Tag: barhof

Broadcast Legends To Host Radio Hall of Fame 2016 Celebration

Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame LogoAs it has each year since its inception, the Broadcast Legends will host the 2016 edition of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame luncheon, which will be held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco on Saturday, September 24, beginning at 11:30 AM.

This year’s class of inductees include Dianne Nicolini and Hoyt Smith, both currently of Classical KDFC, in the Program Host category; Wes “Scoop” Nisker (News); Kevin “The Rat” Radich (Sports); Narsai David (Specialty); Dave McKinsey (Executive); Robert Hammett and Edward Edison (Engineers); Hilly Rose (Living Legend); and Wilda Wilson Church and Dean Maddox (Pioneers).

More than 5,000 ballots were cast for this year’s BARHOF nominees, in public voting conducted by the California Historical Radio Society and its Bay Area Radio Museum.

The BARHOF 2016 celebration is open to the public. Advance reservations are required, but membership in Broadcast Legends or CHRS is not required.

For more about this year’s inductees, please visit the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame’s website.

For reservations, please click here.

Boss Of The Bay KYA Gets Its Day With The Legends

KYA Personality Montage

You’re invited to take a trip back in time to when radio was boss as the Broadcast Legends celebrate “The Boss of the Bay” — 1260 KYA — which is being honored on Thursday, June 23, with the Legendary Station Award for 2016.

The KYA reunion and celebration will be held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco, from 11:30 AM to 2 PM.

The Emperor himself: Gene Nelson at 1260 KYA (1965)
The Emperor himself: Gene Nelson at 1260 KYA (1965)

KYA becomes the latest station to be honored with designation as a Legendary Station by the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (BARHOF), a program of the California Historical Radio Society. KYA joins the first-ever station to have received the award, KCBS, along with KGO, KNBR, KSFO, KFRC, KSAN and KPEN.

Even though KYA has been gone from the Bay Area’s airwaves since 1983, it can rightfully claim its heritage as the Bay Area’s longest-running Top 40 station, having begun its 25-year tenure in 1958. (By contrast, KYA’s chief competitor, the original Big 610, KFRC, had a twenty year run, from 1966 through 1986.)

Despite the high hopes of its owners when it went on the air ninety years ago – the station made its debut on Saturday, December 18, 1926 – KYA endured many difficulties early in its life, owing mostly to the economic conditions of the Depression era. KYA was rescued in 1934 by none other than newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who aligned the station with his San Francisco Examiner.

KYA Survey April 13, 1968
Tom Saunders on an April 1968 KYA music survey

A popular local favorite through the 1930s and 1940s, KYA entered its own “golden age” in May 1958 when it adopted a Top 40 music format, which skyrocketed the station’s popularity as the self-proclaimed “Boss of the Bay.”

Over the next quarter-century, KYA listeners were treated to a parade of hall of fame-caliber disc jockeys, including Tom Donahue (inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006), Emperor Gene Nelson (BARHOF ’06), Russ “The Moose” Syracuse (BARHOF ’08), Norman Davis (BARHOF ’14), Mike Cleary (BARHOF ’07) and Tom Saunders (BARHOF ’10), as well as Les Crane, Chris Edwards, Johnny Holliday, Tom Campbell, Peter Tripp and “Boss Radio” innovator Bill Drake.

KYA can also claim another significant link to pop culture history: fifty years ago, in August 1966, the station promoted and hosted the last live concert performance by The Beatles, at wind-swept Candlestick Park.

Although the original KYA faded from the Bay Area’s airwaves at the end of 1983, the station continues to hold a place of affection for those who grew up listening to the legendary “Boss of the Bay.”

Click here to make your reservation now!

Listen to Classic 1260 KYA — Golden Gate Great Oldies starring Gary Mora

The 1260 KYA Aircheck Collection in the Bay Area Radio Museum

A Legends Lunch For All The Radio Boys and Girls!

Radio Girls Artwork (Detail)

Join the Broadcast Legends for lunch on Friday, March 18, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco for a fascinating discussion about radio in its very earliest days — nearly a century ago!

Radio Boys and Girls book cover (Mike Adams)Our guest speaker will be Mike Adams, Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University, member of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (Class of 2011) and author of several essential volumes on broadcasting history, including “The Radio Boys and Girls: Radio, Telegraph, Telephone and Wireless Adventures for Juvenile Readers, 1890-1945,” which will provide the basis for our program.

Radio in 1922: What the Boys and Girls Knew,” looks at a single year and compares the rise in broadcasting, and what Americans were being told about its significance, with the information young readers were getting in their Radio Boys and Radio Girls series books. The year 1922 was an important one in the transition from the dots and dashes of the wireless hobby to the radio as a source of entertainment and information.

The Broadcast Legends
Spring Quarterly Luncheon:
Mike Adams and Radio In 1922

Friday, March 18, 2016
11 AM – Reception (No Host Bar)
Noon – Luncheon
1 PM – Feature Program

Basque Cultural Center
599 Railroad Avenue
South San Francisco

Click here to make your reservation!

Al Hart: Farewell To A Legend

KCBS legends Ken Ackerman, Stan Bunger and Al Hart
KCBS legends Ken Ackerman, Stan Bunger and Al Hart at Radio Day By The Bay in Berkeley (2009).

We awake today to the sad news that Al Hart has passed away at the age of 88. A longtime member of the Broadcast Legends, Al came to the Bay Area about 55 years ago from KEEL in Shreveport, La., to work at KABL (960 AM) before moving to KNBR (680 AM).

KCBS morning news anchors Lois Melkonian and Al Hart (1995)
KCBS morning news anchors Lois Melkonian and Al Hart (1995)

But it was at KCBS Radio a few years later that he hit his stride, becoming perhaps the most iconic voice on this iconic station’s staff. Al arrived at KCBS in 1966, and was part of the team that transformed the station in 1968 to the all-news format that continues to thrive there to this day.

Before moving to his role as morning co-anchor on KCBS, Al had been working afternoon drive on the station. Following his retirement, he continued to be a welcome voice on KCBS, appearing with current morning co-anchor Stan Bunger on the weekly Wednesday chats with John Madden — always bringing along a batch of his signature snickerdoodle cookies, as well as the latest ruminations from Charlie The Checker.

Al Hart was a charter inductee into the Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame in 2006, and was an up-and-coming Mercury Records recording artist in the early 1960s. One of numerous Minnesota transplants to find fame and fortune in Bay Area radio — Jim Lange, Don Bleu and Bobby Dale included — Al was a proud University of Minnesota Golden Gopher.

Al will be missed, fondly, by everyone who had the opportunity to work alongside him, or spend a few minutes hearing his warm voice on the radio. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Pat, and to all of Al’s friends, family and colleagues.

More Al Hart…

Lois Melkonian writes about working with Al Hart.

An on-air tribute to Al Hart from his colleagues at KCBS, presented by Stan Bunger. (Courtesy of KCBS Radio.)

KCBS Tribute Version 1:

KCBS Tribute Version 2:

Here’s Al Hart with another legend of Bay Area radio and TV, Scott Beach, in a 1967 spot for Joseph Alioto’s mayoral campaign:

Al Hart Discography

Too Much To Lose / Tears Are Only Rain (1960) Mercury Records #71659
Hands You’re Holding Now / There’s A Place Called Paris (1961) Mercury Records #71796

Photo of Ken Ackerman, Stan Bunger and Al Hart by David F. Jackson.

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