Flashback: Country KETO talks; Oceans of beautiful music return to KEZX

April 9, 1976 – Talk radio has returned, if in somewhat nebulous fashion, on KETO, the country music FM station. Frankie Walkin, short term talk host during one of KTW‘s lesser days, has contracted for the 11:30 PM to 3 AM timeslot, six nights a week. So far the fare has been mediocre; equipment troubles and lack of callers contributed, no doubt. But Walkin has grand plans. He intends to be host only two or three times a week. Peter Christensen, another KTW refugee, takes a show on Friday and Saturday. John Dayle has made a guest appearance. And Walkin has told listeners that he plans to line up Bill Carter, dean of Northwest talk hosts, for some sort of talk segment. He admits however that he hasn’t talked to Carter about it. It just seems like a good idea.

April 18, 1976 – New program director at KMO/Tacoma is John Harmon McGibbon. He is from Jacksonville, Fl. Bob Mertz has also joined the KMO staff, as assistant to the General Manager.

A new music format eases into town this weekend as the new owners of KEZX make their presence known. Instrumental background music gives way to occasional vocals – more than any other “beautiful music” station in town. The ships’ bell has been retired and the raging surf and crashing wave sounds will be incorporated between some selections emphasizing the resurrected “Oceans of beautiful music slogan. Under the earlier call letters KBBX, KEZX dates back to 1958. KEZX is owned by Park Broadcasting Company. Music is supplied by a syndicator out of Chicago, assembling music tapes it calls the “FM 100” format. There will be three-minute newscasts each half hour. Claude Rorabaugh is operations manager.

April 30, 1976 – It’s the state of Washington’s turn on this weeks’ National Public Radio program, States of the Union. The hour report, to be heard at 10 AM on KTOY and 7 PM on KUOW, was prepared by instructors and students at the LH Bates vocational technical school in Tacoma, operators of KTOY. Lee Perkins does most of the narration.
As the 42nd program in the series, the program offers a bicentennial salute that is historical in its approach. Perkins does well at dramatizing the geological development of the state – – not an easy task for radio. The program is at its best when man-on-the-street interviews offer comment on our weather and the social structure of ferry boat riding. Unfortunately, the program lacks contemporary perspective; it’s a fair bet any national listener would conclude we still fight Indians, run steam sawmills and all commute to work on ferry boats. The last mention of Seattle is when its name was changed from War history and more about our present lifestyle.

August 26, 1984 – Lee Rogers, former KMPS personality, is operations manager at KGHL-AM and KDIX, Billings, Mont. The AM station was recently chosen as Billboard Magazine’s Country Station of the Year.

September 7, 1986 – Robert O’Brien says “the third time is the charm” as he returns Monday to an afternoon air shift at KRFE 1380/Everett. O’Brien’s been there before, obviously. Under the old call letters, KRKO, O’Brien was a disc jockey from 1975-79, and program director from 1980-1984.

Bob Case, program director and afternoon personality at KUBE 93.3, has been lured away to an Atlanta station…Jerry Evans, with experience in Chicago and San Diego, is the new morning drive personality at KEZX…Mike Colvin, veteran of KZOK is KEZX’s new weekend announcer…Michael Blain-Rozgay is new evening-show host on KQKT. Alan Dale, previous evening host, moves to weekends.

February 29, 1976 – Dick Stokke and Lyle Johnson co-host a Paul Bowman special on KAAR today…Kevin O’Brien, former KJR and KUUU disc jockey, has secured the night time slot at WNOE/New Orleans…Scotty Brink, the ex-KJR personality, is doing some consulting, but is “still looking”…Pat O’Day’s proposed purchase of a station in Honolulu puts a good man back in the radio business…

Today KZOK introduces an outrageous radio concept. Once a week it will let a listener play his favorite tunes. The feature has an equally outrageous title: “Your Mother Won’t Like It.“ Norm Gregory, program director, said selected listeners will be invited to bring their favorite records down to the station and build a three hour radio show Sunday night.

May 7, 1976 – Local musicians are being spotlighted on KILO each Monday at 11am. Michael Marti, music director at the Kirkland station, said the hour is open to any rock-oriented local group.

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times (1964-1989). --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke

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