Suppose you wanted to know what radio sounded like in 1960. You probably thought most stations were playing some sort of popular music. If you judge by this aircheck, you’d be wrong.
KABL is licensed to Oakland, but serves the greater San Francisco area. Or, it was in 1960. Back then, the station aired a Beautiful Music format before the format name existed. Listen for an announcement saying, “KABL… Offering Quarter Hour segments of Beautiful Music every hour“. Another slogan heard on this scope is, “KABL… in the air, EVERYWHERE over San Francisco!“. The name of this late afternoon program is… you guessed it, “Limelight”. Listen, as the unnamed announcer paints a beautiful picture as he introduces another segment of Limelight.
A few noteworthy points of interest:
1. Within the first minute or so, listen for a dry commercial for L&M Cigarettes. Cigarette ads were very common up until the ban on advertising after the Surgeon General’s report on Smoking in 1964.
2. At 3:45, a business report called, “This is Wall Street”. The reporter is Guthrie Jenson.
3. About midway through this, listen for a promo for a Sunday Evening program called, “Know The Law”, supposedly featuring a 3 person panel of Bay-Area lawyers.
In researching for this presentation, we discovered that KABL was a “Hallmark of Bay Area Radio”, according to BayAreaRadio.org. There is even a tribute online radio station and accompanying website, complete with live DJ’s – some of the people who were actually there during the station’s more than 30 year run playing Standards, Classical and Beautiful Music with it’s lush string arrangements. You can hear THAT station at kabl960.com!
And now, enjoy this ORIGINAL KABL broadcast from 9/6/1960.
Aircheck Courtesy of Contributor Robyn Watts