REEL TOP 40 RADIO REPOSITORY

Michael Hagerty, age 8
Michael Hagerty, Age 8

KIBS Van
KIBS (Bishop, CA.) shared a van with sister combo KMYC/KRFD in Marysville/Yuba City (hundreds of miles north of Bishop)

KSLY, 1974
The KSLY, San Luis Obispo studio building in 1974, originally the main house of a 20-acre ranch just south of downtown. Texan Homer Odom owned the station, and kept the tack room and horses. Jocks could saddle up for a ride in the foothills after their shifts.

Michael Hagerty and Jerry Lewis
Michael and Jerry Lewis doing a taping for Hagerty's first TV gig - Reno cut-ins for the MDA telethon.

Ronald, Michael and George
President Ronald Reagan and VP George Bush shown with a full-size cardboard cut-out of Michael Hagerty (1988 Convention)

Michael and Bobby
Michael Hagerty and Bobby Ocean after lunch in San Rafael, November 1998

Michael Hagerty, 2002
Michael Hagerty, 2002

Michael Hagerty, 2008
Michael Hagerty, TireKicker! 2008

Michael Hagerty, 2009
Michael Hagerty, 2009

The Michael Hagerty Collection

Michael Hagerty is a first-year contributor to the Repository. His Collection debuted on June 2, 1996.

- I was born in Los Angeles, a city with only one radio station. At least, as far as my parents were concerned. In the house, in the car, it was always KMPC. I liked the Angel baseball games and I idolized Captain Max Schumacher, their number one helicopter traffic guy. All that took a backseat one day in 1964 when I tuned in on my $2.99 transistor radio, found the Angel game was rained out, and heard Gary Owens, who'd recently replaced Johnny Grant in afternoons. At age 8, I wanted to be that funny guy with the deep voice on the radio.

When my dad died a year later, we moved 270 miles north to Bishop, California, a town with only one radio station. KIBS wasn't KMPC. Country music in the morning, a women's show called "Coffee With Virginia" for an hour at 9, Radio Bingo for an hour at 10, MOR the rest of the day and Top 40 at night. Signoff was at 10PM.

Soon I discovered that, in the wintertime, half an hour before sunset (and the pattern change), I could pick up Gary Owens on KMPC. I started dialing around... between dusk and dawn, there were all these amazing radio stations that my little "pocket radio" could pull in... I could hear Lohman and Barkley on KFI before school part of the year... and KFRC, San Francisco; KHJ, KRLA and KDAY, Los Angeles; KCBQ, San Diego... and at night... when I was supposed to be asleep... the transistor tucked inside the pillowcase, directly under my ear... I "mainlined" the corrupting influence of Wolfman Jack on XERB.

Still later, I found that if you put a radio really close to the cable for the TV, you could hear L.A. FM stations (though the closest to Top 40 on that band in those days was "HitParade '69" on KHJ-FM).

Small wonder that when a substitute teacher (Virginia of "Coffee With Virginia") asked me if I'd like a job at the radio station in 1971, I jumped at the chance. I was 15. My mom had to drive me to L.A. to take the FCC license exam. I rode my bike to work after school. Mom drove me home at 10pm... the bike in the trunk of her car.

During the next ten years I branched out to programming at KIBS and KSLY, San Luis Obispo (where I was music director) and, exposed to the example of Bobby Rich's KFMB-AM, San Diego, brought Top 40 pacing and production values to Adult Contemporary stations (KIOQ, Bishop; KUKI, Ukiah; KOLO, Reno).

I made the move to television news in 1981, just as A/C was devolving into "Continuous Soft Hits". But even a wonderful career in TV in Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix couldn't lure me completely away from radio. The bug bit again in 1993, when I filled in for 10 weeks of Pat Powers' maternity leave on Sunny 97 and was teamed with Danny Davis (KIMN, Denver, KRIZ, Phoenix, KISN, Portland).

In '97, Sunny 97 had become Eagle 96.9 and Charlie Van Dyke asked me to be his partner for a new full-service morning show. Two months after we started, the station sold. And in '98, the local "Jammin' Oldies" station invited me to do one evening as part of a promotion featuring local TV news folks.

After all that, is it any wonder I found my way behind a microphone again? This time, at a truly great radio station, NewsRadio 620 KTAR, Phoenix, where I did weekend afternoons and fill-ins from 2000-2004.

In 2002, I was involved in the launch of a new independent television station in Phoenix as the producer and host of a weekly half-hour program about my second love — cars.

In October, 2003, they made me Director of Programming and Promotion. After two years of seven-day weeks and new responsibilities added to that, something had to give — namely, a regular radio show.

In August, 2008, I left and launched my own online venture about cars: TireKicker.blogspot.com. And from January, 2009 until May, 2011 I was the morning traffic anchor and reporter for ABC15 in Phoenix — taking me full circle. Remember, my first radio idol was KMPC's Captain Max Schumacher. Now, I'm doing traffic reports on the radio for Total Traffic Network in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, El Paso and Salt Lake City. And I'm proud to say I'm also contributing writer for BBC Autos.

I'm proud to tell anyone who'll listen that I'm a contributor to REELRADIO. The airchecks in this collection are, (with the exception of Jackson Armstrong at KKHR which I taped myself to have something to listen to on a long drive) the gifts of dear friends (Steve Goddard, Bobby Rich, Dave Finley, Cameron and D. Ann Harper and The Slim One) who knew how much I love great radio and thought I'd enjoy them. I'm eternally grateful to Uncle Ricky for the opportunity to share them with you.-

[Descriptions by Michael Hagerty]

 
G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Dan Ingram, WABC New York, 1965 Power Blackout (06:59)

... Up a Lazy River in the key of 'R' ...

The Great Northeast Power Blackout of 1965 started as a brownout, as Dan Ingram demonstrates in this brief sample of WABC before the plug was pulled. Listen as America's most powerful Top 40 station loses power, and Ingram - true to form - has fun with it.

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TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Paul Miller, KOMA Oklahoma City, July 23, 1965 (14:41)

... I'd tell you another one like that, but I'd set off the sprinkler system ...

Never heard of Paul Miller? Sure you have — after this morning show on KOMA in Oklahoma City, he went on to become Irv Harrigan of Charlie and Harrigan at KFMB and KCBQ, San Diego.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
KFRC San Francisco, Composite, 1966-1969 (5:29)

... it's a conspiracy! The Chucker loves you! ...

A collection of assorted clips orginally produced by Bobby Ocean for the KFRC 25th Reunion (1991).

This timesweep includes Royce Johnson, Bobby Dale, Jay Stevens, Dale Dorman, Mike Phillips, Chuck Browning, Dave Diamond, Dick Sainte, Sebastian Stone and Charlie Van Dyke. Also included are KFRC News' Robert W. Shoals, Bob Safford, Ron Robertson, William Abbott and Roy Story. P.D.'s during this time were Tom Rounds, Les Turpin, Ted Atkins and Paul Drew.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ, 1969 (22:46)

Punk Cop! Pulled his big gun on me, gonna shoot the disc jockey!...

A not-so-funny thing happened to Robert W. on his way to work - but L.A.'s highest-calibre morning man turns it into verbal target practice on the air just a few minutes later.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Jack Armstrong, WPOP, Hartford CT, 8/69 (3:53)

Yo' leeeeeeaaaderrrr!...

First-night jitters? Not for Jack Armstrong's first night at WPOP, Hartford, Connecticut.

The only worry might have been the chief engineer wondering if the transmitter would catch fire!

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

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
The Real Don Steele, Fractious Friday Sign Off, KHJ, 1971 (04:49)

. . . What do we know and believe? . . .

The "Fractious Friday" Signoff - a specialty of The Real Don Steele, was a sure sign the weekend was here, and a cue to begin a quest for adventure in the "neon fun jungle".

And of course, Tina Delgado is alive, Alive!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
The Real Don Steele, KHJ Contest Loser, 1971 (2:43)

. . . take your time, baby, I'm here 'til 6 . . .

It should have been so simple. The Real Don Steele tries to give away $4,000 in the hourly "Double Golden" contest, but loyal KHJ listener Rochelle Walter had never read the Drake format bible.

Listen as the tympani bed runs out ... listen as Steele hums and sings ... listen as Steele asks for Bill Drake's home phone number ... and Rochelle still isn't ready! A classic!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Dan Ingram, WABC New York, 1-5-72 (4:51)

... they should have cut 'Jingle Bells' ...

Proof that there was definitely more than one school of Top 40 radio in the early '70's. Call it "East Coast and West Coast" or "Yin and Yang" - this aircheck would probably give Bill Drake hives. That doesn't make WABC any less of an enduring legend, or PM driver Dan Ingram anything less than brilliant.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Dan Ingram and the PAMS Rep, WABC, 1972 (01:20)

... We have NEVER used that one...

Call it "Dan does PAMS". A visit from the PAMS jingle rep is all the excuse Ingram needs to play a medley of jingles produced for WABC by the legendary jingle company - with running commentary.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Robert W. Morgan and the KHJ Hotline, 1973 (2:31)

. . . same to you, Ed . . .

The studio hotline conks out — it takes a week to fix it, and when they fix it, it rings — out loud, on the air!

Keep in mind that RKO General was owned by General Tire when you listen to Robert W. Morgan do the live spot for the tiremaker.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Jackson Armstrong, 13Q, 1973 (09:14)

. . . I'll kiss you hard on the mouth... make your toes curl up like a salted snail... make your eyes bug out like a stomped-on bullfrog! . . .

'Nuff said. Just Listen. Loud.

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

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Charlie Van Dyke, KHJ, 1977 (19:44)

... Charlie Tuna is a little older than you think. He winked at a good-looking chick and couldn't get his eye open again...

After four years in everybody's dream job — mornings at 93/KHJ (and two years as PD), Charlie Van Dyke returns to KLIF, and heads home to Dallas, where he started at age 14.

On his way out the door, Van Dyke gives L.A. nothing but his best. The aircheck, sadly, is not from a studio machine. The static and sidebands seem to suggest it might not even be from L.A. County! But, it might be the best (and only?) recording of Van Dyke's last show on KHJ.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Close Encounters and KFRC 78-81 (01:42)

... KFRC pauses for 8 seconds . . . for possible communication from extra-terrestrial beings...

PD Les Garland jump-started his tenure at KFRC with the Clio Award-winning promo voiced by the late Paul Frees. If you were the PD of KFRC - would you have had the courage to format 8 seconds of dead air every hour for a week?

Garland had more than just one great promo going for him. He and MD Dave Sholin shrugged off disco and played album versions of rock and pop hits. The late Neil Bogart, president of disco-intensive Casablanca Records, took out a full-page ad on the inside cover of Radio & Records which read, in big letters, "WE LOVE YOU LES", and then below, in smaller type, "and less, and less, and less". Garland didn't cry too much — KFRC went to #1 12+ in the Arbitrons for the first time ever.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Machine Gun Kelly, KTNQ, L.A., 1978 (10:12)

GamAnon cured me, and I'll betcha a thousand bucks they can cure you too...

When PD John Sebastian fired the Gunner from KHJ, he walked across the street to 10Q, and promptly won Billboard magazine's Major Market Personality of the Year on the strength of this aircheck. This is all from one hour of one show. Did he keep it up for the rest of the show? Only the Gunner knows for sure.

Machine Gun Kelly has been at Capital Gold 1548 in London, KOST & KCBS-FM, L.A, and KOOL-FM, Phoenix, among others! For an update on the Gunner's current whereabouts - Click the COMMENT button.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Rick Dees, WHBQ, Memphis, 1978 (09:37)

© Copyright 1978, Dan O'Day. Used with permission (see Comment)

...that's why Rick's working in Memphis, instead of Los Angeles, because he's very ill-talented...

Two years after Disco Duck - 2 years before Los Angeles, this is Rick Dees and newsman/sidekick Terrence McKeever - waiting for the call from RKO offering a transfer to the bigs. After listening to this one, you may wonder why McKeever isn't at least as famous as Dees.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Bill Lee, WTIC-FM, Hartford, 1978-80 (3:16)

...96 ticks like a ten ton clock with that Steve Miller rock...

He's currently afternoon drive at WKTU, New York, and has been at KMEL, WQHT, KFRC and more - but this is where the most incredible rhymer on the air ironed out the bugs and put together a composite strong enough to impress Gerry Cagle at KFRC. He's using his real last name on this 'check - Lankey? Lemke? (Somebody knew - Click the COMMENT button!) This was another Mike Joseph consulted Hot Hits station.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Howard Hoffman, WPRO-FM, Providence RI, 1978 (04:34)

...cloudy and humid with a chance of thunderstorms, snow, cracks in the earth and dinosaurs warring on distant planets tonight...

Yes, the reverb is real - so are the sped-up records - and yes, this is FM. Hoffman puts on a clinic on how to be a high energy evening teen jock. Since, he's gone on to be a morning guy with stops in New York and Phoenix (twice!) Hoffman is currently Production Director at KABC/KMPC Los Angeles, in addition to doing cartoon voices via ICM Voiceovers in L.A.

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G2/5.0 Aphex processed TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Steve Goddard, KCBQ San Diego, June 1978 (10:58)

. . . Okay, you got a cymbal for Christmas, now what? . . .

Tight, clean, fast and funny, Steve Goddard (here, celebrating "ten big ones in the biz") made every show a blueprint for aspiring PM drive jocks. Even in the waning days of AM Top 40 in San Diego, Steve's talent and PD Joel Denver's programming (check the Beach Boy/Wolfman Jack soundalike promos) made KCBQ shine. Legendary KHJ newsman J. Paul Huddleston was at the Q at the time - he's near the end of the aircheck.

Goddard is currently afternoon drive at country KNIX, Phoenix (following tours at CHR's KZZP, Y95, Power 92 and Oldies Sunny 97).

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
KHJ, Los Angeles, 1979-80 (11:33)

...In fact, the next 15 years of KHJ is really the natural progression from these last 15 years...

John Sebastian leaves and new PD Chuck Martin desperately rushes to put the personality and production values (the Paul Frees legal ID still knocks me out) back on KHJ.

Rick Dees is brought in for mornings from WHBQ, Memphis (KHJ brought Terrence McKeever along, too, but separated them - putting McKeever on afternoon news. Anyone out there know why?)

It may not have been too little, but it was too late, it turns out ... a year, maybe a little more, and KHJ flips to Country.

It was the end of KHJ as a Top 40 station. Country would fail within 2 years, but KHJ came back as Oldies, and then switched to a recurrent and traffic report format called Car Radio before going back to oldies as KRTH-AM. (The station has been Spanish KKHJ since then. The FCC will not re-issue 3-letter calls).

This aircheck features: Bobby Ocean, Pat Garrett, The True Don Bleu, Banana Joe, Rick Dees, Danny Martinez, Terry Moreno, KHJ News' Lee Marshall, and VP/GM Neil Rockoff's on-air address to the listeners as the station flips to Country. If you love rock 'n' roll, be warned - he'll tick you off!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Virgin Sturgeon, KFRC San Francisco, 1982 (21:31)

. . . the only radio station in the world that is moving while you're listening . . .

KFRC, like many stations in the early '80's, bought one of those big GM motorhomes (dual rear wheels ... big windows on the side) to use as a mobile studio. KFRC nicknamed theirs The Sturgeon.

PD Gerry Cagle decided to take "The Sturgeon", equipped with a 14-channel Pacific Recorders console and nine cart machines - put the entire air staff (except Dr. Don Rose) in it, and drive it from KFRC's downtown San Francisco studios to Sausalito, and back - bouncing the signal off a small plane circling over the motorhome during the two-hour round trip.

Jack Armstrong anchors the proceedings; it was his shift. He is joined by Bill Lee, Sandy Louie, Mark McKay, Sue Hall, Dave Sholin and Thom O'Hair.

Jack Armstrong passed away March 22, 2008 at his home in North Carolina. Thanks to The Slim One for providing a longer version of this exhibit.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Bill Lee, KFRC San Francisco, 1983 (14:53)

. . . little favor I've got to do for more than a few of you who called in from Mountain View waiting for Bryan Adams to sharpen up his Ginsu and cut through . . .

The first thing you need to know is that Holly Near is a lesbian folksinger. The second is that, according to people who've been fortunate enough to work with him, Bill Lee makes this stuff up off the top of his head — making this aircheck that much more exhilarating.

I'd hire him just for the weather report on the intro of Men at Work's It's A Mistake (at 13:50 in).

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5Khz)
Bill Lee, KKIB, Fargo, N.D. 1984 (19:49)

. . . If you're really sufferin', I don't think you need Anacin, Bayer or Bufferin . . .

Not many people know that when Bill Lee left KFRC in 1983, his next stop was Fargo, North Dakota. He wasn't there long, WLOL in Minneapolis grabbed him within months. This aircheck is actually a night that Bill did for fun and for free on a visit back to Fargo from Minneapolis. He brought along his new sidekick and future bride, Beth Bacall.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Jack Armstrong, KKHR Los Angeles, 1985 (04:42)

. . . do I get to play the bagpipes now? . . .

The granddaddy of high energy Top 40 jocks (at it since 1960 on killer stations like WKBW, KFI and KFRC) in his last (so far) major market gig.

This is actually two airchecks: The first half is from March 1985, the second from October of the same year. PD Ed Scarborough, trying to make the station fly on a budget which is a fraction of rival KIIS-FM, is making changes. Midday jock Christopher Lance, there in March, is gone, and replaced by The Slim One (WLS, KFRC), and Armstrong's been told to dump The Gorilla (his famous alter-ego). It ended up not mattering — KKHR was history within a year of this aircheck.

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

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G2/5.0 compatible
The Slim One, KKHR Los Angeles, 1985 (05:28)

. . . Got a tape measure? . . .

The best noon to 3 jock in L.A. since Bobby Ocean went home to San Francisco, The Slim One keeps it fast and fun in the final hour of her show on KKHR, Thursday, October 24, 1985.

Want to hear what happens after the handoff to Jack Armstrong? It's on the Armstrong KKHR 'check on this very page!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16 Khz)
The Real Don Steele, KRTH Los Angeles, 5-5-1995 (10:35)

. . . Happy Cinco de Mayo! . . .

It's a Fractious Friday fun fiesta as The Real Don Steele and KRTH-FM celebrate Cinco de Mayo and The Real Don Steele Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Killer Charlie Van Dyke ID's and promos.

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Additional Exhibits in The Michael Hagerty Collection...
Gary Owens, KEWB Los Angeles, August 10, 1960
Alan Freed, KDAY Los Angeles, 1960
Jim Stagg, KYA San Francisco, April 14, 1961
Dave Hull, KRLA Los Angeles, July 7, 1965 Pt.1
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ Los Angeles, August 1966
Charlie Tuna, KHJ Los Angeles, May 27, 1968
Hit Parade 68, KHJ-FM Los Angeles, 1968
The Real Don Steele, KHJ Los Angeles, January 7, 1969
Sam Riddle, KHJ May 3, 1969
John Mack Flanagan, KTKT Tucson 8-19-1969
Johnny Williams, KHJ Los Angeles, February 27, 1970
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ Los Angeles, August 19, 1970
Robert W. Morgan, KHJ Los Angeles, August 28, 1970
Charlie Tuna, KHJ Los Angeles, January 9, 1971
The Real Don Steele, KHJ Los Angeles, August 6, 1971
Charlie Van Dyke, KHJ Los Angeles, January 24, 1972
Bobby Ocean, KGB San Diego, April 12, 1972
Larry Lujack, Gary Gears, WLS Chicago April 17, 1972
Jimmy Rabbitt, KHJ Los Angeles, May 24, 1972
Russ O'Hara, KKDJ-FM Los Angeles, CA May 29, 1972
Casey Kasem, American Top 40, March 10 1973
Gary Owens, KMPC Los Angeles June 13, 1973
Lee Simms, KROQ Los Angeles, November 16, 1973
The Real Don Steele, KIQQ (K-100) Los Angeles, September 14, 1974
Humble Harve, KKDJ Los Angeles, October 13, 1974
Steve Goddard, WFAA Dallas TX., October 1, 1976
Ray Dunaway, WFAA Dallas TX., November 5, 1976
Bobby Rich, The Turkey Hour, KFMB-AM, 12/6/76
TurkeyFest 2008 - Two Bobby Rich Turkey Hours, KFMB-AM, 1976
Michael Hagerty, KUKI Ukiah CA October 1977
Brother John Rydgren, KRTH Los Angeles, November 1977
The Last Day: KRIZ Phoenix July 14, 1978
Geoff Edwards, KMPC Los Angeles, November 13, 1978
The Slim One, Don Sainte-Johnn, KFRC San Francisco June 21, 1984
Jack Armstrong, KKHR Los Angeles, March 28, 1985
The Slim One, KKHR Los Angeles CA 1985 Part One
The Slim One, KKHR Los Angeles CA 1985 Part Two
The Slim One, KKHR Los Angeles CA 1985 Part Three
Danny Davis, Michael Hagerty, KPSN-FM Phoenix 1993
Charlie Van Dyke, Michael Hagerty & Mary Reilly, KGLQ 1997

The Michael Hagerty Collection has been part of REELRADIO since June 2, 1996.

Reel Top 40 Radio Repository ©1996-2013 REELRADIO, Inc.