Radio Waves: 5/15/20

Smith consults KJLH

Locally owned and operated KJLH (102.3 FM) has a new consultant.

“Hurricane” Dave Smith has will oversee and consult in the areas of programming, marketing and operations … pretty much the entire public face of the station. He will assist General Manager Karen Slade, Market Manager Elston Butler, and Program Director Aundrae Russell.

I’ve reached out to Smith who was unavailable at the time I am writing this; I hope to meet with him and station managers soon to explore their vision for the station’s future.

KJLH was launched from the ashes of the former KILB/Long Beach, according to Wikipedia (which is never wrong), when John Lamar Hill – JLH – bought the station in 1965 and changed the format to “Black music” as it was called at the time: Rhythm and Blues, soul, jazz, and middle of the road. Hill was the owner of the Angelus Funeral Home in South Los Angeles, and wanted to program the station to serve his community. He moved the transmitter to better cover the new city of license — Compton — and surrounding areas such as South Los Angeles and the Crenshaw District.

In 1979, Hill sold the station to Stevie Wonder, who gave the station a new slogan to match the call letters and a new format to better match the times. Urban Contemporary KJLH then became the home of Kindness, Joy, Love and Happiness. Wonder’s company — Taxi Productions — still owns KJLH today.

Stiller Passes

While he is better known now as George Costanza’s father on Seinfeld, you may remember when he was all over first radio and then television with his wife Anne Meara in the 1970s and ‘80s advertising for Blue Nun wine, along with other companies and public service campaigns. Their pun-filled ad-libs made for some very entertaining commercials, based in part on the banter they developed as stand-up comedians in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Jerry Stiller passed away May 10th at the age of 92. His son, actor-comedian Ben Stiller announced the passing on Twitter, writing “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”

Meara died in 2015.

I have great memories of the Blue Nun Stiller and Meara ads … it seems they were heard constantly when I was young. I recently heard one on an aircheck of (probably) KHJ, but they were  national. Hearing it at my current age, I was able to more appreciate the puns and double entendre found throughout the ads … they were quite clever and something missing from much of radio advertising today. 

Giving a Hug

Paul McGuire from Castaic low-powered KHUG sent an update:

“After reading your column where you mentioned KHUG, a listener from Alhambra, Paul Kenedy, wrote into the station and suggested a female blues DJ — Irene B., the Mississippi Moonshine Mama, from Cairns, Australia — would be a great addition to and a great match with the station.  

“Kenedy copied Irene on his note to KHUG (received by owner/DJ Henry Urick), and she wound up volunteering to do a show for KHUG despite never having heard of the station, not to mention living on another continent!

“Her show, “Drivin’ Home with the Blues,” premiered May 4th in its new weekly time slot, Mondays, 7-8 p.m. P.T. You can hear it online at

Long Distance Travels

I had many responses to my column last week on long-distance (DX) listening, and will feature some of your responses next week … just to give me time to sort through all the emails! But one in particular included a link that you might find helpful if you are DXing yourself.

It’s a list of every AM station on every frequency in the United States. You can print it out or keep it handy on your computer. Just make sure you don’t have your computer nearby as you try to DX any AM stations. The link was sent to me by Victor D’Agostino and compiled by “Mesa Mike.” Find it at