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Jim Davis, 93/KHJ Los Angeles | 1976

Forget about Boss Radio. KHJ had a LOT going for it in the mid-70s, if nothing else, the programming and voice brilliance of Charlie Van Dyke at the helm of an L.A. legend.

It’s difficult to outline the politics of radio in Los Angeles in this era. The staple KHJ jocks that listeners were used to in the Boss Era (1966-1970) were elsewhere on the dial, and that meant that a whole different group of professionals had to perform brilliantly. RKO management had told programming pioneer Bill Drake to take a hike a few years before this, so, this high-personality lightning fast presentation with it’s unique RKO style was in place at 93/KHJ in 1976. Van Dyke did mornings (until later that year when Rick Dees arrived from WHBQ Memphis), Beau Weaver had his time slot, and then there was this, lesser known jock fulfilling his dream of being on the by now world famous KHJ, at night, Jim Davis.

We don’t know much about Jim, so we hope listeners will fill us in on the details, and of course, we welcome any corrections in this description. Use the comment feature, or start a thread on our Facebook Wall.

93/KHJ 1976

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  1. There were only four Boss Era KHJ jocks on the air elsewhere in L.A. in 1976. Robert W. Morgan was doing weekends and fill-ins on KMPC, Shadoe Stevens was on KROQ-FM, Charlie Tuna was mornings and program director at KIIS-AM & FM and Humble Harve was with Charlie at KIIS.

    This aircheck is from October of 1976, so The Real Don Steele had been off the air for two years, after leaving K-100. He’d resurface at KTNQ on December 26, 1976.

    Rick Dees didn’t arrive at KHJ for mornings until spring, 1979. Van Dyke stayed until May, 1977, when he left for Dallas. Charlie Tuna returned to take his place. He left in 1978, and was replaced by The True Don Bleu, who was replaced by Dees in ’79. Dees stayed until the format switch to Country in October, 1980.

    As for the lineup, at the time of this aircheck, it was Charlie Van Dyke 6-9AM, Mark Elliott 9AM-12Noon, Bobby Ocean 12Noon-3PM, Machine Gun Kelly 3-6PM, Dr. John Leader 6PM-10PM, Jim Davis 10PM-2AM and Shana 2AM-6AM. Beau Weaver was weekends and fill-ins.

    Jim Davis? Lesser known? Well, maybe by that name. He was Big Jim Edwards at CKLW, Windsor/Detroit (formerly a Drake/RKO station) from 1967-1970, and was also Big Bob Evans at WOR-FM, New York (again Drake/RKO) from 1970-1972. Between there and KHJ? WLS-FM, Chicago.

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    • Jim Davis taught me a lot about saying more with less. He hired me to do nites at Kimn in Denver about 1974. Was a great boss. What a voice.

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      • Hey Mike Finn, how are ya? and where are you?

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  2. I grew up listening to the Los Angeles stations. I moved here from Farmington, Michigan to Orange Co. in 1961. So I knew KRLA, KFWB and new Boss Radio in 1965 and KWIZ in Santa Ana 1480 OLdies, and KEZY/1190 in Anahiem. I used to spend my summers about every year back home in Detroit. I did remeber WXYZ, and CKLW and WCAR, as a young kid. I sure enjoyed CKLW Fun Radio 8 1967. I missed Detroit radio and asked my grand mother to send me tapes of CKLW. I heard early in 1968 The Big 8, CKLW. The Drake sound with the Johnny Mann jingels, I fell in love, all the Motown hits and the reg top 40 songs.
    I remember listening to Big Jim Edwards, (Jim Davis) Ed Mitchell (Mark Elliott),Charlie Van Dyke, Chuck Morgan (Browning), Brother Bob (Bill at CK) Gable, Walt Baby Love, all on CKLW. Then all these greeat Jocks who worked at the Big 8 came many as well to KFRC and all of them to 93/KHJ. To me listening to Big Jim Edwards, Mike Rivers, Tom Shannon, SCott Regen, Steve Hunter, Frank Brdoie, Mark Richards, Ted Richards. I knew them as I knew Charlie Tuna, Bill Wade, Humble Harv. I listened everyday to 93/KHJ I was vary lucky to know the best of both RKO stations. When I heard Big Jim Davis the frist time on the air I knew that was Big Jim Edwards, and as I knew Mark Elliottt was Ed Mitchell. I know Big Jim did mornings and CKLW when Charlie Van Dyke moved to KFRC. Ed Mitchell Mark Elliott did afternoon drive at CKLW from 1968 to 1970, then on to KFRC. When Robert W. Morgan moved on to Chicago, Mark Elliott in 1970 moved to KHJ. I lived in Oceanside in 1976 and worked sometimes in Orange Co. I still listen when I could to 93/KHJ, The beat Goes On,

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  3. hi jim davis is really big jim edwards worked on the mighty 800 cklw windsor ont owns some radio stations now in florida j

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  4. Just thought I’d fill in some blanks: I worked at CKLW for Paul Drew and later transferred to WOR-FM in NYC while Sebastian Stone was the PD. In 1976, while I was PD at KIMN in Denver, Paul Drew called me and told me that RKO was taking over the programming of the legendary KLIF in Dallas and that he was recommending me for PD of the station. Part of the training was that I would come to Los Angeles and work at the RKO headquarters during the week while the KLIF deal was being worked out, and meanwhile I would do “swing” shift at KHJ which consisted or mostly overnights and vacation relief. My good friend Charlie Van Dyke and I later went to KLIF together. But, we had a great Summer of 1976 at KHJ while Charlie was PD. Also on the air was Mark Edwards, Machine Gun Kelly, John Leader and of course J. Paul Huddleston. It was lots of fun. I am proud to have worked at one of American’s great radio stations. I run a chain of 5 stations located in Vero Beach, FL now. It’s been 52 years in Radio and still livin’ the dream (01-28-2012)
    -Jim Davis

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    • Hello Jim Davis,

      I lived in Detroit 1967-75, went to grad. school at U-D, then worked for Chrysler. Did you DJ at WCAR around then? If so, I remember you well, great voice and enunciation, terrific sense of humor.

      Regards,

      Terry

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  5. I worked for Big Jim at WPEZ Pittsburgh, the greatest boss and human being EVER!

    Kelly

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  6. hi BIG jim edwards jim davie. my favourite BIG 8 jock of all time. we met at the CABOTO CLUB at the premier of CKLW the rise and fall of the big 8. im 54 now but i try to download as much information on the internet as i can about you radio wise. i alway way inspired by you to be a BIG 8 jock. it never happened for me. but when i hear songs on CKWW with Charlie O BRIEN i i start into my BIG 8 jock voice. maybe ill work there someday. im pretty good. im retired from general motors since 2009 and if i use my radio voice that ive been practicing as a kid ill be the new BIG JIM EDWARDS in windsor. CHARLIE needs a break. hes on the radio all day long. PLEASE get back to me id love to get an e mail from my idol d j BIG JIM EDWARDS> p.s. i treasure the picture you took with me an the autographed CKLW SOLD GOLD album with your autograph. thank you kindly.

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  7. some spelling errors Jim. im new on the computer. but i think you get the message. please get back.

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  8. Big Jim and I were at competitive stations in Detroit between 1968 and 1970. He was Noon to 3 at CKLW; I was 3 to 7 at WKNR-Keener 13. Jim, his wife Sylvia and me and my wife Beth met at a Kenny Rodgers concert at the Moon Supper Club in Ontario in 1968 and became life-long friends. Still are. Jim was blessed with one of the all time great radio voices and is a top notch quality guy!

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  9. BIG JIM EDWARDS, (JIM DAVIS) you were always the best in my ear on the radio, the LEGENDARY BIG 8.

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  10. Jim Davis is the real name of Big Jim Edwards from CKLW and Bob Evans on WOR-FM New York…and, this is him.

    Reply

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