Originally posted to ARSA by Rick Hy
Survey of the Week
Author: Mike Cherry Published Date: June 14, 2020 6:00 am Comments: 12 Comments on Survey of the Week 0 1429
Originally posted to ARSA by Rick Hy
Author: Mike Cherry
retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening
12 thoughts on “Survey of the Week”
I missed the KAYO Top 40 era by this—- much. I recall that Country KAYO 1150 had a low frequency humming sound accompanying the over the air audio, whereas Classical KIXI 910 had a high pitch whistle. Despite this interference, listeners were loyal to both stations. I lived in Tacoma, so the distance and terrain may have had something to do with that. I am not a broadcast engineer, although I do have my 1st Class ticket.
We had a lady listener who said she could only hear KAYO at night with her bathroom light on. I never noticed the humming but the night signal was kind of scratchy where I lived. A lot of boys in the ‘hood bought their food and drink with the proceeds from the sale of a few feet of KAYO’s copper radials.
Well, the 910 khz whistle is a harmonic (x2) of the 455 khz intermediate frequency of AM radios, not well suppressed in less expensive models. I grew up with it listening to KORD 910 in the Tri-Cities. Can’t imagine what caused the low hum on KAYO 1150, although they could have use more power to cover the Puget Sound region. 5 kw does the job at the low end of the dial such as KVI 570, but it was not enough to reach outlying areas (Tacoma and Everett) higher up on the dial. Although I also had a First Phone, and once even served as Chief Engineer of record, I have just shared the extent of my technical knowledge.
A former chief told me it was ground loops and that they would vary as the tide went in and out. That area south of downtown was built on fill from the de-hilling of Seattle.
KAYO’s studio and transmitter used to be located on a small commercial lot on 4th Ave. in Seattle. I would guess that their ground system wasn’t too good there. It was located real close to that restaurant that used old train dining room cars.
KAYO also had a Walk of Fame or some such monument to the Country music stars visiting KAYO. I wonder if that was somehow preserved.
That was the KAYO Star Walk. A listener who was a cement finisher by trade volunteered to build it. Stars in town for KAYO’s concerts would put their prints and their autograph in the fresh cement. These ceremonies were broadcast live.
I remember Gary Vance was the emcee one time when Wanda Jackson came by. Imagine standing behind this beautiful girl in a short short skirt as she bent over from the waist, knees straight, planted her palms flat between her feet in that cement and held that pose for photos. If ever someone was “star-struck”, Gary was that day. About all he could talk about was the view, and very little of the ceremony!
Mike: Boy, does that Music Chart from KAYO of Aug. 7th, ’59 bring back memories for me…& it has nothing to do with KAYO’s frequency hum! ~ I’d just graduated from high school & that summer I had a job with the NP Railroad up in the Cascades. One weekend I found myself in Auburn waiting to catch train back to my home in Eastern WA. With time to waste, I went to a record shop and purchased “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny debuting at # 8 on that survey. I also got the 1959 #1 Wilbert Harrison hit “Kansas City” which (surprisingly) isn’t charted here. ~ But what really caught my eye was the “Hires’ Hit of The Week” (& #24) the PNW band The Frantics local hit “Fog Cutter” (charted #91 nationally).
I still believe that group had one terrific sound. The Frantics, like The Wailers, was a huge Puget Sound area teen dance act during that period.
“Fog Cutter” – The Frantics
Jay – I wondered about that record by the Frantics as my memories just don’t recall any band by that name. I had a quick look at the PNW Bands website to educate myself about this group. I DO however remember the Wailers “Mau Mau”. I think my favorites on this survey are “Sleepwalk” & the great Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say”
Mike – I’m surprised you don’t recall The Frantics. They had 2 other NW hits: “Straight Flush” (#93 Billboard) and “Werewolf” (#83 Billboard). Both were good-sized NW hits. They were on Dalton Records … the same label as other local acts such as The Fleetwoods and The Ventures. I recall a WSU college buddy of mine and I hitchhiked, one weekend, across the state from Pullman to his home in Monroe to see The Frantics play a dance (I believe) at the Everett Armory. They often featured a girl singer named Nancy Claire. Take a listen….
“Straight Flush” ~ The Frantics
“Werewolf” ~ The Frantics
Nancy Claire had a local hit called “Danny”. It started, “Danny, Danny, Danny, you’re the boy in my heart . . .”
I can still sing that much of it.
Dick – That’s amazing that you remembered “Danny” by Nancy Claire! Released in ’62, 1st on the small RONA label & then later that year on Warner Bros. ~ In ’63 she had a release on World Pacific Rec. “I’m Burning My Diary”. I don’t recall it receiving much airplay. Besides doing gigs with The Frantics, she also appeared with the NW group, The Viceroys, & recorded with them. If you’d like to continue singing “Danny”, along with Nancy here a link to that record: