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KHJ Los Angeles Radio History
by Alex Cosper

see also American Radio History

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


Los Angeles 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

KHJ originally signed on 720 AM on April 13, 1922, owned by Charles R. Kierulff. Later that year it was acquired by the Times Mirror Company, which also owned the Los Angeles Times. The station moved to 760 AM and then was reassigned to the 900 AM frequency in the late twenties. The FCC allowed the station to raise its power from 1,000 tl 5,000 watt and moved the frequency to 930 AM in 1941.

In 1931 it became the flagship station for Bing Crosby's first national radio show on the CBS radio network. In the thirties KHJ was purchased by Don Lee, who also owned 60 KFRC in San Francisco. His company, which became the Mutual Broadcasting System, merged with RKO General in 1949.

The station made an historic move in April 1965, introducing a tight new version of the top 40 format called "Boss Radio." The new format was launched by program director Ron Jacobs under the consultancy of Bill Drake and Gene Chenault. The format caught on quickly and spread to other RKO stations, such as KFRC. The format had an accelerated feel than previous top 40 radio, with less talk and shorter playlists, so that it sounded like hit after hit.

The programming at KHJ in the sixties perhaps had more impact on the radio industry than any other station in America at that time. It battled KRLA and KFWB for the top 40 audience and eventually won in the ratings. The station maintained strong ratings until the late 70s when music fans began to migrate to FM due to its improved technology and sound quality. In November 1980 the station switched to the country format and then attempted a traffic-intensive top 40 format called "Car Radio" in 1984. In February 1986 the 930 AM call letters became KRTH, the same as its sister station at 101.1 FM, using the slogan "Smokin' Oldies."

John Sebastian told Playlist Research on January 26, 2018, "In 1978 I was program director of the legendary KHJ. It was one of my dream jobs to work at this station I followed closely all through its heyday in the 60s. I took on this challenge despite the fact that FM radio was sweeping the nation and in LA, the vast percentage of listening was already on the FM dial. Programming a dying AM station was a monumental task. During my tenure there I'm proud to say we garnered the last great ratings results in KHJ's history as a Top 40 station, beating the laundry list of Top 40 stations at the time, Ten Q, KFI, KIIS-FM and K-100. And tying two of the hottest AOR stations in the country KMET and KLOS. It was quite a 'book' for us and was the last time KHJ had that kind of success."

KHJ Personnel

1950-1968 Pat Kelly
1952-1957 Richard McGeary, also 1973-1980
1959-1960 Wink Martindale
1959-1980 Ken Orchard
1960-1968 Allan Moll
1961-1964 Arnold Schorr
1961-1962 Robert Lewis
1961-1963 Lucky Pierre
1962-1962 Al Javis
1962-1962 Walter O'Keefe
1962-1963 Perry Allen
1962-1964 Bill Calder
1963-1977 Marv Howard
1963-1965 Michael Jackson
1963-1965 Peter Jonathan
1963-1972 Art Kevin
1964-1972 Roger Aldi
1964-1965 Larry Chatteron
1964-1965 Adam DeMarais
1964-1965 Geoff Edwards
1965-1965 Dean Tyler
1965-1965 Donn Tyler
1965-1965 Dave Diamond
1965-1965 Bob Freed
1965-1965 Frank Evans
1965-1968 Frank Terry
1965-1969 Ron Jacobs
1965-1970 Art Astor
1965-1966 Scotty Brink, also 1968-1970
1965-1967 Roger Christian
1965-1967 Gary Mack
1965-1970 Lee Larsen, also 1972
1965-1970 Sam Riddle, also 1974
1965-1972 Bob Lee
1965-1967 Johnny Mitchell
1965-1971 Robert W. Morgan
1965-1966 Tommy Vance
1966-1966 Sebastian Stone
1966-1966 Bob Jones, KHJ FM
1966-1977 Lyle Kilgore (News Director)
1966-1969 Jim Lawrence
1966-1969 Jim Mitchell
1967-1972 Charlie Tuna, also 1977
1967-1968 Bobby Tripp
1969-1972 Irv Ivers
1969-1970 Jim O'Brien
1970-1972 Dave Jeffreys, KHJ FM
1970-1970 Chuck Browning
1970-1972 Christopher Ames
1970-1973 Jerry Butler
1970-1972 Ted Atkins
1970-1970 Shadoe Stevens
1971-1972 Frank Jolley
1971-1972 Dick Sainte
1971-1972 Art Blaske
1971-1972 Paul Cassidy
1971-1972 Walt "Baby" Love
1972-1973 Cat Simon
1972-1974 Barry Kae
1972-1981 Dwight Case
1972-1977 Charlie Van Dyke (PD 1975-1977)
1972-1973 Sonny Fox
1973-1973 Bob Gable
1973-1973 Mike Valentine
1973-1973 Paul Drew (PD/consultant)
1973-1974 Bobby Rich
1973-1978 "Machine Gun" Kelly
1973-1980 John Butler
1973-1975 Danny Martinez, also 1980-1985
1974-1977 J.B. Stone
1974-1975 Larry McKay
1974-1975 Gerry Cagle
1974-1975 Tony Mann
1974-1976 Bob Morrison
1974-1977 Dave Sebastian, also 1985
1974-1977 Eva Ross (news)
1975-1975 Harry Shearer
1975-1975 Big John Carter, also 1984-1986
1975-1977 Mark Elliott
1975-1980 Bobby Ocean
1975-1980 Rick Jager
1975-1977 John Leader
1976-1976 Paul Freeman
1977-1977 Michael Spears (PD)
1977-1978 David Cooke
1977-1978 Don Cox
1977-1977 B.R. Bradbury
1977-1977 Sally Adams
1977-1979 Steve Casey
1977-1980 Chuck Martin
1977-1980 Shaune McNamara, also 1984-1986
1977-1980 Mucho Morales
1978-1979 Dave Conley
1978-1979 John Thomas
1978-1979 John Sebastian
1979-1980 Joe Montione
1979-1980 Lee Marshall
1979-1980 Bob Hudson
1979-1979 Pat Evans
1979-1979 Lynn Anderson
1979-1980 Rick Dees
1979-1980 Tony Maddox
1979-1980 Al Connors
1979-1980 Dick Edwards
1979-1980 Charlie Fox
1979-1982 Bob Shannon
1979-1982 Cherie Sannes
1980-1980 Raul Moreno
1980-1981 Joe Terry
1980-1983 Lon Helton
1980-1985 Diane Thompson
1981-1982 Lori Lerner
1982-1982 Michael Moore
1982-1983 Terry Moss
1983-1986 Mark Denis
1983-1983 Walter Sabo
1984-1985 Jay Gardner
1984-1986 Sylvia Aimerito
1985-1985 Bob Hamilton


KHJ Playlist 7/9/65

1. Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
2. Mel Carter - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
3. Cher - All I Really Want To Do
4. Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself
5. Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe
6. Barbara Mason - Yes, I'm Ready
6. Herman's Hermits - I'm Henry VIII, I Am
8. Tom Jones - What's New Pussycat?
9. Jackie DeShannon - What The World Needs Now Is Love
10. Dino, Desi & Billy - I'm A Fool

KHJ Playlist 7/5/67

1. Stevie Wonder - I Was Made To Love Her
2. Brenton Wood - The Oogum Boogum Song
3. Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
4. Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale
5. Doors - Light My Fire
6. Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
7. 4 Seasons - C'mon Marianne
8. 5th Dimension - Up, Up and Away
9. Music Explosion - Little Bit O' Soul
10. Association - Windy

KHJ Playlist 1/28/70

1. Sly & The Family Stone - Everybody Is A Star
2. Joe South - Walk A Mile In My Shoes
3. Tee Set - Ma Belle Amie
4. Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
5. Eddie Holman - Hey There Lonely Girl
6. B.J. Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
7. Shocking Blue - Venus
8. Tom Jones - Without Love
9. Dionne Warwick - I'll Never Fall In Love Again
10. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Who'll Stop The Rain / Travelin' Band

KHJ Playlist 10/15/74

1. Carole King - Jazzman
2. Elton John - The Bitch Is Back
3. Olivia Newton-John - I Honestly Love You
4. Stevie Wonder - You Haven't Done Nothin'
5. Cheech & Chong - Earache My Eye
6. Barry White - Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
7. Bad Company - Can't Get Enough
8. Blue Swede - Never My Love
9. First Class - Beach Baby
10. John Lennon - Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

KHJ Playlist 9/18/79

1. Maxine Nightingale - Lead Me On
2. Robert John - Sad Eyes
3. The Knack - My Sharona
4. Herb Alpert - Rise
5. M - Pop Muzik
6. Dionne Warwick - I'll Never Love This Way Again
7. Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough
8. Earth, Wind & People - After The Love Has Gone
9. Little River Band - Lonesome Loser
10. Commodores - Sail On

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


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