All Oldies, All the Time!
Last week, Saul Levin’e Mt. Wilson Broadcasting launched a new oldies station on KKGO’s digital stream (105.1 HD2), with a weekend simulcast on sister station KBOQ (1260 AM), which had been playing standards. Calling the oldies format K-Surf, the original plan was to try oldies only on 1260‘s weekends to drive listeners to the HD signal as well as to gauge listener acceptance of the new format.
Just one week later, the decision was made to run oldies full time on KBOQ. It appears that the listeners have spoken.
Levine says that the response has been huge and tremendously positive. This is not surprising; the oldies being played — primarily music from the 1950s through the ‘60s — have been essentially missing from the local airwaves for years. So the decision became a no-brainer. Levine says he is looking into hiring an air staff, and the call letters of 1260 were officially changed to KSUR as of 6 a.m. Monday.
What about the standards that 1260 had been playing up until last Friday? They can still be found on 105.1 HD3, as well as online at unforgettable1260.com and via smartphone apps like TuneIn and StreamS Hi Fi Audio.
So to recap: K-Surf is now oldies 24/7. Standards can still be heard on KKGO 105.1 HD3. And K-Surf is simulcast on 105.1 HD3. What a great way to attract listeners to HD streams, as well as to the AM band.
Numerous emails arrived almost as soon as the weekend simulcast began on March 10.
“I Remember dancing to 1260 AM music back in the 1950’s Van Nuys High School Sock Hop. Love this music the best times in my life.” — Danielle Gallardo
“I was just lamenting the other day that the oldies which are played on the radio today are not my oldies. I was beginning to think that I was from the dinosaur era … thank you for introducing me to true oldies.” — Sheena Caughey
Memories of KPOL
I grew up listening to KPOL (now KMPC, 1540 AM). Not necessarily by choice; it was the station my father listened to in the car and if he was in the car, that was the station we heard. No, there was no other choice.
KPOL at the time I recall played Beautiful Music, a format that was popular in the 1960s and early ‘70s, especially on FM, that featured string versions of popular songs as well as light vocals. KPOL was also on FM, simulcasting the music on 93.9, but due to the majority of radio listening at the time being AM, KPOL distinguished itself not only by playing the format on AM, it was also one of the few “pretty music” stations at the time with real DJs. And it had very decent ratings as well.
Until recently, I’ve never heard any recordings of KPOL; I didn’t think any existed. But through the magic of the internet, I found one. You can find it too … at http://tinyurl.com/1540KPOL. It’s from August 7, 1964 and not exactly the format I remember, but a good sample of easy listening music from long ago. And it does indeed feature the harp interlude sound I remember so well from my days as a passenger in our ’64 Impala wagon or our ’67 Camaro.
What is your favorite station and why? Favorite shows? Personalities? I’m working on the final tally of suggestions for the Radio Achievement Awards — aka The Waggies — for 2017, to be announced next week in this very space. Unless something else comes up, of course. Send your suggestions to me now; your suggestions and nominations could make a difference!