Dave Randall at KLON in 1981, trying to juggle studies and the ponderousness of public radio.
Dave Randall at KLON in 1981, trying to juggle studies and the ponderousness of public radio.

Boss Jock and Disciple.....Don Steele and myself at a Ford Media event in 1996. It was the last time I saw him.
Boss Jock and Disciple.....Don Steele and Dave Randall at a Ford Media event in 1996.

Gary Owens and Dave Randall at Robert W.'s Retirement broadcast.
Gary Owens and Dave Randall at Robert W.'s Retirement broadcast.

Dave Randall, 1999
Dave Randall, 1999

The Dave Randall Collection

Dave Randall caught the radio bug very early. He writes:

   "It was my addiction to baseball and football that did it. In those days of the black-out, radio was the only means of keeping up with the Dodgers and Rams when they played home games. Lucky for all who would enter the business, Southern California was blessed with Vin Scully behind the mike for the Dodgers, and Dick Enberg for the Rams. Their language and artistry recreated a picture almost as well as a Color TV.

At Cal State Long Beach, I studied Radio/TV with a Journalism Minor, thinking I'd one day be a sportscaster, like my idols. I did well enough at it, winning awards in college, and a Golden Mike just after college when KLON, a Public Radio/Jazz/News station, was purchased by the university and supplanted our ten-watt college station, KSUL.

At KLON, I did sports and a late night jazz show. After two years, I realized that at the time (1984) my sports reports were based more on humor and energy, and jobs were few. On a treadmill, I knew TOP 40 (by then CHR) would be the only avenue for using my talents properly. The thing was, the format was just in the beginning of its renaissance, and there really was no one to listen to and learn the basics from. Sure, there was KIIS, but when you're taking baby steps from another format like jazz and sports, you need to go back to the roots. That's where the Man of Steele comes in.

When The Real Don came back on the air in 1985 at KRLA, I was astounded. Up till then, oldies were presented either in AC/AOR type presentations, or with the care of a docent, who guarded the museum with a jealous passion, lest his precious gems be smudged by the philistines who dared listen. Suddenly here was this man whom I had watched grabbing babes by the waist on TV, pouring verve and fun...and most importantly LIFE...into these old songs! I'd been a fan as a Kid, but now there was professional respect, and he became an idol.

In 1986, I finally made it out of the musty halls of public radio and to San Diego and K-LITE, where I was initially hired by ex-610-man Mike Novak. Mike wound up taking off, and by 1988, the station changed to a brighter-AC, Y-95, where I stayed till that July. I knew I needed to work Top 40 to get it out of my system and hone my chops. So, from America's Finest City, I moved to Oxnard and Q105, the FM sister and spiritual Top 40 ancestor to KACY. The first couple of years I did nights and a countdown show, direct from that rundown chicken shack that once served as home to Bob Eubanks, Shotgun Tom, and anyone else who passed through Oxnard between the mid-'50's and late-'80's. Its safe to say, I learned my craft amongst the strawberries and the alligator lizards.

By 1992, CHR had changed again. Straight ahead "Jock's jocks" were falling by the wayside to those who sounded very young or very street. After some frustrating attempts, I decided to find a job where I could use my Top 40 style energy, but it wasn't a Top 40 station. Why not K-Earth? I took a shot, and got hired in 1994.

Since then I've had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in radio, and it continues to be more fun than anyone can imagine. The opportunity to have been on the same staff with my Idol, the Real Don Steele, and Robert W. Morgan was a career highlight. Their like will not be seen or heard again. I wrote Shaune Steele after Don passed and told her of the impact he had on my career direction. She's a very gracious woman."

The Repository thanks Dave Randall for sharing!

[Descriptions by Dave Randall]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
The Real Don Steele, KHJ, on Vinyl 1971 (57:59)

. . . Tinkle the ivories for me . . .

Recorded and pressed on vinyl for U.S. Servicemen abroad, The Real Don Steele is the man, juggling a motley mix of Top-40 fare from bubble gum (The Osmonds) to underground (Richie Havens), with a guest appearance by Cousin Brucie on a pimple cream commercial. A jock at the top of his game.

(Click the KHJ Boss 30 for an enlarged picture of The Real Don Steele presenting the first copy of the KHJ V-DISC '71 to Col. Robert Cranston, head of the American Forces Radio and Television Service.)

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5Khz)
The Real Don Steele, KRLA Los Angeles, January 1986 (20:50)

. . . what do we know and believe? . . .

January 21, 1986: The Real Don Steele is ON FIRE! With no major promotion going on, and none of what programmers call "topical content", it's just raw Don taking Oldies and infusing them with electricity.

I taped this one on a day I wasn't on the air myself, and caught the master rocking and rolling and bringing the house down. Afternoon drive was a classroom for would-be jocks...and on this day, class was definitely in session!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16 Khz)
Paul Freeman, KIIS-FM Los Angeles January 13 1986 (12:07)

. . . 50 minutes worth of continuous T&A . . .

Paul Freeman (KNAK/Salt Lake City) was the midday jock at KIIS-FM/Los Angeles. Having toiled through several format adjustments between 1976 and 1981, he was there when the station struck pay dirt in 1983, and earned unprecedented "10" shares in 1984.

Paul was a solid performer at 102.7 until 1990, when he and the station parted ways. Truth be told, KIIS had no jock on the air between 10 and 1 at the time this description was written (February, 2001.) They were rolling music and listener call-ins.

But in the '80's, Paul was King of Midday. This aircheck is from the period just before Power 106 went on the air and stole away a chunk of KIIS' listeners.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (20 Khz)
Pat Garrett, KKHR Los Angeles January 24 1986 (10:57)

. . . the only time we will pause this hour is to play Spin to Win . . .

Up the FM dial at 93.1. KKHR tried to siphon off some of of Rick Dees' monster morning numbers in 1985-86 with a music intensive presentation, to no avail.

Pat just kept the hits comin' all morning long. A year later, the station would give up the fight against KIIS completely.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
Dave Randall, KRTH Los Angeles, June 1998 (12:39)

. . . if all you got is one thin dime, nobody's gonna bother you anyway . . .

Over the years, I've had the great fortune to precede or follow Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, Johnny Hayes, Brian Beirne (Mr. Rock'n Roll), Shotgun Tom, Steve Jay, Jay Coffey, Jim Carson, Bill Stevens (who initially programmed KUTE 102 in its disco heyday) and many others.

Within 24 hours in 1998, I did both for Dan Ingram. Here are parts of shows the night before and minutes after Dan Ingram made his Southern California radio debut in June of 1998.

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More to Come from the Dave Randall Collection!

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