Throughout the history of KROY-AM there have been dozens of well known and popular personalities behind the microphones of one of the most listened-to radio stations in the country. As the 1980s approached, and with the introduction of KROY-FM, a whole new team of voices graced the Sacramento airwaves. Many, but not all, are represented on the pages of this website.
As Sacramento’s first rock ‘n roll radio station, KROY-AM flourished in the early 1960s with ultra-popular disc jockeys “Emperor” Hap Hopkins, Tony Bigg, Don MacKinnon, Mark Ford, Buck Herring, Dick “Buffalo” Burch and a host of other wonderfully talented radio personalities. Many went on to radio stardom in larger broadcast markets such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
KROY-AM was a major stepping stone to those larger markets, and often gained national awareness for preparing these talents for them. In return KROY-AM claimed talent from smaller or equally rated radio stations such as KSTN-AM & KJOY-AM, Stockton, KYNO-AM, Fresno, KMYC-AM, Marysville, KOBO-AM & KUBA-AM, Yuba City, as well as from stations in Modesto, Chico, Bakersfield, and a whole host of others.
The late 1960s brought together another wave of super personalities such as Johnny Hyde (a transplant from Sacramento’s KXOA-AM), B. Winchell Clay, Bob Sherwood, Jack Hammer, Martin “Wonder Rabbit” Ashley, T. Michael Jordan, Gene Lane, Rick Carroll and Chuck Roy, just to name a few. Click on the "Air Personality List" for more!
Many information-packed articles have been written about the KROY-AM/FM disc jockeys, the radio station and its successors. A simple Google search will fill in the complete story as this website cannot.
Dr. Tom Becker
I joined KROY in the fall of 1968, coming from KDES in Palm Springs, where I was the Program Director and Morning Jock. The really ironic thing about my joining KROY was that I never applied for the job and then accepted it having never heard the station.
Unknown to me at the time, a friend in the record business, was sending out air-checks of my show at KDES. I was getting these offers and phone calls from places like Memphis, Detroit, Phoenix and Denver…none of which I was interested in. But a guy named Johnny Hyde called and said he had an opening in Sacramento. One Saturday, I flew up and was greeted by Johnny, who’s enthusiasm overwhelmed me.
Next thing you know, I’m moving to Sacramento to do all nights at KROY. As I’m driving into town, I start trying to find KROY on my car radio. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was a radio station unlike any I’d ever heard before. They had this weird thing that sounded like a zipper when they gave the time and the jocks had silly names like Chuck Roy, Chuck Roy, The DJ from KROY.
Well, I almost turned around and headed back to Palm Springs. What in the world had I done? I just given up a great job to join a station I knew I couldn’t fit into. But, I went ahead with it and it changed my life. I was about to become a real radio personality. And, more importantly, I was about to become a part of one of radio’s true legends.
It didn’t take long for me to move to the coveted 7-Midnight time slot and in time, I did fit in….a credit to Johnny’s hard work and his ability to bring out gifts in people they didn’t know they had. And, thanks to the incredible talent that surrounded me. Johnny Hyde, Bob Sherwood, Chuck Roy, Jack Hammer, T. Michael Jordan, Bobby Martin, B. Winchell Clay and our leader, Dwight Case. What an honor it is to have been on the air in Sacramento as one of those fun lovin’ Jocks from KROY.
In 1970, I left KROY to join KMEN in San Bernardino. In 1971 I moved to Los Angeles to do afternoon drive at KDAY. That’s where my name changed. There was a jock at KDAY, on the air just before me, who’s name was also Tom (Tom Maule, god rest his soul). So, having only a few hours to come up with something, I went to lunch, had a few too many Bloody Marys and came back with Bozo Donovan. It was very quickly shortened to Bo and has stayed with me ever since.
In 1973, I was appointed Director of Programming for SRO Broadcasting in Seattle and supervised the programming and operations of all nine SRO stations. While with SRO, beginning with rating book zeros, Seattle’s KZOK rocked it’s way from no documented listeners to #1 in 63 days. To this day, KZOK still uses the logo and call sign (OK102 and a half) designed by myself in 1973.
While living the good life as an 11-year-old boy in Biloxi Mississippi, I received my first transistor radio at the ripe and impressionable age of 11. That little box became my special radio world where I could enjoy Dion and the Belmonts, Bobby Darin, Johnny Horton, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and other artists on WNOE, New Orleans. Our family spent the following 4 years in Ramstein, Germany where, in lieu the cardboard programming of AFRTS, I listened secretly to evening broadcasts of the BBC and an offshore station, today dubbed “Pirate Radio” via the transistor that was stuffed secretly under the pillow. My love of radio and fascination with the art and science of broadcasting began during my late H.S. and college years in Southern California. Influencers included KMEN 129, KHJ, KFWB, XERB, Bill “Mr. Kicks” Watson, “The Real” Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, Wolfman Jack, and even a young DJ at KRLA named Casey Kasem.
I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area but moved to Sacramento when my father was transferred by Southern Pacific from their Oakland yards. It was actually pretty cool. We went to visit family in Berkeley and other Bay Area cities several times a month, so I grew up listening to radio stations in both places. My parents pretty much stuck with KNBR when we made the drive back and forth, but on occasion I would get them to switch to KFRC for a little while. I just loved the Big 610, but was equally enamored with my hometown station, KROY. Those were the only two stations that I ever really wanted to work at. Fortunately, I got my wish -- striking it rich, so to speak, by landing my first job with 1240 KROY.
Dick "Buffalo" Burch
“After KROY, I ended up working in New York City, Boston, Syracuse and Chicago. I worked for NBC, CBS and an ABC Affiliate.
I did the morning shift except, for Boston, and syndicated a taped show for Syracuse while I was working in Chicago.
My son, Anthony plays the part of "Phil" in the movie "Bandits." The movie stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thorton, Cate Blanchett and Azura Skye as Anthony's girlfriend. He's the boy in the house with a girl (Azura) that Bruce and Billy Bob break into. He was in Oregon for a week during the filming.”
Dick "Buffalo" Burch has worked at several popular stations throughout the country. He typically worked at stations with Top 40 formats. In Sacramento he was best known for his recorded "drop-ins" sound effects. Dick started his radio career in 1961 at KAND in Dallas, Texas. After several weeks he decided to make the move to California, first at KOMY in Watsonville, where he met and developed a long-time professional friendship with Robert W. Morgan, who also once worked at KROY in the 1960s. Where his nickname "Buffalo" came from is in question. Some say a colleague jokingly described him as looking like one. Another is tied to his coming from Buffalo, New York. After a short stay at KEWB in Oakland, Dick moved to Sacramento’s Top 40 powerhouse KROY, where he worked evenings from 6-Midnight and later 8-Midnight. After only one year at KROY, he moved across town to KXOA-AM, but not before helping Morgan get to KROY, who started 2-4PM and then shifting to morning drive, 6-9AM. Dick is best known to KROY listeners for his interesting publicity stunts and wonderful sense of humor.
I was an engineering student at Sac. State, and I worked weekends at KROY during my senior year in school, 1967-68. I also worked at the campus station, KERS-FM.
When Johnny Hyde hired me, I could not believe my good fortune. I got to work in that beautifully cozy and functional studio on Arden Way with some of the greatest on air personalities around.
After passing through KXRQ-FM, KJAY, KMYC, and KJOY, I had reached my goal of working at KROY. I worked lots of hours, often 6 on, 6 off, giving me 24 hours on the air from Friday night to Sunday night. I was deliriously happy.
As I approached graduation in June 1968 I was looking for a full time job; not in engineering, but in radio. KROY did not have any openings, and I was lucky enough to have an offer to work all night at KLIV San Jose, where I worked from 1968-70.
In my career I moved on to KJRB Spokane, KVI Seattle, WIBA Madison Wi, and KALL Salt Lake City. All great stations, but KROY occupies a special place in my heart.
I now am retired and live in Roseville. I still do voice work periodically. My website is: www.petermarkboam.com
I also do internet radio for fun on bossbossradio.com It's 60s, 70s, and 80s. I am on M-F 6-10pm. No pay, but lots of fun!
It is amazing to think that most radio stations broadcasting this very moment have been on the air continuously
for at least 50 years, many much longer. KROY signed on the air in 1938 and you can still listen at 1240 on your AM
radio. Of course, if you are under 35 years old, you've probably never heard of it, unless you like Spanish
programming. But there was a time when KROY was absolutely, positively, the undisputed leader -- the flagship
of the culture --the most listened to radio station in Sacramento.
This is the KROY that I remember. KROY was not just the station with the biggest audience, it had influence.
It was much more than an audition service for Tower Records. With sincere apologies to the Sacramento Police
Department, we made things happen. When KROY finally achieved undisputed market dominance in the fall of
1968, we did so for two reasons. First, some very bright and talented program directors and disc jockeys had
chipped away at rival KXOA for years. The second reason was a high-voltage connection of three uniquely gifted men that ignited an explosion of creativity that gave birth to something that simply wasn’t there before. The program director was Johnny Hyde. Consulting Johnny was Grahame Richards, the incredible "voice" of KROY recorded announcements. And no station will ever be greater than its general manager. Dwight Case was and is a great man. The rest of us played our parts, but without Johnny, Grahame and Dwight, it is doubtful whether KROY -- the KROY that was truly larger than life -- would have come into being.
"California is the golden state and KROY was certainly my golden door into it. It was an adventure of camaraderie and friendships. It remains an unequaled lifetime experience. I learned the importance of familiarity and consistency on the air. I learned that KROY cares meant something long after I'd left the radio station. My world forever changed. Radio when I was on the air was always a blast, but it was clearly the most fun at KROY. Time and recent conversations have underlined the importance of Johnny Hyde and Bob Sherwood to the history of the station. I will be forever grateful for Chuck Roy's help and friendship during and since those days. I "second" and "amen" the many extraordinary things that have been mentioned in KROY circles about Dwight Case, the essential figure in all of our reminiscence. Dwight once told me over drinks at Al's in Locke, CA that he would help me accomplish whatever I wanted to do in my life. That was in 1972. In 2001 I can say he did... and he still is. Once in your life you hope to meet a man like Dwight. Sometimes he's the friend a father cannot be... and sometimes he's the father a friend never could be."
Watch the KROY Disc Jockey Slide Show!
Anita Garner "Lovely Nita"
I came to KROY from KHSL, Chico, California. I was the first female jock at KHSL, and was on the air across town from Bob Sherwood, who later became KROY’s Program Director. But that wasn’t the start of my life in broadcasting. I was literally raised on the radio - singing on my parents’ gospel shows in the Deep South from the age of three.
When my family came to California, I sang in nightclubs, finally moving from Beverly Hills to Northern California to sample what I was certain would be a slice of the “real” world. Hah! Nothing about KROY resembled reality. KROY was always larger than life, and I was thoroughly bowled over by the talent and energy of the all-male air staff.
At KHSL I’d developed an affinity for writing and producing radio and television commercials and promos, and at KROY my major function was to assist Production Director and jock, B. Winchell Clay. Together we turned out hundreds of commercials and soothed many savage sponsors.
Someone suggested that I become KROY’s “floater” jock-ette, filling in on various shifts. They named me Lovely Nita and my I.D. music had to be, of course, the Beatles’ “Lovely Rita” (Meter Maid.) When listeners least expected it, Lovely Nita popped up on someone’s shift, spinning the records and hoping the female fans outside the window on Arden Way wouldn’t revolt and tear the rubber bands off my two pony tails. Sometimes I took down my hair, hiked up my mini-skirts and went out with jocks as KROY’s “Miss Money,” handing out handfuls of cash at every stop.
I caught the top-40 era first-hand, from its beginnings in the '50's, through the glory years. My first radio heroes were Dick Novak on KPOJ, and Tiger Tom Murphy on KISN. I was perhaps uniquely privileged to have heard The Real Don Steele on a daily basis on both KISN (Portland) and KEWB (Oakland) when I was in high school, and then on KHJ when I was in college at UCLA.
I'm fortunate to have experienced so many of the greats in their prime, at so many of the legendary stations of the era. At UCLA, I shared the mic (on the student station) with classmates Billy Pearl, Steve Smokin' Weed, Ken Levine, etc.
Jerry Clifton hired me for my first job out of college at KDES in Palm Springs. I left for grad school that fall, but within a few months, was back in the biz, at KSTN in Stockton - ninety degrees in the summer, and no AC in the control room. Then onto KROY in Sacramento, where I split time simultaneously doing afternoons at KSTN (as Barry Shane) and weekends/fill at KROY (as Shane).
I left the full-time slot at KSTN, opting for part-time at KROY. Several months later, Gary Stevens (not that many years removed from WMCA) plucked my tape from a batch of hundreds, and hired me for 7-mid at KRIZ in Phoenix. It was a short-lived stint, I was a teen jock, and they went "heavy" soon after I got there.
I used the air-name of Barry Cannon in Phoenix, and kept it when I went back to KROY later a few months later. Just a few years after that, living in Portland and working (not in radio), I talked my way into 7-mid at KISN, some ten years after the Real Don Steele occupied that very same seat.
I've been back here in the Bay Area (for the most part) ever since. Got my MBA from the Univ. of Southern California, as a mid-career effort. I am now free-lance writing — magazine features, etc. and have byline credits in virtually all of the major golf publications (GOLF, Golf Digest, etc. - even had one in Sports Illustrated.) I'm one of the contributing writers on the EA Sports 2004 Tiger Woods video game, and also do lots of other writing and various Marketing Communications and PR work."
After a couple of years at KMYC & KOBO in Marysville & Yuba City, Bob Sherwood hired me to do weekends at KROY based on
a recommendation from another former “KOBO Boss Jock,” Dave Williams. That was 1972. My two years at KROY were mainly
on the midnight to 6 shift, sandwiched in-between Gene Lane & B. Winchell Clay. Later I would briefly “graduate” to the
9pm to mid. shift, in-between Terry Nelson & Tommy Knight.
My first shift at KROY was a Saturday night, accompanied by hundreds of kids outside the studio window participating in a
rocking chair marathon for The March Of Dimes. Needless to say, it was a harrowing experience.
I had a great time at KROY and felt I was privileged to be working with B. Winchell, Bob Sherwood, Wonder Rabbit, Don Christie,
Chuck Roy, Gene Lane, Dudley, Dave Williams, Tommy Knight, Ted, Ken, Dwight (the best General Manager ever!), & everyone
else at the station. It was a magical time and one of the best I’ve ever experienced in radio.
In 1974 I left to do afternoons at KNDE for a whopping $800 a month! Dave, Kevin Manna, Gene, Dudley, Donovan Blue & Tommy Knight eventually joined me there. Later I moved to mornings (twice), finally becoming Program Director.
In 1977 I left to work at KYA in San Francisco, bouncing between the AM & FM for several years, working rock, easy rock, and oldies formats there, eventually landing afternoons & music director positions for the FM, which had changed to K-LITE.
In 1982 I ended up in Silicon Valley, running my own advertising agency while working on-air fill-in shifts for The Quake and KNEW.
In 1985 I went to KSJO/KHTT, San Jose programming KHTT (oldies) & doing mornings on-air. Shortly after, I also started doing production for KSJO (rock), then three years later, exclusively production and imaging for KSJO. In 2004 the station went Spanish, and I moved over to "sister station" KCNL (alternative), which also went Spanish on Jan. 1, 2006. I now have a home studio and do voice work for agencies and radio stations. Check out my Web site.
T. Michael Jordan
In reality, I was just a short blip on the huge KROY radar screen! Though judging by the amount of old KROY listeners
that followed me around the dial (and the country), I must have made an impression. I still love each and every one of
I was working at K/MEN (San Bernardino). Actually it's quite interesting how KROY and K/MEN shared a lot of people
(Bo Donovan, Mark Ford, Buck Herring, myself). Indeed the PD of K/MEN (Dave McCormick) and Johnny Hyde share a
legacy from KYNO in Fresno.
My time was over at K/MEN, and I came up to Sacramento to meet with Johnny Hyde (some sleazy motel) about getting a job at KROY. He didn't hire me (I even tried to bribe him with), I of course was devastated. I ended up going to KDWB (Mpls/St. Paul), it was pretty cool (weather and KDWB). It was like a time warp, not only hearing those GREAT jingles of sister stations like KEWB and KFWB, but actually playing them. It was pretty big time, board ops, engineers and "musicians" (to spin the records), all I had to do was talk and have fun. I was also music director (one of several times), and was getting a pretty good reputation for picking the hits, and very decent ratings.
“I had TERRIFIC FUN spending 1962 & 1963 on KROY, "The Pulse of Sacramento!" There was only one negative experience. In my only personal meeting with the Program Director he told me that he thought I had "diarrhea of the mouth!" For some unknown reason, I have NEVER forgotten his name -- BUCK HERRING.
Following KROY, I got a job anchoring the news on KHSL-TV, located one hundred miles north in Chico, California. After a full decade of gaining name identification there I ran for the California Assembly and spent a wonderful nineteen years as an Assemblyman representing nine northern counties. I wrote a book about my time there entitled "Reclaim California." It is now being printed by Fulton Books in New York and will soon be available on Amazon.”
In 1994 he returned to broadcasting assuming the position of president and CEO of the California Broadcasters Association. As president of the CBA, he has moderated California gubernatorial debates for many years, including the much-publicized 2003 debate preceding Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initial election as governor.
In May 1977, Steve Rivers hired me to do middays at KROY AM from a station I was programming in Thousand Oaks, CA. This was one of the most treasured times in my 33 year broadcast history. We were by far the hottest RF in Sacramento. I swear, I could actually feel the listeners tuning in through my cans. What staff, station and management team. I feel sorry for broadcasters who today have no chance in hell of experiencing this truly rare vibe.
In February 1978, Rivers moved me to WEFM in Chicago. In February of 1980, I returned to Sacramento to do morning at
KROI-FM, which eventually became KROY-FM.
In 1986, I started a company called Nature Sounds and for the first time since 1969, I found a way to make an income outside of broadcasting.
In 1988, Brian White arrived at KSFM 102.5 in Sacramento and asked if I would do middays and production. I said yes.
In 1992, I left KSFM to head the production department at KFRC in San Francisco. We got to do the digital thing for the first time.
In 1996, I became tired of the 1100 mile a week commute, so I excepted the gig as program director for KMJI and all- sports station (1380 AM) in Sacramento.
After the station was sold and bought four times in a year, I decided to go where the money is: commercial production. Now I whore myself in a new and different way, free of Arbitron and crazy PDs.
Martin "Wonder Rabbit" Ashley
Throughout the history of KROY, both AM and FM stations, there were many disc jockeys who contributed to the success of the radio station. Some are still in contact with each other, while others have moved on to other industries, or are simply missing from our history. While there seems to be a large amount of materials, photographs and memorabilia from me, it must be pointed out that, perhaps, it simply may be that I have saved these materials over all these years and are now making them available. In no way is this website dedicated to me alone, but to everyone who ever worked at or listened to KROY.
I may hold the record for working at KROY the longest. Actually I had an unusual beginning in 1965. The station was in the midst of moving studios from downtown to Arden Way and needed someone to “read the meters” overnights during the move. I had my FCC license that allowed me to be hired for a week-or-so. I recall driving to Arden Way to fetch my check for a whopping $164.00, or $0.93 an hour! However, my full time employment saw me at KROY under three different owners, at three different studio locations, and over three different decades – 60s, 70s and 1980s. As I’ve mentioned, they were the best three times of my life.
Bob Sherwood’s broadcasting career began at small and medium radio stations throughout Northern California. He came to KROY in 1967 and successfully rose from Promotions Director, to Music Director, and finally Program Director until his departure in 1971. For the next three years Bob was an on-air talent/programmer for WRIT Milwaukee, WYSL Buffalo, and WGCL in Cleveland. In 1973, with his vast knowledge of the music and radio industry, Bob became the National Promotions Manager for CBS Music, Inc./Columbia Records and continued with the company until 1978. He was then promoted to Vice President, National Promotion. From 1979 through 1981 Bob Sherwood served as President & COO of Mercury Records, and finally Executive Vice President of Polygram Music, USA. Back at CBS Music, Inc./Sony Music Entertainment, Bob would spend the next ten years with the International Marketing division. In 1985 Bob, former KROY DJ/Music Director/Program Director, was a Senior Executive at Columbia Records when he was honored by Bill Gavin as one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Radio and Music Industries during the period 1960-1985. He was also named Music Director of the Year by The Gavin Report in 1969. He’s occasionally said that he owed it all to PD Johnny Hyde. As has Johnny. Then, in 1991 Bob became Corporate Senior Vice President, New Business Development for Sony Corporation of America, where he would remain until 1997. Robert Sherwood Consultants resulted from Bob’s successful background in broadcasting, the music industry, and business development. His clients include Sony Corporation of America for the development of music industry support for Super Audio Compact Disc, Sony, and Philips proposal for next generation high density sound Carrier.
Steve has been in the radio broadcasting and commercial production fields for over three decades.
He has been an air talent, program director, music director, production director and consultant as
well as an owner- operator of his own audio & video post-production studio.
Some of the broadcasting companies Steve has been employed with include Drake-Chennault-Heftel,
ABC, CBS, Cap Cites and Star Stations in markets throughout the country.
Los Angeles: KIQQ, KLAC, KKHR, KWST
Chicago: WDAI (WLS-FM)
Seattle: KISW, KNBQ, KUBE, KHIT, KJR-FM, KYYX
San Francisco: KMEL
Fresno: KYNO, KMAK
Portland Oregon: KISN
Honolulu: KPOI, KGMQ-FM
San Bernardino: KMEN
San Diego: KOZN (Z104fm)
I was born in Sacramento, and like the Sacramento River salmon, I will return there to die. (Unlike the salmon I finished spawning there years ago.) When KROY started playing rock and roll in 1960 I was eight years old. After that, all I ever wanted to be was a KROY disc jockey. My dream came true ten years later.
By the time I was twelve my mother let me take the bus downtown from North Highlands so that I could run up the stairs from the 11th Street entrance to KROY. The stairwell was dark and the walls were covered with graffiti, most of it written with the lipsticks of pre-teeny-bopper teens. Behind the glass doors at the top of the stairs sat a benevolent receptionist who allowed me to gaze for hours into a huge window looking onto the stars: Tony Bigg, Hap Hopkins, Mark Ford, Dick "Buffalo" Burch, Mike Cleary, Mike Larsen, Buck Herring and many others.
KROY moved to 977 Arden Way a few years later and I followed. The minute I got my driver's license my Highlands High School buddies and I headed for the KROY window where we stayed on the street for hours in all weather, again to watch the stars in action. Now they were named Johnny Hyde, Bob Sherwood, B. Winchell Clay, Wonder Rabbit, Chuck Roy, T. Michael Jordan, Gene Lane, Hal Murray, Gene Lane, Dudley...
In June of 1969 I graduated from Highlands High. That same month I began my radio career, cleaning tape machines and taking meter readings at KCTC. A couple of months later I was fired for dereliction of duty. I was playing disc jockey in a recording studio instead of doing my job. The next day I went knocking on doors and landed my first on-air job.
After a year and a half of learning my craft at KOBO Yuba City (the alma-mater of a great many major-league jocks), Dave Camper, whom I idolized since '72, called me with thrilling news: the mighty KROY in Sacramento was interested in hearing my act in consideration for a weekend gig. ACT?! My "act" consisted of "The Basics" and occasionally hitting a post or two. Dave played my tape for Steve Rivers, and soon I was driving up Interstate 99 for an interview. Nervous? You bet your sweet head set! Steve was a big leaguer, though, and although he knew I was a green rookie, gave me a shot. To those of you who read this, please know this was the absolute best time in radio for me as an aspiring top 40 jock. Just look at our line-up: Uncle Byron and T.N. Tanaka-AM Drive...Dave "Tony Cox-Billboard's DJ of the year" Camper-MIDDAYS...Dave Michaels-PM Drive...Jeff "Mutha" Robbins-EVENINGS...Brian "Blind Owl" White-NIGHTS...and Bill Stairs-ALL NIGHTS. My God, that's just not fair to any other radio station ANYwhere! As talented as these guys were, they were always there with an encouraging word, a professional tip or trick of the trade, or the occasional slap on the hand for rookie mistakes. I was in radio heaven.
After the wheels came off at KROY, that is to say, when Steve Rivers pulled up stakes and left Sacto for Philly, and I might add, raided the entire station of our major talent, I decided to leave the station and try out my new skills elsewhere. San Luis Obispo was my next stop on this Long Strange Trip. I got on with the legendary KSLY, a powerhouse of a station in a small market. The reputation KSLY has in the radio industry, as well as with the record labels was unimpeachable. PD Guy Paul, and MD Cat (John Tobin) McClain again had a lot to teach me. Apparently, these guys saw something in me... I think Cat said something like, "Man, you got the ear... you got the feel", and when he decided to leave radio to move into record promotion, he and Guy decided to hold my feet to the fire and make me put up or shut up, and handed the MD reigns over to me, at the tender age of... gulp... 19. SLO is a beautiful place, but as small markets go, there was no money, and it was very expensive to live.
I had sent a tape up to KROY after hearing they might be looking for a 10-2pm guy. I got a call from Chuck Hale, and got the gig. I didn't think magic like '77 could be created again, but I was way wrong. There must be something about those call letters that attracts really talented people. Russ "Moose" Martin and Barry K. Fyffe-AM Drive...Bobby Malik-MIDDAYS...Chuck Hale-PM Drive and PD...and one of the most talented entertainers in the industry Famous Amos-EVENINGS. I had struck radio gold twice! I would've been happy as a pig in poop to do the 10p-2a show until they had to remove my cold dead body from the control room, but Chuck and Amos both decided to move on, and Bobby Malik was named PD. He asked if I wanted to do music again, and move into the evening show, and of course I jumped at it. Just when I knew the other shoe was going to drop, the guys who owned the stations (KROY AM & FM) Ken and Mark Johnson got sideways on us, the bean counters started running the station, and we couldn't get out fast enough. It broke my heart, but KROY was then a sinking ship. How bad? Well, 1240 khz is now... gulp...SPANISH!
Lots of things have happened to me in the business...this thing of ours since those days. Some good, some bad. Presently, I'm Production Director and Afternoon Drive guy on KOOL 101.9 Sacramento's Oldies Station. I hope to hear from any friends and/or co-workers who may happen upon this page.
"So you want to be a rock-n-roll star?"
I think that I was born to be in broadcasting. I was the kid who went to bed every night with a radio, to hear music that was unheard of, at the time in St. Louis. I was the geek who would walk miles every afternoon to 'gawk' at Ed Bonner at KXOK. Years later, I would see myself as one of our fans visiting outside the window at 977 Arden way. The road between the two was unpaved and bumpy.
My first job in radio was at KAIR in Tucson. I was a 15-year-old who had left home and bluffed my way into radio. It took little time for manager Ralph Anderson to discover that I was, in his words, "a diamond in the rough." He fired me, but got me hired at KVWM, 'The Voice of the Great White Mountains,' in Show Low, Arizona. It was wintertime. It was the worst and the best time of my life. I took a Greyhound bus to get there, as I had no car. I lived in a motel and on 'roasted' chicken as all the other restaurants in the area were closed for the winter. I had to hitchhike eight miles each way from town to the station. The owner was dogmatic about my love for rock 'n roll. The newest music allowed was Mitch Miller.
There is no particular order for the entries on this Disc Jockey page. They are random due to material(s) submitted, composition or participation by the former Jocks. For purposes of this website all names are those used on-air unless otherwise noted.
Chris West (Handlen)
I first walked into the offices at KROY on 977 Arden Way in the summer of 1973 and I said I wanted to do whatever I could to be a part of KROY. I told them I was going to be on the air at KROY one day. Well, I'm sure they had a smile about that one. Hal Murray was the program director. Terry Nelson was doing afternoons, The Blue Whiz (Bob Castle) was on evenings. I often sat behind Terry Nelson when he was on the air and handed him 45s.
They let me empty the trash cans at first, until I was allowed to enter the production room with a razor and grease pencil as a "production assistant," but the reality was I just assisted with some production. Back then the real production assistant was Kevin Kahl, who worked part time. He was the guy who drove to the airport to pick up reel-to-reel tapes of the national spots (commercials). I transferred spots from reel-to-reel to cartridges mostly. The free Cokes in the program director's office were nice, too. Meeting Wolfman Jack in the hallway and doing my impression of him, for him, also got a few chuckles. Working as a production assistant there was a great experience, and set the tone for things to come.
In late 1978 Bob Malik hired me for an on-air shift. I followed Kevin Kahl's shift. I remained at KROY until late 1981, when the station began simulcasting FM and AM. Directly after my shift KROY switched its format from "top 40" to "adult rock."