California

KPWR (Power 106) – L.A. – Jan ’96 (10th Anniv. Special) – Frank Lozano

In January 1996, Power 106 celebrated its 10th anniversary by having a series of mixes representing each of its years on the air. Personalities and mixes featured here include Frank Lozano, Charlie Huero, Tony B, and Richard Humpty Vission. Left intact is a commercial for In n Out, the legendary California burger establishment that has since spread to Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. I’m not sure if they regularly advertise on radio in the Los Angeles market, but it’s a rarity or virtually unheard of here in my hometown of Phoenix.

KYLD (Wild 94.9) – San Francisco – 1/2/98 – Jose Melendez (Wild Workout @ Noon)

My apologies for the heavy doses of static that are present in this aircheck, particularly in the first 3 minutes. Recorded 18 years ago this month, here is a sample of a high energy midday mixshow from The Bay Area’s Wild 94.9. At the time, the station was one of the most entertaining and best-programmed Rhythmic CHRs, custom-tailored for its unique market.

KIBB (B100) – Los Angeles – 11/17/97

Following the “worst-to-first” success of New York’s WKTU in 1996, a number of stations around the U.S. attempted similar formats (essentially Rhythmic AC) in their markets. B100 was one example – but the station never came close to achieving KTU-like numbers. It debuted in the Fall of 1996, emphasizing 70’s and 80’s Dance/R&B selections and positioning itself with the slogan “LA’s Hot FM.” Several months later, Viacom sold the station to Chancellor (which became AMFM). During the Spring of 1997, Chancellor tried to improve the station by making it more current-intensive and modifying the station’s slogan to “The Rhythm of L.A.”, among other changes, but the ratings didn’t improve. By the Fall, rumors of KIBB’s demise surfaced. This aircheck, recorded 18 years ago tomorrow,...

KMEL (106.1) – San Francisco – 8/25/84 – Marvelous Mark McKay

31 years ago yesterday, Rock-formatted KMEL “Camel 106” came to an end, replaced by what would become a legendary CHR station. At its onset, the station’s nickname was “All Hit 106”; over time, it began to identify itself simply by its call letters. The actual sign-on is posted at our sister site, Formatchange.com. The montage posted here represents the one hour+ that followed. KMEL is now  an Urban station, resulting in a sound very different from its CHR days.

KHOP 104.1 – Modesto/Stockton, CA – 8-19-90 – Marco

Recorded 25 years ago this month, this is a sample of KHOP during a previous era as a Mainstream CHR (which is the format it currently holds as well.) According to the Modesto Radio Museum, the station offered various other formats (mostly rock-oriented) during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  Along the way, it shifted frequencies from 104.1 to 95.1.

XHTZ (Jammin’ Z90) – San Diego – July 1992 – Cha Cha

Recorded on Independence Day Weekend 1992, in the BEST city for celebrating the holiday, here is a sample of San Diego’s longtime Rhythmic CHR, Jammin’ Z90. This is definitely one of the more unique-sounding Rhythmic CHRs I’ve ever heard – it almost sounded like a Rhythmic Oldies station at times. Be sure to check out the other Z90 aircheck posted here, from the same weekend in 1994.

KQPW (Power 102) – Fresno, CA – 6/6/91

Recorded 24 years ago today, this is a sample of the morning show at Power 102 (101.9 FM).  The station  went head-to-head with longtime market leader KBOS “B95”. According to comments posted to this B95 aircheck, Power 102 employed a hip-hop-heavy approach at some point. That’s pretty much all I know about Power 102; Google searches haven’t helped. Any additional, factual information about the history of Power 102 is appreciated.

KWOD (106.5) – Sacramento – 5/22/09 (LAST DAY)

Six years ago today, Sacramento’s heritage Alternative station came to an end. KWOD 106.5, which programmed the aforementioned format since 1991, flipped to an All 90’s format as “The Buzz”. Visit our sister site, Radioinsight.com, for more details about the change. Heard here is the final 30 minutes or so of KWOD; the actual change can be heard on our other sister site, Formatchange.com.

KACD (CD 103.1) – Los Angeles (Santa Monica), CA – 5/9/95 – Kenny Noble

CD 103.1 was one of many stations to have been heard on the duo of 103.1 FM Santa Monica (KACD, now KDLD) and 103.1 FM Newport Beach (KBCD, now KDLE) over the years. The station offered a 70’s/80’s/90’s adult contemporary format – with the twist that music from each decade would be played in blocks (as opposed to a seemingly random mix). This is an aircheck of the station’s morning show, hosted by Kenny Noble. Left intact are a full test airing of the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS — now known as the Emergency Alert System, EAS) along with a couple of promos for local TV station KCAL. This aircheck was recorded 20 years ago this month.

KPWR (Power 106) – Los Angeles – 4/24/87 – Jay Thomas

In February 1986, Emmis Broadcasting flipped 105.9 FM in Los Angeles from KMGG “Magic 106” (apparently some form of Hot AC as suggested in this article) to Rhythmic CHR (then a relatively new format) as “Power 106”.  The station became an instant hit, surpassing heritage Mainstream KIIS in all dayparts except Morning Drive, where Rick Dees continued to dominate. In an effort to reverse this trend, Emmis brought in Jay Thomas, who had been hosting mornings on New York’s WKTU (the original) until the year prior.  This is a sample of Thomas’ show about six months after its debut, recorded 28 years ago this month.  

KIIS (102.7 KIIS-FM) – Los Angeles – 2/26/00 – Christian B (FULL FREQUENCY)

On multiple occasions from 1991 to 2003, the two 103.1 FM’s in the Los Angeles area (originating from Santa Monica and Newport Beach, respectively) programmed varying flavors of the Dance format under a variety of different names — MARS FM 103.1, Groove Radio, Groove 103.1, and 103.1 KDL. Supposedly, in a (no-longer-accessible) article which appeared on laradio.com, Roy Laughin (then general manager of Mainstream CHR 102.7 KIIS-FM) admitted that (KIIS owner) Jacor bought Groove 103.1 and changed the format so that it KIIS’ ratings would improve, due to the loss of a competitor. The montage heard here (recorded 15 years ago today) certainly seems to validate that story. For approximately five years following the demise of Groove 103.1, KIIS aired a Dance music program on F...

KHTS (Channel 9-3-3) – San Diego – 2/17/97 – Boomer

In September 1996, Channel 9-3-3 debuted with a gold-friendly Dance CHR format, as demonstrated in this aircheck from October of that year and this one from November. However, within a few months, the station became much more current-based, replacing much of the classic dance with contemporary R&B and pop.  

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