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REEL TOP 40 RADIO REPOSITORY

 

at KGAF 1973
Steve Eberhart (16) at KGAF Gainesville TX, 1973

at KIKM, Sherman TX, 1976
KIKM, Sherman, 1976

at KVIL 1978
KVIL, Dallas, 1978

at The Mix 1994
KDMX "The Mix" Dallas, 1994

at ABC Network, Dallas, 1998 ABC Radio Network, Dallas, 1998

The Steve Eberhart Collection

Steve Eberhart grew up in Lindsay, Texas, listening to KLIF, the "Mighty 1190" in Dallas. While sitting on a tractor on his uncle's farm in 100 degree Texas heat, he imagined what it would be like to be one of those disc-jockeys at KLIF. He made the decision to become a DJ at age 12. At 15, he passed the FCC 3rd class license exam and got his first radio job at KGAF in Gainesville, a country station, in December of 1973. He worked there through high school and after graduating went to KIKM in Sherman, Texas, a bona fide "Top 40" station complete with processing, reverb, TM jingles, and a very tight playlist of hits! He worked there for a couple of years while in college and then got the call for the big time at KVIL.

Ken Barnett, a former KIKM jock, was already at KVIL and suggested that Steve apply at KVIL. Program Director Ron Chapman hired him on the spot and in a couple of months was full time, working there for six years in various shifts.

Steve left KVIL to do afternoons at KLUV for four years where he worked with Rick Peters, the legendary Art Roberts, Dave Van Dyke, and Chuck Brinkman. He returned to KVIL as music director for three years and then joined KDMX for three years before the ABC Radio Network and their "StarStation" A/C format. He moved to Austin to work for Capstar on "StarSystem", doing voice-tracking across the southwest. As of January 2000, he has moved back to Dallas and is heard on the ABC Radio Network Starstation format.

Steve had the pleasure of working with some of the best, many who at one time or another worked at the legendary KLIF in Dallas. By the time Steve got on the radio, KLIF had already seen its better days. In 1998, Steve noticed a number of web sites for legendary top 40 stations, but a lack of anything about KLIF and Gordon McLendon, so Steve created KLIF History. The site includes much memorabilia and Steve has been contacted by virtually everyone still around from the glory days of KLIF.

In 1983, Steve called Gordon McLendon and talked about the old KLIF. Steve says, "Amazingly, he was quite forthcoming about it all. It appeared to me that no one had asked in a while. Of course, he would have been the one to write the history of KLIF, but he passed away in the mid 80's. This all brings us to my reason for being interested in KLIF. It was a HUGE station by all measurements, and commanded almost all the listeners in North Texas in the late 50's, all of the 60's and some of the early 70's. When it was hot, which was for a LONG time, it was untouchable. It is no doubt one of the most influential stations in the history of modern radio. McLendon and his staff were exceptional talents, many of whom continue in radio today. The tapes contributed to REELRADIO are from my private collection gathered from my own taping of KLIF years ago and from exchanges with others along the way. Enjoy!"

The Repository thanks Steve for sharing!

[Descriptions by Steve Eberhart]


PLAY Irving Harrigan, KLIF Dallas, 1960 (12:05)

. . . Just walk into a 7-11 store and say, 'I would like a KLIF Lucky Matchbook.' The proprietor will give you a blank look, friends. Fill out this blank look and mail it to the Milkman's Matinee . . .

Ron Chapman is heard as Irving Harrigan on the Milkman's Matinee all-night show in 1960. (This was before "Murphy and Harrigan" or "Charlie and Harrigan".)

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 16.2Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Charlie & Harrigan, KLIF Dallas, September 11, 1962 (30:08)

. . . would you shoot a little more on my donut, over here, please? I couldn't afford the glazed donut this morning . . .

Ron Chapman (Irving Harrigan) was teamed with Jack Woods (Charlie Brown) in this classic 1962 version of Charlie & Harrigan on Gordon McLendon's legendary KLIF in Dallas.

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PLAY Chuck Dunaway, KLIF Dallas, 1963 (13:38)

. . . At the electronic harmonic tone, KLIF time . . .

Chuck Dunaway was another of the great Top 40 jocks of the 60's. He did afternoons on KLIF in 1963.

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TOP STREAM 16.2Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY KBOX Dallas, November 22, 1963 (06:48)

. . . Something is wrong here, something is terribly wrong . . .

[See COMMENTS, this piece is apparently a re-creation, and not built with actual airchecks.]

KBOX was live in the motorcade and reported bulletins from their two mobile news units. Sam Pate was downtown in the motorcade and Ron Jenkins (later and now known as McAlister) was to pick it up when they arrived on Stemmons Freeway to head to the Trade Mart for the luncheon and speech. You'll also hear other studio reports from Bill Hampton and Dick Moore.

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TOP STREAM 16.2Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY KLIF Dallas, November 22, 1963 (1:03:28)

. . . three shots reportedly were fired at the motorcade of President Kennedy today . . .

On November 22 and 23, 2003, REELRADIO was proud to present an expanded eight hour replay of KLIF news coverage from November 22, 1963. A description for that anniversary-only special presentation is available here.
This recording is completely UNEDITED and direct from the KLIF logger tape. The audio is fair to good, and at times and you will hear an occasional 'ghosting' effect from the original analog tape.

The Rex Jones show is underway in normal format when the first bulletin is reported by newsman Gary DeLaune at 12:39 pm. The song "I Had A Boyfriend" by The Chiffons is interrupted. Amazingly, the initial coverage is sporadic and without many details as KLIF was somewhat caught with their pants down. The attitude seemed to be that of reporting on something that probably was nothing, and then you can tell when the attitude changes as they obviously realize the nature of what they were dealing with.

Jacqueline Kennedy reaches for scalp
With the fatally wounded President beside her, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy tries to retrieve a piece of her husband's scalp, seconds after the shooting.

A second bulletin interrupts at 12:44 and again with Joe Long on his mobile unit at 12:47. They are very careful NOT to say the President is dead as is being widely reported elsewhere! At 12:51, a fourth bulletin is heard, and then at 12:54 begins non-stop news coverage with Gary DeLaune and Joe Long in the mobile unit.

At 12:51 Gordon McLendon phones in a report from the Trade Mart and at 1:00 Joe Long arrives at the downtown KLIF studios and does a quick report before racing into the studios to anchor. Roy Nichols takes over in the mobile unit and reports at 1:08. Non-stop coverage continues with Joe Long and Gary DeLaune.

At 1:38 an erroneous report of a secret service agent is aired and at 1:38, Gordon McLendon arrives in the studio and begins co-anchoring with news director Joe Long. Gordon reports "strong rumors" that the President is dead". Long is quick to add that this is an unconfirmed report.

At 1:48pm Long and McLendon officially report that the President is dead.

The entire story of the coverage is included in my KLIF History Website.... [NOTE: An EDITED version of the actual aircheck of this day was issued on Capitol records in 1964. Titled "The Fateful Hours", much of the misreporting and errors were understandably taken out.]

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TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (20Khz)
PLAY Charlie and Harrigan, KLIF Dallas Groundhog Day 1965 (55:42)

. . . Elevator!? . . .

Charlie and Harrigan, KLIF February 1965
Charlie and Harrigan
KLIF February 1965

This outstanding aircheck features Charlie Brown played by Dan McCurdy, and Irving Harrigan played by Ron Chapman on the legendary KLIF in February, 1965.

Chapman created the role of Irving Harrigan at KLIF, working originally with Tom Murphy as part of "Murphy and Harrigan". After Tom, Jack Woods, known at KLIF at the time as "Charlie Brown", moved from afternoon drive to co-host the morning show with Chapman. In 1964, Woods left and overnighter Dan Patrick (Dan McCurdy) auditioned for the part of Charlie Brown and to his surprise, got the gig! McCurdy and Chapman did Charlie and Harrigan in 1964 and 1965, whereupon the dynamic duo split up and two new C&H's were hired at KLIF.

This tape was contributed as recorded, before the final air chain processing. (REELRADIO processes all online exhibits for consistency and clarity) and is from a 1965 reel recording (fragile as it is), made at the KLIF studio. It begins with the 8:00 a.m. news in progress featuring KLIF Managing Editor, the legendary Joe Long. His rapid-fired "voice of God" delivery was at one time one of the most imitated news voices in the industry. The first half-hour of the tape is a running bit from C&H on Groundhog Day 1965. The premise being the groundhog had come up and seen his shadow, and before descending back down to his burrow, decided to take C&H along to show them his "swinging bachelor pad" beneath the KLIF Triangle Point studios in downtown Dallas! This is true Charlie & Harrigan at their finest satirical zany best! Talk about stringing along an audience for quarter hour maintenance — these guys were masters at the art.

KLIF DALLAS

The second half-hour is back to typical C&H bits and schtick. Even Long does a stint at humor in the second half-hour, said to be indeed a rare display for this very serious newsman!

Sit back and close your eyes as you are transposed to Groundhog Day 1965, Dallas, Texas, and the Giant Mighty 1190.

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PLAY Jimmy Rabbitt, KLIF Dallas, 1966 (04:38)

. . . the old, unsteady hand of yours truly, which is James Rabbitt . . .

Jimmy Rabbitt is heard in afternoons on KLIF in 1966, hosting the Proctor & Gamble Swing Ding.

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PLAY Randy Robins, KLIF Dallas, July 1973 (4:46)

. . . ya'll stay with me while I get it up just a little bit here . . .

Randy Robins was one of the great "shuck & jive" Top 40 jocks. Robins was from East Texas and had worked at KFJZ in Ft. Worth in the 60's, then made the rounds at some of the biggest Top 40 stations of the time. (He can be heard on Bootleg Top 40 Volume I at KIMN in Denver.) He also did a stint at WQXI.

He did nights on KLIF beginning in the summer of '73 and stayed until late '74, crossing town to do nights at McLendon's KNUS-FM. He returned to KLIF in 1977 during one of their last serious attempts at Top 40, after which he retired from radio and went into record promotion. He worked for Ariola Records in Dallas, and then became the long-time Capitol rep in Denver.

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Steve Eberhart's KVIL Collection

Additional Exhibits in The Steve Eberhart Collection...
Don Keyes, KLIF Dallas, February 6, 1956 (RESTORED)
Hal Martin, KLIF Dallas, August 28, 1968
Ken Dowe & Granny, KLIF Dallas, 1969
Rod Roddy, Paxton Mills, KLIF Dallas Talk Show Paul Is Dead 1970
John Butler, KLIF Dallas, October 16, 1970
Charlie Van Dyke, KLIF Dallas, February 16, 1979

The Steve Eberhart Collection has been part of REELRADIO since February 21, 1999.


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