Radio Waves: May 3, 2024

Seacrest’s Tour 

Ryan Seacrest celebrated 20 years as the KIIS (102.7 FM) morning host with a special “Ryan Seacrest’s 20th Anniversary Thank You Tour” as he traveled from the Orange County to Los Angeles April 25th. Along the way he stopped by some of his favorite places and payed the bills for one lucky winner at each location.

Locations chosen were to meet listeners at some of the meaningful small businesses that have been a part of the show throughout the years, according to KIIS-FM’s Tamar Aprahamian. They included The Disneyland Resort, Los Alamitos High School, SnoCorner in Long Beach, Ruben’s Bakery and Mexican Food in Compton, Malik Books in Culver City, Guerrilla Tacos in downtown Los Angeles, El Sereno Grocer in Los Angeles and the Shell gas station on Hollywood Way in Burbank.

Benny Show Recreation

I celebrated my 39th birthday again a few weeks ago, April 5th. If you understand the reference you know that I am a longtime fan of comedian and entertainer Jack Benny, who dominated the radio and television ratings for many years on the NBC and CBS networks.

Apparently I am not alone in my admiration of Benny. Of course I already knew that. But reader Robert Mills wrote in to tell me about a special recreation production of what he describes as what radio sounded like in its heyday. Take a listen to “Witness for the Prosecution at bit.ly/JackBennyWitness and let me know what you think.

What you want; what you like … 

Here are a few of the responses received so far regarding your radio wishes:

“I so enjoy catching up with the articles you write; since 1961 the first thing I’d do is check the radio logs in my San Francisco Examiner, though the Sunday Chronicle was superior for it’s Pink entertainment section, list of stations and the day’s special events.

“KGO was my go to Saturday nights, we had no TV, my sister and I would bake scratch brownies to listen to “Coyle & Sharpe Man On The Street” interviews.

On my Navy enlistment I brought my family to Long Beach, radio in both LA and San Francisco were just outstanding. Years of KMPC, Michael Jackson on KGO … it’s not about nostalgia but so missing community oriented radio” — Bob Lannon, Gridley

“Since you asked here it is: I would like more of the so called oldies stations to play 60s rock and roll like KSURF (105.1 HD4).  KSURF is great but it being an HD station the reception is spotty and cuts out a lot where I live.  

“Also, I miss the old days when the likes of Joe Pyne would get feisty with his guests on KABC and KLAC. I remember him hanging up on callers a few times when they would get him mad. He was very successful for a man that lost one of his legs.  

“Another one I miss is Paul Harvey. While serving in the Air Force I would listen to him on Armed forces radio Philippines and Armed forces radio Thailand (AFPN, AFTN). I particularly liked his unique style of commentary that often ended with ” and now the rest of the story”.  He was one of a kind.” — Daniel A. Schary, Lakewood.

“How about a column about local radio shows that we have gripes about. Mine would be the 9 hours of local shows on ESPN (KSPN, 710 AM). This is sports radio but the hosts spend more time talking about ridiculous matters like How often they shower, how often they wash their towels, which fast food joint makes the best fries, etc, etc. ESPN has a bevy of fine analysts but these shows rarely have any of them on as quests who would give the shows some credibility.” — Ed Kass

Gripes are what I do perhaps too well, something I am trying to move away from. But I do understand your issue. I think part of the problem is the idea of all-sports talk radio itself — there just isn’t the content to have 24-hours of coverage, especially in a city that has so many other avenues of entertainment.

Perhaps that’s what made the old KMPC (ironically at the same frequency) tick – they covered numerous sports teams and had some great commentary, but it wasn’t all day and night. Makes you wonder what would happen if you created something similar today.

Barrett Tribute

Michael Stark and I are “rebooting” our radio-related podcast, expanding it a bit into more than just over-the air radio discussions. Now called “Radio Waves … and other noises,” it is being relaunched with a re-airing of an interview Stark did with radio pioneer, author and historian Don Barrett, who passed away last year.

It’s a fascinating journey through the years and includes Barrett’s humor, humility, knowledge, and tremendous positive outlook regarding all things radio. Available in two parts, hear it at https://spoti.fi/3QncPEB.

Coming soon, if not already, there will be more interviews and other discussions, with a plan to release new content once per month. That will alternate with my own (solo) podcast that will serve as a companion to this column. … also coming soon.

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