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550 KTSA / San Antonio

John Elliot on 55 KTSA San Antonio | November, 1985

This aircheck was made about a month before KTSA dumped music and flipped to News/Talk. John Elliot is filling in here for John Dinkins. John and I worked together at KOUL Cool 103.5 in Corpus Christi – and over a beer (or two) he played this aircheck for me. I just had to have a copy.

KTSA here is a lesson in liner card radio. While KTSA is doing a lot of promotions, it seems that every break you hear a promo or liner. John Elliot’s personality does come through, however there is very little John Elliot and a whole lot of the same things said over every song. But that was the way AC radio was done in the Mid-80s, especially on AM station which were trying to compete against their FM competitors. As as we know, KTSA quit playing music about a month after this recording.

This is actually two days put together. First, it’s “Hundred Dollar Bill Thursday” at KTSA, and John Elliot is calling people at random. All people have to do is say KTSA is their favorite radio station to win. Then, on the Friday aircheck, it’s a “Honeymooner’s Weekend”. You’re listening for Jackie Gleason’s voice to win Friday and Saturday night at the Embassy Hotel in San Antonio. Anyone who remembers these promotions is invited to comment on KTSA’s programming below.

Also included on this tape is a rare recording of Ricci Ware’s evening talk show, heard back in ’85 at 9pm nightly. That is included on a separate post, or listen at the end of this aircheck on the original Real Audio version.

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Click HERE to play in Real Audio

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10 Comments


  1. Are you sure it was December 1985? Because I remember during the summer of 1986 being able to hear music from the likes of Sade, and Simply Red, and other pop artists at the time on 550AM. I think it was around October of 1986 when they flipped to News/Talk or a month earlier.

    My parents clock radio only had AM (no FM, and no cassette Sony without LED, or LCD)

    Reply

    • I am going by the date that John Elliot gave me. John handed me the tape personally, when we were working together at KOUL Corpus Christi. Sadly, I’ve completely lost track of him and have no idea how I might contact him about it.

      Reply

  2. And I would listen to it on said Sony AM radio Alarm clock being the strongest station, and at the beginning of the dial.

    We moved from Houston and arrived in San Antonio at 12:00 AM June 1st, 1986.

    Reply

  3. I remember them playing music the summer of 1987 (have an aircheck to prove it) Of Blake Lindsay Doing His Show about a week before the 4th of .

    Reply

  4. John Elliot was probably one of the most talented Jocks I have ever personally met. The interesting thing about this story is that I had been doing radio for years and met many high profile stars, attended autograph sessions, etc. etc. But there was something about Elliot – I had heard him on the radio, but the first time I saw him doing a remote at a Club in Corpus I was starstruck – I could NOT beleive it – I just found this guy to have a great personality – fun – interesting – dark (arent most Jocks)- when hired at KOUL(where he worked!) – I immediatly befreinded him – we would trade old aircheck tapes and talk about cool things from the past days of radio (we also drank alot of beer! 🙂 ). I hope someday to find John Elliot on the dial again – This is truly where he belongs. I would call him right away – all I would have to say is hey John its the Admiral! I am certain he would be plesently suprised. For those who dont know John – he was also an OUTSTANDING drummer – just an entertainer all the way around – I hope he didnt give up like I did and sit in a cube 8-5 – money is good – but there is no dream…

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  5. Hey Admiral! I’m still alive but retired from radio unfortunately. It’s still in my blood and I miss it but computers took over…No more LIVE radio anymore. All the fun of running our own board and playing listeners back on the air over their favorite requested song was soo cool! I still live where I last saw you. Please E-mail me ASAP. I’d love to talk to you and/or VIST!!! Peace brother…”Elliott”

    Reply

  6. Hey Admiral!!! E-mail me bro!

    Reply

  7. DUDE! Your alive!

    Reply

    • Well, yes. Where would I go? LOL

      Reply

      • Steve – have you been in contact with Elliot?? I just checked this post today and saw he replied to me – I would like to send my email along to him dude. BTW the site is killer!

        Reply

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