Stations where George Junak worked

George also worked at KERN and 91X
As Ralph at 91X

George Junak, 1996 George Junak, 1996

The California Aircheck Collection

California Aircheck's George Junak discovered Top 40 radio in 1958 when he was home sick from school as a five-year-old and stumbled across KFWB/Los Angeles on the radio. He knew immediately that was what he wanted to do when he grew up. After getting his FCC First Phone license through the broadcasting program at Pasadena City College, he landed his first radio job in 1973 doing weekends at KDES/Palm Springs as Greg Mitchell.

At one point in 1975, George was working weekends at both KDES and KFXM/San Bernardino, with a Sunday midnight-3AM shift at KFXM, then 75 miles to KDES for 6AM-3PM (babysitting public service from 6-10 and on-air 10-3PM), then back to KFXM for 7-midnight, all on Sunday.

Through the 70's, George made stops at KSOM/Ontario, KNDE/Sacramento, KERN/Bakersfield (as Greg Michaels) and KMEN/San Bernardino. In 1978 for one month, George was still at KERN as Greg Michaels but also doing a weekend shift 3 hours away at KMEN as Greg Mitchell. George made his last on-air appearance on 91X (XETRA-FM)/San Diego as "Ralph."

Before joining radio syndicator Peters Productions/San Diego in 1980 (to work in the music mastering department, and later as the Nat'l CHR PD for Peters), George founded California Aircheck. When Peters Productions was purchased by BPI in Seattle in 1987, California Aircheck became a fulltime operation, and has been ever since.

Read the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE Business Section article about California Aircheck (January 22, 1999)
California Aircheck has been serving radio people around the world for many years with both audio and video airchecks of radio personalities. All airchecks in this collection, and thousands more, are available from California Aircheck.

The Repository thanks George for sharing!

[Descriptions by George Junak & Uncle Ricky]

TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
PLAY Art Nelson, KLIF Dallas, November 29, 1956 (12:18)

. . . This extra edition of the news will be presented on the half-hour by KLIF as long as the news is urgent . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

This rare studio aircheck of Art Nelson on Gordon McLendon's KLIF in 1956 provides an insight into the very early evolution of the Top 40 format. Art Nelson later went on to much success in Los Angeles (KFWB, KLAC, KMPC) and KLIF went on to become a legend in the format.

You'll notice the tell-tale clicks and pops of vinyl and acetate on the recorded announcements and (sparse) station production elements. It would seem this was prior to the use of tape machines (reel or MacKenzie) in the control room. A tune by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly was #3 on the Top 40, so seemingly, rock 'n' roll was not business as usual for KLIF in November of 1956. In fact, most will find the entire presentation to be as polished and formal as the radio networks of the period.

Unfortunately, a promotional announcement featuring McLendon himself was edited. It was an announcement of the upcoming $50,000 treasure hunt. Both Todd Storz and McLendon relied heavily on big-money contests in the early years of the Top 40 format.

From California Aircheck Classic Issue #C-217

Return to the Repository

TOP STREAM 16.2Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY John Stone, KJR Seattle, 1960 (13:29)

. . . starting right here on the Stone Stomper this afternoon . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]
Name it and Claim it, The Pick to Click, The Big K in Seattle - what a treat to hear first-generation Top 40 from Seattle legend KJR!

This aircheck of a very low-key John Stone from November 11, 1960 may be somewhat low-fi but the content meter is pegged for many hooks that defined formula radio at the beginning of the 60's. KJR was low on gimmicks (no reverb), long on personality (the DJ was an important part of the show) and there was always "more music and fun", not to mention liner cards. It was Radio One and Home of the Magic Medley. Pacesetter News was concise, comprehensive, accurate - news wherever and whenever it happens! Newsman Dave Clark is reporting from the KJR newsroom, complete with news "bugs" and a story about a jailed sheriff. And, check out the classic Chun King spot by master satirist Stan Freberg.
From California Aircheck Classic Issue #C-87

Return to the Repository


PLAY Gary Owens, KFWB Los Angeles June 26, 1962 (07:35)

. . . Clinton S. Feamish World Day of Tap Dancing . . .

Gary Owens was probably the funniest morning guy on Top 40 radio in the early 60's! Nobody came close to Gary Owens and his "stereophonic beard."

Return to the Repository


PLAY Composite, KRLA Los Angeles, 1963-1981 (26:46)

. . . So, come on along - Swing and Be Happy! . . .

This edit from California Aircheck's Classic Issue C-14 (December, 1981) features KRLA, beginning in 1963, and ending sometime before 1981. Starting with KRLA's early Top 40 days (1963), we also hear 'checks from their AOR period (1972) and their MOR/Personality format before concluding with one of the oldies formats featured between 1976 and 1998.

Featured: "T.Q." Ted Quillin, Dave "Hullabalooer" Hull, (1964) Dick Biondi (1965 New Year's Eve Show), Casey Kasem, Bill Slater (for Casey Kasem), Bob Dayton, Johnny Darin, Lee Duncan, Russ O'Hara, Dick Sainte & Shadoe Stevens (1971), B. Mitchel Reed, Don Burns, Johnny Magnus, and Art Laboe (1978).

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 COMPATIBLE TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
PLAY Mike Phillips, KJR Seattle, January 11, 1964 (15:36)

. . . Seattle's most frequently frequented frequency . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Mike Phillips joined KJR/Seattle in 1962, after his first two years in radio at KISN, Portland. Here, Phillips is heard hosting a light-hearted midday show complete with time-tone and classic PAMS featuring the KJR Seattle Channel 95 logo. Listen also for the very unusual news underscoring - it's cut off during the first news break at 6:16, but continues throughout the news headlines at 14:50.

Phillips boasts a resume which in addition to stops at WXLO/New York and KGW/Portland, includes Morning Drive at KFRC in San Francisco. According to former NBC radio chief Walter Sabo, "He also held the Program Director position at KYUU-FM where he helped create — from scratch — Adult Contemporary. Because of his success at KYUU, I made him VP of Programming for NBC FM."

His greatest success came in the '90's at KRTH in Los Angeles, where he worked with consultant Bill Drake and hired Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele. Mike Phillips was programming KRTH when it fetched $116,000,000 — at that time, the highest price ever paid for a single radio license.

Mike Phillips died of pancreatic cancer on October 16, 2006. He was 64.

[From California Aircheck Classic Issue C-76 (January 1988)]

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 COMPATIBLE TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14Khz)
PLAY Bob Dayton, WABC New York, July 1965 (08:04)

. . . if you're writing in with a complaint, it's 'Bob', with one 'o', don't you know . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Bob Dayton lost his job at WABC because he dedicated 16 Candles ("Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, baby") to the twentieth anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

This aircheck was recorded in July of 1965, a month before Dayton's last WABC show in August of that year. According to the late Rick Sklar, writing in Rocking America, Dayton "was no stranger to misjudgment" and that "with Dayton, it was an epidemic".

After being dismissed in New York, he joined KBLA in Los Angeles, then , WPIX, WCBS-FM and other New York area stations. Despite his WABC gaffe, he was part of ABC Superadio in 1982. Bob Dayton died of cancer in 1995.

[From California Aircheck Classic Issue C-24]

Return to the Repository


PLAY Sam Riddle, KHJ Los Angeles, 1966-1969 (05:49)

. . . '65, the year, this was before Donovan got the '66 sound . . .

TV Producer Sam Riddle (Star Search) was one of the original KHJ Boss Jocks, scheduled 9 to midnight from 1965 until 1970. In addition to stints at KRLA, KFWB, KDAY and KROQ, he returned to KHJ in 1974. Riddle is also remembered for 9th Street West and Boss City, a 1960's program on KHJ-TV, and many other television ventures.

This short composite features samples of Sam from 1966 through 1969.

[excerpted from "KHJ HISTORY, PART ONE" from California Aircheck]

Return to the Repository


PLAY B. Mitchel Reed, KFWB Los Angeles, October 3, 1967 (10:19)

. . . BMR on Better Music Radio . . .

After record-setting successes at early Top 40 leader KFWB and WMCA in New York, B. Mitchel Reed returned to KFWB in Los Angeles (by this time, owned by Westinghouse) for "The Wide, Weird World of B.M.R". In this aircheck from October of 1967, you will hear "The Beamer" perfecting the personna that he took with him into the very beginnings of "underground" FM radio.

According to Don Barrett's L.A. Radio People, Reed had met Big Daddy Tom Donahue at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and they discovered their mutual frustration with their current stations. Donahue went to KMPX and developed the first underground FM in San Francisco. Reed found backers for KPPC, which became the first in the new album-oriented format in Southern California.

Return to the Repository


PLAY Dale Dorman, WRKO Boston 1970 (08:32)

. . . Opportunity's brother, Buddy . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky] This tasty 'check of wacky and wonderful Dale Dorman doing Drake on WRKO features Dorman on the Saturday morning of a Solid Gold Weekend in 1970. Listen to The Ronettes punch a hole in the audio chain on the 9AM ID! Dorman, as always, offers quick wit, impeccable timing and seemingly effortless and endless energy.

Dale Dorman passed away on October 25, 2014 following a long illness. He was 71.

Return to the Repository

PLAY KROQ AM Los Angeles - Opening Day, 1972 (14:59)

. . . Revolution, Revolution! This is the ROQ revolution! . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

from KROQ Top Hits/Albums Like the Repository's first KROQ offering, this one features Charlie Tuna, Sam Riddle, Jay Stevens, Steve Lundy, Jim Wood, Jimmie Rabbit, and Steve Sands. It also includes programmer Johnnie Darin, who provided this aircheck to our friend George Junak of California Aircheck. This opening day "preview" from September of 1972 features several of the custom jingles written by Roger Christian and Ron Lewis.

[TECHNICAL NOTE]: Those with the RealPlayer G2 who can hear the full 10Khz response will enjoy this exhibit most of all; the technical quality is quite good and that adds significantly to its enjoyment. Otherwise, a 5.0 RealPlayer will work, but the response will be limited to 5.5 Khz.

Return to the Repository


PLAY KFRC 1973 Composite (22:15)

. . . The Meat Goes On . . .

One of my favorite KFRC tapes because it contains so many of the live legal IDs; What a killer radio station in 1973! This material originally came from Brian Huen in Sunnyvale.

Includes: Jack Friday, Mike Novak, Tom Kennedy, Jim Carson, Bobby Ocean, Eric Chase, Beau Weaver, Kevin McCarthy.

[Curator's Note:] Portions of this composite have appeared in other KFRC composites in the Repository.

Return to the Repository


PLAY Dave Hull, KGBS Los Angeles, September 1973 (9:20)

. . . Do you have any warts or moles . . .

Dave Hull (The "Hullabalooer") developed elaborate telephone-talk radio comedy, within a music format. This innovative aircheck of KGBS is from 1973.

Return to the Repository

TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5Khz)
PLAY Chuck Leonard, WABC New York, September 9 1974 (6:23)

. . . Chuck Leonard's my name, and I'm not a rookie, either . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Wow, that's a lot of reverb! "Bad Brother" Chuck Leonard (d. August 12, 2004) announces his new airtime - 10PM to 12M, following George Michael on WABC, New York, on September 9, 1974. Check the comments for more on this one, as I have never claimed any WABC expertise. Actually, all I've ever done is welcome airchecks from this station. One major question is "Where was Cousin Brucie"?

Exceptional editing - typical of the consistent quality of airchecks from George Junak and California Aircheck. This one is from Classic Issue #C-87.

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
PLAY Billy Pearl, KIQQ Los Angeles, June 1974 (4:06)

. . . Mother, make it stop . . .

Billy Pearl, a native of Hollywood, is remembered as an outstanding high-energy evening personality. This short 'check features Pearl in June of 1974 on K-100 (KIQQ-FM) in Los Angeles.

Billy Pearl now operates his own law practice in Southern California. (This aircheck is featured on California Aircheck Classic Issue #C-5.)

Return to the Repository

  TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (14.5 Khz)
PLAY Shana, KFRC San Francisco, May 3 1975 (04:38)

. . . The O'Jays are takin' over with Back Stabbers . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

It's the Original 610 Battle Of The Hits, and Shana referees the records in this short sample of champion KFRC overnight, from May 3, 1975.

Shana passed away July 17, 2015, of unknown causes. She was 62.

From California Aircheck Classic Issue C-36, October, 1983

Return to the Repository


PLAY KRLA Reunion Weekend, 1981 (47:14)

. . . [beeeeeep!] That makes it 28 minutes until 7, proving that time marches on . . .

Los Angeles' original Beatles station, KRLA, reunited the original airstaff of the mid-60's the weekend of October 31 - November 1, 1981. The 11-10 Men recreated one of the greatest eras in Top 40 radio history.

The 11-10 Men, KRLA, October 1981
Some of the KRLA 11-10 Men, at the 1981 KRLA Reunion. Top row, (l-r): REBEL FOSTER, T.Q. TED QUILLIN, RICHARD BEEBE, PD JACK ROTH and "The Hullabalooer" DAVE HULL. Center row, DICK MORELAND. Front row, (l-r): "Emperor" BOB HUDSON, BOBBY "Boris" PICKETT, BOB EUBANKS, CASEY KASEM, CHARLIE O'DONNELL and JOHNNY HAYES. (Picture courtesy Tom Konard's Aircheck Factory.
PLAY "Emperor" Bob Hudson
PLAY Johnny Hayes
PLAY Casey Kasem (includes a News Bulletin from Richard Beebe)
PLAY Richard Beebe (News, edited)
PLAY "T.Q" Ted Quillin
PLAY "The Hullabalooer" Dave Hull (includes News from Richard Beebe)
PLAY Charlie O'Donnell
PLAY Dick Moreland
PLAY "The Rebel" Reb Foster (opens as "Maude Skidmore")
PLAY Bob Eubanks

Of those featured in this composite taken from California Aircheck Classic Issue C-14 (December, 1981), Dick Moreland, (founder of the Music+ record chain) died of cancer in the summer of 1988; Emperor Bob Hudson died 9/20/97 at the age of 66.

Return to the Repository

TOP STREAM IS 32 Kbps (16 Khz)
Danny Wright, WGCL Cleveland, 1985 (10:16)

. . . Gomez, my personal valet, now entering the control room with my smoking jacket - how he gets that thing lighted in the rain I will never, ever know . . .

Danny Wright turns in a creative, high-energy performance on WGCL, Cleveland in 1985. Many Top40 stations had given up by this late date, but not WGCL!

It's truly refreshing to hear Wright take his time and work his bits, and the lack of urban overkill in the playlist seems nearly miraculous by today's "hit radio" standards.

Return to the Repository

TOP STREAM IS 32.1 Kbps (16 Khz)
Jay Thomas, KPWR Los Angeles, May 31, 1987 (13:25)

... 72,000 watts of music power ...

Jay Thomas, star of radio (WAYS, WAPE, WKTU), television, and motion pictures, joined KPWR (Power 106) in 1986 and filed a one-million dollar breach-of-contract lawsuit against Emmis Broadcasting when he was terminated in 1993. The suit was settled in late 1994, according to Don Barrett's L.A. Radio People.

Monica Brooks is featured with news. KPWR claimed the first NAB Marconi Award in 1989.

Return to the Repository


PLAY Pirate Radio Sign-On, KQLZ Los Angeles 1989 (16:14)

. . . Crank it up nice and loud, open your windows, and piss off your neighbors . . .

Here's one of the great radio station sign-ons of all time. It's "in-your-face" radio that was never heard before or since Scott Shannon's Pirate Radio in Los Angeles.

The sweepers and promos were the best part. Hilarious!

[Curator's Note:] This aircheck is so cool that it even includes a "Mini-Montage" of L.A. Top-40/Rock stations — in a promo. It begins about 6:30 in and features KFWB and B. Mitchel Reed, Dick Biondi on KRLA, Dave Diamond on KBLA, The Reel Don Steele and Charlie Van Dyke on KHJ, and Tom Donahue on KMET.

Return to the Repository

Additional Exhibits in The California Aircheck Collection...
Rex Miller, KWK St. Louis, 1961
Happy Hare (Harry Martin), KCBQ San Diego, 1969
Jay Mack, KIMN Denver, April 15, 1971
Les Garland, KYNO Fresno, October 1972
Bobby Wayne, KCBQ San Diego, October 1967
Doctor Don Rose, KFRC San Francisco, CA. 1976
Rick Morgan, KAFY Bakersfield, CA. March 1978
Bill Lee, WQHT New York, 1987 (Video)
Happy Hare (Harry Martin), KCBQ San Diego, March 1, 1990 (Video)

The California Aircheck Collection has been part of REELRADIO since March 29, 1998.
Reel Top 40 Radio Repository ©1996 - 2014 REELRADIO, Inc.