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610 KFRC – Summer of ’79 Aircheck Sampler

Could this be one of the greatest KFRC collections ever? I was 18 years old with my ear glued to this station. So was everyone else’s for that matter. KFRC owned the radio dial – AM or FM. They had the greatest line-up and arguably one of the best examples of how personality music radio is done – ever!


In July of 1979 we were rationing gasoline. Remember the ODD/EVEN days?  The ending number of your license plate determined what day you could fill up.

Record of the Year: “Just the Way You Are,” Billy Joel

Album of the Year: Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees, David Shire, Yvonne Elliman, Tevares, Kool and the Gang, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, MFSB, Trammps, Walter Murphy and Ralph MacDonald (RSO)

Song of the Year: “Just the Way You Are,” Billy Joel, songwriter

In 1979, The Sugar Hill Gang releases the first commercial rap hit, “Rapper’s

  • Delight,” bringing rap off the New York streets and into the popular music

The King Tut exhibition was on display at de Young Museum

President: Jimmy Carter

Vice President: Walter Mondale

Movies: Apocalypse Now, All That Jazz, Kramer vs. Kramer, Breaking Away

With studios and offices at 415 Bush Street in San Francisco, RKO Radio’s, 610 KFRC was loaded with top talent. Every department was top of their game. Programming, promotion, music direction, engineering and on air talent! This legendary “bottom of the dial” station set standards for contests, state-of-the-art production and live “on air personalities”. The station received Billboard Magazine’s Station of the Year award – 3 years running from 1977-1979.

This lost cassette tape is sampler chock-full of scoped breaks. In the AM Top 40 format the jock would “walks up” the record right to the post of vocal – an art form that takes timing, something to say and well – talent!

Imagine a station where the legendary Paul Frees is called in for special station promos. RKO radio in San Francisco – Top 40 never sounded better. Phone lines in the studio were staffed by “hit liners” and were always flashing. Every city had their own, “hit line”. Sacramento, Union City/Newark, San Jose, Walnut Creek/Concord…etc. The station knew how to stay in touch with their audiences.


On this tape, you will hear:

1979 Station Music Montage – Can you name the title/artist of each clip?

Radio’s and Record’s Promo – voiced by John Mack Flanagan produced by Ron Hummel

Dr. Don Rose 6a-9a Morning Drive with newsman Paul Fredricks

Bob Anthony 9a – 12p (fill for Big Tom Parker)

Big Tom Parker 9a – 12p

John Mack Flanagan – Afternoon Drive 3p – 6p

Paul Frees – AM Stereo Promo

Robin Bailey – 6p-10p Nights

Don Sainte Johnn – 10p-2a Swing

Terry Nelson – Noon-3p Mid-Days

Robin Bailey – 6p-10p Nights

Harry Nelson – Weekends/Swing

“KFRC – Rhythm of City” promo

“The Knack – Get The Knack radio commercial for Tower Records”

“KFRC – Rhythm of the City” promo what I like about San Francisco – Paul Frees

Terry Nelson – Weekends/Swing

“KFRC – Rhythm of the City”

“KFRC promo – Meatballs, starring Bill Murray”

Marvelous Mark McKay (in for Robin Bailey) on July 4th, 1979

Bob Anthony – 9a-12p

Terry Nelson – Weekends/Swing

John Mack Flanagan – 3p-6p John Mack Flanagan – Afternoon Drive


29 minutes

About this tape:

I think this gem was left on the closet shelf of a “radio DJ” apartment in Monterey, Ca.   Jeffrey Hollinger must have scoped this in a cassette deck. Jeff was a jock at KOKQ-FM. He moved out – I moved in. I would later work with Jeff at KPEN after his stint as Music Director at K-101.


About Brian Rhea:

While at San Francisco State, an “audio paper” project opened the doors to a teenage DJ with a dream of some day working in San Francisco with the opportunity to say those magic call letters – KFRC. With cassette deck and microphone in hand, in 1979 I met Dr. Don Rose, Bob Anthony, Big Tom Parker, Dave Sholin, Ron Hummel and Terry McNiff. That great day turned out to be a down payment on a dream, that came true in the Spring of 1985. I was hired at KFRC…albeit part-time in the beginning as a producer and board operator, but that begin a 6 year tour of duty that I’ll never forget.