We’re going all the way back to the Summer of 1967 for this clip of KRLA! Known for boosting the careers of such famous deejays as Casey Casem (of “American Top 40” fame), then-future game show host Wink Martindale (WHBQ Memphis), Bill Ballance (KFWB ‘Color Radio 98’) and even Dick Biondi – best known for his days at the Big 89 WLS in Chicago, KRLA boasted a large audience for it’s time. KRLA’s biggest days undoubtedly were in the 1960s when it aired a Top 40 format. A second ‘heyday’, if you will, occurred in the early 80s when KRLA became an Oldies station.
This is a short, 5 minute (processed and restored) clip of the Charlie O Show on KRLA. I personally love the format heard here. It’s not the short, compact Drake format that KHJ Los Angeles and other RKO stations adopted, rather, a personality oriented and relatively tight Top 40 format. Listen for a rare Beatles cut, the Pick Hit of the Week!
There’s nothing left of the heritage of the old 1110 KRLA, as the station was purchased by the Walt Disney Company and for a while was an ESPN outlet. It has been airing Children’s programming as “Radio Disney” since the beginning of 2003. The old KRLA call letters are also gone, replaced first by KSPN (reflecting the ESPN Sports Programming) and then KDIS which it is today.
The KRLA call letters are currently in use in on 870 AM in Glendale, California. That station airs a News/Talk format and has no historical connection to Pasadena’s AM 1110.
14 thoughts on “Charlie O, 1110 KRLA Pasadena CA | June 16, 1967”
Bill Ballance never worked at KRLA. He was at KNX from 1952-1955, KFWB from 1955-1964, briefly at KGIL in 1966, then off to Honolulu and San Francisco before coming back to L.A. at KGBS in 1970. He went to KABC in 1974, KWIZ in 1977 and KFMB, San Diego from 1978-1993.
I’d like to offer this example as to why there are errors in some of my historical data. Much of what I look up I find on Wikipedia. Let me paste this excerpt from the KDIS description article from Wikipedia:
So, according to the above, Bill Ballance WAS associated with KRLA – even if briefly. Wiki doesn’t offer any details of Ballance’s time with the station.
I DO investigate the facts I post. And while I didn’t so much back when I first started doing airchexx, I have many sources that I use to verify information. No offense, but try to look at what I post and realize that these days there is a valid reason most of the time for posting background info. I don’t make things up.
Ballance may also be known to many for his affair with Dr. Laura Schlessinger who was 30 years younger.
Ballance sold nude pictures of Schlessinger to a website which he said he took during the affair in the 1970’s.
Both later admitted the affair. Ballance said Schlesinger was married at the time. Schlessinger said she was separated and had filed for divorce.
A judge ruled the pictures could remain on the website.
Ballance was said to be angry with Schlessinger for not giving him credit as her mentor and helping her obtain her start in radio.
Ballance died in 2004.
Didn’t “The real” Don Steele and Charlie Tuna also DJ on KRLA in the 60’s? Used to win so much fun stuff on that station. Take care, Sharon Freeman
The best I can recall was Tuna on KRLA in the early 1990s and Steele in the 1980s.
Below is a link to a short aircheck of Steele in 1988 on KRLA:
I remember seeing an aircheck for Tuna on KRLA on YouTube, but I cannot locate it right now. I’ll look again when my eyelids reopen.
For years, Charlie O’Donnell was the 9-noon jock on KRLA. His stint in morning drive was relatively brief.
Later he became a news anchorman on KCOP-TV in Los Angeles.
O’Donnell probably was best known as the long-time announcer for “Wheel of Fortune” until his death at the age of 78 in 2010.
Of course, he was the announcer for many other game shows for years.
Below is a clip of Charlie ‘O as a bachelor on “The All New Dating Game” where he was also the show’s announcer:
Any audio from radio memphis wmps. Man they rocked that river-city.
Yes,in fact I do. Here’s one from Wink Martindale in 1956 that I got from Jack Parnell, or this one from 1972. Enjoy!
Steve, thanks for the link to the Memphis composite from 1972…I enjoyed….it was a nice throw-back to my high school years
Well, I urge you to do research, you do…and you wind up with the only source on the internet that has Bill Ballance at KRLA…because he wasn’t.
Beware Wikipedia. Gets stuff wrong a lot.
I just fixed the Wikipedia entry, removing Bill Ballance. His name is no longer there. I could have typed Helen Keller’s name in his place, and it would be there for the world to see now (would have explained a lot of KRLA dead air…). That’s the trouble with Wikipedia.
Has anybody forgotten that he was also the same Charlie O’Donnell who was the announcer for “American Bandstand” (when it HAD an announcer early in that show’s history [in Philly and during AB’s first five years in Hollywood]?)
And how’s this? He was even a deejay on WOR-FM New York early in its Drake-consulted Top 40 era in the late ’60’s-WHEN HE WAS STILL THE ANNOUNCER ON “AMERICAN BANDSTAND”!
Was the jingle at the beginning produced by Phil Spector? I can hear that “Wall of Sound” reverb therein.