Sunday, June 17, 2007

KRCT, Goose Creek, KIKK, Pasadena

On August 31, 1946, a story in the Houston Post was headlined ‘Tri-Cities Radio to take to the air within 3 months.’ A construction permit had been granted by the FCC on Friday, August 30, to Bay Broadcasting Co. for station KRCT, to operate on 650 kc with 250w. C.Q. Alexander, the 6 foot 9 and a half inch mayor of Goose Creek was one of the principals. According to the Post a site had not even been selected yet but the Chronicle story on the same action said all the equipment had been acquired and the station expected to be on the air by Thanksgiving. The Chronicle reported the calls were to be either KBAY or KOCT, the latter apparently a typo.

The owners of the Goose Creek Daily Sun had applied for a permit for a 250 watt station 5 months earlier but that application had apparently been withdrawn. In its report on the KRCT permit the Chronicle also noted the Daily Sun had applied for a another permit for a full time 1000 watt station to operate on 1360.

I have not been able to pin down just when KRCT got on the air but if a site had not yet been selected it seems unlikely it came about in as little as 3 months. Many new stations in the 40s experienced delays of several months in their efforts to get on the air. The Houston papers reported on FCC actions concerning stations in Houston and the surrounding area and even as far away as Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, probably taking the information from an FCC press release or the wire services, but did not regularly cover other news of stations in the suburbs. It would have been up to the station to notify the papers of its progress and I have found no mentions.

As the applicants and then permitees of a competing radio station, the Daily Sun also carried little mention of KRCT unless it was legitimate news, such as in November of 1947 when the KRCT tower on Cedar Bayou was knocked down by a strong norther blowing through the area. Other than mentioning the permit for KRCT in August, 1946, the earliest mention I have found in the Goose Creek Daily Sun was on p. 2, June 24, 1947, of a radio address on the issue of school consolidation in the tri-cities area to be aired on KRCT. Just days later the paper reported on page 1 that Sylvia McKinstrey had resigned as City Clerk to go to work for KRCT.

Fortunately, mentions in other papers make it possible to move the date back.  On February 27 the Liberty Vindicator ran a story about a Baptist revival and said one of the sermons was due to be given over the air on KRCT on March 9 at 2:30 pm.   On April 17 the Vindicator reported on a concert in Liberty by a popular quartet, the Stamps-Times Quartet, which was heard regularly on Sundays at 8:05 am on KRCT and on May 22 ran an ad for The Baptist Hour, heard Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Crosby.  Also on May 22, the Freeport Facts ran an ad for a weekly dance at the Surfside Beach Pavilion on Friday nights featuring the Blues Rustlers who could be heard weekdays at 5:15 pm on the station.

Although an exact date still cannot be determined it's clear the station got on the air between late December, 1946, and mid February, 1947.

By the late 1950s the station was owned by Leroy Gloger who may have served as manager of the station before buying it. The first week of October, 1957, KRCT began broadcasting from new studios at 227 East Sterling in Pasadena and the city of license was changed to Pasadena. The station always ran lots of ads in the Chronicle with the first concerning the changeover appearing on October 2 proclaiming a Grand Opening going on the 3rd thru the 6th with everyone invited to stop by and visit the new facilities. There was to be $1000 worth of door prizes. The on-air schedule included Hal Harris from 6a-10a, Gabe Tucker, 10a-1p and Sleepy Bob (Bob Everson) from 1-5pm. Tucker had been a country dj in Houston in the early 50s on KATL and KNUZ and had been one of the last KATL djs after the station switched to KYOK. He spent a couple of years in Nashville managing Ernest and Justin Tubb and the Wilbourne Brothers before returning to Houston to KRCT. His wife was also in the music business.

Broadcasting Yearbook gives the year of origin of KIKK-AM as 1957, reflecting the move to Pasadena.

Gloger liked to claim that 650 was Houston’s only ‘clear channel’ station but the clear was assigned to WSM, Nashville, the Houston station was always limited to daytimes only. Over the years the station was also promoted as the ‘Voice of Labor.’

On May 1, 1961, Gloger opened new studios in the Montagu Hotel at 804 Fannin at Rusk in downtown Houston and changed the call letters to KIKK, again proclaiming the switch in big ads in the Chronicle. A story in the TV section of the Chronicle the previous day advised readers not to worry, it was the same old KRCT, just new calls, and helpfully noted the DJs would refer to the station as ‘Kick, for kicks.’ Gloger told the Chronicle reporter the change came about because research had shown call letter confusion among listeners. The ads just used block lettering for the call letters; it is not known yet just when the familiar boots came to be used for the ‘k’s.

The KIKK calls had previously been used on a station in Bakersfield, CA, which ironically dropped the calls when it changed formats to country music.

The air staff included Hal Harris from sign on to 9am and 12N to 3pm, Gabe Tucker from 9 to Noon, and Tiger Myers from 3pm to signoff. Hal Wallace was the newsman.


The image is an ad for KIKK the weekend the call letters were changed. If anyone has any information about when KRCT got on the air or exactly when it changed hands to Leroy Gloger, I'd appreciate hearing from them.

Anyone wanting more information about the meaning of clear channel stations, not the company, can find an article on Barry Mishkind's Broadcast Archive site listed among the Radio History links on the side-bar (the site does not allow linking directly to individual pages).

8 comments:

MissPati said...

I found this letter in my Grandmother's picture album. I remember my mother saying she worked at a radio station but I do not know where or when. Her name was Jennie Eva (Briggs) Pitts. Do you know who Biff is?


DEAR FOLKS,
How's EVERYTHING AT YOUR HOUSE? HOPE YOU'RE FINE~ AS WE ARE. THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO WRITE SINCE OUR LAST MESS IN THE MAIL. SHIRL HAD A LITTLE THROAT SORENESS FOR A FEW DAYS, BUT IS FINE NOW. I'M DISGUSTINGLY HEALTHY, THANKS TO THE GOOD LORD. You KNOW, IN ALL MY LifE I'VE NEVER BEEN REALLY SICK. I REMEMBER IN 1950 I WENT HOME TO SAN ANTONIO TO HAVE MY TONSILS OUT, BUT OTHERWISE THE MOST I'VE EVER HAD WAS A COLD. ANYWAY, WE'RE FINE AND GRATEFUL FOR IT. EVEN OUR CRAZY MINAH B'RD WOODLES IS MEAN AS EVER. IF YOU'VE NEVER HAD A MINAH BIRD, YOU SHOULD ASK THE ~iITEHEADS WHAT IT'S LIKE. THEY GOT ONE WHEN THEY WERE HERE LAST SUMMER ON VACATION. GUESS WHAT THEY NAMED IT •• ? SI~LEYJ (CAN'T EVEN SPELL IT - HA1)o
OUR SITUATION HERE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANYTIME. I'LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AS TIME GOES ON AND I KNOW FOR SURE FOR MYSELF. LATEST ON THE KXYZ THING IS YES­DEFINITELY~ BUT JUST WHEN WE'LL START IS SOMETHING ELSE AGAINo I DON'T KNOW YET JUST WHAT KIND OF SHOW I'M GONNA OO~ THE MAN SAYS IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE GONNA KEEP IT POP FOR THE TIME BEING ANYWAY. I'M STILL TRYING TO TALK HIM INTO LETTIN' ME DO A COUNTRY SHOW, BUT I JUST MAY END UP DOING A POP SHow.ANYWAY~ THAT'S THE STORY UP TO NOW. J' LL LET YOU KNOW MORE AS I fllND OUT MYSELF.
HEY~ I HEARD MY OLD BAREFOOT BUDDY IS DOING A DAILY SHOW ON KRCT NOW. BLESS HIS HE~ 1 I'M SO GLAD FOR HIM. I KNOW HE'S THR I LLED ABOUT I T AND I AM TOO. You ALL BE SURE TO LISTEN AND SUPPORT OLD JACK uERRICK, WILL YOU? YOU'LL NEVER FIND ANYONE MORE APPRECIAT~VE AND GRATEFUL FOR YOUR INTEREST, AND THAT'S FOR SURE. KEEP JACK ON THE BALL FOR ME, WILL YOU? HE'S ONE OF THE BEST OnD HILLBILLIES THAT EVER SLUD INTO A PAtR OF BOOTS, AND THAT'S FOR SURE.
ONE OF MY OLDEST FRIENDS, JOE ALLISON, WHO'S A TOP D.J. AT KFOX HERE IN LONG BEACH, HAS JUST BEEN MADE HEAD OF THE NEW COUNTRY ~USIC DEPARTMENT AT LIBERTY RECORDS. HE'S JU S T SIGNED AND IS SE T TO REC ORO BOB WILLS ANC THE TEXAS PLA YLOYS. WITH TOr~dViY DUNCAIei ACOUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, SHIRLEY AND I WENT UP TO LA0 VEGAS TO VISIT MY DEAR FRIEND WADE RAY AND HIS WIFE GRACE. BOB AND TOMMY AND THE BAND WERE WORKING WITH HIM THERE AT ~HE GOLDEN NUGGET. HAD A CHANCE TO CUT UP SOME OLD TIMES WITH BOB AND TOMMY, AS WELL AS WITH WAGE. WHAT A WONDERFUL GUY THAT WADE IsA AND SUCH A REAL FRIEND.
OLD "POKE SALAO" CHARLIE WALKER HAS BEEN HERE THE PAST WEEK WORKING AROUND THE AREA. HE'S DONE REALL GOOD TOO. CHARLIE YOU KNOW IS STILL LIVING AND WORKING IN SAN ANTONIO AT Kr~C AS A TOP COUNTRY D.J., AND NOW IS ALSO A BIG NAME AS A RECORD ARTIST AFTER H'S BIG "PICK NE UP ON Y'JLR WAY DOWN" ON COLUMBIA LAST YEAR. lVERLE TRAVIS
HAS BEEN IN THE HOSI?ITAL, PRETTY BAD SICK I GUESS. I'M SORRY I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S THE TROUBLE~ BUT I KNOW YOU WISH WITH ME A QUICK RECOVERY FOR MERLE.
RE~EMBER BOB CUTTING? BOB AND I WERE THE ORIGINAL PAIR ON THE OLD HOUSTON HOEGOWN
ON KNUZ WHEN WE FIRST WENT ON THE AIR BACK IN FEBRUARY 1948. BOB WALKED IN TO THE STUDIO ONE DAY ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO AND ALMOST SCARED ME OUTTA MY PANTS. HE'S BEEN LIVING IN DENVER AND WORKING IN RADIO THERE FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS. HE WAS IN L.A. LOOKING FOR A NEW LOCATION IN RADIO. ANY OF YOU WHO'D LIKE TO DROP A NOTE TO SAY HELLO TO BOB, I KNOW 'T WOULD TICK&E HIM IF YOu'D WRITE TO BOB CUTTING - 150 DEL MAR CIRCLE, APT. A - AURORA. COLORADO. SOME OF YOU ASKED ABOUT HAZEL ADAMS' ADDRESS.
I FOUND IT, IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: HAZEL ADAMS - 605 EAST 18TH ST.~CHEYENE. WYOMING.HAZEL LIVED IN BAYTOWN FOR YEARS AND WAS ALWAYS A BIG COUNTRY MUSIC BOOSTER.
THIS MONTH'S HONOR ROLL (FOLKS WE'VE HEARO FROM SINCE WE WROTE LAST):
JOHN & NITA ROGERS{BIG BIRD'S COMIN' ),JEAN SUMvERS (GRANDMA), BUD & BUD HOOPER (LOUISIANA HAYRIDERS), WRS. SOUTH (THANKS FOR THE MAIL), GRANDMA VERCHER (YOUNGER THAN ALL OF US), GRANDMA, I'M AFRAID YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SENT IT •• CAN'T FIND 'T. WRS. MASTIN (WROTE MRs. SOUTH - MEmTloNED BARBARA WHITEHEAD'S MARRAIGE),MRS. BAKENHUS(WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT THE FRIENDSHIP CLUB-' WOULD Too),TEXAS REi. (VAL.ENTINE PRETTY - THANKSI STILL SENDING IN THOSE REQUESTS-L.OVES THAT "TATER"), THE HERMAN OBERPRILLAR (so GOOD TO HEAR FROM THEM. WRITE AGAIN & TELL ME WHAT YOU'RE DOING') LOUISE FUUV£R(SAYS JERRY JERICHO IS A HAYRIDE REGULAR-RECORDS IN NASH. SOON FOR COL. BEE GASTON(BEE, SOMEDAY I'M GONNA WRITE A NOVEL-SEND ME THE INFO),VANN & JENNIE EVA PITTS (SAYS SLEEPY BOB 15 ON KTRH-TELL ME MORE)~ HAZEL AUAMS(SAYS DON'T JUMP IN THE CAR AND S~AM THE DOOR-SHE DID AND THE BACK WINDOW FELL OUT-HUSBAND!S WORKING ON A MISSILE), PliW AND tviAY DURDEN(wORKS WITH THE "BIG BROTHERS. INC.", LISTED IN HOUSTON PHONE DIRECTORY. 'F YOU WANT TO HEL.P SOME BOYS BE GOOD BOYS, GRADY SAya CONTACT THEM':
THE HIGGANBOTHAMS IN HUNTSVILLE-REMEMBER GENEVA? (SENT ME A PICTURE OF HER-SHE'S A REAL LITTLE LADY NOW-LEARNING CORNET-SUNG SOME WITH RED NOVAK, HERBIE REMINGTON. ETC THE FROELICHS(MY GIRL fRIEND VIVIAN IS STILL GOING TO SCHOOL-SISTER FAYE IS STILL PICKIN' THE GUITAR), THE ROSSES (JLORIA JvY & M1NOR)-TOOK PICTURES OF THE SNOW IN HOUS-BUT HASN'T SENT US ANY.) RITA & LOW$S RAES~£R~THREEW AWAY REDUCING PILLS AND LOST WEIGHT WHILE SHE WAS "GRANDMA SITTIN' FOR MAMA, WHO VISITED BY THE STORK)_
HOPE I DIDN'T MISS ANYONE. IF I DID, YOU KNOW IT'S ONLY BECAUSE I'M NOT A GOOD SECRETARY, AND NOT BECAUSE I DON'T APPRECIATE YOUR TAKING THE TIME TO WRITE. DO IT AGAIN! NOTHING PLEASE ME MORE THAN TO BE REMEMBERED BY FRIENDS. PLEASE LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH. ONE OF THESE TIMES SOON WE HOPE TO COME HOME AND HOPE TO BE ABLE TO GET IN TOGETHER WITH ALL OF YOU WHEN WE DO. STILL NO WORD ON TEH DATE OF SHIRLEY'S APPEARANCE ON GROUCHO'S SHOW. PORMISE I'LL YOU KNOW AS SOON AS WE FIND OUT. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF AND EVERYBODY ELSE, YOU HEAR ME? BIFF

F. G. Onions for the right said...

I still have a business card from KIKK in
1963 with the boots.
I will try to find it and send it to you. I worked DJ weekends and sold ads during the week. Leroy was a great boss but my wife was pregnant with our first son and we moved closer to home ... KRRV in Sherman Texas which folded a month after I got there. Served at KLPR, WNAD and KTOK in Oklahoma City before being put out to pasture.
My web rants at
http://friedgreenonions.com
http://jimmiedalemartin.com

Bruce said...

Will look forward to hearing from you FGO. Any pictures of the setup, staff, etc?

Bruce said...

Just realized I never replied to misspatti on the blog, just by email. The Biff referenced was Biff Collie, one of the original hires on KNUZ in 1948, became the morning man, later worked at KLEE and KPRC before leaving for the West Coast.

Anonymous said...

My name is Weston Gloger. Leroy is my late great great grandfather. I'm only 15 but it's incredibly interesting to read these things about him.

Bruce said...

Yes, your ancestor was a legend in Houston Broadcasting. If you learn anything more about him please get back in touch and share.

MissPati said...

I want to thank you for publishing my grandmother's letter. After years of genealogical research I have found that every piece of information you have is important to researching our ancestry. I hope someday..someone..will find this and it will help them.
congratulations to your many years of service to the Houston area. God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

FYI - Susan Gloger was the one that sketched out the first KIKK boots logo on a napkin. I remember her showing it to me at the Dairy Queen in League City in the early 60's. Gene S.