BOB DE LEON Receives MAMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

KFRC Jingles

 In 1961 Bill Drake was programming KYA in San Francisco. It soon became number one in the ratings.  In 1962, after KYA had been sold,  Drake was contacted by Gene Chenault, owner of KYNO in Fresno, California, who offered him a two station deal including KSTN in Stockton, which was owned by a friend of Chenault’s.  Both stations quickly became number one, with KYNO getting an incredible average share of 52% of the audience from 6am to midnight. Drake and Chenault eventually formed Drake-Chenault Enterprises, Inc. By the late 60’s and early 70’s Drake-Chenault had become a massive organization offering Sales and Programming Consulting Services, including the famous Johnny Mann jingles.
These jingles are from KFRC the Big 610 which was programmed by Drake-Chenault and are well known to anyone who lived in the Central Valley of California at the time.

KTRB Jingles

 

KTRB was an adult contemporary format in the early 1970s so their jingles differed a bit from the Top 40 style jingles.

KTRB had this wonderful jingle that was used going into an oldie. Takes you right back to the golden days:

KTRB jingle that was used when going into a faster song:

KTRB Big Sound In The Big Valley for medium tempo songs:

KTRB asked Wolfman Jack to do a voice drop-in for Derek Waring who was the “Godfather” at the time (a name given him by the owners of KTRB):

KTRB DJ Bob Lang also created some in-house jingles for the station:

 

♦ KFIV Jingles

♦ KFRC Jingles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KFIV Jingles

 


KFIV jingle from 1961. This was lifted from the G. Martin Avey (Gary Avey) show:

KFIV enlisted the talent of Shotgun Tom Kelly in 1970. He provided voice intros for the DJs. Shotgun is still a friend and in fact is a member of the Modesto Radio Museum. You can hear him on 60s on 6 on SiriusXM. Shotgun’s voice drop-in was added to a jingle from our jingle package and here is what we had:

KFIV contracted with Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles in 1970 to produce new jingles for the station. The studio musicians were The Lancers. What you will hear are some of the raw cuts of the jingles as they were recorded. They were later edited by the station. Jingles that contain only the DJ’s name were edited to include any of the other jingles such as “Plays More Music” or “Million Dollar Weekend.” Bob De Leon was Program Director at KFIV at the time and you may hear his voice at times as the producer asks for his input:

KFIV 20/20 Double Play:

KFIV More Music (slow)

KFIV Golden:

KFIV More Music:

KFIV 136:

KFIV Hitbound (new song):

KFIV Weather:

KFIV Sports:

KFIV Bob De Leon (fast):

KFIV Derek Waring Million Dollar Weekend (slow):

KFIV Tony Townsend (Flores):

KFIV Roy Williams:

KFIV John Huey:

KFIV Michael Shannon (Bob Burns):

 

♦ KTRB Jingles

♦KFRC Jingles

Wonder Woman’s First Boyfriend

Superman had his Lois Lane and Wonder Woman had her Steve Trevor.  Before the Wonder Woman movies, Wonder Woman, the TV Show, airing for 4 years, paired Lynda Carter with Lyle Waggoner.   He was a good-looking, mighty fine Steve Trevor.

Great chemistry and non-stop thrills
Here they come, to save the day!
Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

 And, one day, Steve Trevor came to Modesto.  .  .  

(Rick Myers wrote this back in 1975)

Last weekend, Modesto was invaded by celebrities in tennis shorts.   Comic Fred Allen once said, “A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become famous, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.”   Most of these celebrities did wear dark glasses, but they came to have fun, and help raise money.

The Lyle Waggoner-Best Chevrolet Pro/Celebrity Tennis Classic benefited the Stanislaus Association for the Mentally Disadvantaged.  Twenty-four “famous” people came to Modesto and played tennis over three days at the Sportsmen of Stanislaus (S.O.S.) Club.    The locals paid five dollars per match to watch the stars come out—all in all, a pleasant way to donate to a charity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyle Waggoner, a star of The Carol Burnett Show, organized these charity events around the country.  It was Modesto’s turn.    Lyle came to KFIV several days in advance to set up the promotion, and our first meeting began a wonderful friendship.   When the others at the station were introduced to Lyle, they had the usual compliments:  “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” and “I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time,” “Thanks for coming to Modesto; this is quite a thrill.”  Me? I went for humor (it’s my disc jockey DNA).     As Lyle approached, I stared awkwardly at his feet, looking confused.   Then I said, “Wow,  I thought Porter  Wagoner always wore cowboy boots.”   Lyle laughed and said he was the other Waggoner.  (I had a similar remark about Leon Wagner, the baseball player, but that joke had run its course.) However, with that comment, Lyle Waggoner and I connected.

Lyle Waggoner  was gracious and witty—so few of us have both these traits—and instinctively he knew he could have fun with me. When asked to record a station promo, he was ready,This is Lyle Waggoner, and whenever I’m in Modesto, I never miss the Radio Rick Radio Show; I don’t listen to it, and I don’t miss it.”  (The audience loved it, and I aired that promo off-and-on for years.)  Later that day, on the air, I asked about his future endeavors, he said, “I plan to do a little screen work this summer; my kitchen door needs repair.”  We were having fun.  Lyle Waggoner conducts dozens of these tournaments but while in Modesto,  I became his go-to guy.

Modesto was rocking with celebrities.  Friday evening found these greats and us mere mortals congregated at a party and Lyle Waggoner, my new friend, saw me first, and–happily for me–it was “Hey, Rick, I want you to meet my wife!”   His wife

Sharon and Lyle were married in 1961.

was the lovely actress, Sharon Kennedy.   I returned his friendly gesture by introducing my girlfriend who was  five-foot-ten.  Then came Lyle’s marvelous, awkward miscue. He shook her hand and commented on what a big girl she was.  She apologized, explaining her plans were to lose some weight!  Lyle gasped, caught off guard, foot in mouth,  totally embarrassed.  He stammered, searching for an apology, searching his brain for a funny comeback; his brain gave him nothing, and all he could do was  utter that  he meant “tall” and not “heavy.”  I was enjoying this.  Sharon rolled her eyes and  gave Lyle one of those “What does Wonder Woman see in this schmuck?” looks.

Cornel Wilde starred and directed this blockbuster hit in 1966.

Just then, the great actor Cornel Wilde came limping by and Lyle Waggoner seized the opportunity to change the subject, and introduced us.   Nice save, Lyle.    Mr. Wilde had pulled a muscle and was in no condition to run through the jungles as he had in The Naked Prey.  He was supposed to play tennis the next day; maybe he’d use a stunt double.

As he gazed at us, Mr. Wilde pleasantly accused Lyle and me of starting a “height conspiracy,” and limped away.   Wow that was nice; Cornel Wilde, an Academy Award Nominee, was looking up to us.

My eyes scanned the room and there was Ron Ely, a mammoth of a man, who portrayed Tarzan on TV for three years.   As I was wondering if he ever tired of being referred to as Hollywood’s original swinger,  I noticed a celebrity I practically grew up with:   Ozzie & Harriet’s oldest son, David!!

David Nelson, with Ozzie, Harriet and Ricky. Photo 1960. The TV show aired 14 years!

David Nelson is a good-looking young man, but extremely shy.  According to Lyle, my great friend for the weekend, he and David had been neighbors for years before Lyle ever discovered his quiet neighbor’s existence.  Lyle further noted this was David’s first attempt at celebrity tennis.   Even surrounded by admirers, David Nelson appeared so uncomfortable I doubt he’ll attempt another.

Jack Sheldon is also famous with youngsters, the singer of “Conjunction Junction” on Schoolhouse Rock.

Merv Griffen’s pudgy trumpet player, Jack Sheldon, supplied most of the humor.  His jokes were non stop.   And each joke was politically incorrect.

Ex-athletes play tennis, too, and they were there,  returning us to the joys of our youth.  Former football stars RC Owens and Bruce Gossett had put on a few pounds.  They looked like they retired to the buffet table.   However, Y.A. Tittle and Frankie Albert were tanned and fit.  (Moral:  When you retire, it’s best to retire as a quarterback.)

As our weekend with the stars came to a close, I told Lyle Waggoner I was impressed by what a sincerely nice person he was.  (Yes, I could be serious for a change.)  Jokingly, Lyle replied, “Well, you know, the bigger they are, the nicer they are.”  I said, “Lyle, at six-foot-four, you should know.   And I hope you’re right, because I’m six-foot-five.”

(Post Script:  Following his acting career, Lyle created Star Waggons, providing customized location trailers used by the entertainment industry.   He and Sharon were married for 59 years, until his passing at age 84.)

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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