Friday, January 16, 2015

Arbitron Trends, '74-'76

Five book trends, October/November '74 to October/November '76 (there were only two Arbitron ratings periods per year at that time).

A big spurt for KAUM in '75, a  nice bump for KCOH, too.  KYND continued to dominate the Beautiful Music field as it would do for another several years.  KILT-AM (still rock at that time) holding out against all competitors but KRBE nipping at its heels especially in teens.  KLYX was running the NBC News format at that time and had not yet switched to Majic 102 so KYOK continued to dominate the Black listening audience numbers.

From a special edition of Radio and Records, the Industry's Newspaper, 'Arbitron Breakouts, October/November '76' devoted exclusively to reports like this on the top 75 markets.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

KYOK Mobile Studio

These pictures are from March, 1978.

Don Nash, Chief Engineer of KYOK in the 70s, built the studio which was in use frequently.  The turntables and cart machines were DC because AC wasn't stable enough back then.  Don reports there were frequent breakdowns of equipment which necessitated rebuilding the whole studio including the console within about 2 years.

The studio could be taken out cruising around Loop 610 and never lose a signal (the receiver was on One Shell, the tallest building in town at the time), but if they got too far west they had to pull over and raise the antenna.

When Don started at KYOK in 1971 he had a staff of four, necessary to operate the station at night.  By the time he left in 1980 he was the only person on the engineering staff.  He had designed and built a totally automated system which he wound up selling to Potomac Instruments of Silver Spring, MD.  He then left KYOK and went to work for Potomac for 10 years where he developed their RC-16 Remote Control System as Chief Digital Design Engineer.

As a side note, he was into computers early.  He bought one of the first Altair computers (serial # 26) which he took time off from KYOK to drive to Albuquerque to pick up.

KYOK was the last station Don worked at.  Previously he had been at WTOC (now WTKS), Savannah, GA, WRIP (now WYDN) Chattanooga, WEAM (now WZHF) Arlington, VA, WOKO (now WOPG), Albany, NY, KTLK (now KKZN) Denver, and WINQ, Tampa, before getting the offer from KYOK which was owned by the Starr Brothers at the time.  He served as either Chief or Assistant Chief at all those stations except the first one.  After he got into design work he let his license lapse.  He's retired now, living overseas, and maintains this website.  I am grateful to him for sharing these pictures and history.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Look Back at KLOL, 10 Years After

The Chronicle's Craig Hlavaty doing a little reminiscing, including an audio clip of a discussion with Outlaw Dave and pictures.

Monday, November 3, 2014

J. Kent Hackleman - KTRH Talk Show Host

J. Kent Hackleman was an early talk show host on KTRH.  His granddaughter has this site devoted to him, trying to raise money to digitize 300 audio tapes of his shows.  There are some pictures and a little bit of history.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The 50th Anniversary of the Crash of the KODABIRD

A couple of weeks ago, JR Gonzales published this article on his Bayou City History blog about the crash of the KODABIRD.  There's only one picture but there are excerpts from the newspaper coverage of the day and more background on the individuals involved.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Record Shops and Radio - 1940s-1960s

Here's an article from Houston History Magazine.  The Jive Hive was before my time but anyone who was around in the 60s through the 90s will remember The Record Rack on Shepherd at Alabama.

The article includes lots of quotes from Paul Berlin, who had a record store of his own, on the relation between record shops and radio.

For those interested in more recent history, here's an article from the Press in 2002 about the end of the Record Rack.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Early KTRH and KTLC Performers

I just stumbled on this source by accident.  Story Sloane writes a feature article for the emag Houston Lifestyles and Homes using photos from his great collection and a year ago published this one about early radio performers.

There was a Guy Savage who worked at KXYZ in the 1950s and later was sports director of Channel 13 in the 60s.  I have wondered before what the connection was to the earlier Guy Savage on KTRH; I don't see a physical resemblance.

The KTLC studios were in the old Houston Post building at Texas and Travis, catty-corner from the Chronicle.

There was a time in radio when not only were the announcers always live but all music had to be performed live also.

FOLLOWUP:  In addition to providing the ID in the comments, Dave Westheimer sent along this picture of Guy Savage (left) and Gus Mancuso (right), broadcast team of the Houston Buffs in the 1950s.  Dave says the square-cut, dimpled chin is the give-away.  Okay, so I never was very good at faces.  This is the same man who was the first morning man on KTRH and I can confirm that's the man I remember doing sports on KTRK-TV in the 60s.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KUHT History in Pictures

From the University of Houston Digital Library, 346 pictures and videos of the history of Channel 8 over the decades, including people, buildings, equipment, etc.  There are numerous video clips; I saw only 2 pictures of KUHF.  Several entries indicate the archivists have no idea what they're looking at.

Click on the Library Blog link at the bottom of the page for a very brief introduction to the collection.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Jackie McCauley - KLOL PD

I knew Jackie back in the 70s and knew she had been to Rice, but never knew of the historical significance of that as revealed by this post on the Rice History Corner blog.

Besides being PD of KLOL in the 70s (see the KLOL brochure here), then of KSAN-FM, San Francisco, she had an interview program, 'Shootin' the Breeze,' featuring interviews with leading Black music artists, produced and distributed by Westwood. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bill Young - RIP

As posted on Bill Young Productions -

a dominant force on the Houston radio scene for decades as talent, program director, production specialist and voice, passed early Sunday, June 1. 

No obituary posted yet nor arrangements for a service.

I am in shock.

For those who do not know of Bill, I highly recommend his book.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Remembrance of the Early Days of TV in Houston

Long-time Houston columnist (the Post and the Chronicle) Leon Hale published this account of his early experiences with television several years ago. 

It was like this for many of us who saw television in the early days -- you stared at the test pattern a lot.  I first saw a television set in late 1949 or early 1950, when Channel 2 was still KLEE-TV.  At an uncle's house in the Heights we sat and watched; nothing was scheduled for hours but he kept getting up to adjust the set when the test pattern appeared to flicker or move.  My family didn't have a set for at least a year after that.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Features from the Rice History Corner

From the Rice archives...

a feature on KTRU with some pictures and lots of comments.  Take a look at that archives link.  How many stations do you know that have an archive of broadcasts like that?

A feature on James L. 'Jimmie' Autry, Rice student and early radio enthusiast, who was mentioned in the Pre-Broadcast era post on this blog, including pictures of his equipment.  The archivist asks for some help in understanding the equipment.  Perhaps readers of this blog can help.

And, television at Rice in 1934!.  Houston had 3 AM radio stations, no FM stations, and the first TV station was 15 years in the future, but they were watching TV at Rice!