Friday, December 14, 2012

Update on KCOH - Movin' on Up UPDATED

It was announced this morning on the air, KCOH will be moving to the 1230 spot on the dial, where the call letters KQUE have been in use.  The current programming will continue, operating out of the KCOH picture window studios on Almeda.

The Chronicle story has more details.


Friday, November 16, 2012


The radio community has been buzzing this week over the announced sale of KCOH.  The station has been on the market for a couple of years and it looks like the sale will mean the demise of the programming.

J.R. Gonzales of the Chronicle's Bayou City History Blog has dug out a couple dozen pictures from the newspaper files for an article and a great pictorial of the station's history since it became Black-owned and programmed.

(I wish I had access to those archives!).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Russ 'Weird Beard' Knight - RIP

Mike McGuff broke the news the other day.  Here's a link to an obit in a Connecticut newspaper.

J.R. Gonzales chimed in with a post including a picture on his Bayou City History blog in the Chronicle.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chronicle Radio Ads

J.R. Gonzales' Bayou City History blog in the Chronicle has another radio related post this week with a picture of a couple of paper boys and 7 radio commercials for the Chronicle, believed to date from the late 1960s.  He's asked if anybody can identify the announcer.  I wasn't around Houston much in that era and there were many voices on the radio I wasn't familiar with.  I've entered a guess, anyway.

Give 'em a listen and see if you can help, or just give 'em a listen.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Galleries - Archives of African American Music and Culture

I had discovered this material several years ago but when I went to post about it on the blog, it had been taken off the web.  I went looking for it and found it again.  These archives are maintained by Indiana University.  On the side-bar on the right, click on the sub-galleries for Rick Roberts, George Nelson, Skipper Lee Frazier and Travis Gardner for collections of photos relating to KCOH and KYOK.  There is one photo in the Rick Roberts collection relating to KGBC, Galveston.  There are only a few shots of the studios and personalities but it's great stuff.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Success Story of KSBJ-FM

The Chronicle's Four DVRs, No Waiting radio and TV blog by David Barron has posted the complete text of an article about the success of Contemporary Christian Music station KSBJ-FM.

Only an abbreviated version of the article had previously been published.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

FM Chronology - The 1960s Part IV - KNRO-FM, KIKK-FM, KGBC-FM, KFRD-FM

KNRO-FM, Conroe, signed on in February, 1965, at 106.9 MHz.  The exact date of the first broadcast is not known but Broadcasting Yearbook gives the date as February 14.  A permit had been issued 2 weeks earlier for remote control operation.   In early August of 1968, the station went to 24 hours a day, launching an all-night country music program hosted by a former Nashville musician, Bill Board.  The midnight to 6am show was call the Tennessee Bill Board Country Music program according to Station Manager Bob Brown.  (Note:  I did not make this story up; it was published in Billboard). The station operated with 40,000 watts at that time.

The station was acquired by the Jimmy Swaggert Evangelical Association on March 31, 1978.  In the 1979 Broadcasting Yearbook the calls are given as KMCV-FM but it is not known when those calls were adopted.  The listing shows the station operating with 98,000 watts from a 530 foot tall antenna.  Subsequently, Swaggert was to adopt the calls KJOJ-FM.  The station was eventually sold to Regan Henry and US Radio which programmed jazz and shock talk as KKHU.  It has also been known as U106.9 and ZRock.

Currently KHPT-FM, the Eagle, a Classic Hits station owned by Cox, operates on 106.9, simulcasting with KGLK-FM, Lake Jackson, on 107.5.

Billboard Magazine reported on December 25, 1965, that KHUL-FM, 95.7 MHz, had switched to a country format.  Jack Hayes was Program Director.  Eight months later, on August 12, 1966, Industrial Broadcasting acquired the station.  Industrial was also the owner and operator of KIKK, 650 kHz which it had acquired on October 1, 1958.  The two stations maintained separate facilities and staffs.  Charles Temple was General Manager of KHUL and Mike McCann was Program Director; Leroy Gloger was General Manager of Industrial.  A Market Profile of Houston published in Billboard Magazine, March 5, 1966, indicated KHUL-FM was already broadcasting 100% country music by that time, well before being taken over by KIKK.

A story in Broadcasting in May, 1967, said Industrial was also managing WENK in Union City, TN, doing business as KIKK, and was also going to manage stations in Paducah, KY.

On November 11, 1966, Industrial applied for permission to change the call letters of KHUL-FM to KIKK-FM.  The date of the call letter flip is not known but the station was operating with the new calls by by March, 1967, when Billboard published a Houston market profile.  KIKK-FM had 15.5 kilowatts of power from atop a 235 foot antenna at the site of the former KHUL studios at 1700 Holcombe Blvd.   Leroy Gloger was listed as President and Art Posner was in charge of Operations.  On August 10, 1968, Nortemp Broadcasting acquired KIKK-FM

The station maintained a Country Music format until November 7, 2002, when it flipped to The Wave, KHJZ-FM, a smooth jazz format.  Currently the station is known as Hot 95.7.  It is owned by CBS and the calls are KKHH which were adopted on April 1, 2008.

On February 11, 1968, Harbor Broadcasting, licensee of KGBC, Galveston, signed on their new FM station on 106.1 MHz, with the call letters KGBC-FM.  Harbor had acquired the AM station on December 20, 1964. 

The FM station was sold to Beacon Broadcasting in 1974, moved to 106.5 MHz and re-branded as KUFO-FM.  Before the sale to Beacon the calls had been flipped to KESY which frequently appeared in print as K-ESY.  Subsequent calls on the station were KXKX and KQQK but the station ceased broadcasting and had it’s license cancelled by the FCC.  (See also the comments below).

On August 4, 1968, a license was issued for KFRD-FM, Rosenberg, to operate on 104.9 MHz.  The station does not appear to have gotten on the air immediately, however.  An FCC notice in late November appears to authorize programming operations and in Billboard Magazine for November 30, General Manager Bill Sloan indicated the station would broadcast daily from 3:30 pm to 11 pm, duplicating the programming of the AM station until 5:30 pm and then airing a program to be known as the Town and Country Time Program.  The music would include both pop and country.  Subsequent call letters used on the station have included KMIA-FM, KMPQ-FM, KLTO-FM, KOVA-FM, and KPTY-FM.  Currently the station is licensed to Missouri City, Texas, and operates as KAMA-FM, Tu Musica.  It is owned by Univision.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Larry Kane on the Bayou City History Blog

By far the most read post on this blog on a continuing, daily, weekly and monthly basis, is this post on the Larry Kane Show.  It has accumulated almost 2 and a half times more viewings than any other post and also has accumulated the most comments.

Perhaps because of the recent passing of Dick Clark, to whom Kane was often compared, J. R. Gonzales'  has posted this week about Kane in his Bayou City History blog in the Chronicle with a couple of pictures from the Chronicle files and some excerpts from interviews.  Of course, of great interest will be all the comments.

It should be noted the station in El Campo that Kane started out at was KULP.

For everything on this blog about Kane, click on the label below.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roy Hofheinz

I have mentioned before on this blog that there are two people I've learned about in researching this blog that I most would like to have known or worked for, Will Horwitz and Roy Hofheinz. This week, in celebration of the 100th birthday of Hofheinz, J. R. Gonzales' Bayou City History blog in the Chronicle has posted an essay with pictures about the Judge. Though one of the pictures dates back to the 1940s, there's not one mention in the text, pictures or comments about his broadcasting career; still it's an important look at his accomplishments.

For more on Hofheinz on this blog, click on the label below. For more on his broadcast operations, click on KTHT or KTHT-FM.

Liberty Hall

Liberty Hall was a short-lived but very popular music venue in the 1970s in Houston, located about where Toyota Center is now. It hosted blues and rock acts and outlaw country. J.R. Gonzales' Bayou City History Blog in the Chronicle has done a post about an appearance by Waylon Jennings there in 1975 with a few great pictures and reader comments.

The article references another post about Liberty Hall last year in the Houston Press.

And here is a lengthy discussion thread from several years ago on HAIF.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photos of KPRC-TV on Post Oak Road

J.R. Gonzales' blog, Bayou City History, has just published a series of photos from the Post archives of the KPRC-TV studio facility on Post Oak Road, which they occupied from 1953 to 1972. More are to come.


Friday, January 13, 2012

The KTHT GI House

Two of the biggest challenges facing the country at the close of World War II were jobs and housing for returning veterans. The Houston City Council declared housing to be the number one problem facing the city in 1946 and the issue was complicated by the shortage of building materials nationwide. Hundreds of vets were housed in trailers on the U of H campus and likewise at Texas A & M in College Station. The government stepped in with public housing projects aimed at veterans - almost a thousand units were announced for Houston - and private builders and developers advertised the suitability and affordability of their houses for veterans.

Roy Hofheinz, who always seemed to me to be as interested in the public service and public affairs aspects of radio as the entertainment and money-making end of the business, came up with a public service project to highlight the crisis: KTHT would undertake to build a house for a veteran's family within a fixed budget and time frame and document the process as it was underway.

Taking into account the effect of wartime inflation on housing prices a budget of $7000 was set and 30 days were allotted to find a site and complete the house but the project ran into problems right away. It took longer than anticipated to locate a suitable lot and the tract settled upon cost more than budgeted but a site was selected on Rice Boulevard in West University Place and representatives of veterans organizations took part in the ground breaking ceremonies on March 22, 1946.

As work progressed KTHT broadcast live from the scene twice daily, 200 half hour programs in all, entitled 'KTHT Builds a GI House' starting on March 19. The station refused to pay black market prices for scarce building materials but also did not want any sympathy donations or price breaks so an anonymous buyer made all the purchases. On a couple of occasions, necessary supplies could not be found at a fair price or at all and work was halted. Then the station would announce the reason for the delay and usually supplies would materialize in a while; again, the station insisted on paying full price in order to insure a fair representation of the difficulties a veteran would face if he or she were to undertake a similar project on their own.

Other media in town took notice of the ongoing effort. All three papers and all three existing radio stations sent reporters to cover the story which also was to garner national attention.

Owing to the materials delays and some weather delays, the project took a couple of weeks longer than anticipated and came in a couple of hundred dollars over budget but by the end of June, 1946, the completed house was sold for $7000, the advertised price, to Robert D. Niemeyer, an ex-Navy pilot and employee of Gulf Oil.

The Houston Chronicle, controlled by Hofheinz' political foe Jesse Jones, published an editorial praising KTHT and Hofheinz for calling attention to the housing problem. It was, according to Hofheinz' biographer, the beginning of a thaw in relations between the two men. City College of New York gave the station an award of merit for the most effective promotion of a public service program in 1946.

The KTHT GI House still stands, 65 years later, on Rice Boulevard, just a couple of blocks off of Weslayan in West U. There was a picture printed in the old Scripps-Howard Press showing the finished house with some KTHT personnel in front but it was not legible enough to use so I didn't even bother to get a copy of it and I am not able to describe all of the changes and alterations that have been made to the house over the years but it is obvious a half story has been added to the original one-story 1940s bungalow. The property originally budgeted at $7000 is now on the Harris County tax rolls appraised at over $450,000.

Michael Petrizzo - RIP

Longtime owner and General Manager of KCOH.

Chronicle obituary.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Tim and Bob Gallery

Often referred to as Houston's first morning duo, Tim and Bob were together on KPRC for over a decade. For more on the duo on this blog, click on the label at the end of this post; for other mentions of either individual enter the words 'Byron' or 'Nolan' in the search box.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade was one of their biggest promotions. According to a history on the St. Patrick's Parade Commission website, Tim and Bob resurrected the long-dormant Houston St. Patrick's Day parade in 1960 but I don't have dates for these pictures.

Bob Byron, left, and Tim Nolan. Judging by the decorations on the cake, this had something to do with St. Patrick's Day, too.

KPRC carried the syndicated 1960s comedy feature Chickenman and the Fearless Feathered Fighter came to town to promote the series.

And now for something a little different:

Judy Bonham, Byron's oldest daughter, to whom I am indebted for these pictures, notes the guys seem to be enjoying themselves.

Miscellaneous clippings and shots:

This clipping was from the Houston Post on a Friday in August but unfortunately the date and year is cut. It appeared top left, right under the masthead and above a story about heart surgery for a Cuban boy.

And a couple of personal mementos from Byron:

My thanks to Judy Bonham for providing all these shots and my apologies for taking so long to get them online. My thanks also to all the children of Tim and Bob I have corresponded with over the last year or so for their help.

One of the reasons I delayed publishing these pics was to try and identify the football player in the third from the last picture. I wasn't in Houston during most of the 60s and have no idea who it is, but have a suspicion that he was rather famous for some reason. I will appreciate it if anyone can identify him or add any information about any of these photos such as dates or names. For instance, if anyone can hazard a guess about the name of the movie on the marquee in picture # 1, we can probably date that picture but since Glenn McCarthy appears in two different shots in two different vehicles, the pictures probably do not all date from the same year.