Gary Owens on KMPC Los Angeles | August 1, 1969 (corrected)

710 Los Angeles KMPC

Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks - Thanks!It’s wierd, listening to this era once again. While there is a ton of history associated with the few monster Top 40 stations of the day, such as WABC, WLS and KHJ, less is available about the more, Middle Of the Road (MOR) stations heard in at the start of the 70s.

KMPC was owned by Country & Western star Gene Autry. In addition to movies and singing, Autry was also a broadcaster. KMPC could possibly be compared in sound & format to the old WNEW Eleven Three Oh in New York… at least in the area of on-air presentation. This was a personality-oriented station that never achieved, or even tried, to compete musically, with crosstown KHJ or KFWB. And despite the fact that KMPC was always known as an adult station, it always had a loyal following, and some big named personalities.

Gary Owens‘ career was rolling along smoothly in 1970, with a daily show on KMPC and the voice of numerous television shows including Rowan Martin’s “Laugh In”. It sure is good to hear him again!

Thanks to Big Ron O’Brien for this aircheck master, provided via Matt @ BigAppleAirchecks!

710 Los Angeles KMPC


  1. Brian Craig

    Isn’t this aircheck from 1969 instead of 1970? Gary plays several records that are on the easy listneing charts in August of 1969 and doesn’t play anything from 1970.

  2. I can only go by the date on the aircheck. Sometimes the person who recorded it puts the wrong date down. Other than that I can’t explain it.

  3. Clark Novak

    Man, it sure is good to hear Gary again. There’s no one on the air today just out to have fun and mess around with your mind in the good-natured, unexpected way that Gary did. Thanks for this!

  4. Mike

    I checked the date– Gary mentions that it’s Friday, and the “Oneth” of August.

    That’d make it 1969.

    And yes, growing up listening to Gary Owens on KMPC was a great substitute for drugs. He’s my all-time favorite.

  5. calradiopd

    The fact that there’s an ad for 1969 Fords makes it pretty clear, too.

    When in doubt…actually listen to the aircheck.

    • David

      Plus, the 1970 cars in general wouldn’t be in showrooms for another month to month-and-a-half if the aircheck is from–in Gary’s words–“the Oneth of August.”

  6. Rob

    What great memories! As a kid I used to tune in to KMPC every afternoon just to hear that voice.
    I was lucky enough to speak with gary on the phone once when I wanted to break into voice overs.
    He’s so damn gifted,it just humbles me.

  7. Tom Burger

    I always listened to KMPC and Gary Owens in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Gary invented a word and it later made it way into the websters dictionary, but as hard as I try, I can not remember the word. Can you tell me what it was?

    • john

      A reply for Tom Burger. I believe the word you are looking for is “insegrevious”. I used it once in a term paper at college. Got an A.

  8. I’m really enjoying this. I had never heard Gary other than ‘Laugh-In’ and some commercials.

    BTW, this aircheck is August 1, 1969

  9. For Matt Seinberg… were you in NEWS at ‘PC? Just wondering what else was in the box of ‘goodies’ in addition to GO’s scoped a/c.
    I’m replying to this on July 17, 2010.. hope someone can get this to you. Also, please check out my website. Am trying to keep a few memories of the orig KMPC going abit via my carshow/event music in northern Utah. Using my remake of the old Ford Mobile Studio for my shows. I’m now working on remake for Day/Night Cruiser (’73 ChevWgn)#3 to add to my ‘fleet’. Check it out. Would be great to hear from someone from the ‘era’ of KMPC710am. Thanks/jShelburne

  10. Grew up listining to Garish every afternoon and loving his voice and quick wit. An incredibly entertaining and uplifting fellow. Definitely one of my heroes from a young age through the present!

  11. David

    Not only does this aircheck date back to 1969 and not 1970, but, as I read not long ago, KMPC changed its format in the early part of 1970 to Pop Adult(the all-soft-rock-hits version of both Top 40 and MOR that has since been renamed Adult Contemporary), then in its infancy. Later that year, I also read, it switched to country music and remained so for, well, a long time.

    • David

      Oops, that was KLAC, not KMPC. KMPC, in fact, stuck with MOR for a longer period of time, switching to (judging by a ’78 aircheck of [deejay/TV game show host] Geoff Edwards) AC later in the decade before doing away with music altogether by decade’s end or thereabouts.

  12. calradiopd


    You’re confusing KMPC with KLAC. KLAC went Country in late 1970. KMPC never did.

    KMPC was essentially what you hear here until 1973, when it kept the personalities and formatics but went to nearly all hit singles (using the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart)and early rock oldies.

    There it stayed until 1979, when it began switching, daypart by daypart, to talk. That failed and they went back to music (big band/nostalgia) in 1982.

    In 1992, KMPC went sportstalk. That failed. It went talk in 1995, then female-oriented talk in 1997, changing its call letters to KTZN. Since then it’s been Radio Disney and ESPN Sports (current call letters KSPN).

    • David

      I read the comment to which you responded immediately above and I was like, “OOPS, that was K *L* **A** C!” And a second later, I scrolled down a comment and you’re right, I did confuse KMPC with KLAC. KMPC did away with its longtime Full Service format considerably later than KLAC did away with MOR and later with the (what we now call) Adult Contemporary format it replaced.

    • David

      Actually, KMPC *PHASED IN* soft rock hits (or at least increased the number thereof) in 1973 (as per a new program director) until about ’76, when the format evolved completely to soft rock. And so it remained Pop Adult (or Contemporary MOR or whatever Adult Contemporary was called at the time) until, as you said, 1979.

  13. i could hear underneath the great gary owens another station playing some canadian content when i die by motherlode anybody else hear this…..about 425 on this aircheck….

  14. ROB


  15. David

    I regret to inform you–if you’re not already aware–that Gary Owens passed away last month. Owens was 80. RIP Gary.

  16. I have tears in my eyes remembering such GREAT LA radio. Gary was at the top of the heap. Best MOR jock ever and KMPC was home of the best of the best in that radio genre…Golden West spared nothing to make certain your ears heard the best they could serve up on the LA radio dial. I want to go back. Back in my powder blue ’60 Ford Falcon and cruise Sepulveda Pass and listen to 710, KMPC…

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