It is Wally Nelskog voicing the station ID with typical KIXI music bed.

September 26, 1973 – KIXI Station ID – Wally Nelskog

Steven Smith Archive: Voices and Music from KIXI


This is from 1972. Being KIXI, without much jock chatter, it is ads and brief newscasts by well-known voices

1. is Rudy Perez….this had to be about the most played ad every morning during the news. Rudy worked approx 10-2 airshift

2. Dean Smith, at the time in KIXI sales, but one of the best paid voice guys in the market
3. Steve Schilling, afternoon to evening guy, who had been at KBRO pre-KIXI
4. Ken Stuart, news director. Worked AM drive through about noonish M-F
[Audio courtesy of Steven Smith]

The voice before Ken Stuart may be Bob Liddle. Or it might be Rudy. I am not sure. Foggy memories. But every weekday Stuart did the news in the AM hours. And Liddle was the morning jock…if you could really call him that. Basically, they had Igm automation and they rolled tapes. Then the announcers would get the music legend and when in the mood they would read off the names of songs. It could be Liddle in the morning. Perez midday or Schilling late afternoon to evening.

KMPS 10th anniversary special

(1985) – 1

KMPS 10th anniversary special (1985) – 2

KMPS 10th anniversary special (1985) – 3

KMPS 10th anniversary special (1985) – 4

Phil Harper KMPS aircheck

Early Ichabod Caine Audio


This is Randy Evans at KPUG in 1972. The quality is not great, but it does have historical significance. Randy Evans was Randy Hansen in real life. He went over to KJRB after KPUG, then on to Spokane and he ended up as Ichabod Caine in Seattle. So he is one of the Seattle legends and this may be his earliest gig. It is scoped a bit….cut out some music, an ad and news. About 2.5 minutes. I had no clue I had it, just stumbled on it.
Steven Smith

Bellingham Radio: Ken Bertrand & Les Cole Audio


Ken Bertrand worked at KGMI in Bellingham. I believe he was the news director, not sure on that but one of their main newsmen. I do not have a photo of him, but you could probably copy the one at facebook. Again, this is March 1972. I worked for him for awhile at KBFW in Bellingham, after his KGMI days. I think he ended up in communications at the state legislature and retired from that. He is in the Seattle area.

Ken Bertrand mp3

As a young tradesman, Les Cole had been a stained glass artisan in Seattle-Tacoma. He fell from a ladder, probably working on a window at a church, and shattered his hip. A career change was essential. I think it was in the 1960’s, he went into broadcasting. He worked at KTNT, KMO and KOMO. In 1970 he arrived in Bellingham as program director of KOQT, a station coming back on the air after bankruptcy. That lasted a short time and then he resigned. Not long afterwards, he became news director at KBRC, an established 5kw station, in Mt Vernon’s Skagit Valley. This 1972 newscast, slightly scoped, is a great example of the way a well-crafted newscast could integrally tie a radio station to its community. Cole worked at KBRC for a few years, then he became an announcer at KVOS TV in Bellingham. He was at KVOS until he retired and Les passed away several years ago.

The photo was taken in 1998. That is me to the right, sitting with Les, who had become a personal and family friend, at my father’s 100th birthday.

Les Cole-KBRC mp3

Kirk Wilde – KPUG

Steven Smith uploaded a video about “KPUG in Bellingham, and probably the most popular ever jock in this town….Kirk Wilde. At KSND, he was Kirk Allison on the air. This has cool collection of 1960’s photos of Wilde and the back ground track is a real KPUG jingle from 1966-1967.”

July 4, 2016 – Broadcasting live from 10 a.m. through most of the day and late into the evening (for a music presentation synchronized with the Freedom Fair fireworks show) was 1180 KLAY. A huge supporter of many Tacoma events, KLAY remains as one of the few family-owned and operated radio stations in a major market, Seattle-Tacoma. (see AM RADIO for more about KLAY)
Here are the first three hours of the KLAY broadcast, with Bill Ogden, Mike Franco and Bob McCluskey.
The Tacoma Freedom Fair Celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks and an airshow – and no entry fee. The fun takes place along Tacoma’s Ruston Way waterfront, Marine Park and Les Davis Pier, from the Harbor Lights restaurant all the way down to the Lobster Shop. [if you are a local you will know that is a huge area along Tacoma’s Commencement Bay]
Freedom Fair attendees enjoy events such as live music shows, hot dog eating contests, pole vaulting exhibitions and browsing the items sold by the many vendors. A brisk walk across this course from start to finish will tire the uninitiated ambulator. Luckily, during the Freedom Fair, you can enjoy a leisurely pace and make stops to enjoy corndogs, pizza and lemonade. No sense dying of starvation or thirst.
(For more about this event read: KLAY covers Freedom Fair for South Sound listeners

Summer of 2014 — We visited Bill Wolfenbarger, owner and chief engineer at the Jodesha Broadcasting complex in Aberdeen. Bill has been a part of the Pacific Northwest broadcast scene for decades. His experience ranges from time in small markets like KMCM McMinnville and big time radio such as KOL Seattle. Now, Wolfenbarger operates a chain of stations in Southwest Washington.

Seattle Radio News Sweep ’59-’69
The news segments were a compelling part of what once made radio exciting. Whether it was “Banner Line,” “Total Information,”
“20-20,” “Live at 55” or “Constant Information” — the news was produced, promoted and paraded across Seattle’s air waves in all forms and formats. Here’s an 11-year chronological sweep of how some of it sounded starting with 1959 and running through 1969….19 brief airchecks and a lot of familiar voices.
It runs a bit over 5:00, and here’s the batting order:

KAYO Jim Harrison Jun ’59 KJR Lou Gillette Mar ’60 KJR Dave Clarke Nov ’60 KAYO Ted Bell Jan ’61 KAYO Mike Phillips Mar ’62 KJR Wally Beethoven Jun ’62 KOL John Forrest Sep ’62 KJR Lan Roberts Jan ’64 KAYO Bill Goff Nov ’64 KOL Ray Hutchinson Jul ’65
KJR Dick Curtis Aug ’65 KOL Bill Munson Jan ’66 KJR Jim Martin Jul ’66 KJR Charles C. Bolland Nov ’66 KJR Jim Francis May ’67
KJR Les Parsons May ’67 KOL Bill Taylor Aug ’67 KOL Bob Fuller Aug ’68 KJR Frank Thompson Nov ’69

— Ron DeHart

Seattle Radio News Sweep ’70 – ’79
Here’s another cavalcade of newscast airchecks, this time from 1970 through 1979. Your contributing editor took a little license by including clips from Spokane and Vancouver, B.C., whose radio signals certainly were (and are) a part of the Pacific Northwest. Again, a lot of familiar memories. There are 19 voices included in 16 different airchecks. It’s next to impossible not remembering where you were and what you were doing when these were on the air. Running time about 5:00.

The rundown in order:
Ken Mattler KOL ’70, Dave Palmer CKLG Vancouver ’70, Ross Woodward KJRB Spokane ’70, Gary Shannon KJR ’71, Don Patrick KTAC Tacoma ’72, Frank Thompson KJR ’72, Jim Davis KING ’73, Steve Alexander KREM Spokane ’74, Larry Sells CKLG Vancouver ’75, Chet Rogers and Gary Lockwood KJR ’76, Nick Alexander KZOK ’77, Gregg Hersholt KJR ’77, Les Parsons and Ichabod Caine KJR ’77, Bill Taylor KVI ’78, Bob Hovanes KZOK ’79, Ron Karolis and Tom Hutyler KJRB Spokane ’79.
— Ron DeHart

Seattle World’s Fair Winner – KJR or KOL ?
One of the hallmarks of Seattle’s history was the Century 21 Exposition, commonly known as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The extravaganza event on 74 acres south of Queen Anne Hill put Seattle (and the state of Washington) on the map. The fair ran from April 21 to October 21, hosting nearly 10 million visitors. And Seattle broadcasters threw their all into the opportunity to attract bigger audiences. Some were successful in making big impacts.
Here’s a two-part composite aircheck featuring KJR and KOL. The KJR segment is from June 19, ’62 — the fair’s 60th day — beginning with a Wally Beethoven newscast highlighting the fair’s attendance figures. Then it’s Mr. KJR Pat O’Day doing his afternoon drive program, complete with some of those Fabulous Fifty hits from that wonderful summer. You’ll also hear a Tacoma dance ad (the Wailers) from Dick Curtis and other spots about things now long-gone. The second aircheck segment starts with a classic KOL jingle into Ray Hutchinson from Sept. 5, ’62. The newscast intro is a great sample of John Forrest perhaps at the top of his game during what was his 27th year at KOL. The jingle reference to the Terrible Tigers is about the full group of KOL jocks that summer: Al Cummings, Art Simpson, Ron Bailie, John Stone, Gary Todd and Les Williams. Aircheck running time about 5:37.

In many ways, the Seattle World’s Fair was a major milestone and launching pad in the continued success of KJR. With help from languishing competition and Pat O’Day contests/promotions leading the way, KJR leveraged its Century 21 success by moving to the pole position where it roared to its destiny. The now-famous jingle tune “KJR Seattle – Channel 95” first hit the airwaves during the fair. O’Day, who claims to have created it, said he wanted something exciting and new for the fair. That was the beginning of the station’s listener-alluring theme for the next 20 years. Meanwhile, KOL and KAYO, by then predictable numbers 2 and 3 in the Top-40 race, were falling farther behind. The period during and right after the fair saw significant change in Seattle pop music radio. KAYO held a strong hit music position through the late 50’s. But that changed–perhaps in part–with the exits of O’Day (’60) and Mike Phillips (’62), both to KJR, and KAYO’s switch to a country format in May, ’63. KOL, after a successful 40-year run (34 years with the KOL call letters) under the Taft family, shifted to new ownership when TV game show producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman bought the station–also in 1963. During the two years that followed, KOL sank in the mire of Harbor Island with a programming mix somewhere between what we used to call chicken rock and MOR. Ray Hutchinson, who moved into news, was one of few hangers-on when Buzz Barr and a talented new lineup brought KOL back into the race in 1965. (See earlier post “Space-Age Radio” KOL challenges KJR, 1965.) All of that as the KJR machine gathered new steam with a stellar lineup some say got even better in the later 60’s — Lee Perkins, Lan Roberts, Jerry Kaye, Dick Curtis, Bobby Simon, Larry Lujack, Tom Murphy, Jim Martin, Buzz Barr (after ’67), Robert O. Smith, Charlie Brown, Norm Gregory and crackerjack news guys Chuck Bolland and Les Parsons. Make no mistake: the World’s Fair, and events surrounding it, boosted KJR’s market stronghold. And, as they say, the rest is history.
— Ron DeHart

100.7 “BUZZ FM”

CKLG – 1968-1970 Solid Rocker to the North

Vancouverradiating tower

Seattle area radio listeners weren’t alone in witnessing a rock radio war through the 1960s and ‘70s. Less than three hours to the north, Vancouver had its own AM radio battle royal. And, similar to Seattle, the big winner was a Vancouver station with a history in town well before rock ‘n roll became a huge audience builder.

cklg73But, unlike Seattle, CKLG literally jumped on the rock ‘n roll band wagon when American popular music had its larger-than-life resurgence in the summer of ’64. On August 24, two days after the Beatles performed in Vancouver, CKLG ditched its nine-year middle-of-the-road format by switching to Top 40 rock. Talk about timing.
LG-73 became Vancouver’s third station to take on a rock music format. And after knocking off rock pace setter CFUN, it gained market leader status before 1970. For those — like myself, in Bellingham at that time – who lived and worked in Northwest Washington in those days, it was a treat to hear the talents and successes of CKLG.
Here’s a five-segment composite CKLG aircheck, including Terry David Muilligan April ’68, Daryl B (Burlingham) April ’68, Rick Honey Sept ’69, John Tanner Dec ’69 and Roy Hennessy Nov ’70.

CKLG jocks

Boss Surveys

CKLG brought a new hit radio sound to the Vancouver market in the mid-‘60s. It was program director Frank Callaghan who put the Boss Radio Drake format on the air in ’66, including 20/20 news. The following year LG-73 derailed CFUN on the way to a 16-year run as Vancouver’s Top 40 leader. Callaghan also reprogrammed CKLG-FM out of its easy listening origins in late ’64 to become Canada’s first full-time underground station in March of ’68. A recognized ground-breaker, its alternative music approach was applauded on both sides of the border. Callaghan was program director for 10 of his 15 years at CKLG.

When CKLG-FM signed on in Oct. 1964, the Vancouver Times carried this announcement along with an 8-page multiple-photo insert promoting the city’s new stereo station. In March ’68 the original beautiful music format (orchestra concerts, movie and Broadway soundtracks and MOR covers of pop hit songs) gave way to underground and eventually progressive rock which continued for 11 years.

One of the sage, familiar voices at CKLG was newsman Frank Thompson [pictured in 2006]. He’d worked at Seattle’s KJR from 1969 to ’74, and then nearly 10 years at LG-73. Here’s Frank doing a morning newscast during the Doc Harris show in December of ’76 . . . . .

A native Canadian, Thompson’s career started in Victoria (CJVI), then moved on to Southern California for 15 years – mostly in San Diego (KFMB, XEAK and KOGO) – before his KJR stint preceded his stop at CKLG. He did more than 10 years voice-over freelance work before retiring in 1998. He was living in South Surrey, B.C. at the time of his death (age 85) in 2012.
CKLG -AM cast a remarkable imprint, boasting a continuous 37-year Top 40 presence, longest in Vancouver’s history. It was, during its late ‘60s-early ’70s peak, among a handful of super rockers in all of Canada, and considered a near equal to American west coast powerhouses KFRC, KHJ and KGB. But with the decline of Top 40 and the rising tide of FM, in 2001 LG-AM faded into history. It’s successor stations went through at least two call sign changes and several different focused programming formats (all news, all guys’ talk, all sports and finally all traffic). As for 99.3 CKLG-FM, it enjoyed its own brand of success, but over a much shorter run – 14+ years from late ’64 to early ’79. The station solidified its progressive rock stance, but lost its home-grown architect when Frank Callaghan left following a nasty labor dispute. In ‘76 the program director reins went to long-time LG-73 jock Roy Hennessy. It was Hennessy, in CKLG’s Top 40 beginnings, who visited the Bay Area and then alerted Callaghan to the exploding new potential of Bill Drake’s budding format. And, ironically, it was Hennessy who voiced LG-FM’s final sign-off which transitioned to the much pre-announced CFOX-FM sign-on. Here’s the audio clip of that signoff on January 6, 1979 . . .
These pages are mostly devoted to CKLG’s ’68-’70 period because that’s what I most remember. I was fresh out of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and working at a 1KW daytimer in Bellingham. LG’s strong signal was clearly competitive with others in town. And it was hard to ignore those jocks, the 20/20 news and that exciting, repetitive Drake cadence — all of which was the station’s trademark, its signature. CKLG had the full package, I thought, during those, my formative broadcasting years. Apparently, a lot of CKLG’s listeners also thought so.

— Ron DeHart

A rarity- KXA 770 November 22, 1963 — News bulletins and a subtle music change

Several radio station commercials running on TV in the 1980s KVI – KXA – KJET & KZOK

Stop the cavalry

I first heard “Stop The Cavalry” by the Cory Band (with the Gwalia Singers) in 1981 on Larry Nelson’s show. He used to play it a lot and sometimes even on a hot summer day. The song really is not a Christmas song, but anti-war. But, in the lyrics a soldier is singing “wish I was at home for Christmas”. The song became very popular in the Pacific NW. I am not sure how Larry got his copy, I think from a friend who heard it in London. I loved the recording and over the years there may have been as many as 20 stations that played the song. Most stations getting a dub from someone at another station.

I really wanted a copy, but it turns out it was as rare as hen’s teeth. I did a bunch of research and found the company that owned the copyright. As a matter of fact, the same company issued the song a year earlier by the actual composer, Jona Lewie (John Lewis). The following year Jona (apparently) wanted the Cory Band to record it. They were an award winning brass band from Wales.

I was able to contact “Stiff Records” the owner of the copyright and asked about licensing the recording in 1997. They agreed. Two days later, I received a phone call from them informing me they could not find the session tape. Ultimately, it had been bulk erased and the tape was used to record a punk band, which Stiff Records was noted for. They told me I would have to find a vinyl copy to transfer and use as a master. I had a Seattle contact who happened to know of someone owning a copy and they graciously agreed to loan me the disc to do a transfer to DAT. The disc was not mint, but still usable. I had some primitive restoration done on it to improve the quality and had 1,000 copies pressed. They sold out in three weeks. Eventually, on Ebay I located two mint copies and chose the best of the two to transfer to cd this time and another company did a superb job of making a digital master. I sold 13,000 copies in the NW until I retired two years ago from having more pressed. Now, for your Christmas enjoyment, here is Stop The Cavalry.

Mr. Music Man
Duane Smart