Showing posts from November, 2020

A classic(al) change on the AM dial

  You have to admire Saul Levine. Past the age when many retire, he continues to be a significant presence in Los Angeles radio. His GO Country 105 (KKGO) continues to succeed, serving local country music fans for the past 13 years. He provides the music for Cal State Long Beach’s K-Jazz (KKJZ), one of the most listened-to jazz stations in the U.S. What characterizes the owner of Mount Wilson Broadcasters is his willingness to take chances. His latest ambition is to bring back classical music – and on the AM dial. “Starting December 1, we’re bringing back classical to L.A., AM radio is the vehicle,” said Levine. The new K-Mozart (KMZT) is replacing the current L.A. Oldies K-Surf (KSUR) “It will be pretty much the same as the K-Mozart of the past, but there’s been a lot of new classical music that’s come out over the last 20 years. We pick the music that the public wants, not what we want.” Note K-Mozart will be on 105.1  FM HD-4 “There’s a change in society. People want to find relax

Running on another trail, Jimmy Rabbitt (1941 - 2020)

He was born Eddy Payne in Washington DC and grew up in Tyler, Texas, raised by his grandparents. He played in a band at an early age, music always being a part of his life. While a teenager, “Fast Eddy Payne” debuted on KGKB-AM, then traveled to Corpus Christi and Port Arthur, Louisiana after serving with the Marine Corps before returning to Tyler where he remained until 1964. But it was his move to Gordon McLendon’s legendary KLIF-Dallas when Eddy Payne became better known as Jimmy Rabbitt. The British Invasion had landed on American shores, so The Rabbitt honed his radio skills while mixing local bands with both American and British hits. It’s arguable The Rabbitt had “arrived” when he had the privilege of introducing the Beatles at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium.   Jimmy Rabbitt was now one of the most popular radio personalities in the state of Texas, programming KLIF’s FM outlet which became KNUS-FM, one of the first successful FM stations. The Rabbitt then landed in San Die

It's Thanksgiving, how can I not?

It's Thanksgiving, so how can I not share the story of the ultimate radio promotion? There's some controversy as to whether it's based on a true story, I'm not sure it matters. I've watched this so many times and it still elicits a laugh. May you have a safe and sane holiday!  

It's not "HearAche" but nonetheless.

Don Barrett used to call his short takes “HearAche” at I don’t know what to call this than “random thoughts,” but I guess it beats “deep thoughts.” Anyway, here we go: The current count of layoffs at iHeart – that’s been trickling over the last three (3) weeks – is more than 120. There’s a partial list of those now looking for jobs at . And it’s apparently not over yet. It was well-known that Bill Ballance and B. Mitchel Reed were always feuding during their time at KFWB.   At the 2000 day, hosted by the Museum of Television and Radio, Ballance was asked about BMR. He replied “you really want to know about that SOB” (he spelled out the latter). Chuck Blore, then PD of KFWB recalled when Ballance and BMR had a physical confrontation in the hallway. “I caught him stealing mail out of my mailbox. I said ‘Mitch,’ and then splat, I let him have it in the corridor.” After a pregnant pause, Ballance then said “God, those were happy days!” Needless to

Remembering KKDJ's "Brother T."

  It’s hard to think that Tom Nefeldt is gone. I actually trace my top 40 interest more to KKDJ than to KHJ. T. Michael Jordan, his nom de plume , was on from 7 p.m. until midnight, precisely the time I was procrastinating on my high school homework. I actually won my first radio station contest, $20 from Brother T. when I was caller number 10. His early days at KROY, 1969 I later became one of his regular callers when he joined his other KKDJ veterans at Anaheim’s KEZY, led by Rick Carroll (Carroll was the modern rock wunderkind who turned KROQ into a ratings powerhouse in the 1980s). Brother T. invited me to visit the station on 1190 East Ball Road, back when radio stations were housed in stand-alone buildings. It was an older building seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but I knew I was in the right place when I saw his brown Datsun 260Z with “TOM TMJ” personalized plates. There was definitely a party going on over “the Mighty 1190.” Tom drove a fast car and lived in the fast lan

Breaking news - We've lost Mike Lundy and T. Michael Jordan

Although it may have been reported elsewhere, I did want to acknowledge the L.A. radio community has lost two of its own over the past few days. Photo courtesy Loren Lundy was better known to his listeners as Mike Lundy. He made his name known as a news anchor, including nine years at KGIL / KMGX and seven years at all-news KFWB until his retirement in 2007. He also had his own media group producing radio programs and English lesson CDs for the Japanese market. From his bio at  “The success of KFWB was not only the news itself, but its presentation,” Lundy wrote in an essay for “Whenever one hears, ‘Give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world,’ there is instant identification to KFWB.” He entered hospice care over a week ago and passed four days later. He was a solid journalist and newswriter. Our best to his family and friends. Tom Nefeldt has been a friend for over four decades. Most L.A. listeners remember him as T. Michael Jord

In the public interest: K-100's cancer countdown and Carl Goldman, yesterday and today

M y short time in radio largely involved working at the campus radio station with the News and Public Affairs department. Back then, an FCC requirement involved a station having to provide both news (sometimes offered at 3 a.m. in the morning) and public affairs (often heard on early Sunday morning or late Sunday night). Some of the top 40 stations of that era had news departments that were exponentially bigger than some stations now referring to themselves as “newsradio” or “newstalk.” So as an insomniac / homework procrastinator, I was one of the listeners who paid attention to some of that fringe hour programming, including Carl Goldman’s “K-100 Conversations” among other public affairs efforts. More on Carl in a moment.   From my personal collection, somewhere deep in my garage. Speaking of K-100 (note the very slick segue), the station offered something that – as far as I know – was unique to L.A. The top 40 outlet partnered with the American Cancer Society to offer listener

A quick welcome, redux!

Hi and hi again -- thanks to Don Barrett many of you are finding this blog for the first time. Welcome! Normally I update the blog once a week, however if there's breaking news and / or my day job gets in the way, the schedule might become a bit more erratic. My goal is not to emulate -- no one can do what Don Barrett did so well and for so long, but I simply needed an outlet to keep writing about my favorite media. Yours truly, Dick Whittington, Don Barrett earlier this year Thanks to Don Barrett, I've met a number of individuals who are my heroes -- talent that graced the local airwaves. That may be one of you that I had the privilege of meeting and perhaps interviewing! I probably will write more based on my memories about my time listening to the L.A. radio dial, but to reiterate, if there's breaking news I'll try to offer my two yen. And of course, there's my annual year in review, my once-a-year attempt to try to make sense of the twelve previous m