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Composite: KYA San Francisco | March 1965

Long dramatic jingles, disc jockeys who comment about everything with lots of talk between songs, outdated news sounders and reverb on demand all highlight this first San Francisco top 40 station. This is quite entertaining, however, because while the formatics shown here on KYA are loose, a reminder of the early 60s, the jocks are very talented and the format comes off very tight. Nobody skips a beat or misses a cue.

Its a history lesson for those who never heard what radio sounded like in 1965.

1260 KYA San Francisco

Thanks to visitor Paul Duca for reminding us that crosstown KFRC’s “Boss” sound was still a year away, and at the time of this recording, KYA was the only game in town. Your webmaster had a senior moment…

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  1. At this time KYA was the only game in San Francisco for Top 40…RKO didn’t make KFRC over in the Drake style until the summer of 1966. In fact, KHJ was still about a month away from becoming Boss Radio.


  2. “Hold the coffee, Bubbles.” Sounds an awful lot like Cincinnati dj Dusty Rhoades’ sign off “Put on the coffee, Bubbles, I’m coming home.”

    I wonder how many other disc jockeys around the country used a variation of this sign off?


  3. Gene Nelson (the voice on this aircheck) took over the vacated morning drive slot at KYA from the legendary Bill Drake in 1964. Nelson kept that shift for the next several years. His sign off was “Turn on the coffee, Bubbles, I’m coming home.” He used it steadily for at least three years, probably a lot longer. Listeners thought that “Bubbles” was his wife.


  4. Drake left KYA in late ’62. Nelson took over mornings then (Billboard magazine January 5, 1963), arriving from WSAI, Cincinnati.


  5. KOBY was the first Top 40 station in San Francisco. As far as all the talk, hey this is a morning show, if you’re just used to Drake stations or post Drake this might sound unusual, but Gene was a pretty strong personality.

    KFRC didn’t start until 1966, not 1965. Also, Tom Donahue & Bobby Mitchell were still on KYA, maybe the two best Top 40 jocks ever in San Francisco. For reference check out Mitchell or Donahue air checks from the early 60’s. too bad none exist from this time.


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