by Alex Cosper
see also American Radio History
STATION HISTORY: KABC KBBQ KBIG KBLA KDAY KEZY KFAC KFOX KFWB KGBS KGFJ KGIL KHJ KIEV KIIS KIQQ KKBT KKDJ KLAC KLOS KLSX KMET KMPC KNAC KNX KOST KPOL KPPC KPWR KQLZ KRLA KROQ KRTH KSRF KTNQ KTWV KUTE KWST KZLA XPRS
KFOX was a country station at 1280 AM from the late fifties through the early seventies. The Long Beach station first signed on the air March 5, 1924 as KFON at 1290 AM. Three years later the frequency moved to 1240, then 1250 in 1928 and finally 1280 in 1941. The call letters changed in the forties when partners Nichols and Warriner expected to sell KFOX to 20th Century Fox, but the deal fell through. Following the death of partner Hal Nichols in 1952, the station was acquired by Sonderling Broadcasting, which made KFOX one of the first L.A. stations to play country music following the demise of KXLA.
The station shifted from rhythm & blues and jazz to country in 1959 when KXLA became KRLA and moved from country to top 40. Popular R&B artist and bandleader Johnny Otis did a show from the station in 1958 when it broadcast from the Long Beach Playhouse. In the mid-sixties the station claimed to be the #1 country station in the United States in its trade publication advertising. KFOX was challenged by country competitor KGBS AM in 1968 and eventually flipped to a religious format as KFRN in 1977 after it sold to non-profit organization Family Stations, Inc.
In 1974 KFOX and a few of its personalities, Hal McClain and Jonathan Fricke, appeared in the film Gone in 60 Seconds. Both McClain and Fricke played themselves as DJs in the movie. McClain also played himself as a KFOX jock in the 1983 film Deadline Auto Theft. He was also a pilot who did stunts for KFOX, such as a December 1973 event over Marineland of the Pacific for a crowd of thousands to raise donations for books for the blind. Sadly, McClain was killed in flight while performing for a Houston, Texas crowd in September 1981 at age 39. He worked for Houston station KENR at the time.
Operations Manager Fricke went on to be the Country Editor for Radio & Records. He was later hired by Warner Brothers to run its country division in Nashville.
1958-1958 Johnny Otis
1968-1977 Darren Lane
1969-1971 Ted Quillin
1972-1972 Gene Price
1973-1973 Jonathan Fricke (OM)
1975-1978 Bill Taylor
1984-1992 Farley Malorrus
1973 KFOX Air Schedule
Hal McClain (6a-10a)
Mike Anthony (10am-2p)
Jon Novak (2p-6p)
Terry Moss (6a-12m)
Joe Ferguson (12m-6a)
© Playlist Research. All rights reserved.