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Jay Coffey, “Top of Pops Weekend”; KRTH K-Earth 101 Los Angeles | November 8, 1986

From the radio station that used the same jingle for over 30 years! Here’s a very capable Jay Coffey cruising through the year 1964 as K-Earth presents a “Top of Pops” Weekend!

This is Oldies radio, really at the beginnings of it’s trek to the monster L.A. station that it is today! The station is what you’d term mis-imaged as “Classic Rock & Roll” (as opposed to “Classic Rock”?). On this recording, they DON’T say OLDIES!

This is scoped, but you do get a lot of Jay Coffey and plenty of Southern California commercials which aired in the Fall of 1986 – in two stop-sets.

Thanks to Contributor Frank Davis!

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  1. KRTH launched as an oldies station in 1972, and did very well. It ran out of steam by mid-decade and went Adult Contemporary (but still using that K-Earth 101 jingle) in ’77.

    This aircheck is from early on in their transition back to oldies. It was only moderately successful until 1992, when Bill Drake signed on as a consultant, Mike Phillips (formerly of KFRC) as PD and Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele were brought on board. At that point, K-Earth became a revival of KHJ (it had been KHJ-FM prior to 1972), and was hugely successful for many years.

    It ran out of gas again (like many oldies stations) but PD Jhani Kaye modernized the music and the past two or three years have seen strong ratings.


  2. Actually, K-Earth had record ratings during the 80s that were never surpassed during the Drake/Beasley days. The station reached a 4.0 share, had a million plus cume, top 5 morning show and was consistently in the top 5 25-54 during the 80s. It was also one of the top 10 billing stations in the country during the RKO days in the late 80s. That was never achieved during the Beasley days. The ratings record held until Jhani Kaye became PD.


  3. Since I was there from 1985 to 2005 as a jock, music director, a.p.d and P.D I have a pretty good idea what went on. K-EARTH 101 is one of the greatest radio brands ever, thanks to great P.D.s like Bob Hamilton, Phil Hall and especially Bill Drake and Mike Phillips and let’s not forget great air talent! K-EARTH first hit a million cume under the watch of my long time friend Phil Hall, it was however,in the 90’s under the skillful direction of Drake and Phillips that the station became not only a market leader with 33 consecutive ARBITRON ratings in the top 5 P25-54, the leading FM billing station in the U.S. (nearly 45 million dollars a year in revenue)but also an icon that rivaled KHJ and was on par with sister station Oldies WCBS-FM as one of the two greatest oldies stations in the country. Please remember in the 90’s (and also at the beginning of the 21st century as well) K-EARTH was rated by ARBITRON’s Diary system not the PPM. Our research showed at least 44% more cume was available to K-EARTH in the 1990’s so it wasn’t a big surprise to see K-EARTH become a cume leader when the PPM system came on board (K-EARTH was consistently a top 5 station in cume hitting around 1.2 to 1.4 million in the metro ever book until Maureen LeSourd took charge in late 2005 and the station dropped to around 950,000) . Next point in 1995 for example K-EARTH’s P25-54 cume was around 990,000, today it’s around 1.2 million. If you consider the huge cume rise with the PPM system, I’d venture to guess K-EARTH’s 25-54 cume in the 90’s if under the PPM system might have been as high as 1.5 to 1. 9 million. Plus now there are 4 stations tied for 4th place 25-54 and around 10 stations in the top 5 P25-54. Not the case back in the 90’s. By the way K-EARTH billed around 28 to 30 million in 2010, it was billing 34 million under my watch and we were also a top 5 station P25-54 with zero contesting and marketing. Oh one other point, the full time air staff (including Gary Bryan, Lisa Stanley, Bob Malik, Jim Carson and Christina Kelley) and most of the weekend air staff (Sylvia, Bruce Chandler) were hired by me. Mike Phillips hired Shotgun and I extended his contract. Most of the current jingles were created by Mike Phillips and myself. Charlie Van Dyke was Mike’s hire and the basic format was created by Bill Drake. Jhani is a smart programmer with really smart and talented people to back him up. Gary Bryan is one of the best in the business and Jim Carson is tough to top. Keith Smith, Image master, knows the format inside and out (having been my music director)and Lynn Duke is one of the finest engineers in the country. It takes a lot to make a station as successful as K-EARTH and it is rarely ever just one person. But my hat goes off to Dan Mason who had the insight to not only stand behind K-EARTH but to bring back WCBS-Fm and let Brian Thomas run the thing. My greatest memories of the past 37 wonderful years in this business will be my 20 years at 93KHJ/KEARTH101. Jay Coffey


  4. Jay,

    Since beginning at KRTH in 1985, most likely you were involved in these teo incredible specialties: Labor Day, “#1 Music Weekend” and the “Runners Up of Classic Rock and Roll Weekend” (#2’s), the weekend before Labor Day. Those were my all-time KRTH specials, which sadly don’t air anymore, since 1988 I believe. I have a little bit you of taped on reel to reel back in ’86 doing the #2’s of rock and roll (late 70’s).

    What’s your take on these incredible specials and why KRTH stopped featuring these in 1989, and why they do not air them today.


    Eddie Harrison
    Colorado Springs, Co.


  5. Hi, Jay!

    My recollection is that the #1 and #2 (“runners-up”) specials Eddie Harrison mentioned first aired on weekends in the spring of 1983, then re-ran during the late summer weekend including Labor Day and the weekend before, respectively. The pair of specials repeated again for at least five years only during those particular late summer weekends. Through 1985 the specials included all the applicable records up through the ones for that year; thereafter the lists stopped short of the applicable records for 1985. The 1986 “runners-up” special aired on 22-24 August 1986, earlier during the year than any other of the other yearly re-runs. Later on I found out that a few records in the “runners-up” list were seldom if ever played in any year’s re-run. I wrote down all of the “runners-up” and still have that list.


    • Mr Charts,

      By chance, can you somehow send me a list of those #2’s?? I’ve been looking for those since they last aired in the 80’s.

      I do have the #1’s courtesy of this reference:

      Those specials were so memorable, even to this day. I actually recorded the #1’s, just like KRTH aired them, back in 1985, ending at “Money For Nothing”


    • Hi Eddie,

      I recently sent you an important email concerning your recordings of K-Earth’s Number 1’s weekend. I hope the above email address that you posted a few years ago is still valid?


  6. I’d say more than one jingle–outside of the Mann/Drake TOH, it sounds like they’re using the PAMS Oldies Grid package that all of the RKO oldies stations (and CBS-FM) used in the 70s–with most of the lyrics mixed out, presumably because the old slogans weren’t being used back then.


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