KBHI – Beyer High School Radio

The year was 1974, Beyer High school’s radio station KBHI, 89.9 on the FM dial had just gotten underway.  KBHI was the second high school station in Modesto following KDHS, at Downey High School which came on the scene in 1969. It took months of hard work by the staff and crew to raise  the money necessary to get KBHI on the air. Continued funding of the station was in large part provided by the KBHI Booster Club which consisted of Modesto area merchants.

BR -L-R: Harry Mersman, Gary watts, Terry Watts, Cory Christensen, Linda Wirt, Frank DeMattos, Janelle Dotson, Deanna Rule, Dave Rose, Jim Smith (Photo courtesy of Tammy Veil) BR L-R: Teri Harger, Ed Steele, Cherri Ebright, Sam Thorne, Lori Hammer
Scott Brown doing on the air shift at KBHI, 1974 (Photo courtesy of Ron Underwood)

The man responsible for initially bringing high school radio to Modesto was also instrumental in getting KBHI up and running. Ron Underwood was the Faculty Advisor and on occasion would fill in as an on air personality. The KBHI studio was located in room D-13 on the Beyer campus. It broadcasted over a 10 Watt transmitter which on a good day would cover perhaps a 10-15 mile radius.  On December 1, 1977 KBHI began broadcasting over Modesto Cable in addition to 89.9 FM.

Teri Harger, Beyer High School KBHI studio (Photo courtesy of Tammy Veil)
Faculty Advisor Ron Underwood on the air at KBHI (Photo courtesy of Ron Underwood)
Ron Underwood was so dedicated to high school radio he had a personalized license plate (Photo courtesy of Tammy Viel)

The objectives of KBHI were to serve Beyer High School by promoting and broadcasting campus oriented events along with the music students liked to hear and to serve the community by providing special interest current event type programming. They provided remote broadcasts covering sporting events and live broadcasts of Youth Commission, Inter High Council and Board of Education meetings. There were talk shows covering topics of the day which included interviews with students and staff on campus. Listeners if so inclined could also enjoy oldies from the ’50s and ’60s on KBHI’s nostalgic broadcasts.

Lori Hammer, Beyer High School KBHI studio (Photo courtesy of Tammy Veil)
KBHI students/staff 1974. Front row L-R: Steve Gordon, Lori Hammer, Scott Brown, Carl Bratton. Second row L-R: Jim Bergman, Sean McCalib, Keely Pariegan, Ricky Lester, Michelle Davis, Steve Hurley, Melanie Scimeca, Becky Holmes, Mary Nicholson, Keri McDaniel, Doug Hazen, Becky wadlin, Doug Cripe. Back row, l-R: Walter Holmes, Steve Gerringer, Rudy Rodriques, Steve Gordo, Mike McDonnell, Barry Courtney, Cory Christienson, Gary Darpinian, Kelly Corbett, Harry Mersman, Kathy Carpenter, Teri Harger, Joan Darpinian, Rick Chadwell, Mark Ichikawa. (Photo courtesy of Ron Underwood)

  Remembering KBHI – Tammy Veil

If you were involved with KBHI we would love to hear your story. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

3 thoughts on “KBHI – Beyer High School Radio”

  1. What A Great Contribution to Modesto High School Radio that Ron Underwood accomplished. Due to Ron’s dedication and hard Work, he not only establish KBHI-FM 1974-1979, but also started KDHS-FM, The Downey high School radio station prior to taking his Talents and dedication to his students, To Beyer High School, when Beyer High school first opened in 1973.
    With Modesto, Ca. being the “only City in the nation to have 2 High School radio stations” is A Great Accomplishment. I was fortunate to become the only Junior Class student to be a station Manager, from the Fall of 1978 until June 1979. Sadly, KBHI-FM fell silent for good in June 1979, despite the efforts of all staff and the community to purchase a 100-watt, upgraded transmitter, and to comply with new FCC Rules. A salute to Ron Underwood, for his true dedication and contribution to Not only the Modesto Radio Market, but at the High School level, sending a fair amount of students into Professional Commercial Radio…Salute To Ron Underwood, for true dedication to Local Radio!!

    1. Those were great times. As a troubled and lost kid in 78, KBHI was one of the few places I found myself at home. Looking back, being ‘on the air’ was kind of the beginning of my comedy career. Thanks Ron!

  2. Now that I have completed a far more brief and far, far, far less distinguished teaching career as Ron Underwood, I can say with absolute certainty that Ron Underwood is one of the most amazing, inspired, inspiring, and incredible kind of teacher our country can know. As though the competitive speech team was not enough, he, twice, creates student radio stations that include the student speakers who, not only, then, have a non-competitive outlet for oral expression, but a vocational skill opportunity that few high schools in the United States have ever offered.
    Thank you so much, Ron, KBHI was a cherry on top of an unending, kitchen sink sundae of great fun and reward. You are my favorite teacher of all time.

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