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Dick Biondi, KRLA Los Angeles | June 14, 1965

“…First in Music, First in Fun!”

Dick Biondi (WBBM-FM, WLS, others) is captured for all time on this near studio-quality recording from 1110 KRLA, just two months after crosstown 93 KHJ flipped to Bill Drake consulted Top 40.

After listening to this, one could easily understand why KHJ clobbered KRLA in the ratings. While very entertaining and immensely popular, Dick Biondi talks after EVERY record! In fact, the whole format is, while typical of early-mid 1960s Top 40 radio, disorganized and cluttered. Drake came along at KHJ, removed the clutter, started playing 2-3 records in a row, and blew everyone out of the water.

About this particular aircheck.
Our regular ‘PD’ visitor will likely have much to say. Please. By all means, fill in the blanks. Here are our observations.

Early in this aircheck, Biondi plays a record by the Kinks – “Who’ll Be The Next In Line”. Doesn’s this have a very Beach Boys sound? Interesting record to play. Also, we left the commercials in as they are so telling of society in 1965. Jane Fonda stars in “Cat Ballou”. Did any of you see that movie?

Listen for a Casey Casem jock promo at about 6:20. Who knew back then, that Casem would become a household name with American Top 40?

The final third of this is a full newscast with Ed Hurst, presenting the “30 Second Edition of KRLA News”. What does the ’30 Second Edition’ mean? Perhaps a good guess is each story lasts 30 seconds? Well, the whole newscast goes more than 30 seconds so that’s not it… Our visitors know for sure.

1110 Los Angeles KRLA KXLA Dick Biondi Casey Casem Bob Eubanks Ed Hurst The Beatles

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  1. Wow….talk about LOOSE!

    This format, while quite entertaining, screams for a Bill Drake to tighten it up! 😉


  2. A few notes:

    For the most part, KHJ didn’t play 2 to 3 records in a row…except maybe once or twice at most in an hour. Listen to KHJ airchecks and you’ll find that except for the 1971-1973 period where the spot clusters were lengthened to 2 minutes, KHJ stopped for a commercial break (70 seconds max)after almost every record, too.

    What Drake cleaned up was the constant chatter and established a strong sense of forward momentum. If you heard a jingle, the next thing you’d hear was music.

    Biondi, while his typical wild self, was no more disorganized than the rest of KRLA at the time…and you’re right, it’s a big part of why KHJ beat them in six months.

    The Kinks’ “Who’ll Be The Next In Line” peaked at #34 in Billboard, but made #24 on KRLA and #28 on KHJ.

    “Cat Ballou” was a funny western. Well worth seeing if you can find it.

    And Ed’s not saying “The 30 second edition of KRLA News”. He’s saying “The 32nd edition of KRLA News.”

    News every half hour, 24 hours a day. 48 newscasts. The newscast was the 32nd of the 48 KRLA would do that day.


  3. How cool…stumbled upon this when I did a search for the day I was born! So THIS is what it was like back then?


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