1020 KTNQ

Jackson Armstrong, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | December, 1978

Jack Armstrong is on top of his game in this, a 2004 donation to our site by Matt Seinberg at BigAppleAirchecks.com. Right off the bat, the gorilla is right there with Jack and the fun starts from the first song! Armstrong is doing the morning show this particular day. Too bad he wasn’t around 10 years earlier in Southern California, he’d have been great on KHJ! I’m always struck by how fast Armstrong talked and still got his point across. It helps that Ten-Q had a great thing going. But these were the waning days of AM Top 40 and KTNQ’s days were numbered from the start as the audience slowly but surely moved to FM. But boy does this sound GOOD! Re-mastered for better audio!

The Real Don Steele, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | 1978

Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks! For the finest in aircheck trading, be sure to go to http://bigappleairchecks.com! Recorded with a small table mic in front of a radio speaker, this may not sound broadcast quality, but fans of the last great AM Top 40 station in L.A. will immediately recognize a friendly voice who was seemingly beloved by all… The Real Don Steele! As usual, there are some quite knowledgeable visitors out there who know lots more than I about the history of KTNQ. Ten-Q’s main competitors in the late 70s were KHJ and KFI, both on the AM dial. The Real Don Steele first became wildly popular at KHJ as part of the first generation of the station which Consultant Bill Drake dubbed, “Boss Radio” in 1965. He was wildly popular on Ten-Q, and worked at other ...

QuickChexx: Charlie Tuna, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | 1979

Good morning, 9:03 with Charlie Tuna, on L.A.’s Original Rock & Roll Radio Station Here’s a very short and somewhat muddy recording that I think was made sometime in 1979. Could have been ’78. Digging around, I (re)found this interesting page on Ten-Q on http://www.socalradiohistory.com/. While it doesn’t go into great detail of AM 1020’s long history, there’s enough to understand the short, but rapid rise of Ten-Q from 1976-1979 as a Top 40 radio station. And, as the writers point out, KTNQ and KHJ are and have been Spanish competitors for a couple of decades. Aircheck #1,345 since May 2, 2002! If you enjoy what you hear, please make a contribution in any amount. Thank you for choosing Airchexx!

Machine Gun Kelly, KTNQ (Ten-Q) Los Angeles | April 8, 1978

Springtime, 1978. Top 40 radio was really playing it all. Kansas. George Benson. the Bee Gees. The Atlanta Rhythm Section and more… All the important action was still on AM. You got all the music, plus the news, traffic reports, huge contests with lots of money, or in this case, a special screening including a limo to pick up the winner, the soundtrack, and some cash to spend. How about THAT! This is the short-lived but INCREDIBLE Ten-Q! The Gunner is on till 10 pm and trust me, NOTHING on FM radio in any format today sounds as good as this night show heard from Los Angeles at 1020 khz. Absolutely NOTHING! No long descriptions, just a quick note to thank our Contributor at Big Apple Airchecks for this. Again, Matt Seinberg comes through! Aircheck #1,335 since May 2, 2002! Come visit ...

Jim Conlee, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | 1979

Oh, the days of (tape) skimmer machines for in-studio air checking. You won’t hear it on this presentation, but the whole aircheck was infused with an annoying speeding up of the recording in between jock talk. This happens because of the way cassette decks were wired to the board, so that the tape automatically records when the mic is turned on, then stops when the mic is turned off. The record head in the deck is always on, and theres a small bit of dead-roll when the tape machine stops, therefore, that results in the tape still in record mode when the tape slows to a halt and the speed variance makes for a recording that goes rapidly up in pitch. I said all that to say, I edited out all those in-between noises, so that it wouldn’t be a source of annoyance in an otherwise int...

The Real Don Steele, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | July 5, 1977

A world-premier aircheck that’s been sitting around the studio for a few years is this digitized copy of the original studio reel of “The Real” Don Steele on Ten-Q! Here’s one of the most high-energy jocks ever, captured on this unbelievably high-quality recording. It would not do this legendary personality justice to try to describe him or his career here, so we’ll just let our visitors post their memories in the space below. Don Steele passed away some years ago, but his memory lives on in great recordings such as these.

Jim Conley; Jackson Armstrong, 1020 KTNQ “Ten-Q” Los Angeles | 1979

This has been sitting around the Airchexx studio since 2004… a composite that’s had an 8 year wait to hit the Airchexx Archives! This kicks off with Jim Conley filling in for Dave Sebastian who is out sick on this particular day. Conley begins at 12 Noon and this scope spans the entire 3 hour show. Jackson Armstrong and the Gorilla pick up at 3pm with the wildest, zany and positively MAD presentation heard anywhere! Armstrong is certainly at his BEST on this day, with the exception of ONE break where he misses the post! Talk about rare! Technically, I doctored this up a little bit, but overall it was in very good condition. The only complaint is, BOY those jocks were quick on the mic button! This was obviously recorded on a skimmer tape deck wired in-line to the studio board, t...

Jackson Armstrong, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | January 26, 1979

Continuing our series on KTNQ given to us way back in 2004, Here’s yet another great clip of the late Jackson Armstrong… still in his prime with the Gorilla and a stack of Rock & Roll records (well, probably were carts) on a station that simply COOKED! Compare this with KHJ recordings of the same time period and you can see why KHJ fell off the map. While 93 KHJ was turning into a less talk more music outlet, Ten-Q let the jocks be themselves, and the evidence is clear. Charlie Tuna does the imaging voice on this one, Jack Armstrong is himself, and the music is pure Top 40 magic! Courtesy of BigAppleAirchecks.com!

Composite: 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles, “The New Ten-Q”

Listen to the collection of voices in this long composite! Narrated by Jimi Foxx, this includes the station’s 1976 launch, then continues on to profile the (then) current airstaff and their ratings performance. I’m guessing that this was produced in 1977, perhaps as a sales tool or for an industry trade publication. This was contributed by Matt Seinberg at BigAppleAirchecks, and unfortunately I don’t know who his source was for this particular aircheck. I’ll leave the detailed description to those more knowledgeable about KTNQ, in the comments section below. Feel free to add your opinions to the discussion!

Machine Gun Kelly, First Show – 1020 KTNQ (Ten-Q) Los Angeles | March 18, 1978

M.G. Kelly had been on crosstown KHJ since 1976. In ’78, KHJ decided to take the station in a more ‘mellow’ approach – we’d call it Adult Contemporary today – in the process, asking Kelly to basically lighten up on air. One day, Kelly walked out and seemingly overnight found himself on KTNQ. This aircheck represents the Gunner’s first show on Ten-Q. For those of you in radio, do you remember your first day at a new radio station? Just finding where the mic pot was on the board was sometimes a challenge, nevermind finding that ‘sweet spot’ where your voice sounded just right and not over-modulated. M.G. Kelly tackles his first hour on the job with only one somewhat glaring error… just before the end of this aircheck, Gunner cracks ...

Andy Barber, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | June 24, 1978

First put together in 1976 from what had been KGBS to go up against market Top 40 leader KHJ, Ten-Q had all the makings of exciting radio. Sure, there was no reverb, but with talent like M.G. Kelly and others whose quick wit and ‘shotgun’ approach fit well with the music of the late seventies, who needed it! This is the first recording we’ve heard of featuring Andy Barber and he’s a perfect fit for KTNQ. A comparison of this station with KHJ during the Summer of ’78 would find Ten-Q playing a wider variety of hits, a hotter playlist with more, harder rock, while KHJ was ‘playing it safe’ staying closer to the middle of the road. And while this is not the first aircheck of Ten-Q featured on Airchexx, its one of the best in terms of sound quality. Co...

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