Jim Conlee, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | 1979

1020 AM Los Angeles Dave Sebastian The Real Don Steele Charlie Tuna Jackson Armstrong M.G. Kelly KFVD KPOP KTNQ KGBS

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 interesting aircheck.

Jim Conley was the Program Director, and is in for Dave Sebastian on this date (whatever that date is). This is representative of AM Top 40 radio in the Disco, late 70s era! A personality driven, music oriented station that a year earlier had taken the market by storm and de-throned format giant 93 KHJ.

I believe that Jim Conley is the same guy as heard in this 1969 aircheck of WKOX-FM 105.7 Framingham, in the Boston market. Which does answer the question as to ‘where did he go?’

Runs 5:46. Scoped.

Big Apple Airchecks Matt Seinberg New York Traders

Aircheck courtesy of BIG APPLE AIRCHECKS

1020 AM Los Angeles Dave Sebastian The Real Don Steele Charlie Tuna Jackson Armstrong M.G. Kelly KFVD KPOP KTNQ KGBS

Aircheck #1,332 since May 2, 2002!


  1. Al

    Hi Steve, thanks as always for great radio. It seems to me that most of the LA radio stations sped up their songs anyway, just like Miami in the the late 70’s. Also, listening to Weaver on KHJ, I recall hearing a guy on K102 Miami (WCKO then and now WMXJ Magic 102.7) I want to say somewhere around late 79 who called himself “Barefoot Beauregard Rodriquez Walker” same deep pipes- I wonder if it is the same guy? Al Gordon

  2. Gary Kerns

    I heard at some 10Q airchecks on reelradio.com. I don’t recall whether I heard any other jocks, but I did hear “The Real” Don Steele. He said Ten-Q for listening; a play on Thank you for listening. I’ve heard of the “Q’ format, but don’t know what it means. There was a 13Q in Pittsburgh from 1973 to about 1981.

  3. Tony

    Jim Conley in for Dave Sebastion …

    Sorry …

    KTNQ was “personality driven” but not on this tape — time, temp, name, liners, promos, traffic report, etc.

    • I heard from Jim Conlee this evening right after posting this. His name is spelled Conlee. I’ll fix shortly. Also, Jim was the PD, filling in for Dave Sebastian. Lets be fair about this. I’ve known lots of PDs who were simply brilliant programmers, maybe not so much as jocks. Given how fantastic Ten-Q was, I’d say Jim Conlee was great!

  4. Tony

    Was Conlee the PD?

    I have never heard of him. Nothing wrong with him at all on the air. Conlee has a good, clear and friendly voice. The tape simply lacks much personality at all, obviously, compared to Jack Armstrong and the others.

    It seems Dave Conley, who was at KHJ, at one time was also on KTNQ sometime in the 1970’s.

    Thanks for posting, Steve. The station did have a ton of talent … then FM hit.

    This is not the Q format developed by Buzz Bennett — fast talking jocks, hyper actually. Barely understandable under the music. Geared almost strictly for teens. Some adults would have gone insane listening to Bennett’s format.

    By the way, Buzz was not much of a jock. He realized his talent was in programming for teens.

  5. Tony

    Willie B. was on 10Q and Lee “Baby” Simms for a time.

    A tape is on the internet of Simms’ all-night audition on 10Q.

    • Gary Kerns

      Lee “Baby” Simms was at WJBK, 1500 AM, in Detroit in the late ’60s. JBK later became country WDEE (around 1970). That lasted till about ’77. 1500 is now WCZY, and Christian-formatted, if I’m not mistaken. Somebody once joked that WDEE stood for “We’ve Done Everything Else”. One other thing, what exactly was Buzz Bennett’s “Q’ format? I was of the impression that that’s what 13Q in Pittsburgh was.

  6. Gary Kerns

    One other thing (to use one of my pet phrases). Country singer John Conlee was a Nashville dj.

  7. Scott Lowe

    I always thought Jim Conlee was a good jock. TenQ is sounding a little mellow here, probably leaning more adult since it is the midday. The aircheck is from either late March or early April, based on the references to the England Dan & John Ford Coley album (released in March ’79) and the California World Music Festival, which took took place April 7th and 8th. In L.A., Conlee was also heard on KKHR, Magic 106 and KWNK-AM in Simi Valley.

  8. Tony

    As you may know, Lee Simms died in January of a self-inflected gunshot wound.

    He had been suffering from prostate cancer. I talked to him a few times over the years.

    Incredible jock. If you have some of his tapes, you would enjoy hearing them. His KCBQ November 1970 aircheck is amazing. He sent the tape to KRLA in Los Angeles and got a job there. Lee said he worked at more than 30 stations, I believe, in more than 20 markets.

    Once I asked him if he could work for Bill Drake.

    He said “never”. Same for Buzz Bennett.

    Once Bennett arrived at KCBQ, Lee started looking elsewhere and wound up at KRLA. On Simms last show, he allegedly never gave his name.

    In 1975, when KRLA went MOR, he worked morning drive posing as a retired vet called ‘Ol Doc Frail.


  9. Tony

    Below is a link to the only aircheck of Lee “Baby” Simms I could find on YouTube.

    Maybe Steve will post.

  10. Tony

    Cousin’ Brucie of WABC is the voice on the Protein 29 on the Simms aircheck above.

    Believe it or not … Protein 29 is still sold.


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