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Sly Stone, KSOL San Francisco | 1967

Big Apple Airchecks Matt Seinberg New York TradersKSOL (the original incarnation) was an AM station in San Francisco on 1450. AM 1450 was known as KSAN until July 1964, when the KSOL calls were first used. As KSAN, the station had devoted much time to ‘soul’ music, and the change to KSOL meant a change to full time Soul music as a 24/7 format, the first such format in America.

The Soul format would continue until 1970.

Most notable on this aircheck is Sly Stone. Before becoming a music sensation, he was a Deejay on KSOL. Here he is, doing the Soul Music format in much the same manner as many of the Top 40 stations of the 1960s. In fact, KSOL featured all the same program elements as it’s Top 40 counterparts, such as jingles, time checks and lightning fast personalities. Sly Stone fit in exceptionally well here. We wish there was more of this recording available, along with some clips of others on the station so that we could get a true representation of what KSOL sounded like throughout the broadcast day.

This website has been contacted by people connected with Sly Stone’s tribute website, as early material from Sly’s career is difficult to come by. We’re thrilled to offer this, the only known aircheck of Sly Stone, the disc jockey! Welcome fans! Please leave your comments below!

1450 AM San Francisco, KSOL, KSAN, Sly Stone, Urban, Soul


Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks in New York City

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63 Comments


  1. The KSOL heard here is the original station at 1450 khz., broadcasting from San Francisco with 1000 watts of soul power. (It is currently KEST, “Personal Growth Radio.”) The Sly Stone-era KSOL was no relation to the later 107.7 KSOL-FM (down the Peninsula in San Mateo) or the current Spanish-language 98.9/99.1 KSOL-FM (Estéreo Sol, based in SF).

    DJ

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    • I would like to know if this station plays the same songs as KSOL 107.7 use to play in the seventies. I missed that

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      • i used to listen to KSOL in the 70s first time i heard more bounce to the ounce from the ZAPP BAND to cool 107.7 KSOL very cool.

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  2. my god milt jackson …..the vibe god…… come on folks let’s just stand up for that…….sly stone…..show prep for sly was the same as in the capitol of soul ……a cup of coffee and herbel jazz smoke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    the doc knows

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  3. Cool, I have an old LP album, apparently produced by the radio station, original station logo on the label, and pressed on yellow vinyl. “Soul Over The City, KSOL 1450 AM” Is on the label, never knew of having a cover for it, got it from a friend about 18 years ago. The songs are even mixed on the album. Pretty cool music too.

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  4. Great aircheck of Sly. While this site is free, the Reel Radio.com aircheck of Mr. Stewart requires a paid subscription, which I happily contributed. I’m glad both airchecks are different. The Malt Liquor ads are ever-present, with Sylvester acting in one commercial. What a talent. I am looking for great Sly Stone stories for SlyStone.com….Amir

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  5. my god i stumbled onto this site with a little help from google.com, when sly was on ksol i was probably 11 or 12, we use to listen to the show almost religiously at night. i always liked when sly said yessss lawd. and before kdia he had a piano in the studio. I visited Ksol once when i was 14, sly was long gone then, but i think the dj name was Ronnie Dark, anyway that was, for me 40 years ago…
    Jeff in Colorado

    Jeff in Colorado, originally from Vallejo, Berkeley and Oakland Calif

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    • Yeah Ronnie Dark is still working for Tavis Smiley under his real name Johnny Morris.

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  6. 8 solid minutes of a lifetime in a lifetime for a lifetime throughout a lifetime over and under above and beyond and back again taking us backwards and forwards and right on into another mind-bending experience of ORIGINALITY. I TRULY THANK YOU PROFESSOR SLY STONE – YOUR CLASS WAS A BLAST.

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  7. This web sit is off the hook! To hear Sly Stone flow was great! I am currently writing a profile on him for Black Music Month so to be able to hear that air check was off the hook. I will pass this link along to the jocks of the old school legends I know many who have air checks so that they can contribute. I will also send the link to new school radio personalities so they can hear what it was all about and take a tip from the pro’s who paved they way. Thank You

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  8. I thought Sly gave a good performance and would be comparable today in radio. Certainly sounded good for 67 — like before his time.

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  9. WOW!!!! Sly Stone on the radio in ’67!!!!! What a blast!!!! I am a real Sly fan….this incredible history here folks….you can feel the funk flow in his vioce even back then….WOW!!! A real piece of history here folks!

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  10. Now that brings back some great memories. I worked with Sly(“Grease” as I refered to him) at K-SOL from 1966-1968. He didn’t wear earphones when he worked, he would use the audio coming from the speakers in the production room… He always gave the same temperature every night of 59 degrees. I have’t talked to him sometime, but I do stay in touch with Ronnie Dark…Thanx for putting Sly on your site, and do you have a aircheck on Hank Spann I worked with him at WAOK in Atlanta.

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  11. in response to jeff h. i, too, had this album since the 60’s…the original cover was a photograph of an old console style stereo, placed upon a hilltop, with a panoramic view of the city of san francisco behind it!…lost the cover in the 60’s ( it was a hand-me-down from my older brothers) but, kept the record for years, until i had to move away!…wish i could get a CD dub of that great record!…[email protected] thanks!

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    • I’ll send it to you.

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  12. how about “K-D-I-AAAAA, lucky 13, double-goldennnnnn!”

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  13. Jane Weems, did you go to horace mann middle school?

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  14. REmember the Dedications on KSOL..Ronnie DArk became
    Johnny Morris on KDIA.
    There was a second Soul over the City Album.
    I was a kid but met Ronnie Dark at a Smoker Robinson and the miracles concert at the Civic Auotorium in Sf.. oh yea marth and the Vandellas were there too

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  15. I have that album with da cover too. I need a converter to record,the album to CD…any ideas? rentals?anitalenor/San Mateo Ca.

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    • I just got done converting mine, but was in rough shape as the cover has been missing for years, since it was given to me. If your copy is in good shape we could work something out, I have the equipment to convert from LP or 45 to CD on my computer.

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  16. As Ronnie Dark on KSOL-AM, It was great listening to Sly’s aircheck. We worked together from 1964 to 1967. We had a lot of fun back then. He is so talented. KSOL was his first radio gig!Even though the stint was short, KDIA was cool too. By the way I’m pictured as one of the jock’s on the KSOL Soul over the city Vol. 1 LP. To Thomas, thanks for the mention. Marvin Gaye was the headline act that night at the S.F. Civic Auditorium.
    I’ve got some great Sly Stone stories!

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    • Is this the famous Johnny Morris who worked at KDIA when my good friend and mentor Harry Jeffery was at KSOL? You are a legend based on the great stories Harry told me about your engineering feats. Feel free to contact me via my website so I can unite the two of you. http://edutainmentandconvergence.vox.com or doc chris on Facebook

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    • Johnny – I used to listen to KSOL and KDIA all the time when I lived in SF in 1973 and 1974. One song I’ve been trying to remember but can’t find and it’s been plaguing me for decades – both stations played it alot! It had a sitar effect on the guitar in between the verses, was kind of slow, and I think the chorus went something like “There’s a river in the valley, that runs through the hearts of everyone…” Anyway, it was real catchy and I’d love to find out who did it! Any ideas?

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      • since i wrote this I found out the song was “River” by Eugene McDaniels but the one played on KSOL and/or KDIA wasn’t his version he put out as Universal Jones in 1972 on the MGM/Verve label nor was it the 1973 version by Joe Simon which also used an electric sitar – no, the version I remember was slower. Does anyone remember who did that version? Please help!

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        • OK – now I found another cover of “River” and this one was done by Lenny Williams of Tower of Power. But, doesn’t anyone remember yet another version that KDIA used to play in 1974? You’d remember that sitar riff, and the drums were way up in the mix too. Actually, the singing reminded me of the Staple Singers, but it wasn’t them. I’d say it was almost the same tempo as Universal Jones’ original. C’mon DJs out there – Doug Cass? Bob Jones? Is anyone out there that still remembers who did it? Please!

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    • johnny do tell us please some stories about sly we would love to hear them thanks jb

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    • my hero, Ronnie Dark.

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  17. I purchased the Soul Over The City lp when I was a kid. It was in the cut out section at Sears. I still have and treasure that lp. I grew up in So Cal with 1580 KDAY, Kute 102, Kjlh 102.3, and Kace. Great stations one and all!

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  18. loved the aircheck on sly, what a great sound for 1967. it was good to see the comment by my old friend doug steele from atlanta.

    melvin jones wlok memphis tenn.

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  19. response to rose: yes, I DID go to horace mann junior high school…that’s me, the “beatle house” girl!

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  20. I have the Soul Over The City LP with Ronnie Dark, Bert Bell (Ding Dong Daddy), Joe and others on the cover. The picture on the cover overlooks San Francisco and the disc jockeys are sitting and standing around a stereo that was to be given away in a contest. I actually won the LP July 1, 1968 on Bert Bell’s Show. My girlfriend and I, whose name is also Debbie, use to visit the station often to pick up prizes and we would often see Sly Stone’s purple sport Jaguar parked in front of the station. Ronnie dark, of course, was my favorite and I actually know his real name, (AM) He was a dear friend who has been to my home in oakland and I had the pleasure of meeting his mother, Luella or Luetta. It’s been 41 years and the memories of the KSOL days are simply marvelous and I sometimes long for those days again because today is so very different from when things were simpler.

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    • I still have a blue and white KSOL bumper sticker – am saving it in between some books! Don’t think I’ll ever use it.

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    • Thanks so much Debbie! By the way what was or is your last name?

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      • Hi Johnny . . my name was Deborah Smith from Oakland. I lived on 89th ave, just off MacArthur Blvd. I remember riding to the beach with you in your white Thunderbird. You used to DJ at some record store on E14th and you used to allow me to join you in the booth until Pat Ramsey took my place. Wow! the puppy love almost sunk me. (ha ha) Your Mom was a dream. I remember her being such a business woman and very neat. I felt so honored because not every girl gets to meet a man’s mother. Sandra Adams used to call in for dedications almost as much as I did. I think she was from Hunter’s Point. I am so proud of your accomplishments and wish nothing but the best for you and your family. May God continue to be with you.

        Sincerely Debbie Finnie, WPB Florida

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        • Thank you so much for your kind words! Those day’s were very special to me. I lost my mom about 4 years ago. She was very important in my life and career. I’m still in broadcasting. No more DJ stuff just engineering. I live in Los Angeles now. So good hearing from you Debra!

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  21. I worked as KSOL radio in San Mateo between 1987-1991 when Marvin Robinson and Bernie Moodie, Ken Shubat and Eva Rhodes were there.
    I loved that place. Of course this is not related to Sly Sone…right?

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  22. Man, talkin’ about strollin’ down memory lane…grew up in the Bay Area in the 60’s, and KSOL and Sly took us on airwave flights where the air was fo sho rare! He set the bar, even as he did later with his gospel-flavored funk/rock songwriting and cutting edge performances (ain’t nobody before or since ever just broke out and started doin’ the hambone). First heard one of these KSOL re-broadcasts of his at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and I was like a child at Christmas…like man, what a gift!! Sly used ta do this call-in portion, where he’d say “Sly with the soul line…” Classic!!! And as someone earlier mentioned, he had a piano in the studio, and he’d always sign-off by singin’ and playin’ “Good Night My Love” doo-wop style. Much love and props to Sly Stone, an original and a Bay Area Legend…

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    • I remember him signing off with “Good Nigh My Love” too – at midnight I think. There was also some long quote he would say about – I did all you cats out there ….. I’m gonna lay a cat on you – the sweetest darlin’est, wailin’est cat you ever did see – Sly Stone. I found it once but I’ll have to find it again. It was part of so e other “speech”.

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    • I remember him signing off with “Good Nigh My Love” too – at midnight I think. There was also some long quote he would say about – I dig all you cats out there ….. I’m gonna lay a cat on you – the sweetest darlin’est, wailin’est cat you ever did see – Sly Stone. I found it once but I’ll have to find it again. It was part of some other “speech”.

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      • Yeah it was Lord Buckley. Whatever happened to Willie Popcone?

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    • Now, I look at all you cats and kitties out there
      a whippin’ and a wailin’ and a jumpin’ up and down
      and suckin’ up all that juice and pattin’ each other on the back
      and a hippin’ each other who the greatest cat in the world is!

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  23. Yep my pops worked @ both ksol am and fm
    back in the day. Can you d-i-g-i-t……
    I went to horaceman.

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  24. i HAD ALL OF THE OLD ALBUMS INCLUDING THE 2 KSOL ALBUMS SOLD THEM ALL WHEN I MOVED TO HOUSTON IN 1997 BUT I KEPT ALL OF MY 45’S

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  25. MY COUSIN CAROL SPEED WAS A RUNNER UP ON THE SECOND ALBUM.

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    • does anyone know how many of those two compilation albums KSOL put out?

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  26. SOME OF THE OLD ACTS USED TO PLAY AT THE EMBERS IN REDWOOD CITY SLY USED TO STAY AT THE OLD CAPRI MOTEL ACROSS FROM THE OLD GEMCO ON EL CAMINO WHEN HE PLAYED LOCALLY. THEY USED TO SHOOT HOOPS WITH US RIGHT IN BACK OF THE MOTEL AT MY FRIENDS HOUSE

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  27. Those days of BLACK RADIO LISTENING in Oakland were a trip on the school-grounds and in the neighborhoods. What Radio Station you listened to was almost like what political party did you belong to. At lunch, on campus,the KDIAS hungout over THERE….the KSOLS over here …. KYA by the creek … KFRC under the tower … KEWB by the gym, and on and on ….

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  28. Johnny . . my sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. I do know how very close you were to her. She was such a fine lady. I lost my mother 5 years ago so I know the feeling. May God continue to embrace you.

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  29. I did my internship at KSOl with Nicklaus Charles Harper! He was the best Dic Jockey there! I will never forgett he great staff and the warm welcome they gave me.

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    • Where is Nick Harper?

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  30. Herbert Campbell, aka Bert Bell the “Ding Dong Daddy” and former program director at KSOL 1450 AM, passed away on September 9, 2011 after a short battle with cancer. He was 80.

    In addition to his time as a DJ on KSOL and its forerunner KSAN, he also was an award-winning news reporter at KCBS 740 AM. After leaving the broadcasting industry, he channeled his time and energy into his ministry as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, serving as a member of the body of elders in his congregation for a period spanning five decades.

    He may be remembered as the Ding Dong Daddy to many music lovers in the Bay Area, but he was also MY daddy, and he will be missed.

    However… http://www.watchtower.org/e/bh/article_07.htm

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  31. Willie Popcorn was a DJ at KSOL during the early 70’s. Sly came out with Give a glass of butter milk. He’s in our early book. AT Castlemont Hi Oakland 1966. He gave free show at school. The record store on E14th st and 85 ave was The House of Music.

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  32. Soul station KSAN became KSOL around 1962 or 1963. Good rock Lucky was DJ. I have both KSOL LP’s. I took them to Thailand and back. Dock of the Bay and Soul over the City.

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  33. This bring back so much to me. Thank You All…When i was growing up we lived in redwood city my Mom and Aunt where Very good friends of SLYS,I rember he came over a lot after work. the way he got the saying of , Give me a tall glass of butter milk my mom and aunt brought him some at the radio station one night that how he picked that up, also i think that was a way for them to call late at night to him or hook up when he was off..I rember he live in daly city with his mom and dad. my mom is gone now but…i can rember it like yesterday!!!!

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  34. Can any one rember him saying the butermilk twins that was my mom and aunt ..Donna Mayfiel and Terry Allen Two Fine Blondes back in the days..

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  35. I was born and raised in the City of San Francisco. At one time, I had a copy of the Soul Over the City Album; however, through the years it got lost. Although, I remember every song that was played on this alum; it does not sound nothing like the gold LB that I once had. It presented the sound of an echo over playing the City. Nothing like I have ever heard since. One day, I am hoping to get a copy of the LP. Hopefully someone brings it back. I remembered the LP was put out by KSOL radio station. The two most popular soul radio stations at that time was KSOL and KDIA.

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  36. The songs that I remember that were on the Soul Over the Album were:

    James Brown, There was a dance, there was a time
    I Feel good, I got you
    Billy Stewart, I do love you
    Edwin Star, Agent Double-O-Soul
    Alvin Cash, Twine Time
    Barbara Mason Yes I’m Ready
    Arron Neville, Tell it like it is
    The Invicibles, Heart full of love
    There is nothing I can do about it
    Esther Phillips, And I love him
    Gene Chandler, Nothing can stop me
    The Olympics, Mine Exclusively
    Toussaint McCall Nothing takes the place of you
    The Invicibles, I’ll make it easy
    Bobby Moore, Searching for my Baby
    Drifiters, There goes my Baby
    Freddie Scott, Hey Girl
    Bobby Bluebland
    That is all I remember off this outstanding Album

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  37. I still hang out with Nick Harper, I was the best man at his wedding last year.Played in alot of celebrity basketball games with him. This is when the radio station was doing a lot of fundraisers for the communities. We played all over the bay area against any and everybody.

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    • Wow!!! Funny I don’t remember you? I am happy he has a good friend in his corner.

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    • Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Larry Williams. Long live Kelly Hill, Corliss Bryant!

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  38. Actually you can hear some of those guys on rmconair.com push the classic soul button

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  39. Also Dave Edwards, who worked as an engineer at the original KSOL, has plenty of Air Checks of Sly. Dave has a show currently on KPOO radio in San Francisco on Thursdays mornings 9-11 called Jivin’ Around. You can contact him there.

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