MRM – What year(s) were you involved with KDHS?
MG – 1972-74
MRM – What did you do on KDHS?
MG – EVERYTHING! DJ (Top 40, jazz, sports play by play for football, basketball, and baseball, anything to be on the air), production, programming
MRM – How did KDHS affect your career decisions?
MG – It completely took over! Family thought their A student would become a doctor, scientist, or engineer, but NO!! In 1973, I got my Third Class Radiotelephone Operator’s Permit with Broadcast Endorsement. In 1974, I got a part time job at the only local station that could hire someone with a Third, KOSO, which at the time played elevator music. The format encouraged me to get my First Class Radiotelephone License in 1974 when I was 17. At 18, I was hired by Larry Maher to DJ at KFIV.
MRM – What is a favorite memory of KDHS?
MG – Dennis Snelling was a classmate and good friend. He convinced me to sign up for KDHS during the summer between our freshman and sophomore years. At the time, I didn’t even listen to radio, and I had no idea that being a DJ was even a job. Dennis wanted to join KDHS to be a sportscaster. He was and is an UBER sports fan. I started at KDHS and started listening to KFRC in SF. I found initial success in my ability to do impressions of the DJs I was listening to. KDHS awarded me their Best Male Broadcaster award in 1974.
MRM – How did KDHS help you as you entered into a career?
MG – KDHS introduced me to a passion, a passion I got paid to follow for a few decades. I am very fortunate to have had that experience in my life. Editor’s note: A few of the stations Mike has worked for KXOA, Magic 101, Cool 101, KROY, KSEG, KSFM, KNDE in Sacramento, CA; KBEE, KFIV in Modesto, CA; KOSO in Patterson, CA; KXXR in Kansas City Missouri; KLUC in Las Vegas and KOWL in South Lake Tahoe.
MRM – Any individuals who stand out as mentors or inspirational in getting you started?
MG – The people who stand out to me at KDHS are JB (Burt) Vasche (Downey High School Faculty), Dennis Snelling, Les Simar, Thomas Grow, and Bob Allison. Rick Myers, who came to visit me once while I was on the air at KDHS was an inspiration. I so wanted to impress him. I did my best to connect with any DJs I could to learn from, such as Derek Waring, could anyone be born with a better radio name? I probably owe some of my success to KFRC DJs Beau Weaver, Jack Friday, and Eric Chase, who I tried to emulate. I have never met them in person, but I am or have been Facebook friends with them. I owe much gratitude to the program directors who hired me at the radio stations where I’ve worked, Lee McKensie, Larry Maher, Roy Williams, Steve Moore, Dave Anthony, Mark Lennartz, Brian Burns, Sean Lynch, and Jon Sarquis.
MRM – Anything else you would like to share about KDHS?
MG – Because Downey High School allowed students to voluntarily enroll in summer school and participate in KDHS as an extra class for credit, I was able to graduate from high school in 1974, a year early and move on to Modesto Junior College and KRJC. I am very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. It all began with my experience at KDHS.