Derek began his radio career at KSRT in Tracy. He then worked at KFIV and KTRB in Modesto, CA and at KJOY in Stockton, CA. Derek worked full time in radio from 1969 to 1974 before going back to college. He worked 22 years for Valley Mountain Regional Center in Modesto as a Program Manager and then 17 years at Modesto Junior College (MJC) where he was the Dean for Special Programs and the Dean of Counseling and Student Services.
Derek retired from full time work at MJC in 2010 but still works as a licensed clinical therapist providing mental health services to students through the MJC Health Services Office. He is a member of the Modesto Radio Museum and administers the Modesto Radio Museum’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. He is also a contributing author to the Modesto Radio Museum Website.
Here are airchecks from Derek’s radio days:
KFIV – Derek on The Rockin’ 136, K5 from 1969
KTRB- From Derek’s last show in November of 1974
KFIV – Derek continued to work part time for many years hosting Solid Gold Saturday Night in 1984
Mike is a Modesto boy who began his radio career at KOSO in Patterson, CA. in 1974. He was 17 years old. At that time Mike said he was playing “elevator music.” That didn’t last long because Mike had the urge to ROCK and in 1974 at the age of 18 Mike was hired by Larry Maher at KFIV, Modesto, CA. And from there Mike was on his way. He worked numerous stations in California and across the nation.
Here are a few of the stations Mike has worked for: KXOA, KHYL Magic 101, Cool 101, KROY, KSEG, KSFM, KNDE in Sacramento, CA; KBEE, KFIV in Modesto, CA; KOSO in Patterson, CA; KXXR in Kansas City, MO; KLUC in Las Vegas, NV and KOWL in South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Mike’s last air shift was in 2007 at Magic 101 in Sacramento. He is now employed as an Information Technology Specialist for California’s Office Systems Integration.
Here’s a clip of Mike’s velvet sounds at Magic 101 in Sacramento (2001):
John Chappell’s radio career began at KSRT in Tracy. He then worked at KCEY in Turlock and was Program Director at KFIV in Modesto, CA. Following KFIV John had a 36-year career at Modesto Junior College as Telecommunications Systems Manager and was a part-time radio instructor. He was instrumental in launching the radio careers of a number of successful radio personalities.
John died unexpectedly in his sleep June 20, 2020 of natural causes. He was 71 years old.
Terry Nelson is from Modesto, CA. His radio career began at KFIV (K5), Modesto. Bob De Leon recalls meeting Terry for the first time. When he first started at K5, Bob was working on the air from 8:00pm to 1:00am. K5 used to sign off at 1:00am, and come back on the air at 6:00am. Within the year, they went to 24 hours a day programing, so Bob’s shift was from 8:00pm – 12 midnight, and a brand new DJ by the name of Terry Nelson started working from 12 midnight to 6:00am. Gary Culver, Program Director, asked Bob to assist the “new” DJ in getting used to the equipment and familiar with station’s operations. Bob describes Terry as being one of the wittiest and funniest people he had met! Not only that, he had an infectious laugh. Bob said when he was listening to Terry’s show and Terry started laughing, he would start laughing too, it was unavoidable. Bob has many stories about Terry Nelson and their experiences at K5, but he sums it up by repeating what everyone who has known Terry says, he was a super talented air personality…a good, honest, fun-filled friend.
After KFIV Terry graced the air at many stations with his infectious laugh and impeccable timing. He did stints at KJOY, KROY, KRAK, KXOA, KHYL, KCTC, KFI and KFRC in California and WXLO in New York.
Terry passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at home on May 26, 2020.
The broadcasting industry and its listeners lost a friend with the passing of Dave Holmes on September 4, 2020. Dave died peacefully in his sleep. He began his radio career in 1974 doing character voices for KGBS in Los Angeles before landing his first full time on-air position in 1980. Known affectionately as “Mr. Wonderful” he subsequently graced the air waves of Central California for more than 20 years. He had been with Kat Country 103 (KATM) since its beginnings in 1992 and was known as the guy with a big voice, a big heart, and a big personality according to former KATM Program Director Nikki Thomas. She went on to say of Dave’s passing, “It’s a sad day for all of my KAT Country friends and family … Mr. Wonderful has passed away and I’m pretty sure he took his rim-shot with him. Dave Holmes was the epitome of ‘larger than life. He was my coworker and my friend … and the world is a lot more depressing without him in it.”
Dave retired from KATM in 2016 due to chronic pain. Retirement was a tough decision for Dave because he lived to entertain others. He posted his decision to retire to his Facebook page in November of 2015 saying, “I have thought long and hard about this decision for the past year. I have come to the conclusion that I will be exiting KAT COUNTRY. I suffer from chronic pain, which I have had for over a decade, and it’s gotten to the point where the pain is just too distracting. For the past 23 years, KAT COUNTRY was a giant part of my life. I’ve spent over a third of my life at KAT, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. With that being said, I will leave on top. Whoever takes my place will be very lucky. KAT COUNTRY isn’t just a radio station, it’s a FAMILY.”
Dave continued to live in MANTECA after retiring from KATM doing commercials in his studio. He built a global audience on RETRO RADIO and was active doing charity work for TOYS FOR TOTS and other organizations. Dave told his listeners that he wasn’t going away he’d just be in a different location.
Kenny and Ryan, Dave’s sons describe their dad as, “The guy who was always ready with some kind of quip, whether it be a good or a bad one, to lighten the mood and make people smile. He was always the life of the party. He was born to entertain, from a young boy sticking a speaker in a tree and convincing the neighborhood kids it talked to his final days running his internet radio station, Retro Radio California.”
Kenny and Ryan related in a Facebook post honoring their father that years after his retirement, “He would go to the grocery store and as soon as that booming voice came out, people would ask, aren’t you Mr. Wonderful? He was dedicated to his community. He did so much over the years with the local animal shelters (HE LOVED ANIMALS), Toys for Tots and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital among many other causes and charities.” Kenny and Ryan thank all who helped make their dad the special guy that he was and to honor him they ask that donations be made to the Stanislaus Animal Shelter or Adopt-a-Pet in his name. Dave asked that listeners support these organizations at the end of every one of his shows.
To Dave Holmes life was a party and everyone was invited. His mantra throughout his life was, “Find a career you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Historical records tell us that the first high school radio stations made their appearance in the United States in the 1920s. The stations at that time were designed to be information conduits for school faculty and administration with little if any student involvement. High school stations all but disappeared in the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression and restrictions imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It wasn’t until the late 1940s that high school stations began showing up again on the FM band.
It’s believed that the oldest FM high school stations were KPBS (1947) in Portland Oregon and WNAS
(1949) in Indiana which was still on the air as of May 2019. Brian Sullivan who manages the station and teaches high school radio at the New Albany, Indiana High School says that in the 1950s, the formative years of the station, many listened to WNAS to hear the student broadcasts of the Hoosier’s basketball games. Sullivan says of high school radio, “It’s not just about the technical stuff. Soft skills, like working on a deadline and critical thinking are easy to come by.” Sullivan explains that even if a student doesn’t go in in the field of radio or television these are qualities that can apply to any job or field of study.
In the 1970s there were over 150 licensed high school radio stations in the United States. Many of these stations were using low power FM (LPFM). The number stations declined in the 1980s and 1990s but began to grow again with the renewed availability of LPFM bands. Many of these stations operate as community radio stations when not being used by high school students. Students create ideas for broadcasts and produce programs ranging from coverage of community events to coverage of the news and local sporting events. Many students choose to deliver programs presenting specific musical formats such as jazz, classical, rock, country etc.
In the late ’60s in Modesto, CA there were no high school radio stations. None that is until a group of students at Thomas Downey High School and a teacher decided that it was time. It was not easy bringing
the project to fruition but this was no ordinary group of students, and this was no ordinary teacher. Together they were a winning team. They secured equipment and programing materials by getting donations from electronics manufacturers and record companies. They raised money by putting on creative and successful community events. The high school’s staff and students chipped in and radio magic started happening. On September 5, 1969 KDHS (90.5MHz) began broadcasting. The station was licensed by the FCC to the Associated Students of Thomas Downey High School.
The Modesto Radio Museum has decided that rather than us telling you their story we will have them tell you. We’ve reached out to the teacher who guided them and to the students who helped create and program Modesto’s first high school radio station, KDHS.
Robert Gary Chituras, born October 19, 1943, at Robertson Hospital in Modesto. He was the son of George and Aline Chituras. A long time Modesto native; Bob attended Enslen Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High, and Thomas Downey High School. He graduated from high school in 1961 and then attended Modesto Junior College, where he received a degree in communications.
Bob enlisted in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and served aboard the USS Princeton, as a Yeoman Third Class. He served his country from 1965 to 1967. After returning from Vietnam, he utilized his communications degree to become a disc jockey at radio stations; KYOS in Merced, and KYNO in Fresno. Fellow DJ and friend Bob Neutzling (Johnny Walker) says of Bob, “What a great guy. Known on the air as Chip Roberts, he actually interviewed me for
a job at KYOS in 1968. At the time there were no openings. A short time later I received a call from Doc Hill, the owner of KYOS, and he offered me a job replacing Bob Chituras on the air. I kept in touch with Bob and would visit him at KYNO in Fresno , while he was doing midnight to 6:00 AM. I will always remember him as a very nice person. He is one from my early days in radio that I will never forget.”
Bob worked at Hosking’s Food Products; later named Major Hosking’s, and then Major-Sysco. He served in these capacities as a driver, dry and frozen goods salesman, and transportation manager. He established RG Chituras and Son Yard and Home Maintenance Services as an interim way to survive. Later he went on to work for Westurf Nursery, Inc. He culminated his working career working at Foster Farms as a driver, and most notably retiring as a vehicle safety manager.
Bob was a part of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) association as a valued member, starting in 1961. He progressed to NASCAR, serving as flagman, announcer and later a track promoter at Merced Speedway, ending his racing affiliation in 1985. Bob officiated high school football sports with the NCOA, achieving the Rich Bernasconi Award for the “Ultimate Consummate Official.” He was a devoted trap shooter with Valley Trap League and ATA member for 25 years. Bob was an avid fisherman and loved spending time with friends and family. He also loved taking frivolous trips to numerous bingo halls and casinos.
Bob died June 12, 2017. He is survived by his son, Johnathan; grandsons Zachary and Graysen; and nephews Steve and Jeff Harkrader. Bob was preceded in death by his parents George and Aline Chituras, and sister Georgia Chituras.
Glenn Wayne Fox formerly of Oakdale, California, last of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, died on June 15, 2020, at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He suffered a brain hemorrhage from which he did not recover. He was 73 years old, divorced, and had no children. Glenn was born in Modesto, CA and grew up in Oakdale, CA.
Glenn graduated from Oakdale High School in 1965. He attended radio announcer school and had a long local career with radio stations KTRB and KHOP in Modesto, CA. He was also a talk show host for station KWHN in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Glenn was known as the “Silver Fox” in part due to his great broadcast voice. Derek Waring who worked with Glenn at KTRB during those early days recalls, “Glenn was gentle man with a great sense of humor. He loved his job and put everything he had into it”
Here’s a rare audio clip of Glenn from November 27, 1974. It was Derek Waring’s last show on KTRB. Glenn stopped by the KTRB studios to wish him well.
In 1993 Glenn’s parents, Allen and Marie Fox, who had originally migrated to California from Sallisaw during the Great Depression, decided to move back to their home area in Sallisaw. Glenn moved with them. In the late 1990s his parents’ health declined and they moved back to Oakdale while he remained in Sallisaw. Glenn had a variety of jobs and finally purchased a local bar, The Finish Line, which he operated until about 2010. He advertised the bar as “Coldest Beer in Downtown Sallisaw.”
When he was young Glenn raced dirt bikes and became a huge fan of NASCAR. He became a great source of local and national history in both Oakdale and Sallisaw, in particular country and rock and roll songs and performers, NASCAR drivers, classic cars, and especially the life and times of Pretty Boy Floyd, a local Depression outlaw. He dedicated a portion of his bar to an historical display about him. He often returned to Oakdale to visit family and friends, especially for class reunions.
Glenn was cremated and his ashes returned to the home of his sister, Pauline Fox Ward and her husband Michael Ward. No other members of his immediate family, mother, father, brother Robert and sister Mary Lou have survived. He is survived by nieces Torri Bergstrom and Stephanie Bjorge, grand nephew Jeremiah Lobaugh (Hailey, son Noah) and grand niece Tiffany Byrd as well as his sister in law Susan Fox and her children nephew Michael (Martia, daughters Catherine, Elizabeth) and niece Patricia (Joel, son Milo).
Family and friends will gather for a remembrance as soon as pandemic conditions allow. If you’d like to receive details on Glenn’s Memorial Service please contact the family at (209) 499- 0012.