Here’s where you can hear the best classic radio DJs all together
I’ve mentioned MixCloud.Com before, but recently the postings are so superb that I have to mention it again.
MixCloud’s Retro Radio Joe (mixcloud.com/retroradiojoe) and Radio Maven 77 (mixcloud.com/rob-frankel) have both been posting material that is a virtual history of top-40, freeform FM and album-oriented radio so varied, I honestly have no clue where the material came from.
Recent additions include:
• Dusty Street on KROQ (106.7 FM) from 1984. This was still KROQ’s new wave infancy, as it was quickly becoming the place to find new music. Street is one of the originals, and this is a great listen.
• KKDJ’s (now KIIS, 102.7 FM) Rewind ’73 Year in Review with Charlie Tuna. I’ve heard this before, but it is still a great listen. Music and news of 1973 as Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War dominated the newscasts
• Dave Diamond on KBLA (formerly at 1500 AM) from 1965. KBLA was a creative force that had the talent and music … all it lacked was a signal and a budget to truly compete. Diamond is always amazing and this is him in a more relaxed post-KHJ vibe.
• Charlie Tuna on KHJ (930 AM) from 1972. Tuna is one of the best DJs ever, no matter the format. He did top-40, oldies, country, and more. Here he is in his early element, absolutely flawless.
• JJ Jackson from KLOS (95.5 FM) in 1978. Jackson was smooth, smart, and loved music. Here he is long before his MTV VJ gig, using the on-air style only he could do.
• B. Mitchel Reed on KLOS from 1981. Reed is one of the early freeform DJs heard here playing album rock.
• Bob Crane on KNX (1070 AM) from 1964. Crane was immensely popular on the radio, with a friendly personality that served him well when he transitioned to television’s “Hogan’s Heroes.” Here is hosts one of the most popular morning shows ever heard on KNX.
There’s much, much more, including Jack Snyder, Paraquat Kelly and Mary Turner on KMET (now KTWV, 94.7 FM), a montage of KHJ’s Summer Jam programming from 1975 — which includes Billy Pearl, a separate Pearl recording, and much more. Absolutely worth checking out if you’re a radio geek like me.
Station for Students
Most of the hosts — the non-students — of the award-winning Mornings on the Beach, heard on 22 West Media (88.1 HD3 and 22westmedia.com) weekdays from 8-9 a.m., left the program in December, so the search for replacements is getting going.
The program is produced on the campus of California State University, Long Beach, and apparently it’s hard to recruit students to host a program on a student-run radio station when said students are off for winter break, especially when the latest surge in COVID cases has kept the campus closed down more than normal.
But station manager Danny Lemos told me that the search for radio’s next stars has begun in earnest. He calls it “The Next Big Broadcast Star Search,” which will be conducted virtually. CSULB students — applicants must be currently registered at the University — with a “more than average” interest in radio and broadcasting are encouraged to apply through the 22 West Media web page.
Lemos says that sample audio or video files can be uploaded at the time of the application submission. “We are looking for students with a strong interest in broadcasting and a positive attitude to lead the show, learn radio skills, and have a ton of fun!” Questions about the process can be directed to email@example.com.
The rest of the story
Last week’s tribute to former DJ Billy Pearl, who passed away two weeks ago, included a couple of minor inaccuracies. As it turns out, Pearl was indeed hired by one programmer and let go by another, but it was Gary Cagle who was the former and Charlie Van Dyke the latter. Insiders tell me that it was Pearl himself who brought his tenure to an end, not a change in station direction.
Writing at http://kenlevine.blogspot.com, Pearl’s former college roommate Ken Levine said: “Apparently he made his displeasure known inside the building to the point where he was let go after maybe one year. And think about it, for a station to fire one of their absolute best and most popular performers, he must’ve driven them scooters.”
Doesn’t take away from his talent, but it does explain the short tenure at KHJ. And as Levine’s post suggests, it reminds us to appreciate our blessings.