BOB DE LEON Receives MAMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Tammy Lynn – Aircheck

Tammy Lynn (Veil-Drew) is a 1978 graduate of Beyer High School. While at Beyer she became interested in radio and took a course in radio broadcasting that allowed her to work on the high school radio station KBHI for two and a half years. The broadcasting instructor, Ron Underwood, approached Tammy with a job opportunity in broadcasting at KTRB/KHOP as as she approached graduation.  KHOP FM had just changed from a religious format to Album Oriented Radio (AOR). Tammy got the job and started in March of 1978.

Tammy was encouraged to go back to school to learn the electronics trade. She enrolled at Modesto Junior College (MJC).  Tammy worked for MJC Media Services under John Chappell  while completing electronics courses.  In addition to  electronics she was enrolled in radio broadcasting under the guidance of Max Sayer.  Tammy  was also working full-time as KTRB’s afternoon air personality and assistant chief engineer.  Tammy found her busy schedule to be a bit much and stopped attending MJC after getting her First Class Radiotelephone license.

Tammy on the air at KTRB in early 1980s (Photo courtesy of Tammy Veil-Drew).

Tammy was an on air personality for KTRB, KOSO and KMIX in Modesto, CA.  After a lucrative  career in broadcasting and at 30 years of age Tammy decided to change careers. She went to work for a cable television company doing, as she describes, the very physical job of installing and repairing Modesto’s cable TV distribution and servicing its’ many customers.  When she discovered that she probably would be unable to continue climbing poles and crawling under houses into her ’40s, Tammy went into law enforcement. She had a 19 year career working for Stanislaus County Sheriff, Calaveras County Probation and Calaveras County Sheriff.

Tammy is now retired and living out of state with her husband. She does work every fire season as a contract driver hauling food and supplies during forest fires. She also volunteers at the local hospital foundation thrift store in the electronics department.

1994- Tammy Lynn playing the country hits on KMIX FM, Modesto CA.

Read more about Tammy Lynn

 

Fred Greene, 68

Fred was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia May 11, 1939 and moved to Stockton, CA in his teen years. He attended Stagg High School and joined the U.S. Navy upon graduation where he was assigned to Communications. Upon discharge Fred returned home to pursue a career in broadcasting. He worked in Oceanside,

Fred pictured on the K5 Top 30 from November, 1964
Stockton and Modesto, CA. In 1964 Fred was Program Director and on-air personality working the 2-6 PM slot at KFIV, 1360 in Modesto. He left broadcasting in 1967 to work for the Government at Defense Logistics Agency in Tracy, CA in Public Affairs. Derek Waring who was working at KSRT in Tracy in the late 60s recalls that Fred would come to visit him while he was on the air and they would talk about Fred’s days at KFIV. Those were special visits because as a sophomore at Downey High School Derek would spend hours listening to the Fred Greene Show.

 

Fred attended night school while working at the Defense Logistics Agency earning a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration from California State University Stanislaus in Turlock, CA.  Continuing his education he received his Masters Degree from Chapman University. Fred was a member of Toastmasters where he won numerous awards. Because of his excellent speaking skills, he was asked to make presentations at many functions throughout the area. Fred retired from his government job after 35 years and worked part time as a Travel Agent. His last adventure was working with Humphreys College in Stockton, CA as a teacher-reader for court reporting. He enjoyed his job, the staff and the students that he taught.

Fred enjoyed golfing, reading, cooking, shopping and most of all celebrations with his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother Reva M. Greene. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Hazel L. Greene, son Michael J. Greene (Tammie) of Manteca, CA; son Marcus J. Greene (Tosha) of Salida, CA; granddaughter Britany Vernon of Manteca, CA; father Fred K. Greene of Manteca, CA; brother Jack C. Greene (Kathy) of Manteca, CA and many nieces and nephews.
Fred passed away January 31, 2008.

Bob De Leon – Aircheck

Bob De Leon graduated from Modesto High School in 1960.  In high school he became acquainted with Kent Whitt which eventually led to the formation of the band Kent Whitt and the Downbeats.  The band developed quite a name for itself and in December of 1963 was invited to participate in a USO tour to entertain troops in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Okinawa, and  Vietnam.

Kent Whitt and the Downbeats with a young Bob De Leon second from the right.

Bob attended Ogdens Radio Operational Engineering School in Huntington Beach CA. in the mid 60s. After receiving his Federal Communications Commission First Class License he returned to Modesto and started his radio career at KLOC working for Chester Smith.  Bob then went to work for KFIV (K5) in 1967 working the 8:00-midnight shift and eventually the morning shift. Bob was Music Director and Program Director during his time at K5.

Bob doing his show at a remote location. Remotes drew big crowds. Have Turntables, Will Travel.

Bob left K5 in 1972 to work for KTRB.  In 1974 he went to work as the Veterans Outreach Coordinator at Modesto Junior College and in 1975 he took a position at Manteca High School teaching a radio class.

After radio Bob spent many years working in real estate in the Modesto area. He worked for Continental Real Estate, USA Real Estate, Paul M. Zagaris Inc., Prudential California Realty and Century 21 M&M and Associates where he worked at the time of his passing.

During the 80s and early 90s Bob and best friend Derek Waring had a popular DJ service that they worked part time. Bob and Derek provided music and entertainment for many special events in the Modesto area. Bob was a founding member of the Modesto Radio Museum which began in 2004. He participated in two KFIV Graffiti Gold Weekends enjoying the reunions with his old friends from radio.

Derek Waring with Bob De Leon, lifetime friends.

Bob was honored with two Lifetime Achievement Awards by Modesto Area Music Awards (MAMA), one in 2011 for a radio and music career that spanned five decades. Bob’s other MAMA Award came in 2019 when he was recognized as one of the KFIV 1360 Classic DJs.

Derek Waring and Bob De Leon at the 2019 MAMA Awards

Bob passed away in Modesto on December 19, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. His voice, his smile, his charm will be dearly missed.

Circa 1968-69 – KFIV, A young Bob De Leon and Terry Nelson producing a Dennis Dodge commercial. This is a raw production tape with the outtakes left in.

1971 – KFIV, Bob De Leon –  Million Dollar Weekend

1973- KTRB, Bob De Leon reading the weather accompanied by Bob Lang on the Banjo. Good times.

1974 – KTRB, Bob De Leon talking with Derek Waring.

1974 – KTRB, Bob De Leon.  Air personalities names had been changed by the station owners which was not a popular decision with the DJs. Bob’s name became Johnny Gunn.  Although he did a few part time stints and reunion appearances post KTRB this was Bob’s final show of his radio career.

2012 – K5 Graffiti Gold Weekend. A number of DJs were invited to celebrate Modesto’s Graffiti Weekend by doing reunion shows on KFIV. Bob De Leon and Derek Waring decided to team up one more time to do “The Bob and Derek Show.”

2012 – K5 Graffiti Gold Weekend, Bob De Leon thanking folks for listening.

 

Read Modesto Radio Museum’s Tribute to Bob De Leon

Read Rick Myers Introduction of Bob Delon at the MAMA Awards

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Bob De Leon, 78

by Derek Waring

The Modesto Radio Museum mourns the loss of our member and dear friend Bob De Leon. Bob passed away December 19, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. We express our sincere condolences to Roni, Bob’s wife, daughter Rhonelle and the family.

Bob is a graduate of Modesto High School (1960) where he was a Yell Leader and active in band. While in high school Bob became acquainted with Kent Whitt which eventually led to the formation of the band Kent Whitt and the Downbeats.  The band developed quite a name for itself in the area and in December of 1963 was invited to participate in a USO tour to entertain troops in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Okinawa, and  Vietnam. It was a five month tour which lasted until May, 1964.

Kent Whitt and the Downbeats with a young Bob De Leon second from the right.

While in Vietnam both Bob and Kent got notices that they had been drafted. Ironically after basic training Bob was sent back to the same Army base in Vietnam that he was in when he received his draft notice. Upon Bob’s return from duty in Vietnam, on December 18, 1965 he married  his sweetheart Roni who was a graduate of Turlock High School. December 18, 2020 Bob and Roni had been married for 55 years.

Bob and Roni in 2019 on the eve of Bob’s second MAMA Award as a KFIV 1360 Classic DJ.

Bob attended Ogden’s Radio Operational Engineering School in Huntington Beach CA. where he received his Federal Communications Commission First Class Radio Telephone License. He started work at KFIV (K5) in the late 60s working the 8:00-midnight shift and eventually the morning shift before going on to become Music Director and eventually Program Director of the station. Both as a DJ and Program Director Bob endeared himself to his listeners and his staff. People today still say that they grew up to the voice of Bob De Leon on K5. He was the “soundtrack” of their lives. And of course there are wonderful stories from his employees about his kindness and understanding.

Rick Myers shares some of his memories telling us that Bob was already a legend on Rick’s first day of work at K5.   Rick was the all-night guy.  Bob was the morning guy and would come in at six.  Most morning disc jockeys arrive one minute ‘til six, unshaven, unkempt hair, trying to find the coffee pot, and spending the first 30 minutes of their show waking up. Bob arrived at 5:30, wearing a dress shirt and a tie and carrying a briefcase.   He arranged his music, and pulled out a folder with jokes and material for that day’s show.   Rick learned then that Bob “Shows Up” and he shows up on time.

Bob doing his show at a remote location. Remotes drew big crowds. Have Turntables, Will Travel.

On another occasion Bob asked Rick to transfer one of a national account’s recorded commercials from the agency’s tape to one of the tapes that the station used.  The first thing that was done when completing this task was to erase the station’s tape so that it’s clean.   And that was done with a magnetic eraser.    So Rick had these two tapes in his hands, and, he erased the wrong tape!   Rick said that his 18 year-old life flashed before his eyes.   He thought to himself, people get fired for stuff like this!   Rick’s dream job looked finished before it even started.  Rick told Bob what he had just done.   Bob looked at Rick and said, “Let me see that tape.”   The agency’s  telephone number was on the box.   Bob called New York City and said,  “This is Bob De Leon from KFIV, Modesto.  That tape you sent us is blank.  Can you send out another one?   OK, thanks.”  Bob looked at Rick, smiled, and said, “Welcome to K5, Kid.”  What Rick learned from this incident and found to be true throughout his life is that Bob De Leon was an uncommonly nice man.

Bob liked to tell the story of one of his “claims to fame.” He hired a DJ who eventually went on to become a nationally known and a sometimes controversial personality. Don Imus (Imus In The Morning) was in between jobs and Bob hired him to work for a couple of weeks at KFIV before he moved on to stardom. Bob liked to talk about how he taught Don Imus everything he knew.

Bob left K5 in 1972 to work for KTRB, taking K5 disc jockey Derek Waring along with him. Bob had hired Derek two years before (Bob always claimed it was his best hire ever) and the two had become close friends.

Bob and Derek, friends for over 52 years.

Bob left KTRB in 1974 to work as the Veterans Outreach Coordinator at Modesto Junior College. In 1975 he took a position at Manteca High School teaching a radio class. Radio and entertaining was in the blood and Bob and Derek had a part time DJ business for a number of years in the 80s and early 90s. They did many high school reunions, ’50s/’60s dances, weddings and birthdays.

Bob was awarded two Lifetime Achievement Awards by Modesto Area Music Awards (MAMA), one in 2011 for a radio and music career that spanned five decades. Bob’s other MAMA Award came in 2019 when he was recognized as one of the KFIV 1360 Classic DJs. Bob was proud of these achievements. He was also a founding member of the Modesto Radio Museum which began in 2004.

Derek Waring and Bob De Leon, 2019 MAMA Lifetime Achievement Awards as KFIV 1360 Classic DJs.

It was in real estate where Bob spent most of his career. He worked for Continental Real Estate, USA Real Estate, Paul M. Zagaris Inc., Prudential California Realty and Century 21 M&M and Associates. Bob served as Director of Modesto Association of Realtors for eight years, State Director of California Association of Realtors and was Modesto Board of Realtors, Realtor of the Year in 1982. He participated in the Professional Standards Committee, was Chairman of the Education and Equal Rights Committees and was on the Christmas CanTree, Coats for Kids and Daffodil Days Committees.  Bob is spoken of highly by clients and colleagues alike. In radio and in real estate Bob loved to work and chose to work until the last few weeks of his life.

Bob was active on the social media scene and participated in many discussions about Modesto and the “good old days.” One individual referred to Bob as the “resident historian.” Anyone needing information about what was or when it existed was most likely referred to Bob De Leon. If you had a history question, Bob was the answer man.

Bob De Leon leaves behind a legacy of kindness, generosity and selflessness. One need only read the responses from the hundreds of people who have expressed their feelings on social media to realize the impact that Bob has had on his friends and his community. If he were here now Bob would say, “THANK YOU for being a treasured part of my life, THANK YOU for letting me serve you and THANK YOU for letting me entertain you. It was my pleasure.”

Bob De Leon, the voice and smile that launched thousands of records.

Bob De Leon receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Read  Rick Myers   Introduction of Bob at the MAMA Awards

Listen to  Bob De Leon – Aircheck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Richards “Rockin Ron” – Aircheck

After “breaking the ice” with his first job in radio at KCEY in Turlock, CA. the late Larry Maher, KFIV Program Director (PD), hired Ron on as a “weekender.”  In February of 1975, “Rockin'” Ron Richards began his career in Top 40 radio. When Ron first sat down at the K5 board he was mesmerized by the number of buttons, switches, and volume control knobs but he soon caught on and realized that by pushing and turning them in the correct manner one could create magic!

Ron surrounded by all of the knobs and buttons at K5

Weekenders  usually had a second or third job to make ends meet!  At that time, Ron was working for Wherehouse Records when it was located next to  Mervyn’s on McHenry Ave.  His third job was working part time at KTRB in Modesto.

Every DJ has his or her moment(s) that involve the proverbial “slip of the tongue.” One of Ron’s came one Sunday afternoon as he was talking-up the song Some Kind Of Wonderful by Grand Funk Railroad!  Well, yep… Ron mispronounced the word Funk!  Ron thought to himself, just shut-up and close the mic.  It just so happened that his brother had tuned into Ron’s show that day and as brothers tend to not let brothers off the hook very easily he called to ask Ron if he heard right?  Fortunately nobody else called and asked questions and the incident was forgotten, until now. Everybody knows now and the Federal Communications Commission wants to talk to Ron about it!

Ron says, “Pardon My Bloopers.”

Ron’s favorite things to do in radio were live broadcasts, working High School dances, and special functions put on by local organizations.

K-5' RON RICHARDS
K-5’s Ron Richards during Graffiti Gold weekend, 2012

Ron enjoyed working among other notable radio personalities at K5 during the ’70s such as “Skinny” Kenny Roberts (Ken Tinkle),  J. Michael “Bird” Stevens, “Radio” Rick Myers, “Captain” Fred James,  The “Unreal” Don Shannon,  John “Dyno” Michaels, and A.J. “Koala Bear” Roberts.  During Ron’s tenure at K5 he also provided an FM-Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format on the all nighters.  FM radio started taking the turn towards the late ’70s and Rock 104 came into existence with other stations to soon follow.

In January of 1977, Rockin’ Ron departed K5 to become the “Morning Drive” person at KYOS in Merced, CA.

Here are some memories of Rockin’ Ron Richards on the air:

1977 – Ron at KYOS, 1480 in Merced. The voice you will hear doing the station ID/promos in this aircheck  sounds like a young Mike Novak. Mike has confirmed that he does remember cutting some promos at that time.

1978 – Ron at KHNY, FM 92, Riverside, CA.

2012 – Ron participated in K5 Graffiti Gold Weekend. The Modesto Radio Museum captured it for the ages.

Read more about KFIV Personality Ron Richards

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Mike Novak – Aircheck

Mike Novak is a Downey High School graduate (1967). He attended Modesto Junior College where he got an early taste of radio taking the radio broadcasting classes. Mike started out as an Agronomy major but tried radio at the suggestion of a friend. Not only did he like radio, he was good at it.

Mike Novak working on voice technique at KRJC, Modesto Junior College, 1968.

Mike started as a weekend on-air personality at KYOS in Merced, CA. He attended William B. Ogden’s Radio Operational Engineering School in Huntington Beach, CA. in 1969 receiving his Federal Communications Commission First Class Radiotelephone License which opened the door for Mike to climb the ladder in the radio industry.

Mike spent time on the air at KDON, Salinas, KYNO, Fresno, two stints at KFRC, San Francisco,  KYUU San Francisco and  B-100 and KSON, San Diego, CA. He also worked as an on-air personalty for K-LOVE for 10 years before becoming the CEO of K-LOVE for 11 years. 

Mike on the air at KSON, San Diego, CA.
A bit of a back story; At KFRC.  Mike was Assistant Program Director and did an afternoon on-air slot. KFRC was a Top 40 Powerhouse in the ’70s and ’80s. Following his successful tenure at KFRC Mike left, working at a few other California Rock Stations before landing at KSON in San Diego, CA. in 1987. It was a good fit; He spent 11 years at KSON playing country music hits and entertaining his Southern California audience.  In 1998, God called Mike to ministry.  He went to work for K-LOVE, Sacramento, CA., playing contemporary Christian music.  Mike’s connection to K-LOVE started about 30-years prior to that.  While at KFRC, he mentored a man named Bob Anthony. Bob lived in Spokane, WA and listened to Mike via skip-wave. Later Bob started K-LOVE.  Bob and Mike reconnected and Mike began his life’s dream of doing what he loved, and at the same time, serving the Lord. Mike was a soothing on air voice for a few years before becoming the CEO.
Mike Novak today, enjoying retirement. (Photo courtesy of Mike Novak)

Although dedicated to his radio career Mike completed the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Academy and served as a volunteer for local law enforcement. He is retired now and living with Cheri, his wife, in Texas. Mike has three children Michael, Ashley and Kelly who mean the world to him. He volunteers his time as the Chaplain for the local law enforcement agency. Mike tells us that all in all, he is happy with his life and he feels as though his life came together with the help of God; He has learned to have more trust and faith in God.  Mike says, “I am a better person now.”

Circa early ’70s – Mike Novak “Shout Out” jingle from KYNO, Fresno.

1998 – Mike’s final show at KSON, San Diego where he entertained Southern California folks for 11 years playing country music hits.

1998 – Mike announcing a contest winner on the air at KSON.

2008 – Mike on the air at K-LOVE

1998 – Assorted commercials from Mike

 

Hear more Airchecks and enjoy additional features at  Modesto Radio Museum

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Letters, We Get Letters

Radio Rick Myers, 1976

When DJs take on a subject, their train of thought often jumps the tracks.   One of us radio guys read an article that breast-feeding could improve the neuromuscular system involved in speech.  All that suckling activity is just darned good, healthy exercise.    That article morphed down into the lower levels of disc jockey humor.  “Hey, DJ guy, you’ve got a great voice, but imagine where you’d be if your momma breast fed you.   You’d probably be in New York by now…” I wasn’t breast-fed and I’m not in New York.   That’s my excuse.

With that in mind, this February 21st, I came upon an “Ask the Doctor” column.   A woman wondered if it was all right to continue breast-feeding her twenty-six month old son.   I misread the column, thinking for a second it read “twenty-six year-old son.”    I did a quick double take, and talked about my goof later on the air.    All was fine, as I summed up the story with “But if there were to be a woman out there somewhere breast feeding a twenty-six year old son, I’d be happy to put myself up for adoption.”   It was just one punch line out of many, and I forgot all about it—until those letters started coming in.

Negative letters usually are addressed to the boss; favorable ones come to the disc jockey.   I wish it were the other way around.   The first paragraph of the first letter read:

“I am surprised that you would let a disc jockey profane himself on prime time public radio by making gross mockery of such a sacred subject as breast feeding babies….” The closing sentence had some holy wrath with it: “In my opinion this man should be ‘adopted’ as he wishes—only by a mental facility!”

Another letter decided to embellish what I said:  “And he wondered what it would be like for a 26-year-old to be breast fed and he could go about volunteering to be adopted and breast-fed by that young mother.”

That was more than what I said!   I closed by saying I wondered if I could put myself up for adoption.   This listener added to the punch line.  In radio, that’s called “talking past the punch line.”   The writer watered down what I said just to make sure it didn’t even remotely sound clever.   When it comes to humor I need all the help I can get.   As fellow disc jockey, J. Michael Stevens, once said, “Rick, to call you a wit is only half right.”

Radio stations do get letters!  Most are complimentary.  The critical ones seem release tensions.  The writer just feels better.   “I told them a thing or two.”   My Program Director, Larry Maher likes to say some people listen with one hand on the Bible, and with the other hand on a note pad ready to dash off a letter of protest.

Most protest letters come when the listeners are given the chance to be “righteously indignant.”     At the letter’s heart lies the assertion the disc jockey was insensitive.   One winter day, I made the comment, “It’s December 7th, and every year on this day, the Navy goes out and bombs Pearl Bailey.”   In came a letter:

“How dare one of your disc jockeys make fun of Pearl Bailey, a woman who is such a great entertainer, she is practically an American Institution…”

Oh, come on now!  Just because you don’t get the joke, don’t take it out on me.   (Note:  Pearl Bailey was a great entertainer, passing away in 1990.  The Navy never sought revenge.)

I’m not alone on these incoming slings and arrows; many DJs are Writers’ Wrath Recipients.   One foggy morning, Terry Nelson made the comment, “be careful out there, folks; it’s foggier than a pervert’s breath.”   In came a letter:

“…How dare you people!   I was in the car with my son when your disc jockey talked about a pervert, and my 10-year old asked, ‘Daddy, what’s a pervert?’   I was all embarrassed and didn’t know what to say.  Parenting is hard enough without idiots who think they have the right to ruin my day!!   Well, thanks; you succeeded!!”

Forever Young. Ron Posey, 2013

You’re welcome.   Another time, Ron Posey started his show with  “I got a letter here, let’s see what it says (then the sound of the envelope being opened).  Ron then reads, “It’s addressed to All the Virgins of the World.   It says, “Thanks for nothing!”   Let’s not even get started on those letters.

One brutally cold day, I mentioned that it was “colder than a Mother-in-Law’s love.”    Those incoming letters were pretty much universal, along the lines of  “I laughed at what you said, but, I want you to know that MY MOTHER-IN-LAW is a VERY NICE PERSON!!”  The letters all had that common theme.  I guess mothers-in-law have their own union, and they’re headquartered in Modesto.

Write us a letter, and we’ll sing you a song! Don Shannon, Radio Rick, Captain Fred James, Kenny Roberts, Larry Maher, Diane Cartwright, and J. Michael Stevens. 1976

So keep those cards and letters coming!   They let us know that at the microphone’s other end are living, breathing people.   Letters keep us on our toes.   DJs really strive to never cross the line.     We just like to get close.

I’ve learned threes things about listener letters:  1) they are certain to continue.   Therefore, 2) It’s better to limit any controversial comments for when the boss is on vacation, because 3) when he’s away, he’s put me in charge of the mail.

Rick Myers – Aircheck

Rick at seventeen. KSRT-FM, Tracy. Photo courtesy Wes Page.

Rick Myers always dreamed of getting into radio, and it became a dream come true.     He started early.  He went to radio school while still in high school, and two days after graduation, was hired by KSRT-Tracy.   He was seventeen, on his way to a 47-year career.

Interviewing State Senator Ken Maddy at the Star Trek world premier.

At KSRT, he learned a lot, and saved a little money.   In June, 1968, he, John Chappell, and Wes Page went to Ogden’s Radio Operational Engineering School and got their FCC First Class Licenses.   That was a big step; that license allowed announcers to work at any radio station in America.   It was at Ogden’s that fellow student, Shotgun Tom Kelly, gave him the nickname “Radio Rick.”

1984 United Cerebral Palsy Telethon–Courtesy KOVR TV
The Christmas Can Tree Fundraisers, a major annual food drive.

Rick went right to work at KFIV-AM, Modesto, hired by Tim St. Martin.   After serving in the Air Force, Rick came back to KFIV. He liked working with the public, and MC’d dozens of Miss Modesto and Miss Stanislaus County pageants, along with telethons and fundraisers.

Sixteen years in the K-5 “On-Air Chair.”
At the MAMA Awards, 2019, receiving a K-5 Lifetime Achievement Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick joined the Modesto Radio Museum Foundation in 2019, and is currently serving as President.

Here are some samples of Radio Rick’s work. We hope you enjoy them as much as he enjoyed creating them.

KFIV – Radio Rick blasting the air waves in 1974

KFIV – Radio Rick, Rockin’ the 136 in 1976

KFIV – Rick Myers audition tape from 1977

According to Radio Rick he sent friend Terry Nelson who was then working in New York a number of airchecks for him to critique back in the mid/late ’70s.  This one was actually an audition tape for Radio  99-X; they were looking for a swingman, a part timer to work weekends and fill in. As was the case in radio many times, Rick never heard from them again.  He states, “That’s showbiz” but occasionally  wonders to himself what that fork in the road would have led to.

Aside from on the air duties disc jockeys were called upon to produce commercials for local businesses. Many times they would write and record the commercial. Here are some examples of Rick’s talents.

K5 Cash Cruiser. Rick says this contest went well until people started taking too many chances to win the loot. K5 either had to discontinue it or change the name to K5 Crash Cruiser

Mountain Air Concert

Sierra Seasons with the voice of Virginia Lundquist as Klondike Katie. Virginia was Assistant Production Director at KFIV

The Hamburger Caper with the voice of  Dave Nelson

Magnins in McHenry Village  Radio Rick and Radio Maggie

Read more about Rick Myers here at the Modesto Radio Museum:

The Radio of My Youth–KYA 

Be Careful Out There

Letters, We Get Letters

Jocks Who Box

I Honestly Love You

Merrily We Rolls Along

Wonder Woman’s First Boyfriend

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Gary Avey (G. Martin Avey) – Aircheck

Gary at KYOS, Merced, CA., 1959 (courtesy of Gary Avey)

Gary has well over a half a century of radio experience. We are fortunate to have him as a contributor to the Modesto Radio Museum. Gary is the museum’s “Microphone Man.” He says that for some reason as a kid he became nuts over microphones and other sound equipment. If it’s microphones you want to know about just click here on  Microphone Man  and you’re off and running.

Gary grew up in Los Angeles, CA. listening to the radio stations in that area with their wide array of programming formats. He attended Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.

We could go on writing about Gary’s broadcasting experience but why do that when he can tell about himself. So, in true radio fashion, here we go:  And now ladies and gentlemen the Modesto Radio Museum is proud to present Gary Avey sharing with you, in his own words, the story of his rich and rewarding radio career:

G. Martin Avey on the air at KFIV

We are fortunate to have an aircheck of one of Gary’s shows courtesy of Gary. In 1961 Gary worked at KFIV (K5) in Modesto, CA. as G. Martin Avey.  He was 22 years old. Gary says of the aircheck, “It’s the only one I have from K5. It was recorded on one of the Magnecorder (Maggie) PT-6 reel to reel machines. We had 5 of those machines in the control room.  We had no cartridge machines and all local spots (commercials) were recorded on little 3 inch reels and played on the Maggies. It Really kept the jocks busy.  Mel Freedman, K5’s engineer was installing the first cart machines on the day I left to join the Navy!” Gary wasn’t in Central California until late in ’57. He says that he believes that must have been when K5 switched to top 40.  That must have been the whole reason for the call letter change.   The “Top 45 on K5” was the slogan they used when I was on the air.  In 1961 K5 was still an ABC Radio affiliate, says Gary (K5 remained an ABC affiliate until the ’70s). We did the ABC news and commentary block in the early evening.  They also aired Don McNeil’s Breakfast Club mid mornings!

Gary also tells us, “I think they (K5) took their cue from ABC and their network owned stations like WABC and WLS that had adopted the top 40 format around that time.  It sounds a little strange today but even ABC’s owned and operated key stations were still carrying some of the traditional “old-time” radio shows along with the top 40 music.

The voice on most of the local spots you’ll hear was that of Gene D’Accardo who went on to work as the News Director at KNBR in San Francisco.   Another note of interest, the voice you will hear in the Burgermeister Beer commercial is Jim Lange who was working at KSFO in San Francisco at the time. Jim Lange later went on to become the host of the popular game show, The Dating Game.

One more treat.  In Gary’s own voice, he explains how he came to love microphones, and turned that love into a life long hobby:

 

♦ Check out Gary Avey’s “Microphone Man” feature

RADIO JINGLES

Remember those snappy little tunes that you heard going into songs, coming out of songs and in between songs? Those are called jingles or to be more precise “radio jingles.” Jingles were used to create a brand or image for the station or the on air personality. Most of the time jingles were sung either with or without musical instruments. Some stations used a musical hook at the beginning of the jingle to get the listeners attention. The hook many times became the brand/image and even without the verbal part of the jingle identified the station immediately. Stations such as KSTN, KFRC, KHJ, KYNO had distinctive jingles. They were all programmed by Drake/Chenault and the listener could easily tell that they were listening to a station under that brand.

Radio jingles were recorded to cartridge machines (carts) with a unique jingle on each  cart be it fast, slow, medium etc. The carts were labeled as such. Jingles were used to set the tempo of a program. Going into a fast record the DJ would use a fast jingle, going into a down tempo song a slow jingle would be used. There were also jingles to go into weather, sports and news.

Radio stations obtained their jingles by contracting with producers and studios who would create a sound and melody acceptable to the station.  The studio assembled singers and musicians to record the jingles. Jingles could also be created by individuals who did in-house productions.

Here you will be treated to a collection of jingles that have been heard in this area over the years. We will add to the collection as we get additional jingles and welcome any contributions that Modesto Radio Museum fans might have.

Enjoy what we have for you so far and visit often to see what new “old” stuff we have.

♦ KFIV Jingles

♦ KTRB Jingles

♦ KFRC Jingles