People would say they milked their cows while listening to Cal Purviance on KTRB in the mornings. Others would say their cows would not give milk until they heard Cal on the air in the mornings. Cal had his own show, “Cal, Your Birthday Pal” and often filled in on the “Old Time Tunes” program hosted by his mentor and boss, Bill Bates. Following Bill Bates’ death in 1969, Cal took over Bill’s show keeping it on the air for many more years. He became the host of KTRB’s Tots and Teens talent show beginning in early ’50s through the ’80s.
You’ve seen them in many places, the broadcast towers that send out the programming that we watch and listen too regularly. By law they have to have red flashing beacons to warn aircraft of their presence, and the beacons have to be in constant working order. So, what happens when a bulb goes out? It’s not like you can climb on a chair and change the bulb, unless you happen to have a 1,700 foot high chair!
If you’re afraid of heights, good luck with this one. You’ll see engineers working on the communications towers of 50,000 watt, WLS, Chicago.
KEJC 93.9 was born in January, 1995 when it received a FCC license to broadcast. Principles were Edward J. Cardoza and Smokey Silver. Cardoza, a Manteca businessman and Silver, an area disc jockey for over 50 years. It took months for Smokey and others at KEJC to convert songs from his record collection into the computers. The result allowed the station to broadcast vintage country tunes that had not been heard on the airways for many years.
KEJC like many current radio stations was automated. Computers literally picked the songs, played them, plugged in the prerecorded commercials and announcer voice tracks and logged exactly what was played and when. The computers could be programmed to select songs by decade, by artist, by tempo, by title or by other categories. According to KEJC staff they were able to program the station for a week at a time if they wanted. That allowed staff just shut the door and go home. In fact they would lock the doors at 5:00 pm each day and the computer would run the station until they came in the next day at 9:00 am.
Salty’s Record Attic has been closed for years following owner Ramona Saben’s death in December of 2013. Ramona’s husband Craig continued to serve customers for a short while until his death in August of 2014. Salty’s was a wealth of musical resources to individuals, radio stations and disc jockeys of the area. Ramona had an undeniably keen knowledge of the music and the artists from any genre and any year.
Ramona was a friend to many and an integral part of the radio and entertainment business in this area. She was always ready to help people including local DJs research music and find rare records. Derek Waring of the former DJ service, Bob & Derek (Bob DeLeon and Derek Waring) relates that Ramona was so helpful to their business that when working they always had a sign in front of their equipment that read, “Music From Salty’s Record Attic” because Ramona would always happily provide them with records that they needed, no charge.
Here’s a Modesto Radio Museum tribute to Salty’s Record Attic and the people who kept our records spinning and the music playing.
History of Salty’s Record Attic (video, ModestoNews.org, Morris Smith)
Family and Friends Remember Salty’s Record Attic and Ramona Saben
(video, Elaine Vincent)
This nostalgic video features the “Beer Barrel Polka” which station owner Bill Batesbegan his program with each morning. Many a cow was milked to this tune as the farmers of the Central Valley tuned into Bill’s program. Also featured is “Get Out Those Old Phonograph Records” which was aired by Virgil Risley each evening. In this video our visitors are treated to a song of historical significance; the very first song ever played on KTRB was “Back in Your Own Back yard.” It followed Bill Bates’ welcoming comments as the station signed on the air on June 18, 1933.
(Excerpts from a printed article on February 18, 1944. Publication name is unknown. Courtesy of Sandra McCoy, Modesto Radio Museum)
Mrs. Carol Glass was born in Stanislaus County, the daughter of pioneers, and the youngest of seven children. In 1934, shortly after Modesto’s first radio station KTRB came on the air, she became the moderator of the Children’s Hour heard at 10 o’clock Saturday mornings. In addition to local children, children from distant towns, such as San Jose, Vallejo, Stockton, Lodi, as well as from all parts of Stanislaus county were heard performing each week. Mrs. Glass and the children appeared numerous times in person at the Strand Theater and at other local events. Mrs. Glass’s sister Georgia Lyons was the pianist on the program for many years.
The Stanislaus County Committee for the International Exposition on Treasure Island chose the program as a feature representing Stanislaus County for both years of the Golden Gate International Exposition (World’s Fair), held at San Francisco’s Treasure Island in 1939 and 1940.
Prior to the Children’s Hour, Mrs. Glass and 5 girlfriends formed a singing group they called the “Melody Maids” which sang on KTRB every Sunday night at 7 PM during a program they called “Smile Awhile”. Mrs. Glass was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.C. Bangs, who owned and lived on a 480 acre ranch on Bangs Avenue.
The Story of Carol Glass
(Produced by Wes Page for the Modesto Radio Museum, 2009)
Kim Dooley Allison (Allison is her married name) has always gone by Kim Dooley throughout her radio career, with one exception. We’ll tell you about that later.
Kim’s story begins here in Modesto where she was born. She grew up on a peach farm behind what is now Johansen High School. She graduated from Downey High School and continued on to Modesto Junior College (MJC) majoring in speech and radio broadcasting. Kim envisioned a career in TV, but as often happens, she was drawn in another direction. That direction led to forty years in radio! Most of those years were behind the mic, but her career included marketing, management, and programming. It should be noted that Kim’s quest for higher education did not end with MJC; she received her BA Degree from Pepperdine University.
Kim’s first job was at KTRB/KHOP in Modesto. She started as the receptionist. The lure was strong, though, and it was not long before she was on the air as the “morning news gal” on KHOP-FM. Her next stop, K102/KFIV, where she shared the air waves with Radio Rick Myers and Ryn Stephens. Other Modesto radio stations on her resume include KBEE and KOSO.
In 1985, Kim set out on the road headed to Las Vegas where she toggled the microphone switches at KITT and KLASSY-100 KMZQ. In 1988 she moved her show from Las Vegas to the City by the Bay, San Francisco, where she went to work for K-101. At that time, Terry McGovern and John Mac Flanagan were also working at K-101. The Program Director shared with Kim that he thought the station was sounding too “Irish Heavy” (note: name exception we alluded to at the start) so Kim through the magic of show business became Lisa Marino, but just for this one time. Kim found that San Francisco was a nice fit for her so she spent the next twenty years there, entertaining audiences from the studios of Double-99 KDBK, KABL, BIG 98, KSOL, KISS-FM, and KKSF.
Kim shared with me that the on-air part of her job was “spectacularly fun” but there was also great joy that came from the people she met and worked with along the way, including Don Bleu, Rick Shaw, Carter B. Smith, Jim Lange, John Mac Flanagan, Renel Brooks-Moon, and her favorite Program Director—aside from Radio Rick Myers—Michael Erickson.
Kim Dooley leaves no doubt that she loves the experiences and the people that came into her life as a result of the career path she chose. But wait! There’s more! She continues to do voice-over work. Following her love affair with San Francisco, she moved back to Las Vegas where she went to work for the Journalism Department at UNLV which hosts a public radio station on campus, 91.5 KUNV. KIM did the morning drive show, some of which was broadcast from her home during COVID times. Students at UNLV were also treated to Professor Dooley’s course on Audio Announcing. Kim has since retired from this position but is still affiliated with UNLV, providing voice-over work for e-scripts.
Kim wants to share the following message with all of us: “It’s been a glorious adventure. I remain extremely appreciative of the opportunities that came my way.”
Kim Dooley – 98.1 KISS-FM, San Francisco
Kim Dooley – 103.7, KKSF San Francisco – Smooth Jazz
(The Radio Museum is grateful to Ron Underwood, former faculty member at Downey High School, and advisor to the school’s radio station, KDHS. Here’s where this story begins: Bob Pinheiro, Webmaster Emeritus of the Radio Museum, discovered a 1964 recording labeled “Knightime.” The program had audio about activities at Downey High. They are the Knights. We asked Ron for details.
He wrote back, and here is Ron’s backstory of “Knightime.”
“Yes, this program was called “Knightime. It was a fifteen-minute program highlighting Downey High activities, athletics, and student talents. The shows aired weekly on KBEE-AM 970.
They aired until 1972. (NOTE: 1972 was the year Ron Underwood transferred to Beyer High School.) Interestingly, the program aired with the same title and the same format in the mid-1950s as well. Downey Speech teacher Edna Spelts organized and produced those shows through the efforts of her Advanced Speech class. I was a part of these shows then as a student! Years later, when I returned to Downey as a teacher, I told the class about “Knightime” and they seemed eager to revive the show. So we did!
Furthermore, in the late 50s we added “Funny Paper Time” to our broadcasting efforts. This was a program where the students would read-with character voices and sound effects-from the Sunday comic section of The Modesto Bee. Our version of the comics also aired on KBEE…..In the late 60s we changed the name to KCEY Comics as the shows were moved over to KCEY in Turlock.
P.S. I sure do enjoy the Radio Museum web site. I am looking forward to a visit to the new -in person- edition with one of my future trips to Modesto.
Keep up the good work. Sincerely, Ron Underwood”
Here is one of those programs. We are happy to present “Knightime,” from 1964, produced by the students of Downey High School, and heard on KBEE-AM 970:
One of the guests was Chuck Hughes, for many years, Coach of the Downey Football Knights. The stadium is named after him. KFIV-AM broadcast a number of their games.