1260 KYA

Composite: KYA San Francisco | March 1965

Date of Recording: 03.xx.1965 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 1260 KYA San Francisco, California, USA Format: Top 40 Featured Air Personality: Various Comments: Long dramatic jingles, disc jockeys who comment about everything with lots of talk between songs, outdated news sounders and reverb on demand all highlight this first San Francisco top 40 station. This is quite entertaining, however, because while the formatics shown here on KYA are loose, a reminder of the early 60s, the jocks are very talented and the format comes off very tight. Nobody skips a beat or misses a cue. Its a history lesson for those who never heard what radio sounded like in 1965. Thanks to visitor Paul Duca for reminding us that crosstown KFRC’s “Boss” sound was still a year away, and at the time of...

Bwana Johnny, 1260 KYA San Francisco | 1969

No serious discussion of the history of San Francisco Top 40 radio would be complete without acknowledging the contributions of 5,000 watt 1260 KYA. Nobody will dispute that 610 KFRC was the reigning king of Top 40. Its powerful signal, with the longer 610 khz wavelength travelled much further and penetrated buildings better. It had the promotion budget of a broadcasting monolith, comparable in size with today’s WalMart. RKO General had its fingers in Tires, movies and of course, broadcasting. And most important, KFRC had Bill Drake. KYA had none of that. But it did have a consistent format, fun and uptempo jocks and the hits of the day. Bwana Johnny was one such jock. Listen and be pleasantly surprised at how good Johnny sounds, and how streamlined KYA is. KYA, as demonstrated here,...

Composite: 1260 KYA San Francisco | September, 1973

Well, isn’t this aircheck reminiscent of a similar crisis we’re experiencing today? It opens up with a ‘special’ bulliten where KYA tells listeners that they will suspend normal public service messages in order to tell Bay area residents where they can purchase gas. After that, this is a really great, tightly scoped aircheck. This is amazing to hear, but not unexpected. They say a rising tide raises all boats, and with KFRC, one of the best Top 40 radio stations of all time in the same market, any wannabe competitor had to make every attempt to be at least as good. KYA certainly sounds good enough here to rise to the top of any other market in the nation – it certainly rivaled KFRC in sound, even if they couldn’t succeed in unseating the Big 610! Most de...

Jim Washburn, KYA San Francisco | March, 1965

When many people think of Top 40 radio in San Francisco in the 1960s, the first station that comes to mind is usually 610 KFRC. But, before KFRC, there was 1260 KYA, and for a time, both stations duked it out on the AM band until the battle was clearly won by KFRC. From early in 1965, here’s the Jim Washburn show on KYA. Includes one full edition of “Pulse Beat News” with plenty of stories relating to the ongoing, escalating war in Vietnam.

Bob Mitchell, 1260 KYA San Francisco | April, 1961

Knowing next to nothing about this recording, I have to defer to someone who might have been around in 1961 to have heard it. This is Top 40 pioneer KYA. Doing the format several years before RKO decided to take KFRC in that direction. Bob Mitchell was known as a slick, fast talking jock (especially for that time period) and while quick, is smooth as glass on this 10 minute scope that sounds so good, it’s like standing in the AM studio with him. Discuss…

Steve Jordan, Natural Neal & Michael O’Connor – 1260 KYA San Francisco | July 13, 1977

If only the East Coast had a Top 40 station like this! Oh… well, besides WABC. We here at Airchexx have put much focus on 610 KFRC as THE dominant station in San Francisco. But, the Bay area had stiff competition for much of the 1970s from crosstown KYA. In 1977, KYA did get close, but never beat KFRC. And it’s too bad, listening to this aircheck, KYA really COOKS! Is it me, or did KYA have more hard rock on the air than KFRC? Methinks so. But KYA did NOT have Dr. Don Rose, KFRC’s ace in the hole. KYA did have a smokin’ set of Positron jingles (JAM), and plenty of forward momentum in the format presentation. In the end, however, were we to rate this aircheck, it would get a 5 out of 5 based upon personality, format execution, excitement and momentum. Does it beat KF...

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