Steven L. Smith Archive: Dave Hall (Audio)


I uploaded a short video that I created from the audio of a KPUG 1960s spot. The ad is for a long gone electronics shop in Lynden, WA. The voice is KPUG’s Dave Hall. He was at the station, working as a deejay, PD and in sales for more than 50 years. Some of the outdated language in the 57 year old spot made it nostalgic and I wanted to incorporate visuals of the equipment he was promoting and the era. For example, there is a reference to the new “Zenith record playing instrument.” When I was a kid, getting into music in the mid-60s, we always just called those things record players. Images include Dave Hall, the KPUG studio and authentic 1960s Zenith electronics. At the end is a KPUG promotional photo of the mid-sixties KPUG “live guys.” Dave is in the center, but keen observers will notice a very young Steve West holding up the sign. And at the top, over Dave’s head, is longtime KPUG jock and PD Bob Tria. Tria was known on the air as Bob O’Neil. I have yet to find anyone who could authoritatively identify the air name of the fellow at the back of the motorcycle.

Steven L. Smith

70s Usher In FM Popularity; Top 40 AM Fades Out

Locally, at the time FM radio began to blossom in the 1970s, KTAC Tacoma was in a heated ratings war against Top 40 kingpin KJR Seattle. Steve West’s talent seemed to be wasted at KJR, working the overnighter. KJR GM Pat O’Day may have considered West a weak air talent. At the same time, West had his eye on KTAC, believing that he could do much more with the Tacoma rocker than current PD Tom Connors. West used all the tricks he had learned coming up in the business and while at KJR, once he took the helm at KTAC. He brought Bruce Cannon over from Tri-Cities. This move may stand as the single most important talent acquisition for KTAC. Cannon eventually became ‘the heart & soul’ of KTAC, on-air as the long-time afternoon drive host, and for periods as Program Director, as well as KTAC’s ambassador of goodwill toward the community. Bruce Cannon remained at KTAC long after West and other talent came and went. There was nothing to KTAC without Bruce Cannon on the radio. Ask anyone who grew up in Tacoma at the time. Soon, KTAC was battling KJR in the South Sound and posting great ratings. The threat was so great that Pat O’Day offered Steve West the Program Director position at KJRB, Spokane to cut KJR’s rival down to size. West took the offer. KTAC’s next PD Derek Shannon, eventually purchased a station in Chehalis and things were changing at KTAC, but the station continued making good money with talents such as Bob Hardwick, Gary Crow, Don Wade, Bobby Simon, and Robert O Smith. As Top 40 began to fade in popularity, so did the fortunes of KTAC and KJR. READ MORE background on STEVE WEST.

Steve West and KTAC rocked KJR’s Pierce County ratings

Steve West started in radio in Hoquiam. In 1967, West joined the KJR, becoming the all night disc-jockey and newsman. West was then hired by KTAC as Program Director. KTAC climbed to the top rated position in Pierce county, replacing nine year leader, KJR. West hired some great talent for KTAC, including Gary Crow. Pat O’Day countered West’s success [or rather “recognized” West’s talent] by offering Steve West the position of Program Director at KJRB Spokane. West returned to KJR in 1974 as PD there.

August 26, 1979 / Steve West has traded AM for FM and moved from KJR to sister-station KISW as its new general manager. He was assistant manager of KJR for three months. At the FM station, he replaces Harry Caraco who is moving to other areas of business. West has been with KJR for five years as program director. Before that he was program director at another Kaye-Smith station, KJRB in Spokane.
Edie Hilliard, general sales manager at KJR, will take over the additional duties of assistant manager there. She joined the station in 1975 as an account executive and in 1977 was named sales manager. Ms. Hilliard began with Kaye-Smith Radio in 1972 as the corporate promotions manager.