This Site Primarily Contains a Collection of Airchecks of Numerous Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Radio Stations, Some Recorded Off The Air by Rick Burnett and Many Others Recorded or Provided by Other Contributors to This Site (see footnote at bottom). The Contribution of Recordings and Materials are Greatly Appreciated and Have Made this Site a Bookmark for Those Interested in Radio From this Era. Explore the many recordings on this site by using the menu at the left side of the screen. Should you have material to contribute, Please Email: Rick1031(at)HotMail.com Note: Substitute @ for the "(at)" when typing email address
A Day in the Life of a Twin Cities Radio Station; Composites February-March 1979
KDWB AM/FM Al has apparently cleaned out his storage locker and just sent me a number of station composites he recorded off the air and compiled from 1979 and a few airchecks from 1977. I will post more at time allows, so check back. Anyone who has an interest in 1970 radio, has to appreciate the forethought Al Arneson had to record and save these tapes.
KDWB Ed O'Brien 6-9 AM Bob Lange 9-12 Michael Christian 12-3 PM Chuck Evans 3-6 PM "Smokin" Joe Hager 6-9 PM Marc Elliott 9-12 Midnight Ron Richards 12-6 AM Tim Kelly Weekends/Swing Dave Thomson PD/Swing
Recorded and contributed by Al Arneson, formerly at KSTP-AM and U-100. (Posted 11-17-07)
I first met Rob Sherwood (Buff S.) when he was doing the 7 PM to Midnight shift at WDGY-AM in the late 60's. I called him while he was on the air one night and told him about the pirate radio station my friends and I were operating in St. Paul. I told him I had some photos of the control room and he let a couple of the pirate DJ's and me visit him while he was on the air. He also let us visit him when he later moved to KDWB-AM. We all thought this was nice of him to let us watch him on the air in action. We thought he was a great guy for doing this. Rob Sherwood has a web site at: http://www.robsherwood.com/
See photos below of KDWB-AM and Rob Sherwood on the air taken during one of my studio visits in 1969.
The first clip from April 6th, 1974 was recorded of the radio sometime after 11 PM and takes us up to his farewell. In the beginning of the clip, Rob hints at his departure before making it official. He declares we are in a 90% music hour (KD must have been attempting to compete with KSTP-AM's light commercial load). He leads into his goodbye by stating that "KDWB and Rob Sherwood are an institution, but who wants to be in an institution." Rob says he is nervous and mentions his good friend True Don Blue and the guy who hired him at KDWB, Deane Johnson. He then ends with his signature sign-off and plays "With A Little Help From My Friends."
The second clip is from October 1972 and was recorded from 11:30 PM to Midnight. This is typical "Robbie Baby." He promotes Chris Roberts who follows him at Midnight and talks about the Cooper High School Drama Department. He has fun with the ending of the Chicago song "We Can Make It Happen," Saying they must have worked hard on coming up with that untypical abrupt ending.
Rob Sherwood on the air at KDWB-AM sometime in 1969
On the air at KWDB-AM, Rob Sherwood hugs the mic in 1969
Rob Sherwood having a good time behind the KDWB-AM control board
KDWB-AM Transmitter 1969 photo before the fire. The former KD GM, Deane Johnson, emailed me that at the time of the fire, Bill Dorweiler was Chief Engineer and Ray Lark was one of two assistant engineers. Deane believes Rey became Chief some time later, probably under Doubleday. Dorweiler went to Tacoma and Deane saw he recently retired as Chief of KOMO in Seattle.
KDWB Jingles From Around 1969
One of the KDWB DJ's dubbed me a copy of the jingles used around 1969. The quality on some is lacking due to deteriorated tape. Just pulled this one out of storage and feel lucky I got this much quality from it. After Posting these, I received an email from Deane Johnson. Deane hired Rob Sherwood away from WDGY. His email below is posted with his permission, including his email address. Deane shares the following with us: From: Deane Johnson [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 9:50 AM To:firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Visited your site
Stumbled into your site this morning. It was interesting to see and hear some of the historical materials you've assembled. If only we had saved more.
As I type this, I am listening to the KDWB jingle package from 1969. It was from TM, who, at the time was almost unheard of. The package was named Charisma. I flew to Dallas to record it with Jim Long. They were just getting started at the time. I credit the jingles with setting the stage for our sound in that era that eventually took WDGY, a tough battle.
The pictures of Adam North by a tree and by the pickup are ones I took with my Hasselblad.
I'm glad to see some of this stuff preserved on your site. It was a great era.
I have posted a few things from the Twin Cities on my archives site. There might be something new you haven't seen or heard. I used Adobe Audition to restore all of the audio to as close to the original sound as I could.
Thanks for writing Deane. I am sure he has a lot of stories he could share with us. Maybe he will send more comments about this radio era in the future. KDWB-AM Rob Sherwood Mid-August, 1969
This Rob Sherwood aircheck was from the same deteriorated tape. Listen to it without much base. This is typical Robby Baby. You will hear a commercial for the movie, Ben Hur, with a live tag by Rob. Then Rob says he forgot what else he wanted to say, and goes on to state he is not a well man; both mentally and physically.
You will hear the Looney Lunar Landing contest played on this tape and Rob asks the winner if he will share the money with him. You will hear an unscoped commercial for Squirt and a spot for the upcoming Credence concert happening on August 22, 1969. In addition, there is a White Castle commercial promoting their burger as steamed, not fried.
Recorded 10/23/74 between 11:30 AM and 12 Noon. Adam North promotes a Beatles weekend. Adam does a live Minneapolis Floral spot. You can hear small portions of commercials of this era, such as the Furniture Barn. I seem to recall you buy a house full of furniture for under $1,000, or something like that. This also reminds me of watching Mel Jazz do these commercials on his afternoon movie matinee show on Channel 11. You will also hear about KDWB's Halloween Haunted House and one of the "solid Rock" jingles. Michael J. Douglas reads the news in this clip. Lead story is a possible cease fire in Vietnam. there was also news on the Nixon and McGovern presidential campaign
Adam North recently sent (May 2007) an email to correct some inaccuracies on my web site. He wanted to pass along a history update.
He came to KDWB from KUDL AM/FM in Kansas City, in August 1970, as Peter Hunting May's full-time replacement. Val-John still owned the station before it was purchased by Doubleday. Deane Johnson was Program Director. You may remember Dean from the Storz station, KOMA in OK City. Adam worked for Storz too, at WTIX in New Orleans using the air name Buddy Van Cleave, so Deane knew of him. Adam states "I started in the early evening shift at KDWB, then was moved to mid-mornings following Charlie Brown. Rob Sherwood was moved into the evening slot following True Don Blue, and history was made, so to speak. When Doubleday purchased the station they brought in Buzz Bennett (whom I worked with at WTIX), and then Chuck Buell from WLS in Chicago." Many think KDWB sounded better under Dean, and was fun before Doubleday.
Adam also stated "I Was on tap to move to the RKO station in San Francisco to work for Paul Drew, then decided to returned to college in 1973. I moved to the KRSI evening shift working for PD Tac Hammer so I could attend college during the day. It's a little known fact that the KDWB morning crew (except for Michael J. Douglas, who went on to "Donuts" fame) returned to college. Both Charlie Brown, and I, Adam North, completed PhD's. Charlie is now the dean of a small college in Iowa and I work as a research scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health."
(From the Rick Burnett Collection)
Adam North - KDWB Early 1970's Photos (Click on Photos to Enlarge)
Adam tells me this was the photo used for most of the music surveys KDWB published. As you can see on the other photo, his hair gets longer. You can hear airchecks of Adam on the KDWB and KRSI/KFMX pages on this site. These photos were contributed by Edward Van Cleave, a/k/a Adam North.
This photo is a later version showing that Adam grew his hair longer.
This photo show Adam North on the KD pickup truck in the antenna field. Note the tower in the background.
Contributed by Edward Van Cleave, Formerly of KDWB and a/k/a Adam North (10-29-07)
KDWB Coverage Map 1988-89. The 6 towers are gone are long gone from Radio Drive. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
KDWB Coverage Map 1988-89
John Pratt sent this map. This is a reduced size scan of the map that hung in the KDWB transmitter room in Woodbury at the time I was the AM PD in 1988-89.
Adam North as Buddy Van Cleave at WTIX New Orleans - A Storz Station - October '66
Adam North had a life before KDWB. One of the stations was the Storz station in New Orleans, WTIX. Adam had a great time at this station doing the morning show. On the scanned survey to the right, you can see Adam as Buddy in the top photo of the survey. Click on the survey to enlarge.
Adam had an interesting 10 year radio career. Prior to KDWB, he was know as Buddy Van Cleave at WTIX, This “All American” was doing the morning show at this Storz station in the mid 60’s in New Orleans. Additionally, Adam worked at KISN in Portland. He replaced the Real Don Steele, who moved on to San Francisco and eventually to KHJ in Los Angeles.
Contributed by Edward Van Cleave, Formerly of KDWB and a/k/a Adam North (11-04-07)
WTIX survey from October 22, 1966. Buddy Van Cleave photo is at the top of this survey. Click on the survey to ENLARGE
Recent photo of Adam North sent to me November 2007. Ed Van Cleave, alsoknwn as Buddy Van Cleave on WTIX and as Adam North on KDWB sent me this photo with permission to use on this site. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Adam North KDWB-AM 630
Recorded off the air on November 10, 1970. This is the home of the 20/20 Triple Play (take that WDGY - who cares about 20/20 news?) You will hear the promo on the Super Gold Contest, where one could win a brand new AMC Gremlin. Adam gives away a KDWB Super Gold Album and a chance for the caller to be entered into the drawing for the Gremlin. As Tony Orlando's Candida fades, Adam uses his Johnny Carson Art Fern voice to say the name of the song. He also mentions that the Candida he knew invested all of her money in cyclamate stock. North also does a live spot for the new 1971 Gremlin.
(Tape of scoped version courtesy of Al Arneson a/k/a Big Al Davis on U-100)
Although we are suppose to hear the Top 4, we only get the hear the number one song (scoped) Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh, by Alan Sherman. We do get to hear the entire Pepsi commercial. Pepsi, "For Those Who Think Young."
This page contains Airchecks (still to be added-check other pages on this site for KD Airchecks), Studio Photos, and Some Old Music Surveys of the "Big 63"
Page is still uder construction.
The following History on the 630 AM and 101,1 FM frequenciesused by KDWB is from WWW.Wikipedia.org The history covers these frequencies prior to and during the use by KDWB.
KDWB's origins started on the AM dial, at 630 kHz. The station began as a collaboration between the three Tedesco brothers who named it WCOW ("WPIG" or "KPIG" was apparently rejected), which was an odd station playing Country and old-time music when it first went on the air in 1951 at 1590 kHz. Vic, Nick , and Al Tedesco, who had previously put together a station in Stillwater, Minnesota, attempted to get into television on channel 17 the next year, but financial backing fell through. The channel 17 allocation was taken by Twin Cities Public Television in 1965. In the early days, WCOW signed on with a cowbell.
WCOW was not very successful, so the station transitioned to being a female-oriented station with the call sign WISK in 1957, and the frequency was changed to 630 kHz the next year. Again, the format was not popular, and the station was soon bought out by Crowell-Collier Broadcasting Compnay, who owned KFWB and KEWB in California. The Top 40 format of those stations was brought to Minnesota, and the KDWB call sign came into use in 1959. It quickly became a major competitor to WDGY, which had been playing a pop music format for a few years by that point. With the 630 kHz frequency, KDWB called itself "Channel 63" and the station began its long uninterruted run as a pop music station.
History of 101.3 FM
Bill and Becky Ann Stewart were owners of a radio station that simulcast on both 980 AM and 101.3 FM. Both stations were licensed to Richfield, Minnesota, with studios located in Eagan. The two stations programmed a rather Conservative, MOR format as WPBC ("The People's Broadcasting Company"), which started broadcasting on the AM signal in 1949. The owners were very strict, to the point that they rejected advertising from beer and tobacco companies. And of course, no Rock and Roll music. They began simulcasting the AM station as WPBC-FM at 101.3 MHz in the 1960s.
In 1972, the Stewarts sold the two stations to Fairchild Industries, which then dismissed the entire staff and overhauled both stations. The FM was rechristened WRAH and programmed automated album oriented rock. The AM station changed to WYOO, picking up an Oldies format. When the AM station's oldies format started to slide in the ratings, more MOR music was added, but ratings slid even further. The owners contemplated selling the station, so the general manager and program director, both hired from established station KDWB, decided a major change needed to be made.
A decision was made to pick up a Top 40/Hard Rock format, in contrast to what they saw as the rigid, bland presentation of other similar stations in town. A decision was made to keep the WYOO call letters (as changing call letters with the FCC at the time was a long, difficult task). But they wanted to call the station something else on the air. Originally, it was to be Y-100, but a station in Florida calling itself that threatened to sue. After going through the alphabet, station management finally stopped at "U". The new station would be called "U-100." Later, they realized the coincidence of the "WYOO" call letters and the new branding of "U-100." And another oddity was the placement on the dial. The AM broadcast at 980, and the FM at 101.3. Management reasoned that back then, all radios were analog, and it seemed like the only number shown on that part of the dial was a big "100", so it was close enough to 980 and 101.3. It all just seemed to make sense.
On August 26, 1974, WYOO was broadcasting live from the Minnesota State Fair, garnering little attention from fairgoers with their adult pop music. The program director, Rob Sherwood, used this opportunity to abruptly change the format of both stations, debuting the AM and FM simulcast of "Super U-100" with a Joe Cocker song and a two minute montage of the new stations' new jingles. You can hear a recording of the U100 format switch at www.radiotapes.com. The new U-100 quickly became the topic of conversation throughout the area with its rowdy, outrageous mix of Top 40 and hard rock. With a constant bombardment of loud jingles the jocks would scream "YEEEEWWWW ONE HUNDRED!" and "BOOGIE!" when they weren't giving the time, temperature ("it's seventy-two degrees in Frriiidleeeeey!") or bad jokes. "Right on Super U" became a catch phrase on the station and amongst its fans. The presentation was tight, fast-paced and very foreground.
During the next two years, U-100 quickly became the most talked-about radio station in town. Competition was fierce in rock 40 radio at the time, and compared to U-100, WDGY, KDWB, and KSTP-AM seemed a bit tame. As an added advantage, U-100 was the first Twin Cities top 40 station to broadcast on the FM dial in stereo (in addition to 980 AM).
KDWB moves to FM
U100 was not to last forever. The AM dial in the Twin Cities was crowded with top 40 stations, with U-100, KDWB, WDGY and KSTP-AM all fighting for the same audience. AM music stations also desired to transition to the increasingly popular FM dial. Doubleday Broadcasting, then the owner of KDWB, desperately wanted their own FM signal. And Fairchild was looking to sell their two stations. In February 1976, Doubleday announced it would be buying WYOO-FM with the intention of simulcasting KDWB on the FM signal. Since one company could not own two AM or FM stations in the same market at the time, the AM station had to be sold separately. The owner of WAYL (93.7 FM), an Easy Listening station, agreed to purchase 980 AM. WYOO-FM signed off for the last time at midnight on September 15, 1976, and KDWB morning personality True Don Bleu launched the new "KDWB andKDWB-FM" the following morning at 6 AM. The next week, 980 AM came back on the air with a simulcast of WAYL.
Helped by the stereo simulcast on 101.3 FM, KDWB quickly regained its position as the dominant Top 40 station in the Twin Cities. Their fierce young rival, U-100, was now gone. WDGY switched to a Country Music music format in 1977. And KSTP-AM hung around until 1979, as they slowly transformed into a Talk station. By the end of the decade, KDWB was the only Top 40 station in town. With the competition gone, KDWB-FM split apart from the AM station's Top 40 simulcast and became "Stereo 101", an Album Oriented Rock station designed to go up against KQRS, which had recently dumped their Free-Form Rock presentation and adopted a stricter playlist. "Stereo 101" would be mildly successful, but never became a serious longterm competitor to KQRS.
Back to Top 40
In 1981, a serious new Top 40 competitor arrived in the Twin Cities. WLOL dropped their Soft Rock format and turned itself into a high-profile hit music station, immediately getting strong ratings. WCCO-FM also briefly switched to Top 40. Meanwhile, 63 KDWB languished, as AM music stations were slowly becoming a thing of the past. To protect its heritage and to finally make the move of its legendary station to the FM dial, KDWB-FM dropped the AOR format and reverted back to the Top 40 simulcast of the AM station. In a role reversal, the FM signal was now deemed the primary station, as 630 AM attained secondary status. The AM station continued to simulcast until 1985, when it flipped to a separate Oldies format.
The new "101 KDWB" struggled for years against upstart market leader WLOL, which featured a fresher music selection, more popular DJs, and a highly-rated morning show. KDWB was viewed by many as stuffy, stale and boring, and they went through several unsuccessful morning shows.
Finally, in 1988, newly-hired program director Brian Phillips cleaned house, as he dismissed many of the air personalities, overhauled the music, and brought in Steve Cochran to host the station's new morning show. He also hired a new air staff, introduced 12-song commercial-free music sweeps, changed the overall on-air presentation, and created a new logo, which is still in use today. The rechristened "101.3 KDWB" had finally arrived, and virtually overnight, their fortunes changed. KDWB quickly became the top CHR station in the market, starting a dominance that continues to this day. Now WLOL was playing catch-up, as they tried various minor overhauls and tweaks before moving in a Dance Music oriented direction in 1990. The next year, WLOL came to a sudden and premature end, as owner Emmis Broadcasting experienced financial problems and began to divest of many of their properties. Minnesota Public Radio purchased WLOL and turned it into the flagship for their Classical Music service. Throughout the rest of the 1990s, KDWB had virtually no CHR competition.
KDWB - KQRS - KSTP Composite Recorded October 1978 (left below photo)
You will hear the unknown person who recorded this tune up and down the dial and not stop long in one place. You will here: Ed O'Brian - on KD Tac Hammer - on KQ Bob Lange - on KD Doug Silver - on KSTP Michael Christian - on KD Smokin Joe Hagger - on KD Jeff Pigeion - on KSTP Mike Beech - on KD
Mixed in you will also hear various KQ DJ that I do not recognize and they never say there name. Let me know if you recognize any Rick1031@hotmail.com
On 9-8-07 I heard from Jay Philpott by email within hours of posting this new material. He stated:
"I taped all of the airchecks on the KD-KQ-KS Composite, The "Tale of Twin Cities composite and the Twin Cities at Night feature. I may have done the CCO morning show from '80 and the WWTC recording, but I can't be certain as I can't correlate those airchecks to anything in my collection. But it probably WAS me, since I was at my peak in taping the market from 1976 to about 1982 or so. I was an aircheck taping nut as a teenager. I went to high school at Armstrong ('78), and worked in the promo department at KSTP 1977-78, then at KTWN-AM Anoka in 1979, and KFMX/KRSI 1979-80 before landing at WLOL for 4 incredible years 1980-84. Some of these airchecks were taped on my good home stereo, and some were taped with a portable rig I put together so I could record at work.
It was a kick hearing these things after they've spent many years traveling the collector circuit -- I remember trading with Matt Seinberg almost 30 years ago, which is how he got them in the first place!!
Here's some fill-in info on the KD-KQ-KS composite
After Tac Hammer, there is a brief Hines & Bush segment you didn't credit
After Bob Lange, the jock is Alan Stone of KQRS
After Michael Christian is Mike McNeal of KSTP
Then, Hal Hoover of KQRS
For some reason I edited in that brief thing where Larry Lujack says "turn this sucker over". That was from his narration of an American Air Chexx issue, where he told listeners that side one was ending and there was more on side two. It makes no sense being on the Twin Cities tape, really...but I always thought it was funny.
Later on the tape, there are more KQRS segments featuring: Nancy Rosen, Benjie McHie and then Greg Austin (Ausham) of KSTP, Marc Elliott of KDWB and back to KSTP for Jim Summers.
OK, now about the "Tale Of Twin Cities" production. I was the Minneapolis/St. Paul contributor and editor for the Aircheck Factory from 1977 to 1980. I wrote a monthly column about the market in his newsletter, and I taped all of those stations, and gave Tom Konard at ACF all the background he needed to write the narration which was done by Michael Black of KONO/San Antonio. While you did in fact acquire the recordings from Matt at BAAC, you should probably credit the original source and note it was produced by "Tom Konard's Aircheck Factory".
I LOVE what you do with this site, and I've also been in touch with radiotapes.com to compliment him on his work."
I appreciate the help Jay has provided to fill in some of the blanks, provide corrections and provide some behind the scenes information on the recordings. I am sure we are all grateful to Jay Philpott for saving our Twin Cities radio history by recording all the airchecks he did in the 70's.
Acquired from Aircheck collector and contributor Matt Seinberg of Big Apple Airchecks www.BigAppleAirchecks.com Jay Philpott originally recorded this KDWB-KQRS-KSTP composite. Jay currently (9-9-07) works in St. Louis at 106.5 "The Arch" doing weekends and has work for a number of Twin Cities radio stations.
JAY PHILPOTT is a 25 year broadcast veteran. Jay's radio work has spanned many formats and eras in the world of contemporary music. He is a fan of all types of music and an expert at pop and rock music. Jay is a published author and recently released "Ain't Misbehavin', Just Conclavin" - a 30 year history of the Conclave Learning Conference, a major American music industry seminar held each year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jay's Twin Cities radio experience includes WLOL and KFMX.
KDWB The Radio Promotion that is in College Advertising Text Books
'63.....That's Easy to Remember" As Told by Creator, Chuck Blore While I was preparing to be WCCO's Al Malmberg's guest on his overnight talk show on September 21, 2007, I was able to get direct input from Chuck Blore, former national program director for Crowell-Colliers, owner of KFWB, KDWB and others. See his email below. It is an excerpt from his soon to be published autobiography and appears here with his permission:
From: Chuck Blore Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 2:54 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Twin Cities Radio Aircheck Site With Old KD Material
Rick ... Happy to help ... I have written a book about all those great times, one of which was how and why the "... easy to remember line" was born. Here is the story as I remembered it in the book. As the book is not yet published you'll be the first to see it, but please use as much as you like in your WCCO interview ... you'll see they were a part of the story.
Here ya go ... The Twin City stations were all on the upper part of the dial at 1070, 1130, 1490, etc., but nothing below 1000. WISK, soon to be known as KDWB, was at 630, a spot no one in the listening area had ever heard, or even heard of. So, our problem was not only to be the best station on the air there, we first had to let them know there was a 'there' there. There, at 63, where no Minnesotan had gone before.
With that in mind I had Charles Arlington record, as only he could, a theme line; ?Sixty Three. That's easy to remember.? Of course, we could say that sixty three times an hour, and if no one was listening, it wouldn't be that 'easy to remember.' So, we had to do something to let people know we were there ... there.
Thinking about how to tell the good people of the Twin Cities there was some good radio on the South end of the dial was pretty much all I was thinking about. Billboards? I guess. But in Minneapolis-St Paul a good part of the year was snowbound and it was really hard to see the billboards through all that sleet. Newspapers? Yeah, but I hated newspaper advertising. It's dead, it just sits there. Whatever the approach, it had to be as different as was our position on the dial.
I had hired Don French to be the KDWB PD. Don and I had both been part of the KTSA deejay team in San Antonio a couple of years earlier. I always respected his unusually creative approach to all things radio. We were thinking about this 'positioning' problem when Don remembered something which had been a national marketing phenomenon a few years earlier.
A fellow out of Texas, after first commissioning himself a Colonel, was bottling what was essentially sweet prune juice, calling it Serutan, and telling the great American radio audience over and over again, day after day, ?Serutan is 'Natures' spelled backwards. And, as we all know, anything that is 'natures own' is good for what ails you.? Almost everybody in the country who had anything at all 'ailing' them, bought into the pitch. The Colonel became famous and very rich. Everyone agreed that this guy could sell anybody anything. Don reminded me about the Colonel and his pitch prowess. ?We ought to get him to tell people about how good things are when you reach 63.?
?Oh, sure.? was my response, ?What are we gonna do? Buy spots on the other stations?? We looked at each other for a long time. A moment later we were both rolling on the floor, rocking with laughter. Rocking and rolling and repeating over and over, ?We'll advertise on the other stations. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!?
We dug up the Colonel, I called and told him what we had in mind. ?We thought you could come up with a new product called Formula 63. Guaranteed to make life more fun.? The Colonel loved the whole idea and agreed to do it.
We did it. We hired an advertising agency which represented a large local chain of drug stores where free samples of Formula 63 where to be made available. The agency negotiated non-cancellable contracts with all eight of the Twin City Stations. (Only eight stations in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Talk about a time frame, eh?) And there was one other important requirement. They were to buy only where they could get exactly the same 'guaranteed times' on all stations at one time. The result of this was, our spot was on every radio station at the same time. At least 48 times a day, if you happened to be tuning across the dial at that exact time ... all you could hear was the Colonel saying, ?You remember me? A couple years back I brought you Serutan, the product guaranteed to cure what ails you. Now I'm back to tell you about a product, guaranteed to cure an even bigger problem. It's called, Formula 63. And it's guaranteed to relieve ennui!?
He spoke about the dangers of ennui, tedium and boredom and how these things could absolutely dull your life.
?Formula 63, will relieve ennui ...? he promised, ? ... right from the first moment you try it. And you can try it today. A free sample is waiting for you at any Provident Drug Store. A touch of Formula 63 is the perfect way to brighten up your mundane day. 63 ... that's easy to remember.?
At every Provident Drug Store (not the real name) was a giant stack of tiny boxes beneath a huge sign saying, ?Free Samples of Formula 63. Relieve Ennui today!? Inside the box was a piece of paper on which there was a beautiful color picture of the Twin-Cities Radio Dial with a large arrow pointing to the left end of it and an invitation to ?Come on down.?
'If you suffer from lusterless, uninteresting radio, etc., etc., come on down and put a little color in your life.'
Then, the station logo and the words?
'63. That's easy to remember.'
It wasn't long before the radio stations heard about the fact that they were advertising a competing radio station. Matter of fact, the spots started at 6 AM and by 10 seven of the eight stations had called the ad agency making all kinds of threats.
The stations were reminded that they had a non-cancelable contract. They all said the same thing, essentially, ?screw your non-cancelable contract.? And, I'm sure it was after checking with their attorney, one by one they dropped our little campaign. All except for a little country station called K-COW. As a courtesy, once we had been exposed, the agency called them apologetically offering to rescind the non-cancelable clause. K-COW said, ?Uh uh! We have a contract and you'll be billed for 2 spots an hour for 2 days.? They continued to run the spots.
WCCO, by far the Twin Cities most powerful station called us to express their outrage and to let us know, ?We're taking this whole fraudulent farce to the FCC.? That kind of ended when Mr. Purcell reminded them that WCCO, like every station, is required by FCC rules to know who their advertisers are.
We thought Formula 63 with the Colonel was really a good way to introduce our station. What we didn't realize was how much unexpected publicity we would get in the Twin City newspapers and on TV. Suddenly it was true, ?63 ... that's easy to remember.?
Good luck with it, Rick
Excerpt reproduced here by permission from Chuck Blore and is from his soon to be published autobiography. (9-28-07)
I do not recall who gave me this tape recording of old transcriptions of the very early KDWB jingles. It is possible Rob Sherwood (Buff) gave this tape to me when he was at KD. The theme is "Color Radio" and this group includes the well know "63...That's Easy To Remember" and the long jingle "Night Time is The Right Time to Listen and Enjoy." which I separate from the group. If you can tell me more, please email me at: Rick1031@Hotmail.com Also, see www.radiotapes.com/KDWBRadio.html for more of these Chuck Blore "Color Radio" Jingles and some of the old KDWB surveys.
If you remember back this far, sit back and relax, in your pajamas or slacks...and listen and enjoy KDWB.
On August 12th, 2007 I recieved the following email From John Pratt commenting on these jingles and it is posted with his permission:
My name is John Pratt. I saw your latest post on red and nater, and was lured into your collection of vintage KDWB jingles like a moth drawn to... well, you get the idea. :) Like you, I began my radio career in the early '60s with the ol' basement AM (mine was a GE Science Fair kit) and the disease spread from there. While at the University of Minnesota, I ran my own pirate FM from my fraternity while at the same time spending countless hours on the air at WMMR. After a brief stint in the promotion department at Heilicher Brothers, I was off to WJON/St. Cloud, KOMA/Oklahoma City, then back to the Twin Cities for stops at WDGY, KDWB-AM, KLXK-FM, then finally back to 630 for its one-year run at Country as WDGY. After that, the itch had been scratched, and I've been a programmer for a Twin Cities telecom company ever since.
What I wouldn't have given for the old Channel 63 jingles when I was the PD at K-63! I can tell you what I have learned about them. Many of the jingles in your montage are identical to the ones I purchased on CD from Ken R back when he was in the jingle business. Unfortunately, all of his CDs went out of print when he retired a couple of years back, including the two volumes of PAMS WDGY goodies.
I had the opportunity to chat for a few hours in May with Jim Ramsburg, who has a cabin on Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, and is a neighbor there of some good friends of mine. Jim filled me in on the Crowell-Collier jingles that were produced for Chuck Blore by Sande & Greene, an L.A. agency. Jim loaned me a reel-to-reel tape of KFWB jingles done by Sande & Greene that I haven't listened to as of yet. The voices on the Sande & Greene jingles belong to none other than the Johnny Mann Singers, who of course, later went on to do the classic a capella KHJ Boss Radio jingles.
Interestingly, among the other Ken R CDs I bought were PAMS jingles for KFWB, using the same melodies as the familiar Sande & Greene jingles we heard on KDWB. Jim had programmed the Metromedia FM station in L.A. for a time in the '60s, and when I asked him about this difference, he told me that the reason was due to the fact that Metromedia had signed an exclusive deal with Sande & Greene, so KFWB had to have their jingles done in Dallas by PAMS.
Back around 1979, I threw a Name That Tune party at my place in St. Cloud. Kim Jeffries, who had just left WJON for KS95, came up and brought along Howie (Mark) Anderson, who was KS95's PD at the time. Howie brought along a 45 of the full-length instrumental version of the Color Radio theme that I'd remembered hearing on KDWB years earlier. Unfortunately, I never wrote down who it was by, the actual title or the label. All I remember was that the label was all-black with silver print. I asked Jim Ramsburg if he might know what it was. He didn't, but thought that it might be on the KFWB reel, or down at his winter home in Florida. In doing some follow-up research on Sande & Greene, I found this link that tells how Chuck Blore came up with the Color Radio concept: www.jingles.org/TheStoryofKFWBsColorRadioJingles.htm And that's pretty much what I know. I've only had the chance to listen to a few of your airchecks, which are great! I'm working on a long-term project of anthologizing as many of the thousands of songs played at WMMR during my years there as I can find, and so far, that's over 5,000. Whenever I'm done with that (who am I kidding?) I'll get back to restoring some of the airchecks I have, including some Summer of '68 KQ Nightwatch show segments that still had the daytime KQ jingles in them. :)
Keep up the great work! John Pratt"
Thanks for the background John. Don't forget to share those airchecks with us! Rick B.
March 21st, 2009 Email From David Ferrell Jackson, Associated with the San Francisco Radio Museum, on John Pratt's Comment on the Full Length Reccord with the Crowell - Colliers Jingle Theme
From: David Ferrell Jackson (MoBA) Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:00 AM To: Rick1031@hotmail.com Subject: KDWB Jingle Inquiry
While digging around on the 'Net for information about Crowell-Collier's KEWB (Channel 91 in Oakland), I came across John Pratt's message on your
"Howie brought along a 45 of the full-length instrumental version of
the Color Radio theme that I'd remembered hearing on KDWB years earlier.
Unfortunately, I never wrote down who it was by, the actual title or the label.All I remember was that the label was all-black with silver print."
If you've never found a copy of this theme, I have enclosed one with this message. The "Color Radio Theme" was actually called "Image (Part I)" by Hank Levine & Orchestra, released in October 1961 on ABC-Paramount (#10256).
The label is indeed all-black with silver print.
The theme was apparently common to Crowell-Collier's KEWB, KFWB and KDWB. It was written by Bob Sande and Larry Greene, who were responsible for the great majority of Chuck Blore-commissioned jingles and imaging during that era.
I obtained these from Mike Kronforst, Assistant Professor-Academic Advisor from Brown College (formerly Brown Institute). Mike started at Brown, Just after I (Rick Burnett, a/k/a Rick Mason) graduated in 1972. Mike was really nice to send me some photo copies of his collection. Thanks for sharing Mike.
We have some of KD's Fab 40 and "The Big 6+30 here and below.
The airchecks on this site were recorded off the air and are on this site to provide historical examples of Twin Cities radio. These recordings are not intended to by used by others for commercial purposes.
Some of the airchecks are off reel to reel tapes that were recorded off the air by Rick Burnett while living in the Twin Cities. Many other airchecks were recorded of the air by other people. In May 2006 the recordings started to be converted to MP3 and shared here. In addition to the Burnett recorded airchecks, there are also many airchecks that were recorded and submitted by friends and acquaintances, or acquired from other available collections. Sources are cited, if known. The contributed recordings from friends and contributors of both airchecks and other material are greatly appreciated. Without their help, the site would have many less pages of radio history. The recordings of Burnett and other contributors who recorded them off the air may show up on other sites and have may been "borrowed" and listed for sale on auction sites. This site does not charge any fees to listen to the posted recordings. The purpose of this site is to preserve some of the Twin Cities radio history.
Windows Media Player works well to play these MP3 files, and depending on your internet settings, will start streaming the file, or will automatically open the file after it is downloaded. Some files are large. Should you have any aircheck of Twin Cities radio stations, let me know and I may be able to include them at this site. Contact me at Rick(at)HotMail.com --- NOTE Replace "(at)" with @ when typing email address