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San Francisco Bay Area Radio History: 1970s
by Alex Cosper


Introduction 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


see also American Radio History


see also Freeform Radio, KSAN, KMPX, Tom Donahue Story




KFRC's heyday was boosted by the arrival of Dr. Don Rose in 1973, who brought the station number one ratings in mornings for a solid ten years. He clearly set an indelible mark for one of the most known, enjoyed and respected Bay Area personalities of all time. Despite the excitement he brought to the airwaves, his personal life was troubled with a series of health problems, resulting in a leg being amputated in 1984, which is why for several months he did his show from a hospital bed. After leaving the station in 1986, Dr. Don briefly did mornings at KKIS/Concord, CA in 1988 and went on to do mornings on KIOI. Four months later he had a heart attack on the air and retired in 1989. He died in his sleep at age 70 on March 29, 2005.

Music fans move to the FM dial

KFRC's dominance in the sixties and seventies delivering national hits to popular music fans was followed by the technological advances of FM transmission such as better reception in the late seventies. Clean sounding stereo signals had become more enjoyable than the static-driven properties of AM waves. While this was happening, disco music flooded the charts and San Francisco became a key market in the disco music explosion. Following the lead of WKTU/New York, ABC station KSFX (103.7) became San Francisco's first all disco station in 1978. KFRC-AM then moved to an all dance format in the early eighties under the programming of
Gerry Cagle, who had previously delivered the hits at KHJ in Los Angeles. The popularity of dance music and beat mixing grew throughout the eighties. From the mid-seventies through 1977, KFRC's sister FM station was 106.1 KFRC-FM.

Introduction 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s





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