The Real Don Steele, 93/KHJ Los Angeles | February 2, 1973
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One of Southern California’s all-time greatest jocks, The Real Don Steele (April 1, 1936 – August 5, 1997), is heard here on KHJ on “Ground Hog Day Eve”. The evolution of KHJ was complete and the station was rolling along nicely at the top of the L.A. ratings as it would for a few more years.
In April 1965, programming consultant Bill Drake crafted KHJ’s top-40 format. Drake hired program director Ron Jacobs, who had created formats in Hawaii and California. The format, known as “Boss Radio”, featured a restricted playlist and restrained commentary by announcers (although a few, such as Robert W. Morgan, Charlie Tuna, Humble Harve Miller, and The Real Don Steele, were allowed to develop on-air personalities). Other DJs from this era (1965–1980) included Roger Christian, Gary Mack, Dave Diamond, Beau Weaver, John Leader, Sam Riddle, Johnny Williams, Frank Terry, Johnny Mitchell, Tommy Vance, Scotty Brink, Steve Clark, Bobby Tripp, Tom Maule, and Bill Wade. One defining characteristic of Boss Radio was the jingles by the Johnny Mann Singers. Drake’s format spread throughout North America, bringing high ratings to KFRC in San Francisco, WFIL in Philadelphia, KGB in San Diego, WQXI in Atlanta, WRKO in Boston, and CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (serving Detroit). Drake and his business partner Gene Chenault brought many of their announcers from the other Boss stations, using those stations as a farm system to develop talent.
KHJ’s call-in request number used the Los Angeles area code 213 and a 520 exchange, followed by the current year. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the station competed with three other local stations with similar formats: KFI, KTNQ, and Tijuana-based border blaster XETRA-AM (The Mighty 690). KHJ also competed with three “soul radio” stations serving the Los Angeles radio market: KDAY, KGFJ, and, from Rosarito, Mexico, XERB.
This recording was digitized from cassette by aircheck trader and Airchexx Contributor “Magic Matt Craig” (WGLI, WAPP, WEBE, Big Apple Airchecks). As is normally the case with Matt’s submissions, this recording is of decent quality, considering its age. There is very little tape hiss and the audio quality is good. This aircheck arrived unscoped and is the first of many that we are offering for download, for a nominal price so that we can cover our growing expenses each month. All paid downloads will be unscoped and of the highest quality and historical importance that we can offer. See below for details.
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