Curt Lundgren, KUXL, 1967
Curt Lundgren,
KUXL, 1967

Curt Lundgren and Clive Davis Curt Lundgren interviews Clive Davis in 1975

Curt Lundgren, 1999
Curt, 1999

The Curt Lundgren Collection

It was his attachment to music which first steered Curt Lundgren toward a 30 year career in radio broadcasting. A native of the Twin Cities, his first station (AM daytimer KUXL/Golden Valley) was a unique introduction. KUXL featured back-to-back radio preachers from sign-on till 1:00 pm, and from 1:00 pm till sundown, the station was R&B. Curt has fond memories of working with classic radio gear like Magnecorders & the venerable Ampex 350 and 601, the famous RCA 77DX microphone, and a first-generation rack of (Collins ATC) cart machines.

Curt Lundgren and his 1960 Buick LeSabre
Curt loves all things automotive, like this 1960 Buick LeSabre
Stints at WMIN/St. Paul and WHEW/FM in Ft. Myers, Florida exposed Curt to Country....KYMN in Northfield, Minnesota (under the Twin Cities umbrella) was a good training ground in small market broadcasting. Curt attended Brown Institute and spent 22 years at WCCO-FM and WCCO where he interviewed hundreds of greats and near-greats, ranging from Sha Na Na to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One of Curt's most satisfying gigs was consulting for an oldies outlet in Duluth, MN in 1984. Curt currently freelances from his home in suburban Minneapolis, and is available as a music consultant/historian, in addition to doing weekend air work at Adult Standards/KLBB. He was most recently a content developer for "Rockin' Rhythm 50" and "PreFab 60s" at Netradio Vintage Rock. We are fortunate to have Curt's contributions and ongoing participation. Thank you, Curt!

[Descriptions by Curt Lundgren]


Most of these airchecks were taped on a mid-50s Revere T-77163 reel-to-reel machine (except as noted) with a built-in AM radio, 3 3/4 ips, half-track. The machine weighs 45 pounds.

Minneapolis/St. Paul was typical in the 60s, in that there were two fierce top-forty competitors slugging it out. On the west side of the Mississippi, Storz' outlet WDGY at 50 kilowatts... and in St. Paul, KDWB, which was 5 kw days, 500 watts night. My preference as a teenager was always KD, because its jocks were more clever, the music hipper and the format not terribly structured. Some real greats were there, especially in the late 50s through late 60s.

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
Peter May, WDGY Minneapolis-St. Paul, August 1961 (15:50)

. . . stampin' out TV . . .

Peter (Huntington, "Hookshot") May also worked at KDWB a couple of times and spent some time in San Diego with Buzz Bennett. This is from a reel I "borrowed" from Pete - recorded right off the console in 1961.

How about that music mix? When was the last time you heard Tex Ritter and The Mar-Keys on the same station?

Pete and I worked together at WCCO-FM, and then in 1984 he contracted me to provide the music for an oldies start-up in Duluth, MN. Pete bought and brought back to life a dead-stick kilowatt daytimer on 1390, calling it K-BEST (KBXT). The best part was blowing away most demos in the first book! Pete currently publishes a surburban newspaper in the Twin Cities.

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Hal Murray, KDWB Minneapolis, 1961 (24:28)

. . . I should have stayed home and phoned the show in . . .

KDWB FAB FORTY 1961 This one's genesis is unknown, but was obviously taped right off the board. Murray (formerly at WNEW, New York) came to KD sometime around 1960, doing mornings 6-9 am. During sister station KFWB's labor trouble (1961), Crowell-Collier shipped him to Los Angeles to do mornings. (The company also got Bobby Dale to work B. Mitchel Reed's KFWB shift during the strike!)

Sometime in the summer of 1962, Murray and Jim O'Neill (afternoon drive) swapped shifts until March of '63 — when they swapped back again. Murray stayed with KDWB until 1964, then left for KQV/Pittsburgh.

Murray's style is almost vaudevillian, sounding like Jim Backus doing standup. Newsman Art Blaske later "crossed over" to Storz competitor WDGY.

Murray died September 17th, 1988 at the age of 67.

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PLAY Sam Babcock, WDGY Minneapolis-St. Paul, July 1964 (8:24)

Influencibles - Growing and Buying!WDGY
From a 1966 WDGY sales brochure.
. . . Now, WEEDGEE's Millie Small at the top of the hour! When WEED-GEE music stops, that's news! . . .

The "gasser" out of news at the top is The Grind, by a local group called Gregory Dee & The Avanties. Those were the days when a local band could have a big hit. Leader Greg D. Maland was in my high school.

Storz' WDGY was Tiger Radio in those days, when there were lots of Beatles singles on the air. I don't remember a thing about Sam Babcock — I was a faithful listener to the "Good Guys" of Crowell-Collier's KDWB.

[Sam Babcock passed away December 11, 1971]

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PLAY Jim O'Neill, KDWB Minneapolis 2/7/66 (17:30)

. . . Today, the need for Americans to know a language other than their own . . .

I always loved Jim O'Neill's very hip, adult style. This man held forth in the afternoons from roughly early 1962 until Fall of 1967, when he left for WLW in Cincinnati. After he moved to WLW, I would get up early enough to catch him from 5 to 9 am.

Note the Batman craze reflected prominently as a contest feature. I think this is just about the time the show was a huge (twice weekly) hit for ABC.

O'Neill always closed an hour (over an unnamed instrumental) with the "warm, wise & witty words" of someone. Adult? How many kids understood:

"... for now, I leave you with the warm, wise and witty words of Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse Tung who once said, 'I don't know, Al - I don't mind negotiating with the Americans so much, but an hour after we're through arguin' I'm HUNGRY again'.."

This 'check is terribly reminiscent for me, because I can also hear the slight "whine" coming from the living room television upstairs. I was a high school senior when this aircheck was made.

Jim O'Neill did some fill-in work on WSAI back in 1995. He passed away on June 24, 2004.

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PLAY Charlie Tuna and Others, KOMA Oklahoma City, 1966 (15:16)

. . . What's the favorite brand of Tuna in Oklahoma City? . . .

This one is a few dubs out, but it does feature a young Charlie Tuna, complete with Tonto (!) and drop-ins and things you never got to hear him do at KHJ. Tuna leads the first 6 minutes of this composite of legendary KOMA.

The jock who followed Tuna was not identified, but has been guessed as Ross Jay, by Jay Marks. (COMMENT below, if you have a better guess.) Mike Mitchell is in early afternoon, Dale Wehba (thanks to Jay Marks for the spelling, from 1965 KOMA survey) was doing afternoon drive, Ron Childs was the evening guy, and Jim Dandy is featured with a short portion of his overnight show at the end.

Note the jingle intros for "The Supremes" and "The Cyrkle".

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Bobby Wayne, KDWB Minneapolis, 9-28 1966 (17:25)

. . . Thank you Mr. Wayne. . .


Bobby Wayne (picture courtesy Paul Urbahns)
I was at Brown Institute of Broadcasting at this point, & I had the presence of mind to dedicate a 2,400 foot reel of Scotch's best (four hours, both directions) to the locals.

Bobby Wayne (d. September 1990) did what used to be "prime time" for teens of the era: The high-energy evening hours when we were out cruising or home hitting the books. This one is loaded with drop-ins, very tight production elements and even shortened versions of the hits.

In addition to KDWB, Wayne worked at WWHY, Huntington, West Virginia; WSAI Cincinnati, OH; KCBQ San Diego, CA. (1967-68); WUBE Cincinnati (1968-69, Bob "The Wizard" Wayne); WCBS-FM New York, 1969-72 (as "The Wizard"), WYNY and WHN, New York.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps 9Khz
Jim Dandy, WDGY Minneapolis, September 28, 1966 (01:01:13)
Play Scoped Original 3.0 'SCOPED Version (23:11)

. . . The most listened-to show in the Twin Cities . . .

Jim Dandy
Jim Dandy, 1966

WDGY 30 Star Survey
Click To Enlarge
I taped this the same day as the KDWB Bobby Wayne aircheck. They were, in fact, up against each other. I never saw an Arbitron (or Pulse, for that matter), but I know Jim Dandy won that battle. His numbers were always good.

Check the length of the ad-lib "learn to fly" spot. If memory serves, Jim was taking flying lessons from them at the time! Note that KOMA in Oklahoma City also had a Jim Dandy at the time; no relation. And not in the same talent league, either.

I later came to know Dandy (Jim Everts) during his second term at 'DGY. In fact, I slept on the floor of his Bloomington apartment at more than one party aftermath. Dandy used to have a case of vodka delivered to the station every Friday evening.

I particularly remember him deciding on the spur of the moment to drive to Northfield, MN (fifty miles south) to scout some St. Olaf College girls who'd been tantalizing him over the phone. Fine. Except for the raging snowstorm at the time. Off we went in his Coupe De Ville. He was a party guy, but could always get it up for the show.

Jim passed away on October 20, 2010.

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Gary Granger, WQXI Atlanta GA, December 22 1967 (18:41)

. . . The Tongue will be out tonight . . .

Here's another of the airchecks I made with the Revere while traveling. This was the night after my stop in Louisville. After driving all day I would: 1) Check into a motel 2) Tote the beast into the room and tune around to find the local top 40 outlet 3) Slap a reel on and go to dinner.

It turned out I was taping the night of the WQXI (790) Christmas party (at the Regency Hyatt House). We get to hear the low man in the pecking order, Gary Granger, subbing for regular Jim Jeffries. The 6:00 news segment starts the tape — note the heavy reverb. Also nicely captured, the jocks "Merry Christmas" wish. Dr. Don Rose was doing mornings then.

In the 60s, you didn't get to use much Interstate when driving from Minnesota to Florida. It took four days (two, now) and included some twisty two lanes in Tennessee & Georgia. I remember driving south for three days, then pulling into Atlanta in 37 degree weather. In fact, I think there was actually a snowfall overnight.

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Bobby Davis, KDWB Minneapolis, 1-22-67 (15:16)

. . . You'll win yourself a record of your choice from the Big Six Plus Thirty . . .

KDWB BIG 6 PLUS 30 1967

One of my favorite airchecks. Bobby Davis was kind of flakey, and used to do characters - but he's pretty straight here. Listen for my nominee for best :02 ramp fill ever on the intro to Tell It Like It Is.

I was at my first station at the time, KUXL in Suburban Golden Valley, playing Rhythm & Blues. (This was a couple of years after Wolfman Jack left our "Big X" for those high-powered Mexicans, XERB in Southern California, and XERF in Del Rio, Tejas.) Davis came from KOMA in Oklahoma City. I don't know where he went after KDWB.

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Jay Reynolds, WIFE Indianapolis, January 3, 1968 (22:05)

. . . serving the great midwest from Indianapolis . . .

Jay Reynolds, WIFE
Jay Reynolds at WIFE. (Picture courtesy Brian Smith)
I taped this on the way back from Florida. The Revere and I were forced to check in early in Indy by an ice storm. So, I got two hours of afternoon driver Jay Reynolds on long-time market leader WIFE.

Now, some would call him a "puker", and I guess that's so. But put into the sixties context, he's similar to many others. I remember Johnny Dollar on WDGY sounded the same. Note the traffic airplane, pretty hip stuff for Mid-America at the time, and the promo for Roger W. Morgan and his "morgan" show.

WIFE seemed to be between classic PAMS series and acapellas at this time. But what more appropriate promotion for WIFE than Bridal Fair? Fledgling WIFE-FM is promoted as "part of the good life at the top of your FM dial". Also included is a full unscoped newscast from Tom Conner. Have we forgotten when overseas radio news reports sounded like shortwave? This one documents the second heart transplant by Dr. Christian Barnard.

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Ricky the K, Bill Meeks and others, KOMA Oklahoma City, 1991 (1:01:28)

. . . Get a long-term contract . . .

Bill Meeks
Bill Meeks
(picture courtesy Ben Fong-Torres with credit to Don Worsham)
Ricky The K is featured on KOMA in 1991 with PAMS founder Bill Meeks (d. 1999), and veteran air talents Jack Armstrong and Dan Ingram.
PLAY Part One Bill Meeks early jingles, early Top 40 radio, KLIF, promotions, WKRP, Jack Ruby
PLAY Part Two Jack Armstrong resume, WAYS, Stan Kaplan, WMEX, bootlegging, Rick Dees, talking fast, legendary sign-off
PLAY Part Three Bill Meeks KFWB, Bill Drake, early days with Gordon McLendon
PLAY Part Four Bill Meeks Todd Storz and the Storz stations, the "Flinch" system, WQAM vs. KLIF, Don Burden
PLAY Part Five Dan Ingram KBOX, MacKenzie Repeater, jingles, promotions, WABC, Hal Neal, Rick Sklar, Beatles exclusives, Radio London
PLAY Part Six Bill Meeks WOKY, Bartell, Houston, Phoenix, John Box, Canadian radio

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G2 5.0 compatible Aphex TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
PLAY KDWB 35th Anniversary, October 1, 1994 (1:11:04)

. . . I am so glad that you called - we were trying to find somebody to pick up lunch . . .

I missed even hearing about this event, until I made a routine call to the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting here. The curator, Steve Raymer, is an old friend, and he made this copy available. (KDWB-FM is still alive and online!)


PLAY Lou Waters reads the Governor's Proclamation

PLAY Sam Sherwood tells the story of Formula 63

PLAY Chris Roberts and the Transatlantic Exclusive

PLAY Sam Sherwood and the Giant Christmas Cookie

PLAY Mark Anderson and the KDWB Fire

PLAY Softball with Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin

... plus: The FCC Fine, Raft Races and Hotdoggers, Jackson Ross (what an act!) and more. Listen!

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Governor Arnie Carlson declared October 1, 1994 as KDWB day in Minnesota, and KDWB-FM invited the original KDWB staff to celebrate the station's 35th anniversary. A few classic jingles and airchecks are included, but the main feature are the priceless stories.

Featured: Sam Sherwood, Paul Hedberg, Lou Waters (Riegert), Chris Roberts (Harley Worthit, Lord Douglas), "Bullet" Bob Lang, Mark Anderson, Barry McKinna (Seward), True Don Blue, Chuck Buell, Jackson Ross and Mike Segal.

Additional Exhibits in The Curt Lundgren Collection...
Al Risen, Lee Gray, WKLO Louisville, 12-21-1967
John Mack Flanagan, KFRC San Francisco, 1977
The Flag, by Charlie Van Dyke, 1976
Doctor Don Rose, KFRC San Francisco, January 1977
KDWB Monkees Broadcast, August 4, 1967
Tac Hammer, KDWB Minneapolis-St.Paul 1967
Natural Neal, KYA San Francisco, January 1977
The Making of The History of Rock and Roll
History of Rock and Roll 1981 Excerpts
Gene Clark, WMAK Nashville TN January 1968
The True Don Bleu, KDWB Minneapolis-St.Paul October 1968
Drake-Chenault, The First 20 Years, 1981
Sam Van Zandt, KIOI San Francisco CA., August 29, 1978
Eric Chase, KFI Los Angeles, August 31, 1979

The Curt Lundgren Collection has been part of REELRADIO since January 4, 1998

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