REEL TOP 40 RADIO REPOSITORY
These clips are courtesy of Uncle Ricky's old friend Tony Cox. Tony and I first met in 1979 when he returned to Sacramento from Chicago (WEFM) for his second tour at KROY (1240/96.9) as morning guy. In the early 1990's, Tony was Production Guru during one of the last attempts to revive San Francisco's KFRC.
An article in the Sacramento Bee, (January 7, 1997), reported that Tony planned to avoid full-time radio. "I've been at stations that have been bought and sold seven times in the past 3 1/2 years," said Cox. Tony was the creative genius behind many of the great radio and TV spots produced in Sacramento in the '90's.
In the early 80's at KROY, we liked taking the show on the road, and it was typical for Tony to stake out a busy intersection once a week as Cox on the Corner. He also did his show from a hot air balloon, a rubber raft on the American river, and a hot-tub. As far as I know, he almost always did his show fully clothed. Almost.
In 1996, Tony found a cassette of old airchecks. He probably has others, but he did find one, anyway. Clips from that cassette, and some others, are featured here, in The Tony Cox Collection. In the 22nd century, Tony has taken off the headphones and is the web entrepreneur behind ARRESTED.COM.
[Note from Ricky:] I wrote these descriptions - Tony helped with some history ...
Don Steele, KHJ, L.A., Spring, 1972 (3:52)..a Sweet Season, sweety - get it on, baby!
Now, you see, that's the difference between the Real Don Steele and everyone else. We all know that saying "sweety" or "baby" is a great way to sound like an idiot. But the Real One did it and got ratings...
1972 was one of many transitional years for Top-40. Does anyone play both the Carpenters and Black Sabbath anymore? Those were the days..
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Robert W. Morgan & Don Imus, WNBC, 1973 (10:52)
. . . I figured it out from the latest ratings - 38 States - you got 4 listeners a State . . .
This clip highlights Robert W. Morgan as a guest on the Don Imus show on WNBC, New York. Both had been nominated for Billboard's Disc Jockey of the Year.
Morgan had apparently left KHJ, Los Angeles, and was "between jobs". Please feel free to COMMENT, below, if you have additional information about this one...
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Bobby Ocean, KFRC, 1975 (14:53)
..Nobody loves you like I do - but you oughta see my new contract...
The first "finale" from the incredible Bobby Ocean, this time from 1975, when Ocean left KFRC for KHJ, Los Angeles. Rick Shaw replaced Ocean at the Big 610.
This clip begins with a set from John Mack Flanagan, and picks up the "Osh" at high noon. There's some unfortunate distortion on this one, but not so much as to spoil the pure enjoyment of one of Top 40's greatest on a San Francisco legend. (Aircheck edited and produced by KFRC engineer George Zema.)
KROY, Sacramento/Jeff "Mother" Robins, 1977 (2:30)The mind controls everything. It controls pain, the gastric juice secretions in the stomach...
Tony himself voices a promo for his show on 1240 KROY in what we think was probably January 1977. Otherwise, most of this clip is nightime rocker Jeff "Mother" Robins, but there's one set from "The Blind Owl" (Brian White, formerly KSFM, KFRC) at the end.
Tony says that the whole gang went on to WEFM in Chicago after this; I didn't arrive in Sacramento until almost two years later. There's no one aircheck that could ever represent KROY, because the station dominated the market for almost two decades. A pretty amazing feat when you consider KROY was 1000 watts day, and 250 watts at night! KROY was not known for classic formatic elements - you'll hear no jingles, no power-promo seques - just the jock and the music.
In 1977, KROY was consulted by veteran programmer John Rook, who also was consulting me, at KAFY in Bakersfield, CA. Notable: the heavy recurrent depth (emphasis on hits 12 to 18 months old) and "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Tightly-formatted AOR had yet to appear, there was no such thing as "FM Top-40" in Sacramento, and KROY was still pulling double-digit 12+ shares. Amazing.
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. . . It is Springtime, it's time for joy, and we all grow toward the Spirit in the Sky ... I'm Bobby Ocean, God bless you one and all . . .
Happy April Fool's Day - it's the Dr. Don Rose Show! Except Dr. Don had the day off, and the guest hosts ranged from Dave Diamond to Paul Drew - and they all sounded like Bobby Ocean.
Bobby brought the whole production room with him - you'll hear authentic KFRC jingles going back to the pre-Drake days, a bogus "editorial" from General Manager Pat Norman, and Ballatine Jones, of course.
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Bobby Ocean, KFRC Finale, August 8, 1986 (25:09)
. . . Walter taught little Beezer how to count - you asked him: What comes after three? And he said, "Not Bobby Ocean". . .
Again, the remarkable "Osh" was well-prepared and highly produced, and you'll be delighted by his special News Reports and his official "Apology", plus, a classic Top of Hour ID, mixed to an 80's jingle. The KFRC TV spot audio is awesome, as is the Reverend Bobby's "Inspirational Message" that follows. There is even a message just for Repository listeners - "future generations listening to tape recordings of this broadcast milestone."
"The Amazing AM" has never been the same. It's unfortunate that the "east coast white men who really run things" didn't take Bobby's advice: "You better stop messin' around..." (Aircheck edited and produced by Elizabeth Salazar.)
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Bobby Ocean, KFRC Christmas Party, 12/12/1995 (15:19)
. . . This is the Ocean/Flawless Christmas Cruise . . .
It's a delightful Holiday Treat for 2003 from eight short years before! Contributor Tony Cox picked this one up a few years back when he worked at KFRC, San Francisco.
This one will certainly rank among the top Bobby Ocean Fun 'Checks, and may be the most exclusive of all the treasures featured in The Tony Cox Collection. Bobby offers his own personal Christmas awards and introduces his engineer, Flawless George Zema as he fills in for Cha Cha Sylvia Chacon on the evening of this pre-deregulation KFRC Christmas Party.
It's Magic - and every oldie is a journey, or so says Bobby, who is obviously having
more fun than a party doing and saying things that simply aren't appropriate for anyone