Airchecks: 1961

 

Talent: KEN KNOX
Station: KLIF Dallas
Date: January 4, 1961
Time: 18:10

One of the first Top 40 stations in the U.S., KLIF was also one of the most popular. The brainchild of radio pioneer Gordon McLendon, KLIF dominated the Dallas-Fort Worth radio market in the '50s, '60s and early '70s with hit music, personality jocks, a top-notch news department and aggressive promotion. Said one broadcast executive of KLIF, "it was a mountain, a station people talked around the world ... there was a sense something was happening there all the time."

One of the KLIF jocks during this golden era was Ken Knox. He did morning drive from 1958 to 1960, followed by a short stint in late mornings before departing in 1961. In addition to his on-air duties, Knox also appeared in three movies filmed in Texas: The Giant Gila Monster (1959), My Dog, Buddy (1960) and Beyond the Time Barrier (1960). Knox, who also jocked in Dallas at KILN, KBOX, KTLC-KMEZ and KCNC, died in 1988 at the age of 73.

Included on this aircheck is a clip from Jimmie Fidler, the acerbic Hollywood gossip columnist. At its peak in 1950, Fidler`s radio show appeared on 486 radio stations and was heard by an estimated 40 million. You`ll also hear KLIF JetStream News with Jack Terry.
 

Enjoy Ken Knox on KLIF here.

Enjoy Ken Knox on KLIF here.
 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)



Download your free RealPlayer to hear our airchecks

Click here for technical help
 


Talent: AL MELTZER
Station: WEBR Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: January 6, 1961

Time: 9:05

Imagine a time before morning "zoos," before wake-up teams, before all-day traffic.

That was morning radio in 1961. In the case of WEBR Buffalo, N.Y., it was one deejay, one newsman who also doubled on sports, and what then was a groundbreaking innovation, a traffic reporter in a helicopter.

No raunchy humour here, and in this case no rock 'n' roll either. While this is a rock radio site, now and then it's interesting to see what non-rock radio stations were doing way back when. This aircheck is a true period piece and is fascinating from both a radio and historical perspective.

Featured on this aircheck is pioneering helicopter traffic reporter Jack Sharpe, a member of the Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. The aircheck begins with the conclusion of Jim Curtis's 8 a.m. newscast.
 

The program host is Al Meltzer. Hear him on WEBR in 1961 here.

The program host is Al Meltzer. Hear him on WEBR in 1961 here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)


Talent: ALAN FREDERICKS
Station: WADO New York
Date: February 13, 1961
Time: 16:55

Let's take a ride on the Night Train!

Alan Fredericks was a true rock radio legend, a deejay who played the "New York sound" of doo-wop music in the 1950s and '60s on his Night Train show on New York and area stations WGBB, WHOM and WADO. Former WCBS-FM program director Joe McCoy told David Hinckley of the New York Daily News, "he was the guy who championed the group sound after it was basically dead on the radio."

Fredericks left radio in 1966, moving to Travel Weekly where he became one of the most respected travel editors in the U.S. But he was able to revive the Night Train in the '80s and '90s, when he filled in for Don K. Reed on The Doo-Wop Shop on WCBS-FM, and also made appearances on that station's Radio Greats Reunions. He died July 31, 2005, at the age of 70.

In 1961, Fredericks was playing doo-wop records from 11-midnight every Saturday night at WADO. The show was sponsored by Times Square Records, then one of New York's most popular record shops. The following aircheck has survived through the years and we are happy to present it on Rock Radio Scrapbook.
 

Hear Alan Fredericks on WADO here.

Hear Alan Fredericks on WADO here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)


Talent: ED HIDER as FENWAY IN THE MORNING
Station: WMEX Boston
Date: April 11, 1961
Time: 27:47/29:48 (unscoped)

It's opening day, the Red Sox are getting ready to play, and Fenway in the Morning is starting your day at WMEX.

Fenway was actually Ed Hider, one of a string of jocks to use the Fenway moniker at WMEX, which followed a common practice of the time of using "house names" for deejays.
 

Enjoy Fenway on WMEX from April 11, 1961 here.

Enjoy Fenway on WMEX from April 11, 1961 here.
 

(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)




Rock Radio Scrapbook pays
online streaming fees to the
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (License 22-F)
 


Talent: CARL DeSUZE
Station: WBZ Boston
Date: April 13, 1961
Time: Part 1 - 15:40
           Part 2 - 12:16

It's hard to imagine the history of Boston radio without Carl DeSuze. This urbane announcer ruled as WBZ's morning host for some four decades, waking up folks along the North American eastern seaboard through nine U.S. presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan.

DeSuze arrived at WBZ in April, 1942 after graduating from Bowdoin College and stints at several Maine stations, including WGAN Portland. For 43 years, the man known as New England's Alarm Clock entertained with a unique brand of personality radio long-since vanished from the commercial airwaves. He commanded high ratings even after 'BZ's switch to Top 40 in the 1960s. Widely-travelled, and a lover of all things European, DeSuze interviewed many celebrities, lectured, and wrote for publications like Atlantic Monthly, Yankee Magazine and the Boston Globe.

DeSuze retired from WBZ in 1985. He died April 30, 1998, less than two years after participating in WBZ's 75th anniversary celebration in September, 1996. He was 83.
 

Enjoy Carl DeSuze, Part One, here.

Enjoy Carl DeSuze, Part One, here.
 

Enjoy Carl DeSuze, Part Two, here.

Enjoy Carl DeSuze, Part Two, here.
 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)


Talent: TERRY MANN
Station: WNDR Syracuse, N.Y.
Date: April 14, 1961
Time: 20:25

Known in its early days as The Wonder Station - and Syracuse's leading Top 40 station during the 1960s - WNDR had a lot of wonderful talent pass through its doors.

Among those to grace the WNDR microphone were Joey Reynolds, Bud Ballou, Dusty Rhodes, Peter C. Cavanaugh, Dan Leonard, Bobby Ryan, Russ Syracuse, Don Bayley, Jim O'Brien, Don Bombard (later known as Bob Shannon) and Joe Galuski.

Also at WNDR was Terry Mann, who would go on to later success at CHUM, CKFH and WKBW - the only jock to work at all three. He passed away in 1973 of diabetes-related complications at the young age of 36.
 

Enjoy Terry Mann on WNDR here.

Enjoy Terry Mann on WNDR here.
 

(The David Lennick and Guy Henning Collections)*

* This aircheck was also submitted by Don Shuttleworth


Talent: RAY STARR
Station: CKEY Toronto
Date: June 1, 1961
Time: 8:38

(Logo courtesy Bill Dulmage)

1050 CHUM ruled the roost in Toronto Top 40 radio for years, but it was not for lack of competition. In the '70s and '80s there was CFTR, in the late '60s into the mid-'70s there was CKFH. But before all that there was CKEY, a Top 40 outlet from the late '50s to 1965. More than a few leading Toronto radio deejays appeared there including Al Boliska, Duff Roman, Glenn Walters and J.P. Finnegan. Also on the air at 'EY was Ray Starr, who held down the early-evening slot in the early '60s. Few airchecks survive from that period, however, but this one of Starr does.

CKEY eventually moved to a full-service MOR format in 1965, returning to rock 'n' roll in 1984 when it went to oldies first as Solid Gold CKEY then as the KEY 590. That ended in 1991 with a switch to country and a call-letter change to CKYC. But CKEY's early years as a Top 40 station will not soon be forgotten.
 

To hear Ray Starr, click here.

To hear Ray Starr, click here.
 

(The Russ Horton Collection)


Talent: JOHNNY BARRETT
Station: WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.
Date:
July 24, 1961
Time: 1:24:04 (unscoped)

It's a long aircheck from a long-ago time.

In 1961, Pittsburgh teenager Paul Carlson and some friends holed up in a Buffalo hotel room to tape WKBW for 24 consecutive hours. The result was a marvellous audio time capsule of one of North America's most popular Top 40 stations during its early years as a hit music station. The entire scoped recording is available in our 24 Hours of 'KB section, but John Troll of Rewound Radio has restored portions of it. Here's Part 1 of the Johnny Barrett show, which began the 24-hour recording at 12:22 p.m. on July 24, 1961.


Enjoy Johnny Barrett on WKBW from July 24, 1961 here.

Enjoy Johnny Barrett on WKBW from July 24, 1961 here.


Part 2 of this aircheck
COMING SOON!
 

(The Russ Horton Collection; restoration by John Troll)


Talent: JAY NELSON
Station: WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: July 25, 1961
Time: 9:51

Ask most people to name just one CHUM personality from its illustrious history, chances are they'll say Jay Nelson. And for good reason, too. For 17 years, beginning in 1963, Nelson was the highly-rated morning man during CHUM's glory years of the '60s and '70s. But the fact is, he left another highly-rated and successful station to come to CHUM.

From 1961 to 1963, Nelson was morning man at WKBW, which was establishing itself as one of the greatest Top 40 stations of all time. The Scranton, Pa., native, whose real name was Frank Coxe, was almost rejected from the CHUM job because he "sounded too American." Nelson replied "well, I am American."

Nelson died February 18, 1994.
 

Hear Jay Nelson here.

Hear Jay Nelson here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)


Talent: TOM SHANNON
Station: WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: July 25, 1961
Time: 56:52/1:00:06 (unscoped)

From New York to L.A. was a big hit for Patsy Gallant in the 1970s. But Tom Shannon's theme song might be entitled From Buffalo to Detroit.

Shannon shuffled between Buffalo and Detroit throughout much of his radio career, with a few stops in other locales. His Buffalo addresses have included WKBW twice), WGR (twice) and Oldies 104 (WHTT-FM). He has appeared in Windsor-Detroit on CKLW (also twice) along with several other Motor City stations.

In 1961, Shannon was at WKBW in the 6-9 p.m. spot, but on this aircheck he's filling in for Russ Syracuse in the 9-noon shift.
 

Enjoy Tom Shannon on WKBW from July 25, 1961, Pt. 1 (UNSCOPED) here.

Enjoy Tom Shannon on WKBW from July 25, 1961, Pt. 1 (UNSCOPED) here.


Enjoy Tom Shannon on WKBW from July 25, 1961, Pt. 2 (UNSCOPED) here.


Enjoy Tom Shannon on WKBW from July 25, 1961, Pt. 2 (UNSCOPED) here.


Part 3 of this aircheck
COMING SOON!
 

(The Russ Horton Collection; restoration by John Troll)


Enjoy Shannon's night-time show from the day before (SCOPED) here. (46:08)

(The Russ Horton Collection)


Talent: SANDY HOYT
Station: CJCH Halifax
Date: July 25, 1961 
(Upgraded 7-24-11)
Time: 11:32

Many remember Sandy Hoyt from his years as an easy-listening announcer on CHFI-FM. But did you know he was once a Top 40 jock?

In 1961, Hoyt held down the evening shift at CJCH Halifax - one of the Atlantic region's more prominent Top 40 stations. It was called The Best-Seller Show. It's hard to believe this Sandy Hoyt is the same person entertained folks in a more conversational style for years in Toronto.

Hoyt, a native of New Glasgow, N.S., also jocked at CFTR Toronto, CIGO Port Hawkesbury, N.S., and at stations in Chatham, Ont., and Kitchener, Ont. He did a lot of TV work too, including hosting Global's telecast of the Santa Claus parade from 1985 to 1997. He was also the announcer for The $128,000 Question and host of the game shows The Joke's On Us and Split Second.

Hoyt died of a brain tumour August 5, 2002. He was 63.

Lots of great tunes and jingles and we also have the news headlines in this aircheck. Check out the awkwardly worded seat-belt commercial at the 1:57 mark.
 

Rock Radio Scrapbook presents Sandy Hoyt with the Best-Seller Show on CJCH here.

Rock Radio Scrapbook presents Sandy Hoyt with the Best-Seller Show on CJCH here.
 

(The Don Shuttleworth and Russ Horton Collections)


Talent: FENWAY IN THE MORNING
Station: WMEX Boston
Date: September 13, 1961
Time: 29:48 (unscoped)

Here's more of Ed Hider with Fenway in the Morning on WMEX!

Enjoy Fenway on WMEX from September 13, 1961 here.

Enjoy Fenway on WMEX from September 13, 1961 here.


(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)
 




Rock Radio Scrapbook pays
online streaming fees to the
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (License 22-F)
 


Talent: PAT PATTERSON "THE FAT CAT"
Station: WCOP Boston
Date: October 26, 1961
Time: 29:19 (unscoped)
           18:48 (scoped)

Pat Patterson is a North Carolina broadcasting legend, but he also starred in quite a few other markets.

Patterson got his start in radio at a local AM station while at Kansas State, from which he graduated in 1958. He went on to work at WGR Buffalo, WPTR Albany, N.Y., WPRO and WICE Providence, R.I., and WCOP and WHDH Boston, before arriving at WKIX Raleigh, N.C., in 1969. He spent five years there as morning man and program director before leaving for WHDH Boston. He returned to the Tar Heel State at WQDR Raleigh from 1977 to 1982. Following a gig at KLUF Houston, he returned to WKIX from 1988 to 1990, then did a talk show at WDNC Chapel Hill from 1990 to 1997.

During his time in Raleigh, Patterson won four Billboard awards
for Best Morning Personality in a Medium Market and Best A.M. Personality in a Major Market. He was named to the North Carolina Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2010, having been nominated three times previously.
 

Enjoy Pat Patterson "The Fat Cat" (UNSCOPED) here.

Enjoy Pat Patterson "The Fat Cat" (UNSCOPED) here.
 

Enjoy Pat Patterson "The Fat Cat" (SCOPED) here. \

Enjoy Pat Patterson "The Fat Cat" (SCOPED) here.
 

(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)


Talent: DAN INGRAM
Station: WABC New York
Date: November 11, 1961
Time: 17:46 (Upgraded 3-3-12)

"Big Dan here, laughin' and scratchin'"

Dan Ingram used words like a musician uses notes.

For nearly a half-century, the Oceanside, N.Y., native weaved double entendres, satire and wit and into a fast-paced Top 40 radio patter unmatched in the industry. When he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2007, it was a long overdue honour for one of the giants of the industry.

Daniel Trombley Ingram was born September 7, 1934 in Oceanside, N.Y. Both of his parents were musicians, and he was inspired to go into radio after attending music sessions with his father. With Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins and Alan Freed as his influences, Ingram began his broadcasting career at WHCH at Hofstra College in Hempstead, N.Y. Early professional stops were WNRC New Rochelle, N.Y., and WALK Patchogue, N.Y. By 1958, he was on WNHC New Haven, Conn., under his real name and also at WICC Bridgeport, Conn., as Rae Taylor.

Ingram got his first major market big at KBOX Dallas in 1959, and helped that station dramatically improve its competitive position against rival KLIF. He moved to WIL St. Louis in 1960 where he increased ratings in his morning time slot from a zero to a 48 share, and also met his lifelong friend Ron Lundy. By 1961 he had left radio briefly to work at a company that created promos for radio stations. After turning down an offer to do afternoon drive at WMCA, Ingram applied at WABC and started there in the summer of 1961.

Except for a short stint in morning drive in 1979-80, Ingram held down the coveted afternoon drive spot at WABC for 21 years. It was at WABC Ingram uttered many of the patented lines, like "Hi Kemosabe", "Roll your bod", "You're in the honour group of the day", "On the Ingram Flingram" and "Zay gezunt", a Yiddish expression meaning "be well." When WABC switched to a talk format, it was Ingram who along with long-time friend and long-time WABC midday jock Ron Ingram who signed off the music era on May 10, 1982.

In 1984 and 1985, Ingram did CBS Radio's Top 40 Satellite Survey, while also holding down a regular shift at WKTU New York. From October 1991 to June 2003, Ingram joined many other legendary New York jocks at WCBS-FM, where he did early afternoon weekend shifts. He continued as one of North America's leading voice-over personalities well into the 2000s.
 

Enjoy an early WABC show with Dan Ingram here.

Enjoy an early WABC show with Dan Ingram here.
 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)

AUDIO ENHANCEMENT by Andy Rebscher


Talent: MIKE DAROW
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: December 21, 1961
Time: 8:53

Memories, fading ones at that, are all we have to go by.

Even though it is recognized as one of North America's pioneer Top 40 stations, much of CHUM's early audio history seems to have simply vanished.

Relatively few CHUM airchecks from the pre-1970 period are in active circulation. While some may be in private collections, that isn't much good to the masses of us who want to hear them. Bob Laine and Doug Thompson have been finding plenty of CHUM airchecks in that station's archives and sending them to us, but we'd also like to uncover some of the ones listeners may have recorded.

A collector in Michigan named Tom Sanders sent us an aircheck of afternoon drive host Mike Darow at CHUM in 1961. This is one of only two airchecks of Darow that we know about and one of only a handful from the early days of CHUM. Not even a single aircheck of Al Boliska's CHUM morning show is known to exist. But we believe someone, somewhere, must have tapes of those early CHUM shows. Can you help?
 

Rock Radio Scrapbook presents Mike Darow here.

Rock Radio Scrapbook presents Mike Darow here.
 

(The Tom Sanders Collection)

For more classic CHUM airchecks, visit The CHUM Archives


RETURN TO ROCK RADIO SCRAPBOOK