Spokane Radio History

A look back at various radio stations

Spokane Radio History

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed May 11, 2011 3:15 pm

A nice little site I stumbled upon by accident:
http://spokaneradio.philcobill.com/
Do a little exploring and click on anything labeled "galleries" to find some great pictures of buildings and studios (KHQ, KJRB, KGA etc) and legendary personalities (Charlie Brown, Norm Gregory, Gary Taylor).
Even a few weekly surveys we haven't yet seen here.
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby Dan Sys » Thu May 12, 2011 12:30 pm

Cool site! I still maintain that one of the highest energy Top 40 stations I ever heard was KGA 1510 back in 1968 when they flirted with the format for a year or so. A jock called Shane, who was on in the evenings, especially comes to mind.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby pieinthesky » Thu May 12, 2011 12:32 pm

That is a neat little site. I hope he gets more station histories as I'm very interested in some of the FM stations that used to recieve via FM cable.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby skyvalleyradio » Thu May 12, 2011 12:34 pm

I've had this site bookmarked for a few years now - all of the station histories are well written and entertaining. Suburban/rimshotters are included too
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby skyvalleyradio » Thu May 12, 2011 12:37 pm

Dan - I fondly remember listening to KGA as a Top 40 in 1968, however it was KJRB 790 that really kicked ass as a rocker in Spokane! KJRB was owned by Danny Kaye & Lester Smith who also owned KJR Seattle and KXL Portland
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby Dan Sys » Thu May 12, 2011 2:34 pm

KJRB 790 was a rare catch back in the day thanks to KGMI in Bellingham. I recall hearing them a few times in the KGMI null, but not nearly good enough to sit down & give them some serious listening.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby Muzik » Thu May 12, 2011 4:31 pm

KJRB would skip in to Saskatoon during the 70's. They were a decent sounding station.I would listen from time to time.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby jon » Thu May 12, 2011 4:35 pm

Dan Sys wrote:KJRB 790 was a rare catch back in the day thanks to KGMI in Bellingham. I recall hearing them a few times in the KGMI null, but not nearly good enough to sit down & give them some serious listening.

Because of the geography of the situation, those of us in East Burnaby had it a little easier than you, when it came to listening to KJRB (formerly KNEW) with KGMI on the air. Overall though, more painful than listening to XERB under KING on 1090, but with other stations causing havoc, too.

Once my father helped me build a decent 4' tuned box loop, and before CJJC moved to 800, KGMI could be easily nulled pretty much completely, but it left CFCW, not KJRB, pretty much in the clear.

The result was pretty much the same: I never got to listen to much of KJRB/KNEW.

I did listen to a fair amount of KXLY for a while around 1964 or 1965, as they came in quite well in the evening, and were Top 40. But, like you, it was KGA that always provided the best signal from Spokane: 24/7 in the winter months. And for one short year (of Top 40) were simply a joy to listen to. Mostly evenings with Shane, admittedly.

I don't know the exact date, but I think it was early in their Top 40 year that KGA built a new transmitter site that gave them a dynamite signal. More than 10 years later, visiting San Diego, they were the strongest non-local on the dial (I'm counting Tijuana and area as local). Up to the end of the Top 40 era, they continued to use the old transmitter site for station events that involved large numbers of listeners.

I only own 3-4 EKKO stamps, and KGA is one of them.

As for other Spokane stations, my grandfather built his first radio, a "Cat's Whisker", to listen to the Jack Dempsey world championship fight on KHQ in the mid-1920s. He lived in Spokane during the 1920s, moving to Burnaby shortly after the Depression hit.

Philco Bill, who runs the site, is a DX'er from way back.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby radiofan » Thu May 12, 2011 5:59 pm

KJRB/KNEW was the farm team for KJR .. most of the big name late 60's and early 70's jocks on KJR had put in time in Spokane. Larry Lujack, Emperor Smith, Norm Gregory etc.

I believe Philco Bill is a member of RW, but has never posted anything.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby skyvalleyradio » Thu May 12, 2011 6:12 pm

Dan - I never did hear KJRB growing up in Kerrisdale in the 60's due to interference from KGMI - even once I got my beloved Hallicrafters S-38 receiver, home-made loop & long-wire. However, I do remember a few family road-trips passing through Spokane with KJRB blasting my ears through my little portable radio & earphone. Since then, I've heard airchecks of Norm Gregory on KJRB and they're superb for a medium market Top-40 and Norm's incredible talent was already obvious. (ps - I also remember digging Norm on KPUG!) :groovy:
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby jon » Thu May 12, 2011 6:18 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:I also remember digging Norm on KPUG

Ron Gibson was on KPUG at the same time as Norm. Do you remember him? He also ended up in Spokane.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby Dan Sys » Thu May 12, 2011 6:50 pm

Sky - I grew up in the Little Mountain area near Hillcrest Park. Just for nostalgic purposes I dug up my old Vancouver BCB logbook and see that I didn't log KJRB until January 1970. Long after KABC in L.A. was entered in 1968, CFCW Camrose in 1969, and KGHL Billings also in 1969. KJRB was definitely the rarer of the bunch.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby pieinthesky » Thu May 12, 2011 8:23 pm

Did anyone listen to 1510 KGA when it was country? I vaguely remember that it was owned by Price Broadcasting with KDRK-FM. Correct me I'm wrong on this.
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Re: Spokane Radio History

Postby jon » Thu May 12, 2011 8:27 pm

Don't know about later, but KGA ownership changes are listed as:
1/12/68 Vol. assign. of lic. to Liddie Broadcasting Corp.
10/21/70 Vol. transfer of cont. of lic. corp. to Monroe Broadcasting Co.
ref. - http://spokaneradio.philcobill.com/kga/ ... -files.php

The format change from Top 40 to Country came during Liddie's ownership.
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