640 KFI Los Angeles

Nancy Plum

Every aircheck tells a story. What listeners remember years later isn’t always what the station sounded like at the time they remember.

For me, the most memorable time at KFI was the “Amazin’ AM” Top 40 era, which basically ran from 1978-1984, part of those years in Stereo. But THIS version of KFI? Airchecks of it are pretty rare.

This is from the Full-Service, Soft Adult Contemporary era in the late 1980s. KFI was still in C-Quam AM Stereo, although the number of car radios that could decode C-Quam were pretty low – and that was the whole problem, as the FCC said “let the market decide” which stereo system to use, and it didn’t. So, all attempts by AM stations in the mid and late 80s to do softer, adult music formats were pretty much in vain as listeners left the band for FM radio in droves.

Now, about this tape. This is one of those skimmer tapes, used in the studio on a cassette deck wired up to the air monitor with a relay that started and stopped the tape when the mic button on the board was pressed. There was no music on this tape outside of a few endings and beginnings. I edited the tape to try to get rid of as many of those annoying ‘speed up’ moments when the cassette deck started and stopped. They really are annoying, but some remained in the final product because I just couldn’t take some out without losing a piece of Nancy Plum’s voice.



As with all our new airchecks, the VIDEO Version is available at our official Airchexx Classic Radio YouTube Channel

Aircheck courtesy of Nancy Plum – from her personal collection.

By Steve West

Steve West is a 41 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve is the founder of Airchexx.com and Hitoldies.net - All the BIG Hits!

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