Description by Webmaster Steve West
In the Summer of 1981, my brother Mike spent his Summer vacation in Los Angeles with relatives and while there, recorded a few tapes of L.A. radio. Of the three tapes I had at one time, two managed to survive.
The aircheck starts with Pat Evans’ morning show. Mr. Evans does a warm, personable show, although you won’t hear many of the elements of today’s modern morning shows. You will hear highlights of the previous day’s Angels game (and it sure is nice to hear Jim Fregosi’s name again). This first segment rolls for about 31 minutes, then “Mr. Rock & Roll”, Brian Bierne steps in and begins the K-Earth 101 mid-day show. Listen for Gary Owens doing a “Knudsen” yogurt spot (are they even in business anymore?), a recorded “community events’ announcement (very nicely done!)
KRTH was then owned by RKO Radio, as was sister station 93/KHJ. KHJ, in 1981 was then a Country station, having dumped Top 40 over a year earler. It’s been long speculated what might have or could have happened had the KHJ format moved over to KRTH. Apparently, according to sources in the know, this format was indeed RKO’s attempt at taking KHJ’s fomat to ‘the next level’. This is similar to what happened at RKO’s Boston properties. WRKO was still playing music in ’81, although had toned things down and gone the AC route under the local direction of Charlie Van Dyke. It’s FM was 98.5 WROR. In 1980, WROR dumped its VERY long running automated Oldies format in favor of live, Full Service AC. By 1981, both WROR and it’s L.A. counterpart K-Earth 101 were in a direction that could have taken either or both stations to CHR. Indeed, at WROR, the Summer of1983 was the year they actually tried CHR at least on a limited basis (with no less than THREE CHR’s already in the market), but by September of ’83, WROR was back to AC. In Los Angeles, K-Earth 101 never crossed the line into CHR, although there were times that it got close. By 1985, KRTH was solidly in Oldies territory, where it would remain and eventually achieve huge ratings success.
So it is pure luck that this aircheck is one of only TWO that exist (coincidently recorded by my brother specifically for me upon my begging back in ’81) of K-Earth 101 during this very short era in it’s long, storied history.
Where are they now:
* Pat Evans – KKDJ, 1974; KEZY, 1976; KHJ, 1979; KHTZ, 1979-80; KRTH, 1982-85. Following a five-year stint as pd at KSMG-San Antonio, Pat is now the in-house voiceover and production guy for WOAI/KTKR San Antonio.
– From laradio.com
* Brian Bierne – (b. November 7, 1946) was a radio DJ for KRTH-FM aka K-EARTH 101 in Southern California. He is known as “Mr. Rock N’ Roll”, which is his registered trademark and is considered one of the foremost historians on Rock N’ Roll. Beirne’s Los Angeles career lasted almost three decades, representing the longest continuous stint in FM radio history.
Beirne was the voice of K-EARTH 101 during the RKO days and reached legendary status as a top-rating midday personality in the Los Angeles market for 27 years – a record-setting achievement in FM radio. His radio career has spanned 40 years which included San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, and Sacramento among others, and he continues to host and produce Rock and Roll shows around the country. Beirne retired from KRTH-FM on December 15, 2004.
On January 18, 1991, Beirne was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
– From Wikipedia
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7 thoughts on “Pat Evans and Brian Bierne on KRTH K-Earth-101 Los Angeles | August 21, 1981”
Now, this is the KRTH I remember!! Not the repetitive cycles we hear today..This is real radio for L.A.!! Nice and memorable airchexx!
Another nice feature that KRTH used to do back in the early 80’s was airing huge specialties, such as the Firecracker 500 and the #1 hits weekend over Labor Day Weekend. All the #1’s would play in chronological order from 1955 thru 1984.
Those were the days!
Pat Evans was the night guy at K.Earth 101, when the popular morning show, London & Engelman, left to do mornings at K.West 106…which flipped formats from AOR to ‘Top40’, lead by former KHJ program director Chuck Martin. Some of the old KHJ DJs that left KHJ because it went country, joined the staff of K.West (Bobby Ocean &Pat Garrett). Rick Dees (who was doing mornings at KHJ) went to KIIS FM).
Maverick: Almost right, but not quite.
Only one of the airstaff left KHJ because of the flip to Country, and that was Pat Garrett.
Bobby Ocean had actually been backstabbed by another KHJ jock in ’79 and let go long before the flip in formats. Fortunately both Tim and Chuck realized the mistake they’d made and hired him for KWST.
The evening jock was Benny Martinez, who’d been at KIIS, China Smith, who’d been part of the AOR KWST stayed on for 10PM-2AM and overnights was Scott Summers, who’d briefly been at KFRC.
This 1981 version of K-EARTH puts the 2019 version (also include since 2014) of K-EARTH to shame.
KRTH 101 was always great,Fantastic oldies,Personality driven .So reminiscent of the late 60,s DRAKE/RKO Formatted stations.When CBS sent Shotgun Tom Packing as well as jim Carson this made us all stop and wonder and as the music changed we knew things will never again be the same.I would Imagine that over the years I always wanted K Eartjh 101 to be KHJ on FM.Sadly Music rotations change as demographics change.the listener base tries to get younger.This change is why Internet radio stations with literally Zilch for personality keep surfacing.Will K EARTH ever be what it once was ? Probably not,We all can remember what was once good with Charlie Van Dyke,Robert W,Charlie Tuna,Shotgun Top just to mention a few of the radio greats.As we move on everything will continue to change.Having retired after a 54 year Broadcast career I contiue to see constant change.Good Luck KEARTH I remember what once was!!
And your last sentence says it all. Demographics. Advertisers do not want to target the over 54 crowd, and we broadcasters with 30, 40 and even 50 years under our belt are OLD. Lets face facts. The 1960s to today’s youth is like the 1940s were to us when we were young. Even the 1970s are ancient history. I had no interest in the music of Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller, et al. That was my father’s era. In fact, when I was very young I hated that music. We are not going to see K-Earth 101, WCBS-FM or any other old-line 1950s, 60s and or 70s stations come back on terrestrial radio, save for the occasional AM station format targeting nursing homes. We are no longer relevant.
And that’s why airchexx.com exists. So that these formats and stations can be preserved for all time. You’ll notice that we don’t just stay in the 1960s. In order to remain viable at all, we have to modernize on a continual basis. Adding in ‘new’ airchecks, from the 2000s and even 2010s is essential for the long term survival of our site. So it is with stations like K-Earth 101. When a radio station becomes irrelevant because its audience ages out, the station loses a ton of revenue. So the choice is, either update the format by moving the eras forward, or change formats altogether. That’s why.
And stations on the internet do keep popping up, but very few make more than a dime and are simply a labor of love. Most are always losing their shirt with hosting and storage fees. Once again, advertisers overall want nothing to do with the hippie generation, or even the disco generation. It’s done. Cooked. Burnt.
Just stay on this site. With about 1900 airchecks online, there’s something for you and just about everyone else.