Pat O’Day and the Famous Jingle

KJR Logo It was Puget Sound’s most recognized on-air radio jingle. Debuting in 1962 and lasting about 20 years, it’s familiarity spanned generations. It was KJR’s signature. And, of course, Pat O’Day had a major hand in bringing it to the airwaves. Here’s his brief story, as it was included in a Twisted Scholar video on Vimeo several years ago….. and a rather historical O’Day clip from 1968. Running time just under 1 minute.

Pat O'Day PhotoKJR SurveyFew broadcasters had greater impact on Pacific Northwest radio than O’Day. His 15 years at KJR — from jock to program director to general manager, 1959-1974 — and the talent he put on the air, built KJR into an empire which at times captured more than 35 percent of the greater Seattle listening market. He was nationally recognized in 1964, ’65 and ’66. Often forgotten by many was his even greater financial success as an organizer/promoter (O’Day and Associates and later Concerts West) of teen dances and big name music concerts. Those ventures propelled him to even higher levels which attracted legal challenges that his enterprises were unfairly monopolistic — allegations about which he was cleared, but which diminished his power-base. Nonetheless, after leaving KJR, O’Day’s financial stamina (through the sale of Concerts West) led to ownership of several radio stations, including KXA, KYYX and KORL in Honolulu. In the early 1980s O’Day’s fortunes fell on hard times and near bankruptcy. He later carved out success in the real estate business, which he still maintains today.
With the help of that jingle, was it possible for anyone to have had greater command of Puget Sound radio airwaves than what many of us remember as the Pat O’Day/KJR heyday of the 1960s and early ’70s? Absolutely not. Thanks for turning us on, Pat.

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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  

2 thoughts on “Pat O’Day and the Famous Jingle

  1. Claude….from any contact I had with Pat in the last 5 years or so, and from what he has said publicly, he would certainly have agreed that at times in his life his “cravings,” as he called them, got in the way of his full potential. But it seems that he put those demons to rest many years ago. And the professional goals Pat did achieve in his lifetime are quite astounding… icon, hydro icon on TV and radio, at the time the top concert promoter with Concerts West, and for many years he was dominant as a high end realtor on San Juan Island.

  2. About 1979 Pat was marketing an automated set up for accounting, office automation and on-air control, far in advance of the competition. I was at the NAB in St. Louis to market myself to automation and engineering companies.

    I was offered a sales engineer position but did not take it as Mr. O’Day was hitting the sauce hard during the conference.

    Several years later he contacted me about the KYYX start up for an office administration job. Again, I was impressed with the office and studio concept and a KOMO like music and news format. But his drinking was not for me. I am not a tea-totaller, but rarely drink. Being offered drinks and drinking during job interviews is not my thing.

    My though is Pat would have had greater success if he recognized early his problem with alcohol. I understand he went through the Schick Center and also did their marketing for many years.

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