Mike Lynch at 16
High School Junior
Mike Lynch at 16

Mike Lynch, 1999
Mike in 1999

Mike Lynch at KRTH
Mike at KRTH

The Mike Lynch Collection

Mike Lynch was lucky enough to grow up in Southern California while listening to KHJ, KFI and his Dad's favorite, KNX.

According to Mike, "I found myself wondering why our family favorites had three call letters while most of the other L.A. stations had four. Did they assign call letters based on which stations were the most popular? My curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided to do some digging in the form of a class project when I was a junior in high school. It was this thirst for knowledge that not only earned me an A plus, but lead me to a career in L.A. radio with KSBR, KABC and KRTH Los Angeles, where I work today as a board-op and production assistant.

My quest first took me eastward to Pittsburgh and the country's first radio station station KDKA. But wait a minute, that's four calls, not three!. Okay, I'll make an exception, after all it was the first, or was it?

Lee DeForrest
Lee DeForrest
According to most researchers, Dr. Lee DeForrest was the first to broadcast a regular series of voice transmissions from an experimental station in New York as early as 1907. Then there was Charles Herrold of San Jose who put "FN" on the air in the spring of 1909. By 1912-13, he was identifing the signal as "SJN", then 6XF in 1916. The station which was granted a commercial broadcast license as KQW in 1921 eventually became KCBS, San Francisco. Still others believe WWJ Detroit was first when it began a regularly scheduled broadcast of programing in the summer of 1920 as 8MK. KNX, Los Angeles also went on the air about the same time as 6ADZ...

But without question, it was KDKA Pittsburgh that applied for and was granted the very first commercial broadcast license by the Commerce Department on October 27th, 1920.

Needless to say, this collection focuses on some these early pioneers as they sounded in the 1950's, 60's and 70's."

The Repository thanks Mike Lynch for sharing!

[Descriptions by Mike Lynch]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (16 Khz)
Bob Crane, KNX Los Angeles, February 13, 1960 (12:50)

. . . Little Theatre? Stay with it . . .

[Description by Mike Lynch]

KNX was born when Fred Christian, an ex-Marconi shipboard wireless operator on the Middlesex in 1919, put together a five-watt transmitter, the forerunner of KNX. He was first granted the call letters 6ADZ, later changed to KGC, and finally to KNX. Christian began broadcasting on September 10, 1920 by playing recorded music borrowed from music stores and technically becoming L.A.'s first disc jockey.

Bob Crane Studio, KNX, 1950's
Bob Crane's KNX Studio,
circa 1950's
By the Summer of 1922, about 22 other stations in and around the Los Angeles area were broadcasting on a shared single wave length of 360 meters, but KNX was one of the only three stations to gain success and go onto a long history of continuous operation. In 1929, KNX increased power to 5,000 watts, then 10,000 in 1932, 25,000 watts in 1933 and finally, 50,000 watts in 1934.

In 1938, KNX moved into the new KNX/CBS Studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood which became famous as "Columbia Square". It was here that the great CBS Radio stars such as Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Jack Benny,

Bob Crane Composite
A composite photo of Bob Cranes, autographed "To Jim, the best engineer since our Saturday show began, Thanks so much, Bob Crane"

Gene Autry, Steve Allen, Edgar Bergen, Bing Crosby, Orson Welles, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, George Burns and Gracie Allen made history broadcasting their shows in front of a live audience.

In the 1940's and 50's KNX served as a moderately successful music and personality station featuring CBS network shows hosted by Art Linkletter and Arthur Godfrey. But it wasn't until Bob Crane arrived at KNX to do mornings that KNX radio became a dominant force in the L.A. market. Other notable talents included Bill Ballance, Rege Cordic, Jim Hawthorne and Michael Jackson.

Bob Crane in a fuzzy sweater
This aircheck features Bob Crane and his brilliant engineer celebrating their 5th KNX anniversary show. It includes a hilarious interview with comedian Jonathan Winters. Crane remained at KNX until 1965 when he departed to pursue his acting career. His role as Col. Robert Hogan on the hit TV series Hogan's Heroes catapulted him to international stardom. But tragically, in the early morning hours of June 29th, 1978, Bob Crane was murdered in his Scottsdale AZ. apartment as he slept.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (16 Khz)
Dick Drury, KQV Pittsburgh, 1963 (10:02)

. . . KQV Signal Green is in effect on all major arteries . . .

[Description by Mike Lynch]

KQV is one of the oldest radio stations in the world signing on the air as 8ZAE on November 19, 1919. In January, 1921 a legend was born when 8ZAE changed it's call letters to KQV, "King of the Quaker Valley".

Originally, KQV began broadcasting on 833 Khz on the AM radio dial, then moved to 1090 in 1925, 1110 in 1927, 1380 in 1931 and finally, 1410 Khz in March 29, 1941. By 1944 the station was serving as a "full service" outlet which became known as a "Live and Lively" format and included music, news and various programs from the NBC "blue" network.

On Thursday August 29, 1957 the American Broadcasting Company paid $700,000 for the station and after only five months, on January 1, 1958, KQV switched from its "Live and Lively" format to top forty, which lasted for almost two decades. KQV's original top 40 line-up included Chuck Dougherty at 6 am, Don McNeill's Breakfast Club at 9, Herb Oscar Anderson at 10, Henry DaBecco at 11, Jim Reeves at 1 pm, Jim Backus at 2 pm, Sam Holman at 3 pm, Merv Griffin at 7:15 pm and Dave Scott 9p to midnight. The ABC parade of stars was cleverly integrated into KQV's local programing. According to KQV historian Jeff Roteman, "It was an exciting time for radio as the stations did battle; KDKA with 50,000 watts and all the heritage against KQV, the first ABC owned station to make the switch to top 40."

In October 1975, KQV ended the top forty era of its illustrious history and began serving Pittsburgh with an All News format. The last night of the top 40 format on KQV was anchored by disk jockeys George Dart and Billy Soule.

Some of KQV's other outstanding personalities included Dex Allen, Hal Murray, Fred Winston, Joey Reynolds, Chuck Brinkman, Porky Chadwick, Rick Shaw and, Dick Drury, heard here in 1963.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7 Kbps (14.5 Khz)
Martin and Howard, KYW Cleveland, 1965 (15:13)

. . . the boys who brought dignity back to Cleveland and radio in general . . .

[Description by Mike Lynch]

[Aircheck courtesy of Bill Tash]

The KYW broadcast journey began in Chicago on Armistice Day, 1921. KYW was one of only seven radio stations licensed to broadcast commercially in the United states. KYW, jointly owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting and the Edison Company, was airing performances of the Chicago Opera Company. The station later had the distinction of carrying the first NFL football games with regular broadcasts of both the Bears and Cardinals.

In 1934, KYW began a strange odyssey which took them to Philadelphia, and then to Cleveland in January, 1956. The station remained in Cleveland for nine years on 1100 Khz with 50Kw. When the station departed for Philadelphia in 1965, NBC took control of the Cleveland facility and the station became WKYC. KYW is the only radio station in history to operate from three different markets in four moves.

Three years after moving to Cleveland, KYW entered the top 40 arena and took WHK head-on for the rock radio title. At the time, KYW showcased some of the the country's best air talents, including: Jay Lawrence, Jerry G. Bishop, Dennis James, Jim Runyon, Bill Winters, Don L. Brink, Joel Sebastian, and the popular morning duo of Harry Martin and Specs Howard, featured here from 1965.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (16 Khz)
Bob Shannon, KDKA Pittsburgh, November 2, 1973 (14:20)

KDKA Top 100 of 1972
KDKA Top 100 of 1972.
The original printed piece is 5 inches wide by 22 inches long. Click to enlarge (BIG file: 130KB)
. . . the toy is called 'Modern World', and no matter how the kid does it, it comes out wrong . . .

[Description by Mike Lynch]

It began on November 2, 1920 when Leo Rosenberg broadcast the results of the Harding-Cox Presidential election. KDKA wasn't the first broadcaster, but the station's claim as "the first " is correct if you consider that it was the first commercial radio station to be issued a broadcasting license.

It was KDKA that hired the first full-time radio announcer in broadcast history when Harold W. Arlin came on board as the station's staff announcer. Arlin introduced many great celebrities such as William Jennings Bryan and Will Rogers.

KDKA was also first with a regularly scheduled church service in January, 1921 as well as first with the broadcast of a Professional Baseball Game between the Pirates and Phillies in August of the same year.

By 1946 KDKA was still broadcasting the "Farm Hour News" every weekday morning at six along with a "full service" format inlcuding news, sports interviews, and play-by-play coverage of the Pirates, Penquins and Steelers. In the late 50's KDKA began blending top forty music into their format and the battle of Pittsburgh was on.

But with the help of its powerful TV outlet, KDKA (Channel 2), Clark Race was able to stay ahead of KQV in spite of the fact that KQV was rocking around the clock while KDKA was airing live sports events.

By the late 60's and 70's KDKA and KQV were joined in the top forty battle by two other AM rockers, 13Q and WIXZ. But the 50,000 watt KDKA continued to dominate the Pittsburgh market, as it does today with a 24 hour News-Talk format.

Bob Shannon, 1972
Bob Shannon,
Some of KDKA's great personalties have included Clark Race, Rege Cordic, Terry McGovern, Buzz Brindle, Jack Armstrong and, Bob Shannon, heard here on the station's 53rd anniversary.

At the time, Shannon was working at both KDKA and WIXY Cleveland. He went on to do mornings at KDWB Minneapolis/St. Paul and afternoons at KHJ and KFI Los Angeles.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (16 Khz)
Lohman and Barkley, KFI Los Angeles, 1977 (14:20)

. . . this common kind of contest in radio, it's called diminishing value . . .

[Description by Mike Lynch]

KFI began when Earle C. Anthony set up a homemade 50-watt radio transmitter in his garage and started broadcasting on 640 AM in 1922. Initially, KFI gained a reputation for broadcasts of live events from the Los Angeles Opera House. In 1927, the first coast-to-coast transcontinental sportscast originated from KFI when the station aired the Rose Bowl game between Stanford and Alabama. By the mid-thirties, one notable afternoon personality was syndicated columnist and comedian Will Rogers.

Billboard picture: KFI 64 Today Shit Parade

From the November 25, 1977 issue of Radio and Records: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? KFI/Los Angeles recently blanketed the L.A. metro area with billboards. Amazingly enough one of the beautiful KFI boards was posted directly across from the KHJ/Los Angeles studios. Apparently the temptation was just too much as the billboard was "edited" by "Midnight Grudge Productions" and the result can be seen above.

By the mid 1960's and continuing into the mid 70's, KFI was renowned for outstanding personalities like Lohman & Barkley, Sweet Dick Whittington, Dave Hull, Emperor Bob Hudson and Perry Allen while placing a heavy emphasis on News and Sports.

In late 1976, KFI surprised the industry by venturing into the top forty arena to do battle with KHJ and 10Q. The initial lineup featured Lohman & Barkley in morning drive, Eric Chase and Mark Taylor splitting the midday, Bob Shannon in afternoon drive, and Dave Diamond, Charlie Fox and Danny Martinez at night.

Official KFI Publicity Photo for Lohman and Barkley, covered with cream pie
Official KFI Publicity Photo for Lohman and Barkley
This aircheck spotlights two of the funniest people to ever grace the L.A. Market, Al Lohman and Roger Barkley. Their tremendous success at KFI lasted for almost 20 years, making them one of the most popular morning teams ever.

Al Lohman came to KFI in 1968 after stints at WABC and KFWB. From KFI, Al went on to the legendary KRLA. He passed away October 13, 2002, at the age of 69. Roger Barkley arrived at KFI in 1968 after stops at KIMN Denver and KFWB, Los Angeles. Roger earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He passed away on December 21, 1997, at the age of 61.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (16 Khz)
Bob Shannon, KFI Los Angeles, 1977 (10:19)

. . . it's about a 1000 pound streetwalker . . .
Bob Shannon KFI Publicity Photo
Bob Shannon, KFI, 1977

[Description by Mike Lynch]

This KFI aircheck is from the summer of 1977 and features afternoon drive personality Bob Shannon.

From KFI Shannon went on to KHJ, KLAC and Oldies Radio, KRTH(FM)/Los Angeles.

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More to Come from The Mike Lynch Collection!

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