REEL TOP 40 RADIO REPOSITORY

Don Jennett at age 7
Don Jennett, Christmas 1969, in his new Roman Gabriel Edition RAMS uniform.

Picture of Don Jennett when he was Entertainment Editor and Radio Critic for the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner
College Dude Don

Don Jennett and Kids
Don with son Calvin and daughter Victoria, January 1999, north of Nevada City, California.

The Don Jennett Collection

Don Jennett was born in Los Angeles in 1962, and is an avid collector of Los Angeles airchecks.

Many L.A teens grew up with Boss Radio 93/KHJ. But in 1969, Don was only seven years of age when he was first hooked on KHJ.

As an adolescent, he made all-too-brief airchecks of KHJ, KFI and 10-Q.

He was unaware that the tapes would become collectibles, so not much survives from that era. His collection, as presented here, was built virtually from scratch.

Don dreamed of being a "Boss Jock" or a journalist while growing up, and was schooled in newspaper journalism. He was Entertainment Editor and Radio Critic for the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner during his college years.

He became aware of aircheck collecting as a hobby in 1991, when he stumbled upon KRLA's April Fools' day broadcasts of classic DJs like Dave Hull, Emperor Hudson, Bob Dayton and Charlie O'Donnell.

Bobby Ocean and Don Jennett, April 2001
Bobby Ocean and Don Jennett, April 2001, San Rafael California.
His career path took him into the world of advertising sales. He moved to Nevada City, California in 1998, where he worked as a publisher's representative.

Don's only hands-on contact with radio — other than being a former groupie — was as a volunteer broadcaster at KVMR-FM, public radio in Nevada City.

The Repository thanks Don Jennett for sharing!

[Descriptions by Don Jennett unless otherwise indicated.]

G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Rebel Foster, KFWB Los Angeles, January 21, 1966 (14:27)

. . . You betcha! Have a Burgie tonight . . .

Rebel Foster at KRLA
Reb Foster,
at KRLA
The majority of Reb Foster's career in Los Angeles was spent at KRLA, but he worked afternoon drive at KFWB in 1965 and 1966.

Prior to Los Angeles, Foster worked at KYA in San Francisco, KISN in Portland and KYW in Cleveland. He owned a nightclub in Redondo Beach, and in the '70's, he managed Three Dog Night, the Turtles and Steppenwolf.

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G2 5.0 compatible, Aphex enhanced TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Dave Diamond, Final Hour of KBLA, June 16, 1967 (20:12)

. . . Folks, if I told you what was taking place right now, you wouldn't believe it in a million years . . .

The final trip into the depths of "The Diamond Mine," on KBLA, at least. Dave Diamond's rep for playing album versions of Top 40 songs set KBLA apart from its more powerful competitors — KHJ, KRLA and KFWB.

No doubt there were some "open containers" — among other things — in the studio that night. After Diamond left the air, KBLA became KBBQ, playing country music until September 2, 1972, when the station again changed call letters to KROQ.

Though Diamond stated herein that he was not going to be heard elsewhere, he did surface at KFWB a scant 11 days later, only to face another format switch and employment search the following March.

(Please forgive two glitches near the end of the aircheck, when someone put their finger on the reel as it was recording.)

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Tom Maule, KHJ Los Angeles, October 11, 1967 (01:00:28)

. . . KHJ Star Trek Time on the Tom Maule Show . . .

Tom Maule
Tom Maule (courtesy of www.bossradioforever.com)

Tom Maule (1939-1993) spent less than a year at his dream station, but his resume is nonetheless impressive. He worked at other major Top 40 stations both before, (KGB) and after, (KFRC) his brief stint at KHJ.

Maule hailed from Fresno, where he both began and ended his career. He always gave his listeners the impression he was truly happy to be where he was.

I am told this aircheck was provided by Tom himself.

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Bob Dayton on KRLA Los Angeles, January 21, 1968 (10:02)

. . .KRLA proclaims January twenty-seventh 'Bee Gees' day in Southern California. . .

Bob Dayton, 1967
Bob Dayton,
1967

Bee Gees Day was coming - as evidenced by TWO Brothers Gibb tunes in this aircheck recorded during KRLA's "New Season of Excitement," a high-energy format which sounded very much like rival KHJ. Of course, by January of 1968, KHJ had lapped KRLA (and everyone else!) in the ratings. The DJ lineup at this time included Reb Foster (PD), Casey Kasem, Jim Wood, Dave Hull (in morning drive), Bill Slater and Rhett Walker (a New Zealander who was KRLA's answer to KHJ's Tommy Vance and KFWB's Lord Tim Hudson).

Bob Dayton (1934-95) left WABC in 1965 after the infamous "Hiroshima" broadcast and headed west, first stopping at KBLA in Burbank (later KBBQ and then KROQ), where -- as evidenced by an aircheck elsewhere at this site -- he "puked" for two years. Reb Foster hired him the day KBLA folded, and by 1968 he had toned it down to at least "Boss Jock" level. In early '69 he even went up against The Real Don Steele in KRLA's afternoon slot.

The "New Season of Excitement" ran out of gas, however, and by mid-1968 KRLA had all but conceded that KHJ ruled the town, giving way to large chunks of "automated" programming. Dayton stuck with KRLA off and on through 1973 (including a brief run back in New York at 'CBS-FM). He died of cancer April 28, 1995.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Johnny Scott, KYNO Fresno CA., February 11, 1968 (41:41)

. . . that's The Balloon Farm, setting my thermometer on fire . . .

Before he was called up to KGB by Bill Drake, 23-year-old Bobby Ocean spun Boss platters and doubled as his own newsman under the moniker Johnny Scott at KY-NO Number 1 in Fresno.

This recording was made by my friend Marty Levy, who explained the reason he ran valuable tape on this rather "new" radio voice was that "I knew someday he'd be a major market talent." Marty has since changed his name to Carnac.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Gene Weed, KFWB Los Angeles, March 10, 1968 (19:40)

. . . The final hour of music sounds from KFWB . . .

Gene Weed
Gene Weed,
1990's

Ever the consummate professional, Gene Weed (1935-1999), one of the only two remaining original "Seven Swinging Gentlemen," brings down the curtain after 10 years, 2 months and 8 days of what was initially called Color Radio.

A certain highlight is Weed's recitation of the names of 50 personalities (all male, by the way) who used a KFWB microphone between 1958 and 1968.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10 Khz)
Cousin Brucie, WABC New York, February 28, 1968 (54:26)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (25:53)

. . . remember cousins, when you brew coffee at home, always start with a clean coffee maker. Make sure she washes her hands . . .

Since I grew up on the left coast, I never got to hear Bruce Morrow until my first visit to the Big Apple in the early 1980's. He was every bit as popular in New York as Don Steele was in Los Angeles, and deservedly so!

I imagine Brucie was always animated, but surely never more so than on this cold Wednesday night in February, 1968. The Coca-Cola Hour had apparently become the Coca-Cola Half Hour (9:30 - 10:00) with reminders from The Box Tops and The Bee Gees that "things go better with Coke"®

Also included: School Scope for Brooklyn Technical High School.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Jimmy Rabbitt, KRLA Los Angeles, February 27, 1970 (37:17)

. . . Country Joe's is located at 2113 Stoner Avenue, uh huh . . .

[Description by Don Jennett]

Jimmy Rabbit
Jimmy Rabbitt, early 1970's

Here's some of Jimmy Rabbitt's final show on KRLA during their Phase 1 format. Phase II was launched when Shadoe Stevens joined KRLA as Program Director later that year.

Following this stint, Rabbitt joined B. Mitchel Reed at album-rocker KMET, then moved to country KBBQ, where he stayed on for the switch to KROQ in September, 1972.

[Uncle Ricky: Included in the extended newscast beginning at timemark 11:20, classic comedy from The Credibility Gap.]

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16 Khz)
Paul Freeman, KNAK Salt Lake City, June 27, 1970 (01:01:51)

. . . where you're never more than a minute away from music . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky, July 29, 2001]

KNAK REAL PEOPLE

Paul Freeman, 1970Lloyd Lindsey Young
Paul Freeman and Lloyd Lindsay Young, from a June 1970 KNAK Survey.

Here's Los Angeles radio veteran Paul Freeman on KNAK (1280 Khz) in Salt Lake City, Utah during the Solid Gold Summer of 1970.

KNAK had some ballsy ID drops, TM "Beat Goes On" jingles and a "Salt Lake City Weather" acapella which caps the "Salt Lake City Today" report (at 47:33) by Lloyd Lindsay Young. (Lloyd Lindsay was later at KFRC. Mr. Young was a TV weatherguy and commercial spokesman in Sacramento, CA. for several years.)

This is an enjoyable escape to a time when hit records were all "about" 3 minutes. Top 40 stations in smaller markets could pay the bills with reasonable commercial loads and the format comfortably blended rock, R&B and Pop. This was not "diversity". It was plain old "variety". Smaller market stations that got this good at their craft were still making exciting radio - and payroll.

Even more appropriate for the date of the online debut, within the last 60 seconds of this salty treasure you'll hear a spot for Beneath the Planet of the Apes. It's 31 years, one month and a couple of days after June 27, 1970 — and some things never change!

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps
Jim Wood on KROQ Los Angeles, October 31, 1972 (01:34:32)
Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (18:28)

. . . 7:57 on the 'Roq,' and let's throw some Jim Wood on the fire and BURN! . . .

Jim Wood, 1967
Jim Wood,
1967

Practically everyone who listened to "Big Jim" Wood (1932-1990) on KGFJ, the top soul station in Los Angeles in 1966-67, assumed he was black, as did many who heard him on KBLA, KRLA and, here, on KROQ.

Of course, Jim Wood was white, but the sound of his voice earned him the politically IN-correct nickname "The Vanilla Gorilla," which for obvious reasons was never used on-air.

For my money, Wood ranks in the very top echelon of Los Angeles DJs, and would certainly be in my "Dream Team" lineup with Robert W., Real Don, The Hullabalooer, Gary Owens, the Emperor and Humble Harve.

Listen closely for his trademark finger-snapping (usually accompanied by a joyful yet guttural "HEY-Y-Y-Y!"), which must have caused many an engineer to cringe as the mic level went momentarily haywire. This particular 90-minute segment, from Halloween 1972, has Wood in fine form, clearly happy to be working again. Alas, like his all-too-short stint at KRLA, he didn't stay long in KROQ's ill-fated all-star lineup of jocks — Charlie Tuna and Jimmy Rabbit (who are heard in the "Ultimate 'Roq' Concert" promotion in this aircheck), Sam Riddle, Jay Stevens, Johnnie Darin (PD) and the late Steve Sands. Eventually he hooked on with "Border Radio" XEPRS, but developed emphysema while working as a security guard and passed away in 1990.

Don Jennett contributed a shorter version of this orignally, and we published a 'scoped exhibit in June, 1999. 14 years later, Rob Frankel discovered and contributed this longer, partially restored version. REELRADIO updated this exhibit on October 27, 2013.

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The Big 93 of 1972, KHJ Los Angeles

[from Uncle Ricky]: An unscoped version of this aircheck, over five hours in length, was presented in a non-stop loop for December 29-31, 2000 and most of January 1, 2001.

The following descriptions are by contributor Don Jennett.

G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5 Khz)
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ Big 93 of 1972 (24:52)

. . . back in May, when CCR still existed . . .

The "Big 93" of 1972 would prove to be the sixth and final one for Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele and The Johnny Mann Singers on KHJ. I vividly recall 28 years ago my friends and I writing down each and every song in this countdown as it was revealed.

RWM sounds as though he understood at this time that the official end of the Boss Radio era was finally at hand. Very few spots here (even for a Saturday morning), but the "Big 93" jingle is intact. This segment features Hits #93 through #67.

Mark Elliott on KHJ survey
Mark Elliott

Listen for an extremely rare "KHJ News Bulletin" (from newsman Bob Lee) announcing the resumption of the Paris Peace Talks.

G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5 Khz)
Mark Elliott, KHJ Big 93 of 1972 (17:24)

. . . let's end the suspense right now . . .

The countdown continues the following night on New Year's Eve with Mark Elliott (sitting in for Cat Simon.)

This segment features Hits # 31 - #1. After the "giant-killer" for the year is announced, it all begins anew with the #93 song.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
The Real Don Steele, KTNQ Los Angeles, March 1978 (38:12)

. . . The Real Don Steele, out to spread your dayparts . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

This delightful 38 minutes of KTNQ/Los Angeles (10-Q) is a reminder not only of the high-energy talents of The Real Don Steele, but of the joy of listening to hot AM Top 40 in the late 70's.

Steele was really "on" this Spring afternoon. He's fun and funnny, and it's contagious. Even his weather forecast will crack you up.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5 Khz)
Jackson Armstrong, KFRC San Francisco, October 28, 1982 (42:26)

. . . a Ribbon In The Sky, well, at least it's not a rope . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky, aircheck contributed by Don Jennett]

This aircheck features the legendary Jackson Armstrong on KFRC in San Francisco. It's the Thousand Dollar Thursday before Halloween III. Dr. Don Rose will be featured on Evening Magazine on Channel 5 tonight, and The Miller High Life Squadron will be leaving "digital messages" in the air (and this was 1982!)

Mark McKay pulls over an "old green Toyota" and awards $1000 to a very excited and cooperative winner. (They could only hope he had a diary!) There's a promotional announcement for KFRC Halloween fun, and this is a very listenable 42 minutes of a classic DJ on a classic radio station about twenty years ago. No diversity here, just variety and great showmanship.

Someone always asks whenever we post an aircheck of Jackson, so as of this posting in April 2002, Jackson Armstrong was working morning drive on an FM station in Greensboro, N.C. He's been there for several years. In addition, as of January 2003, he started recording voicetracks for WWKB in New York. But on October 28, 1982, he was on KFRC in San Francisco.

Jack Armstrong passed away March 22, 2008 at his home in North Carolina.

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Additional Exhibits in The Don Jennett Collection...
Bob Crane, KNX Los Angeles, March 9, 1962
Tom Maule, KGB San Diego, December 12, 1964
KHJ Los Angeles, Million Dollar Battle, April 1965
Ninth Street West, KHJ-TV, April 30, 1965
Bobby St. Thomas, KBLA Los Angeles, September 25, 1966
KRLA, Charlie O'Donnell, Casey Kasem, June 16, 1967
Bobby Tripp, KHJ Los Angeles, July 1967
Johnnie Darin, KGB San Diego, July 29, 1967
Tom Maule, KDAY Los Angeles, October 2, 1967
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ Los Angeles, May 27, 1968
Humble Harve, KHJ Los Angeles, January 29, 1970
Johnnie Darin, KRLA Los Angeles, June 5, 1970
Johnnie Darin, KRLA Los Angeles, November 19, 1970
Chuck Leonard, WABC New York, December 25 1970
Jay Reynolds, WABC New York, December 26 1970
Bill Wade, KHJ Los Angeles, January 15, 1972
Bobby Rich, KHJ Los Angeles, July 3, 1973
Dave Diamond, KIIS-AM, November 1973
Billy Pearl KHJ Los Angeles June 24, 1975 Pt. 1
Mark Elliot, KHJ Los Angeles, June 25, 1975, Part 1
Mark Elliot, KHJ Los Angeles, June 25, 1975, Part 2
Mark Elliot, KHJ Los Angeles, June 25, 1975, Part 3
Dean Stevens, KROY Sacramento, April 29, 1979
Dave Diamond, KRTH Los Angeles, June 1998

The Don Jennett Collection has been part of REELRADIO since June 6, 1999

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