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Pasadena CA

QuickCheck: A Sample of L.A. Rock History – 106.7 KPPC Pasadena | June 3, 1966

In researching this scratchy old tape that was obviously recorded from a pressed RECORD made from a recording of KPPC on 6/3/66, I discovered the rich history of 106.7 goes back to 1962 when the Pasadena Presbyterian Church (from which the call letters were derived) first launched this FM station to augment their service on AM. The storied history of this last-of-its kind AM time-share is documented in various places on the web, so I won’t re-write it here.

By 1966, the church still owned KPPC, and the station wasn’t sold to Crosby-Avery Broadcasting until 1968, so while it seems unlikely that this conservative church would air Progressive Rock, either one of two things happened: A. The date on this tape is dead wrong, or B. Freeform Progressive Rock was being broadcast, at least part of the time as early as June of ’66. Perhaps someone in the know (Calradiopd, where are ya?) can answer this.

The facts about this aircheck are this: There are audio features on this tape that give away the fact that this was from a pressed record made of KPPC’s broadcast, most notably, the clicks and pops noted during the announcer’s banter that sound like an old record. Now, even in 1966, it would seem strange that someone press a record of a station recording, at a time when Reel to Reel recording equipment was commonplace. Still, thats what we hear. Also, I don’t know what most of the KPPC jocks sounded like, except for Charles Laquidera, who was a part of the airstaff sometime between 1968 and 1971, since I remember him from WBCN Boston. So, I have no idea who this jock is since he does not say his name.

KPPC, at 106.7, would eventually sold to the National Science Network, then, 1973, it went to Burbank Broadcasting and became what we know today as the legendary KROQ. The AM station owned by the Pasadena Presbyterian Church would be separated from the FM after the progression of sales, and would continue broadcasting church services until 1996, when the station finally fell silent and the license deleted by the FCC.

It seems we’ve found an historic gem here, even though I had to scope it down from 30 minutes of long Rolling Stones and Muddy Waters tunes down to this just over 3 minutes of announcer and promo material. ASCAP & BMI rules, you know…


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5 Comments


  1. Right here, Steve. And…..A. The date on the tape is dead wrong. The Electric Flag album that starts the aircheck wasn’t released until March of 1968. So this is later than that. June of ’68 instead of ’66 would work.

    As for the church allowing this, the story is that the guy who owned KMPX in San Francisco, bought KPPC in October of 1967…not 1968.

    In April of ’67, Tom Donahue, who’d been a popular Top 40 jock at KYA (and before that, WIBG in Philly), was looking for an FM station desperate enough to let him take over with an eclectic album rock format (no one else was doing it 24/7). He started dialing radio station phone numbers, found KMPX’s had been disconnected and knew he had found a desperate operator.

    Donahue’s approach went on the air in May and instantly made money (though from then unorthodox advertisers). Crosby bought KPPC (and inherited Charles Laquidara, who’d been playing classical records there) in October and told Donahue to work his magic there too.

    But within months, Crosby wanted more control over what Donahue and his talent played, said and advertised, and didn’t want to pay Donahue and his people what they thought they were worth. They staged a “strike” on both stations in March of 1968, and were all fired. Donahue cut a deal with Metromedia to program KSAN in San Francisco and KMET in Los Angeles and was back on the air in May. Laquidara stayed at KPPC for a year before going to Boston.

    Donahue crushed KMPX with KSAN virtually overnight, but KMET didn’t become a monster until after Donahue’s death in 1975. It was ABC’s KLOS that killed KPPC in 1971.

    The surface noise? Who knows? Weird.

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  2. More information on the long-gone KPPC:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KPPC_(defunct)

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  3. Some more information on KPPC:

    http://www.laradio.com/kppchistory.htm

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  4. Steve: It also occurs to me that the date you were given (and forget 1966) could be March 6, not June 3, 1968. Most of the rest of the world uses a day/month/year format as opposed to our month/day/year. So 6/3 would be the 6th of March.

    That would actually make more sense. The Electric Flag LP would be brand-new and Sly & The Family Stone would not yet be a big act (KHJ added “Dance To The Music” just a week before).

    And an international date format might help answer the pressing to vinyl. Perhaps this was distributed to audiences or broadcasters overseas and vinyl was chosen as the means of duplication.

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  5. I was there in ’71 thru ’73 when Burbank Broadcasting bought the station from NSN.I worked under 2 PD’s……….Peter Franklin and Bernie Allen.Went thru the transition to KROQ with Shadoe Stevens untill the Aftra Strike in ’74.The PP am signal went with Eric North and KMAX Arcadia.

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