Bob Hardwick – KVI format change – 1984

For those disgruntled with today’s commercial radio, here’s typically outspoken Bob Hardwick talking to his loyal KVI listeners about the station’s format changes in an audio clip 30 years ago. Hardwick logged 21 straight years with the station (1959-1980), but left in a huff at least twice for various stints at KAYO, KTAC and KIXI before walking away from the mic for good at KING 1090 in 1992. He was an artisan of casual, humorous, easy listening adult radio before political yak came into vogue. And he shocked us all with his suicide in June of ’92 (a couple of months after leaving KING). There’ll probably never be anyone like him.

This rare, unscoped aircheck runs 3:26.

New KVI 1984 – Bringing Back the Oldies
There’s a number of Seattle radio history fans who think of KVI’s mid-’80s transition as the “after Hardwick” era. True. When most of the station’s golden age crew (Hardwick, Jack Morton and others) left in July of ’84, what followed became one of Puget Sound’s greatest oldies radio sounds. The New KVI quickly made its mark through the efforts of Mike Webb, Tom Huytler, production whiz Jay Green and others. And there were more familiar names sharing in the fame of this significant piece of KVI history. Folks like Heidi May, Humble Harve, Sky Walker, Dick Curtis, Paul Walker and Paul Thompson, to name but a few. It lasted until 1990 when KVI made its first of two leaps into the world of conservative talk radio. You’ll hear none of that in this posting. But you might enjoy this composite aircheck reflecting how AM 570 helped a lot of listeners remember how great it was to have the oldie hits back since the demise of the old KJR and KOL. The aircheck runs about 4:30

The KVI of mid-’84 to ’90 was a near phenomenon. It was a huge success (and led to KBSG’s glory years) achieved on the AM band while many FM wanta-bes were struggling. Admittedly, the stereo clarity of KBSG-97-point-3 helped a lot of radio listeners get over KVI’s oldies death. Not surprising was the next chapter of success most of the KVI oldies air personalities found when they moved on.

Author: Ronald DeHart

Ron DeHart is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist and a retired Public Affairs Officer from both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve. His historical accounts of Pacific Northwest broadcasting are published by Puget Sound Media. View more articles by Ron DeHart  

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