Jim Stewart, KNOX, Grand Forks, ND, 1977
Jim Stewart, KNOX, Grand Forks, ND, 1977

Jim Stewart today, Fort Worth, TX.
Jim Stewart 1997, Fort Worth, TX.

The Jim Stewart Collection

Jim Stewart was born and raised in North Dakota where the ground conductivity is second to none. Today, he lives near Rapid City, South Dakota where he collects NULO notices from the FCC. Who woulda thought a Ramsey F100B would carry all the way to the FCC enforcement bureau in Denver?

Jim fell in love with radio falling asleep listening to WLS or KOMA, when he got his first transistor radio at the age of 8 .

After hanging out at KNOX in Grand Forks, Jim landed a job changing the tapes for an automated FM station and that led to a few years behind the mike at KNOX playing the hits.

But after a few years of getting fired and hired (and the low pay), Jim, (depending on your viewpoint,) chickened out or wised up. Today, he works as a computer programmer slaving over a hot keyboard.

Jim would like to acknowledge Al Arneson (aka Al Davis of KSTP and U-100 fame) for the KSTP airchecks. His apologies to Al for the long overdue credit. He had a big box full of tapes and cassettes and completely forgot that Al had given him dubs of the early days of 15-KSTP.

There is no cure for the radio bug and Jim wants to know: do you need a weekend jock?

[Descriptions by Jim Stewart]

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Machine Gun Kelly, KSTP, 1974 (5:22)

That was for you Brown Institute people. I just wanted to make sure everybody knew what dead air was...

Machine Gun Kelly, KSTP, February, 1974
In 1973, WCCO-AM ruled the Twin Cities with 20+ shares and everyone fought for second place. KSTP had been a weak copy of WCCO and been nearly dead last in the last few books. That's when KSTP put in a call to Kent Burkhart. The station was transformed into 15-KSTP, The Music Station, and Jim Channell (Captain Whammo) was brought in as PD.

On this clip you'll hear the "Gunner" coming out of a stop set with no record ready. He recovers with a quip about Brown Institute, where many jocks spent a few months learning how to be one. I think this is Machine Gun at his best, relaxed and having a good time.

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Chuck Knapp, KSTP, 1973 (1:28)

...and we're gonna make this turkey fly...

Chuck Knapp, from a KSTP one-sheet
Fresh from his Chicago gigs, Chuck Knapp, from Fergus Falls (a few hours drive northwest of Minneapolis,) debuts on KSTP.

I only have the first 20 minutes and wished I had been able to get the whole first hour (but I had to get ready for school!) Chuck went on to become the PD of KSTP-FM and the last I heard he retired from radio and lives in the Twin Cities.

The air staff referred to KSTP on the air as a turkey, as in, "We're gonna make this turkey fly." And they did. In the summer of 1973, KSTP zoomed from last to number 2 in 100 days.

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Andy Barber, KSTP, 1974 (5:06)

...Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnndy Barber...

(l-r) Jim Channel, Steve Hatley, MG Kelly, 1974

When Machine Gun left for KHJ, Andy Barber was brought in to fill the 4 to 8 PM slot.

He spent the first few weeks on the air giving out his home phone number and inviting people to call.

It sounds hokey today, but I thought it was a pretty cool way to meet people. Of course, I was 18 at the time.

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G2/5.0 compatible, Aphex TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
KFRC 1980 Collector's Composite (10:04)

. . . America's most honored personality lineup . . .

I noticed an ad in Billboard in 1980 offering a tape of the winners of their radio competition. For five bucks, I figured, "what the hell" and bought it.

To my delight, one of the winners was KFRC. Here's Dr. Don Rose, Rick Shaw, Mike Novak, Mark McKay, Bill Lee and Candy.

Following the airchecks, promos and credits. (Written and Narrated by Mark McKay, Produced by Ron Hummel. Executive Producer: Gerry Cagle.)

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Bill Lee, WLOL, Minneapolis-St.Paul, May 1984 (5:39)

...got enough hits to pump to make you jump and shake your rump...

For a short while, Bill Lee and Mark McKay competed against each other in Minneapolis after having worked together at KFRC in San Francisco. What a strange feeling that must be...

Here's Bill pumping up PM drive on 99.5! (That rhyming stuff is contagious...)

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Mark McKay, KDWB-FM, Minneapolis-St.Paul, May 1984 (2:39)

... the station that makes your ears buzz ...

KDWB moved from AM 63 to FM 101 by this time, and was still playing the hits. Here's Mark McKay.

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The Jim Stewart Collection has been a part of REELRADIO since May 4, 1997
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