The Broadcast Legends will celebrate the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame‘s incoming Class of 2017 with a special luncheon on Saturday, September 23, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco.
The BARHOF Class of 2017 includes Peter Cleaveland (News), Dan Ethen (Engineer), Ron Fell (Management), John Mack Flanagan (Program Host), Richard Gossett (Program Host), Lee Jones (Specialty), Michael Krasny (Talk Show Host), Dan Sorkin (Program Host), Doug Sovern (News), Tony Tremayne (Pioneer; née Mel Fritze) and Rich Walcoff (Sports).
In addition, Chris Jackson of 98.5 KFOX will be honored as the recipient of the first Don Sherwood Award as the most popular radio personality in the Bay Area, as selected by the public. John Mack Flanagan, longtime personality on KFRC, KRQR, KSFO/KYA-FM and KWSS, goes into BARHOF as the people’s choice for the Sherwood Award in the Legends category.
Ackerman’s radio career began in Sacramento, where he “got the radio bug” while attending Grant Union High School. In 1942, he landed a job at KQW. At the time, the station was still licensed to San Jose, requiring some programming to originate there. Ackerman spent time in the San Jose studios as well as KQW’s San Francisco studios.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carl Nolte in 2009 that he remembers doing live broadcasts of big bands — Muggsy Spanier at the Bush Garden, a jazz band at the Mocambo, Del Courtney, Desi Arnaz, Ray Noble or Bob Crosby and his Bobcats, “live and direct for your listening pleasure from the Rose Room at San Francisco’s famous Palace Hotel.” Some of those live broadcasts would be distributed nationwide.
San Jose’s venerable KLIV (1590 AM) has been honored with the 2017 Legendary Station Award by the Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, in recognition of its seven decades of service to listeners in the South Bay Area, and will be celebrated at a special Broadcast Legends luncheon on Tuesday, June 20, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco.
Founded in late 1946 as KSJO, the station began its life as a thousand-watt, daytime-only outlet located in an orchard at the corner of Story Road and Lucretia Avenue in still-rural San Jose, then watched as the city grew up around it over the years.
In 1960, the station’s owners – seeing no real future in FM radio – sold off KSJO’s FM sister and changed the AM station’s call letters to KLIV, while continuing to broadcast from its home on Story Road.
During the 1960s, KLIV established itself as one of the most popular stations in the region, playing popular Top 40 music aimed at the growing number of baby boomers whose parents began settling in the area, catering to the surfer boys and girls who headed over the hill to Santa Cruz every summer weekend, and helping inspire dozens of garage bands across the South Bay.
Fifty years ago, in July 1967, Robert S. Kieve and a partner purchased KLIV for $974,000; to this day, Mr. Kieve continues to operate KLIV under the Empire Broadcasting banner as one of the dwindling few independent major-market radio station owners in the United States. He was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (BARHOF) in 2007, and recently celebrated his 95th birthday with the station’s alumni and current staff.
Among the popular voices that have graced KLIV’s airwaves over the years are John McLeod (BARHOF 2010), Mikel Hunter Herrington (2008), Dave Sholin (2008), Bob Ray, Ross McGowan, George Sampson, John Lester, John Bettencourt, Larry Mitchell, Jack Hayes, Peter Boam and Mac McGregor.
KLIV joins previous Legendary Station honorees KCBS, KGO, KSFO, KNBR, KFRC, KSAN, KPEN and KYA.
The Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, founded in 2005, is a program of the California Historical Radio Society (CHRS), and is dedicated to preserving and honoring the history of radio broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay Area.
How do things stand now? What’s been the effect of consolidation on news people and jocks and the listeners? And what might we see in the future? More news or less? Fewer owners? What about sports coverage? What about the business side? Where will the money be coming from, and who will do the selling?
We have a great panel lined up, which is scheduled to include Stan Bunger (Morning Anchor, KCBS); Stan Burford (Traffic Man, KGO); John Catchings (KFRC); Gil Haar (KYUU, KFRC); Jack Swanson (KGO, KCBS); and Peter Cleaveland (KGO), who will also act as the moderator.
This panel of folks has got years and years in the Bay Area radio. They have seen it all and helped to create much of it.
Join us and add your memories to the discussion on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. Social time begins at 11:30 AM, followed by lunch at noon, and our program at about 1 PM.
As it has each year since its inception, the Broadcast Legends will host the 2016 edition of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame luncheon, which will be held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco on Saturday, September 24, beginning at 11:30 AM.
This year’s class of inductees include Dianne Nicolini and Hoyt Smith, both currently of Classical KDFC, in the Program Host category; Wes “Scoop” Nisker (News); Kevin “The Rat” Radich (Sports); Narsai David (Specialty); Dave McKinsey (Executive); Robert Hammett and Edward Edison (Engineers); Hilly Rose (Living Legend); and Wilda Wilson Church and Dean Maddox (Pioneers).
You’re invited to take a trip back in time to when radio was boss as the Broadcast Legends celebrate “The Boss of the Bay” — 1260 KYA — which is being honored on Thursday, June 23, with the Legendary Station Award for 2016.
The KYA reunion and celebration will be held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco, from 11:30 AM to 2 PM.
KYA becomes the latest station to be honored with designation as a Legendary Station by the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (BARHOF), a program of the California Historical Radio Society. KYA joins the first-ever station to have received the award, KCBS, along with KGO, KNBR, KSFO, KFRC, KSAN and KPEN.
Even though KYA has been gone from the Bay Area’s airwaves since 1983, it can rightfully claim its heritage as the Bay Area’s longest-running Top 40 station, having begun its 25-year tenure in 1958. (By contrast, KYA’s chief competitor, the original Big 610, KFRC, had a twenty year run, from 1966 through 1986.)
Despite the high hopes of its owners when it went on the air ninety years ago – the station made its debut on Saturday, December 18, 1926 – KYA endured many difficulties early in its life, owing mostly to the economic conditions of the Depression era. KYA was rescued in 1934 by none other than newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who aligned the station with his San Francisco Examiner.
A popular local favorite through the 1930s and 1940s, KYA entered its own “golden age” in May 1958 when it adopted a Top 40 music format, which skyrocketed the station’s popularity as the self-proclaimed “Boss of the Bay.”
Over the next quarter-century, KYA listeners were treated to a parade of hall of fame-caliber disc jockeys, including Tom Donahue (inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006), Emperor Gene Nelson (BARHOF ’06), Russ “The Moose” Syracuse (BARHOF ’08), Norman Davis (BARHOF ’14), Mike Cleary (BARHOF ’07) and Tom Saunders (BARHOF ’10), as well as Les Crane, Chris Edwards, Johnny Holliday, Tom Campbell, Peter Tripp and “Boss Radio” innovator Bill Drake.
KYA can also claim another significant link to pop culture history: fifty years ago, in August 1966, the station promoted and hosted the last live concert performance by The Beatles, at wind-swept Candlestick Park.
Although the original KYA faded from the Bay Area’s airwaves at the end of 1983, the station continues to hold a place of affection for those who grew up listening to the legendary “Boss of the Bay.”
Join the Broadcast Legends for lunch on Friday, March 18, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco for a fascinating discussion about radio in its very earliest days — nearly a century ago!
Our guest speaker will be Mike Adams, Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University, member of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (Class of 2011) and author of several essential volumes on broadcasting history, including “The Radio Boys and Girls: Radio, Telegraph, Telephone and Wireless Adventures for Juvenile Readers, 1890-1945,” which will provide the basis for our program.
“Radio in 1922: What the Boys and Girls Knew,” looks at a single year and compares the rise in broadcasting, and what Americans were being told about its significance, with the information young readers were getting in their Radio Boys and Radio Girls series books. The year 1922 was an important one in the transition from the dots and dashes of the wireless hobby to the radio as a source of entertainment and information.
The Broadcast Legends
Spring Quarterly Luncheon:
Mike Adams and Radio In 1922
Friday, March 18, 2016
11 AM – Reception (No Host Bar)
Noon – Luncheon
1 PM – Feature Program
Basque Cultural Center
599 Railroad Avenue
South San Francisco
We awake today to the sad news that Al Hart has passed away at the age of 88. A longtime member of the Broadcast Legends, Al came to the Bay Area about 55 years ago from KEEL in Shreveport, La., to work at KABL (960 AM) before moving to KNBR (680 AM).
But it was at KCBS Radio a few years later that he hit his stride, becoming perhaps the most iconic voice on this iconic station’s staff. Al arrived at KCBS in 1966, and was part of the team that transformed the station in 1968 to the all-news format that continues to thrive there to this day.
Before moving to his role as morning co-anchor on KCBS, Al had been working afternoon drive on the station. Following his retirement, he continued to be a welcome voice on KCBS, appearing with current morning co-anchor Stan Bunger on the weekly Wednesday chats with John Madden — always bringing along a batch of his signature snickerdoodle cookies, as well as the latest ruminations from Charlie The Checker.
Al Hart was a charter inductee into the Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame in 2006, and was an up-and-coming Mercury Records recording artist in the early 1960s. One of numerous Minnesota transplants to find fame and fortune in Bay Area radio — Jim Lange, Don Bleu and Bobby Dale included — Al was a proud University of Minnesota Golden Gopher.
Al will be missed, fondly, by everyone who had the opportunity to work alongside him, or spend a few minutes hearing his warm voice on the radio. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Pat, and to all of Al’s friends, family and colleagues.
The Broadcast Legends bestowed its annual Legend of the Year award for 2015 — the Myrna — to board member (and head of the Legends’ A/V Club) Bob Brown.
The announcement was made at the holiday celebration on December 18 at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. Bob was photographed at the event flanked by Legends Father Miles Riley (at left) and Noah Griffin (at right).