The period from mid-1946 through 1948 was a very active one on the Houston and Southeast Texas radio scene with many new stations, both AM and FM, coming on the air. In the first five months of 1948 alone 4 new stations took to the air in Houston and throughout the year there were more in the boonies and burbs.
When Call of Houston, Inc., put their new AM on the air on May 5, 1948, they promised Houston listeners something different, ‘no hillbilly music, no jump music, and no loud commercials.’ Former Houstonian Lee Segall had pioneered the ‘Good Music’ format on KIXL-AM and FM in Dallas the previous year and this was perhaps a take-off on that.
Teaser ads ran in the papers leading up to the launch inviting listeners to ‘take the one-day listening test’ and enjoy their ‘sequence music.’ General Manager John Pace had previously worked for Wire Music, Inc., an early piped-in music service. On the 5th a full schedule of their programming was printed so listeners could follow along with program titles like Rise and Shine, Musical Designs, Tropicana, Easy Anytime and Bluebird of Happiness.
The Good Music format was to evolve into what was called Beautiful Music but up until the late 1950s, Good Music stations regularly included light classical and semi-classical selections in their library. KCOH’s programming went perhaps a step farther than most – originally, a midday program was to be dedicated to the Houston Symphony Orchestra and might include a ‘serious’ classical work, perhaps a full symphony or concerto.
The original studios of KCOH were located in the penthouse on the top floor of the M & M building at # 1 Main street, the building which now houses the University of Houston, Downtown, and the station referred to itself as Radio Penthouse.
In the summer of 1953 a group of Black businessmen headed by Robert C. Meeker bought KCOH, making it either the 1st or 2nd Black owned station in Texas and first station in Houston targeted at Black listeners.
In 1963 KCOH moved from its penthouse studios on Main to picture-window studios on Almeda, where it's been ever since.
KCOH is the 9th oldest surviving Houston radio station and 2nd oldest still using its original calls.
There will be more on KCOH in the section of the AM Chronology on the 1940s and 1950s and in the Station Profiles.