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One of the finest Top 40 Stations there ever was in Portland Oregon, KISN 910(1959-76) and it was my dream to work for them. I do remember listening to them much, though the signal was not that great where I lived (Ridgefield Washington). By the way Ridgefield is known as the “Birthplace of U-Haul”.
As a kid, I would bug my mom to drive by the KISN Corner-10th and Burnside. There were times I would record straight from the radio/record player I had but then who would have known. I decided to piece together a history of KISN Radio. I would like to thank the following and giving such credit; Craig Adams, Dave Stone, Roger Hart, R.W.Morgan, Robin Mitchell and other who were there plus to the countless who have sent e mails to me and to those I cannot remember for such information.
I did this project as the best I can and will update when needed. I did try to give information accurately. I did feel that KISN was top notch like KJR/KOL in Seattle and my favorite top 5 stations. The sad thing that KISN went through so many re-incarnations but never survived. What is Portland afraid of Success? Who knows?
I thank you. Gerald Gaule.
Before KISN there was KVAN.
KVAN 910AM had been owned by Sheldon Sackett since 1939. "Country & Western" in the early 50's, K-VAN's mid-day DJ had been future country superstar, WILLIE NELSON.
Willie self-financed his first recording and sold it to KVAN listeners. The single was "No Place for me," backed with "Lumberjack," written by fellow DJ Leon Payne.
By Phil Stanford
Don’t take my word for it – it’s straight from Nelson’s autobiography. His second daughter, Susie, was born in Vancouver, Wash., in the middle of a snowstorm in February 1957. Then a little later the same year, Willie, then 24, cut his first record, which he hawked on his 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. show on KVAN. The song, now long forgotten, was called “No Place for me.” “Your love is as cold as the north wind that blows And the river that runs to the sea.” Even then Nelson knew more than he probably wanted to about love gone wrong. In fact, that’s how he ended up in this part of the country in the first place. As Nelson explains it, he moved up to be near his mother, Myrle. Myrle and Nelson’s father had divorced when Willie was an infant, leaving him and his sister, Bobbie, to be raised by grandparents. Those were hard times. Nelson writes about how they used to paste newspapers over cracks in the walls to keep out the west Texas wind. But the closest he ever comes to complaining is when he says that it didn’t seem right not having his parents around. And so one day in 1956 when things seemed to be going a little slow in the young artist’s career, he hopped a train headed north – his mom was tending bar near St. Helens at the time – and happened to be living here at a critical moment in his career. But, of course, it never really was in the cards that he’d settle down and stay. One day, the story goes, he was at the radio station when Mae Axton dropped by. At the time, Mae, who happened to be the composer of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” was in town promoting Elvis’ latest record – and Nelson asked her if she’d mind listening to a couple of his songs. It obviously would have happened anyway, but that’s who we have to thank for losing Willie Nelson to Nashville. Although as Nelson notes in his autobiography, he didn’t blow town without first asking the manager of KVAN for a $100 raise. “Don’t let the door knob hit you on the way out,” said the manager – and Portland’s very own Willie Nelson was outta here. About Don Burden-from Koil 1290 page…
“In 1952, after examining the station's records and sales history, Burden drove to Lincoln and gained an audience with Charles Stuart. Burden made the pitch that because the Union Holding Company had not made their note payments for the past four months, he - Burden -- would buy the station if the Stuarts would call in their note. Stuart and Burden shook hands, Burden paid Stuart $5,000 as a down payment (all the cash he had to his name) and at the age of 25 Burden bought KOIL for $185,000 on a ten year note. Thus, Don Burden's "Star Stations" were born on January 1, 1953. In the 50s Burden moved the KOIL studios to 511 South 17th Street in the Aquila Court office building in downtown Omaha (today part of the Sheraton Omaha Hotel). Don Burden had promotion in his blood, and he had a 24-hour radio station at his command. KOIL soon was overtaking Todd Storz' groundbreaking KOWH - American radios' first home of "Top 40 Radio" -- because of Storz' restricted broadcast hours. Burden stole many of the "name" announcers from Todd Storz' KOWH. The competition between KOWH and KOIL became very intense. (Check the audio files section of this page for the story of how Todd Storz caused KOIL to lose the legendary Gary Owens to KIMN in Denver!) Eventually, by the early 60s, KOWH threw in the towel and changed formats. (Storz still did just fine with other properties, including KOMA in Oklahoma City, WHB in Kansas City, WQAY in Miami, and WDGY in Minneapolis among others.) Meanwhile, Burden's properties soon included KISN in Portland and WIFE in Indianapolis, plus numerous promotional companies In 1959, Burden had inaugurated KOIL-FM at 96.1 in Omaha - his first step onto the FM band. Initially, the FM simply re-broadcast the AM signal. As few people had FM receivers at the time, the FM was merely there to save for future use. Quite often during this period, the morning announcer would neglect to turn on the FM transmitter, which was seldom ever noticed (except by Burden!) In 1966, like many FMs of the era, KOIL-FM began broadcasting "beautiful music" programming with a completely automated system. Burden figured the kids had the AM and adults had the FM - just the opposite of the way it eventually turned out! In the 70s the FM call letters were changed to KEFM. In 1966, the AM transmitting towers were moved to 66th and Harrison in the southern part of Omaha. In the fall of 1968, KOIL and Star Stations corporate headquarters moved to 8901 Indian Hills Drive (just south of 90th and Dodge) in Omaha.
DON W. BURDEN began romancing Sackett to buy K-VAN. Sackett was amenable. However, he wasn't excited about sharing the sale proceeds with his "ex-wife to be."
Burden struck a compromise. He would pay Sheldon's price, if Sackett would accept his terms. The terms: $1 down, and the remaining $579,999 in deferred payments. Visitors to Don Burden's KISN office always noted a framed $1 bill with DWB's signature scrawled across it.
Handbills proclaiming "Revolution Tomorrow" blanketed Portland on Wednesday, April 29, 1959.
Beginning at 6AM April 30th, the only song played on KVAN for 24 hours straight was Bobby John's "Teenage Bill Of Rights," featuring the lyric "...there's gonna be a revolution."
Mr. Burden estimated the song was played 360 times. It was his brainchild. It is rumored that KISN went through a few copies of the record(being wore down) and a few record needles and it was apparently suggested by Bill Howlitt(from KVAN)now KISN News to transfer the song on tape. The song was played for 24 hours, interrupted only by commercials and brief newscasts.
Friday, May 1, 1959 at 6AM, KISN RADIO was born. (At 12 midnight on May 1, 1959, control of KVAN Inc. was transferred to Star Broadcasting, Inc. when Don W. Burden was President.)
Hal Raymond and Tiger Tom Murphy in 1959 broadcasting above a furniture store in Vancouver while they were building the Kisn corner on 10th and Burnside. Studios were located at The Evergreen Hotel (504 Main St.) in Vancouver.
Tom Murphy a Grant High School Alumnus was hired shortly after graduation.
Burden's head of engineering had his hands full.
1) Maintaining the transmitter at Smith Lake. 2) Building out the KISN Corner and installing new equipment in prep for launch. 3) Maintaining studios over the Vancouver store.
When KISN launched, they were playing jingles off ET at the transmitter site. When they accepted delivery of the first cart machines in Oregon, Steve Brown cracked open the cases and put them into service at the furniture store site before the KISN Corner was up and running. (Steve Brown is given credit for introducing the Beach Boys to The Beatles backstage after their only Oregon visit in August 1965. The word is that Steve got an eye opener phone call from Carl Wilson to “sneak them in”).Steve was the Emcee of the concert as well.
KISN's News Intros and Outros were Legendary. Most were written and produced By Star Station's VP, Steve Brown, Part of KISN's original DJ lineup in '59.
Burden's National Program Director, BILL STEWART, named CHRIS LANE Program Director. Hired as News Director was JOHN DOE. KISN jocks also covered news shift for years. LOREN HASSETT covered news 6PM-Midnight.
Here's the May 1, 1959 air schedule:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND 9-Noon CHRIS LANE (PD) 12-3PM DICK DRURY 3-7PM JIM TATE 7-9PM STEVE BROWN 9-Mid DICK DRURY (back to fill the shift) 12-6AM BILL JACKSON (a holdover from KVAN)
When KISN hit the air, promos and station elements were on E.T. ("Electrical Transcription"), 16" heavy acetate records. Note the "pops & clicks" and "surface noise" on the Drury Promo. KISN soon received Portland's first cart machines.
Five weeks after launch, KISN began "fine-tuning." Chris Lane and Dick Drury were out. DENNIS JAMES was hired 9AM-Noon. Local boy TOM MURPHY was hired Noon-3PM, and WALLY THORNTON added for 9PM-Midnight. The following Monday, Murphy & Thornton's shifts were swapped.
Here's the KISN DJ lineup as of late June 1959:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND 9-Noon DENNIS JAMES 12-3PM WALLY THORNTON 3-7PM JIM TATE (Co-PD) 7-9PM STEVE BROWN (Co-PD) 9-Mid TOM MURPHY 12-6AM BILL JACKSON
Just prior to the acquisition of KISN (KVAN), Don Burden had closed on KYMR - Denver. KISN went to #1 in Portland within 30 days. By August, Jim Tate was transferred to Denver to help transition KYMR to KICN!!!
The August 1959 KISN DJ lineup looked like this:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND 9-Noon DENNIS JAMES 12-3PM WALLY THORNTON 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN 7-9PM STEVE BROWN (PD) 9-Mid TOM MURPHY 12-6AM BILL JACKSON
Soon, Steve Brown returned to Omaha, where he became Burden's new National Program Director. By September of 1959, KISN's jock lineup looked like this:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) 9-Noon DENNIS JAMES 12-3PM WALLY THORNTON 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN 7PM-Mid TOM MURPHY 12-6AM BILL JACKSON
By October, Dennis James exited for KLIF - Dallas. Here's how KISN covered the change Oct. 12 - Nov. 6, 1959:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) 9-Noon WALLY THORNTON 12-3PM TOM MURPHY (Fill-in) 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN 7PM-Mid TOM MURPHY 12-6AM BILL JACKSON
Tom Murphy was the key to big ratings at night. The split shifts were becoming a drag. Meanwhile, Bill Jackson was lobbying heavily to get off the overnight shift, so this became the KISN DJ schedule November 9 - 26, 1959:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) 9-Noon WALLY THORNTON 12-3PM BILL JACKSON (Fill-in) 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN 7PM-Mid TOM MURPHY 12-6AM BILL JACKSON
Don Burden calculated that Vancouver-licensed KISN needed a strong Portland connection to dominate. Since acquisition, Burden's engineer partner, Jerry West, had been maintaining Vancouver studios AND the Smith Lake transmitter site. He was also overseeing construction of Portland offices and studios.
Here was the KISN air schedule Friday, November 27, 1959:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND From Vancouver Studio 9-Noon WALLY THORNTON From Vancouver Studio 12-3PM TOM MURPHY From Vancouver Studio 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN From Transmitter Site 7PM-Mid TOM MURPHY From Transmitter Site 12-6AM BILL JACKSON From Transmitter Site
Saturday, November 28, 1959 at 6AM...HAL was the first DJ ever to Broadcast from the legendary KISN CORNER!!!They held an open house on January 15, 1960, after the holidays.
Because the studio of KISN on an angle of two streets had established, the studio became “The Kisn Corner”.
The KISN DJ lineup in December of 1959 was:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) 9-Noon WALLY THORNTON 12-3PM BILL JACKSON 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN 7PM-1AM TOM MURPHY 1-6AM RUSS RIPLEY
In retrospect, Bill Jackson probably wished he'd stayed on the overnight shift. Once RUSS RIPLEY was hired as overnight DJ/Engineer, there was no turning back.
By late December 1959, the KISN DJ schedule became:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) 9-Noon WALLY THORNTON 12-3PM JACK McCOY 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN 7PM-1AM TOM MURPHY 1-6AM RUSS RIPLEY
Jack McCoy hosted KISN's first year-end countdown of the Top 91 New Year's Eve 1959. He pre-recorded "bits" with the other KISN DJs, and even had some artist interviews. It sounded like the whole crew was there LIVE for New Years!!!
Jack McCoy was gone by April, and KXL's AM Drive DJ, BOB STEVENS, joined KISN for 9-Noon and to cover News for Hal Raymond. Wally Thornton exited for Sacramento, becoming Wally J. Beethoven. ED LEAHY became the new overnight DJ. Ripley moved to 12-3pm.
Burden knew how to get attention. KISN Launched with a Portland radio first, a $5,000 telephone contest. $5,000 was the annual income of many Portland households in '59!!!
Surveying a meltdown of the BUtler exchange in North Portland, the phone company determined 1,200 callers an hour...20 per minute...were jamming KISN's 3 phone lines!!!(A Total Meltdown)
"KISN Loves Portland" was the message heralded by skywriters and airplane banners. The media community did not buy that message. They considered Don Burden a brash "outsider." They did not want to believe the ratings, so they took a "show us again...and again" attitude.
The audience loved KISN. The revenue didn't start rolling in until the typesetters at the Oregonian & Journal went on strike in late '59!!! All that Newspaper advertising had to go somewhere. Radio was a major beneficiary and KISN in particular. Then KISN started getting results for advertisers, and there was no looking back!!!
Don W. Burden, a radio "time" salesman at KWIK - Pocatello is fired from his job. He puts together the financing to buy KWIK, and fires those who fired him.
KWIK's "quick" success as a Top 40 is all the impetus Burden needs to attempt to topple the "King of Omaha," KOWH.
Burden acquires KOIL "Mighty 12-90" for $5,000 down and a note for $380,000. He then hires Bill Stewart away from KOWH.
Steve Brown, a former "teen DJ contest" winner on WOW - Omaha, joins KOIL. Brown is fresh from the University of Nebraska radio station. In addition to KOIL's 7-9PM air shift, Steve's forte is "Production."
How did Burden finally drive KOWH out of the format? Brown explains:
"Burden would listen to KOWH on a big radio in his office. We would always top their promotions. For instance, KOWH went on-air with a $5,000 Mystery Walker contest."
"Burden yelled KOWH's promo copy down the hallway to the Production Room, where Bob Wilson and I would quickly produce a promo for the KOIL $10,000 MYSTERY WALKER CONTEST!!!"
"KOIL would hit the air with a produced promo outdoing KOWH with their own promotion within 15 minutes each time they attempted to up the ante."
"If Storz was giving away one car...KOIL would give away two!!! Burden always topped KOWH's promotions!!!"
"KOIL aired a 24 hour FABULOUS 50 Format. TOP 40 'Daytimer' KOWH could not compete with this strategy."
Brown transferred to Portland, Oregon for the launch of Burden's KISN May 1, 1959.
Portland was a long way from Lincoln, Nebraska, so when the "Dear John" letter arrived from Steve's girlfriend, Brown resigned to "salvage the relationship."
By mutual agreement, it did not work. Brown called Burden, and was instructed to be in DWB's office Monday morning. Steve recalls thinking KOIL might have a DJ shift for him.
Upon arrival at KOIL, Brown was ushered into DWB's office. The next 4 hours were spent watching Burden talk on the phone. At 2pm, Burden told Brown, "I want you to fly to Portland with me."
In-flight beverages were flowing freely. Brown recreated Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner's "2000 Year Old Man" bit, which Burden had never heard. They laughed all the way to Portland.
As the plane was landing in Portland, Burden said, "As of right now, you are Vice President of Programming for the Star Stations."
Brown had been working in commercial radio for only a year. However, TOP 40 was brand new. There were no rules. He was the right man for the job!!!
Burden believed in sheer creativity, and hard work. The mission was to dominate all stations in Burden markets: Portland, Denver, Omaha, and later Indianapolis. The objective was always dishing out a "death dealing blow" like KOWH got!!!
For years, Steve Brown would travel from one Burden market to the next working his magic...two months at a time. Burden gave Brown a Cadillac convertible, which he drove from market to market "scouting air talent" along the way.
Brown's suggestion transformed KIMA Yakima air talent Don Steele into THE REAL DON STEELE at KOIL, & later KISN.
Paul Brown became PAUL OSCAR ANDERSON at KOIL, KISN, and WIFE in Indianapolis.
ROGER W. MORGAN, DICK SAINT, JOE LIGHT and many others worked their way up through the Star Station farm system.
Each station was like a great sports franchise with everybody working toward the same goal: market dominance!!!
Don Burden had a reputation as an excellent broadcaster, but at the same time had earned plenty of enemies in the business. Certain parties may have helped turn him in to the FCC concerning allegations of misconduct. But if he liked you. He really did. But if he did not he would call the secretary a head of time to remove your picture from the wall and that was a way to tell you were out! But he was he was known to put you at another star station….
From Dave Stone…..” How many of you remember when Kisn "went all the way" For about 4 months they tried playing EVERYTHING.....It was the biggest mistake in the history of the Mighty 91. This was in the mid 60's and Kisn was was getting ratings that looked so huge they appeared like a mis-print.
So the owner Don W Burden came up with this nutty idea to capture the WHOLE audience...They would play a Beatle record and then follow it with a big current country hit...the a M.O.R hit...then a gold top 40..then a current....are you now as confused as the listeners?????? In total format flip-overs.....I don't know if this would be considered one since it was the return of Kisn (kksn)...when Bill Failing brought it back with the worst sounding radio station in Portland’s history......What a crime that was. Here you had a good salesman (Failing) that knew NOTHING about the other side of the biz....It made me sick to tune in back then. Back to the "going all the way" story.....Listeners revolted.....including protestors with signs in front of the kisn corner. They returned to normal. It was a real mistake....trying to be a little bit of something to everybody”.
On with the show…..In early 1960 Richard Shireman becomes G.M. In an unprecedented move in 1960, the Vancouver licensed station joins The Oregon Association of Broadcasters. Also in 1960 Kisn erects a billboard sign on N.E. 82nd Ave. leaving Portland International Airport. "While you've been gone.... We have been Kisn your wife. The Mighty 91." Here's the KISN DJ lineup April - June 1960:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) "The Morning Mayor" 9-Noon BOB STEVENS "The Housewife's Helper" 12-3PM RUSS RIPLEY "Luncheon Munchin'" 3-7PM MIKE WESTERN "Car Tune Kid" 7PM-1AM TOM MURPHY "Tiger Tom Murphy" 1-6AM ED LEAHY "Nightwatch"
In the mid 60's news was broadcast from the #2 window on the Kisn corner. Weekends news & jocks did it all from the Transmitter. The 2nd room had the live AP machines going with the real SFX of a newsroom. They took that out in late 69 and nothing ever really became of the 2nd broadcast booth.
Midweek evening newscasts were done from the transmitter as well as the whole weekends. There was a requirement back in those days of a certain percentage of airtime had to come from the point of origin (or something like that) and since the station was licensed to Vancouver, Burnside street did not qualify. The weekends and midweek newscasts from the transmitter made up the time needed. It was strange to drive by the KISN corner on weekends during the day and hearing the jocks live on the air but seeing nobody in the studios at the corner.
Yes, there was a Teletype at the transmitter site. The transmitter studio was not fancy. It was just part of the transmitter room on the upper floor of the building. The building was not a fancy one, the light fixture on the upper floor near the board was just a basic white light fixture that was hanging from the ceiling by the electrical wire. It was not screwed onto the mounting box. Functional but crude.
Leahy had been "MR. MOON," a kiddies show host on KOIN-TV. Puppetry for the show was designed by BILL HOWLITT, "Uncle Bill" on K-VAN. Benson High School student, MIKE PHILLIPS, began working part time at KISN. Since KISN already had a "Mike," he became M.J. PHILLIPS. Phillips covered vacations for Murphy and Western, and "sick days" for Ripley and Leahy.
Mike Western returned to Wyoming to host a TV show and do radio. Ed Leahy didn't always make it to work. As PD, Hal Raymond was amazed to find Tom Murphy still on-air (concluding an 11 hour shift) on more than one occasion.
From Robin Mitchell..” Mur said Leahy was a drinker. I believe the second time Leahy didn't show, Hal Raymond replaced him. The next in line was Russ Ripley. Then once all the Xmitter work & move to the KISN Corner was completed, Chief Engineer (Byron Swanson) added the overnight duties as JOHNNY DARK...until the arrival of PAT PATTEE.”
BEN DAWSON was added as the new overnight DJ/Chief Engineer. BILL HOWLITT joined KISN to cover 6PM-Midnight news. Howlitt and Murphy collaborated on many memorable productions, including: Rupert & Hyacinth, coverage of the West Amphoo 500, and Meet Your Neighbor.
From reading the "B Mike" column daily in this period, Top 40 was looked upon as a kids format that would go away or so they hoped. In One Colunm the remark that stations all over the Nation were dropping the format getting back to "Good Music". I believe that if Top 40 KISN & KGW were number 1, this rating period would not have been published. This might have been the last great book for KOIN. Side note KPOJ had changed to Easy Listening by this time. In one ad "Tired of that Rock 'N' Roll , then switch to KPOJ".
By July 1960, this was the KISN DJ lineup:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) 9-Noon BOB STEVENS 12-3PM MIKE PHILLIPS 3-7PM JACK PAR 7PM-1AM TOM MURPHY 1-6AM BEN DAWSON
By November 1960, LES PARSONS joined KISN as Production Director. Parsons was a part of Burden's original Top 40 crew at KWIK - Pocatello. Another KWIK alumni will arrive soon!!!..Pat Pattee had worked with Les, then Burden moves Pat to KOIL and after being snowed in at the Transmitter Site cops a plea to Don to move to Portland.
By early '61, longtime KISN Chief Engineer Byron Swanson joined "91derful." He became better known to listeners as JOHNNY DARK.
This DJ sked went into effect in early 1961:
6-9AM HAL RAYMOND (PD) "The Morning Mayor" 9-Noon BOB STEVENS "The Housewife's Helper" 12-3PM MIKE PHILLIPS "Luncheon Munchin'" 3-7PM JACK PAR "Car Tune Kid" 7PM-1AM TOM MURPHY "Tiger Tom Murphy" 1-6AM JOHNNY DARK "Nightwatch"
In early 1961 Gerald J. Flesey becomes G.M. By May 22, 1961 Kisn slogans were: This is Kisn, the sound of Portland. Big Sounds for big Portland on radio 91. Your's truly Kisn radio. KISN action central news live at 55. Also in early 1961..Tom Murphy begins collecting The World’s Largest Ball of String, his listeners have been contributing lengths of string for some time. TM’s “String into Spring” sees over 5,000 people in the streets around The KISN Corner and he invites the crowd to walk with him to unroll the ball tied at Kisn’s front door and finishing in Seaside.
On September 11, 1961 the Kisn air staff included: Hal Raymond 6-9AM, Bob Stevens 9-noon, Mike Phillips noon-3, Jack Par 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Johnny Dark 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic, Les Parsons P.D. On November 24, 1961 KISN lights up the first "Kisn Carol Tree" at 7:30PM at the U-Save Membership Department Store (S.E. 122nd & Stark).
In 1962,Tom Murphy left for Basic Training and Active Duty in Texas, KISN decided the best way to keep Murphy’s high ratings was to have his shift filled by” Tom Murphy’s Buddy..Tom Murphy’s Buddy was Tom Michaels. T.M was at Lackland AFB and also at Lackland was Gene Pitney. Occasionally Murphy phones in a “TOM MURPHY REPORT”
When Murphy returned…Michaels stayed on for weekends(still not using his name)now he was simply” Wonderful Weekend”….later he would hire Dave Stone(see below)..
From Roger Hart…” Tom Michaels started out on Kisn with 'NO' name. When Tom Murphy had to go to Texas for National Guard duties, we went in and recommended Tom Gurlitz, who was hired and touted as "Tom Murphy's friend", that's it. He was a talented type who'd hang out with us when I was at KEX, and Tom was roaring up the ratings charts at KISN. We'd all meet after midnight at Jolly Joans on Broadway, along with Red Robinson from KGW, before he returned to Canada. I ended up at Kisn with Tom, and we all lived happily ever after, and Tom moved in and up when we moved on."
From Tiger Tom Murphy….” When I came back from Texas, Tom continued at KISN doing weekends. Burden wanted the entire weekend on KISN to be called "Wonderful Weekend" and it was listed that way in Pulse.Burden wouldn't let Tom say his name on "Wonderful Weekend", either. It was just "Wonderful Weekend On KISN."
Tom always had a great sense of humor and asked me if I thought he should refer to himself as "The Spirit Of Wonderful Weekend." Of course I thought that was a GREAT idea. Tom did actually use "The Spirit Of Wonderful Weekend" but not too often and that took some "nerve" since we never knew when Burden might be listening. To add insult to injury, the full timers did use our names.
I don't think Tom's tenure of being nameless lasted too long but I thought it was unfortunate that for months on KISN, he couldn't say he was on KISN. How about Tom Michaels (AKA Tom Murphy's Friend/Murphy's Buddy/ and The Spirt of Wonderful Weekend). You might want to think about not using the last one.”
From Dave Stone..” He was a wonderful friend. Hired me at Kisn after driving him bonkers on the phone for a gig. I will never forget him meeting me for lunch and saying "Listen..I will give you the fill in job if you just quit calling me" I learned alot from Tom. He was always there to teach young people in the biz a new angle. I can remember him reading a live spot for Fred Schwary appliance and cueing a record behind his back at the same time. A real pro. He was hired at Kisn to fill in for Tiger Tom Murphy...around 1961. Tom also had the coolest sport cars!”
From 1959-65 T.M is the only DJ not to pull a News Shift in addition to his show.
In 1962 some of the Kisn Jocks, Tom Murphy,Bill Western and Johnny Williams become roommates.
When Murphy returns, Williams has a “Fallout” with Burden and goes to KKEY in Vancouver until he lands his next major gig.
The Name Game….from Robin Mitchell…” You know the personnel churn at Star stations. I believe "Morning Mayor," "Housewife's Helper," "Luncheon Munchin', "Car Tune Kid," and "Nightwatch" were used in all Burden markets and appeared on the program log instead of jock names. 7pm-1am was the only slot that didn't seem to have a moniker like that.
I'm sure RUSS RIPLEY used LUNCHEON MUNCHIN' as a secondary show identifier, just as MIKE PHILLIPS did during his tenure, KEN CHASE, FRANK BENNY, and so on. I believe TOM MICHAELS used this show moniker during his time in this slot, too.
HOUSEWIFE's HELPER would have been WALLY THORNTON, BOB STEVENS, BILL WESTERN, ROGER HART & more.
CAR TUNE KID would have been MIKE WESTERN, JACK PAR, JOHNNY WILLIAMS (the KHJ one), BILL WESTERN, MIKE PHILLIPS. Don't remember The REAL DON STEELE ever using the moniker...or by any of the jocks that followed him in that slot.
NIGHTWATCH would have been JOHNNY DARK, ED LEAHY, RUSS RIPLEY, PAT PATTEE.
As far as nicknames go, it was HAL "COFFEE HEAD" RAYMOND...and he was the MORNING MAYOR. He did a coffee schtick...which I have on CD. JACK PARR & BILL WESTERN both used MORNING MAYOR. When POA arrived, he was the METRO MORNING MAYOR...kind of a spin on METRO GOLDWYN MAYER...then they dropped it altogether.
A mere 2 years after 91derful's move to the KISN Corner, the Burden crew unveiled another first for Portland: The KISN CAROL TREE!!! Heralded as an "electronic marvel," the KISN CAROL TREE's lights glimmered to the music and sounds of KISN. Red, Blue, and Green bulbs flashed in time with the music in specific frequency ranges. Utilizing Color TV technology it became a market sensation to "watch KISN." It also helped penetrate a new "harder to reach" cume with its sheer uniqueness. 4,000 lights change color and hue in rhythm to Kisn's broadcast music. (outfit: The Mobile Color Co.) During the off-season the lights were stored on the first floor at the Transmitter Building.
Pat Pattee and his successors ran out of there and occasionally morning drive. By January 1, 1962 the Kisn D.J.'s were now called The Swingin' Gentlemen. Also in 1962 Timothy F. Moore becomes G.M. On April 1, 1962 Roger Hart joins the Kisn air staff. Mr. Hart would later become Producer & Manager of Paul Revere & The Raiders. On April 30, 1962 the Kisn air staff included: Bill Western 6-9AM, Roger Hart 9-noon, Ken Chase noon-3, Johnny Williams 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Pat Pattee 1-6AM, Bill Howlitt news, Scotty Wright traffic.(see Kisn Traffic below).
In 62 the Kisn DJ/News Shift was this…6-9 AM Jack Par(Bill Western News)9-12 Bill Western(Jack Par News),noon-3 Ken Chase(Johnny Williams News),3-7 Johnny Williams(Ken Chase 3-4:30/Les Parsons 4:30-6/Bill Howlitt 6-7)7 pm-Midnight Tom Murphy(Bill Howlitt-News),12-1 am Tom Murphy(Pat Pattee-News)and 1-6 am Pat Patee doing both duties…
While at KISN, Hart,Chase and Murphy presented The Tokens at Hawkinson’s north of Vancouver.
In the summer of 62’, Paul Oscar Anderson arrives for his 6-10 AM shift but P.O.A breaks in by doing a Saturday Newscast as Harold Henson.
Ken Chase opened a Teenage Dance Club..called “The Chase” where The Kingsmen were the house band. Legend has it where Chase contacted the forces at Jerden Records and told part owner Jerry Dennon he thought that he could produce a hit record..thus Louie,Louie…(one weekend where fellow DJ Bill Western features a copy of Louie,Louie done by Rockin Robin Roberts at a Vancouver record hop where it was such a sensation that Bill mentions it to KISN Music Director Ken Chase)
$38 later Chase emerged from NW Recorders, 2 blocks north of KISN with Louie,Louie. And in that same period of time Paul Revere and The Raiders recorded it in the same studio. There is much controversy of who did it first. Columbia Records requested a pressing from Hart and Jerden leased the master to Wand Records(exclusively a home of black releases)and sent a copy to a Boston R&B station thinking The Kingsmen were black. The song was under FBI investigation because”of the Dirty Lyrics”. And the rest is history!
The pressing from Hart was released earlier on his own label(Sande) and buying studio time to record The crowd pleasing Louie,Louie. When the raiders had national distribution hart was mailing out “Promo Copies” to many Radio Stations.
By August 11, 1962 Kisn slogans were: The Kisn good guy station (earliest good guy use). Radio 91 plays more music, more often. This is KISN, number 1 in the west. Mighty 91. The wide weird world of 91. This is Kisn. 91 where the good guys fly. On October 3, 1962 Star Broadcasting, Inc. becomes a division of a new parent corporation, Star Stations, Inc. Don W. Burden, Owner & President. ROGER Hart first heard on KEX prior to his arrival at kisn.known as Roger Ferrier then became Roger Hart at KISN. A quote from Roger..”I
1st met Paul Revere in early 1963, a year after I left KEX for KISN, and was actually on a break from Kisn, over to KKEY and KGON, only to return to Kisn in the fall of 1963. Through a fortuitous meeting, thanks to a bank teller, I put them into the Trapadero Teen Club in Vancouver their very first time...they'd done the Headless Horseman then Lake Oswego, then into the studio for "Louie, Louie", then becoming the groups manager [Paul Revere managed the group and its internal affairs, and I sought and managed the opportunities that developed]. Other dates followed, including the Expo date which I promoted.”
In July 1963 Don Steele (The Real Don Steele) joins the Kisn air staff as well as P.D. (from KXLY). In hindsight one of the greatest, if not thee greatest Top 40 D.J. of all time. On July 28, 1963 the kisn air staff included: Paul Oscar Anderson (P.O.A.) 6-10AM, Addie Bobkins 10-noon, Frank Benny noon-3 Don Steele 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Pat Pattee 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic.
RDS takes over the slot that Frank Benny had who replaced Ken Chase and soon Chase and Hart go to KGON and P.O.A. goes to sister station WIFE and Hart returns.
In early 1964 Steve Shepard (from KOIL) becomes Vice President & General Manager of KISN. On February 9, 1964 the Kisn air staff included: Frank Benny 6-10AM, Addie Bobkins 10-noon, Roger Hart noon-3, Don Steele 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Pat Pattee 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic. Benny comes from KEX after Western departs. KEX had the signal but to some ‘they did not have corporate resolve to win” KEX was owned by Gene Autry’s Golden West Broadcasting. Top rated 91-wonderful trumpeted their victory by announcing” KISN..#1 in The Golden West.
May 1st 1964, Tom Murphy moves to Morning Drive and Peter Huntington does Evenings while Kisn celebrates 5 years.
The Day that JFK was shot KISN stopped all music and Commercials, taking a live feed from KLIF in Dallas, TX via voice coupler(phone) and music was subdued. And at this time The Real Don Steele was covering for Bill Howlitt who was with Byron Swanson setting up the Kisn Carol Tree, RDS was at the transmitter site covering Kisn News/”Live at :55” where he dramatically projected and delivered the news including “The latest on the JFK assassination” this was a first for RDS. It was rumored that KISN would call people and pay them by putting the phone next to the radios for information.
A Tribute to Don Steele..from a newspaper article. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of the radio. Don Rickles is asking you to come see his latest motion picture. A woman is crooning that Franz Bread has flavor beyond compare. A traffic reporter warns of traffic congestion on the Interstate Bridge. Ron Tonkin Chevrolet suggests you check out its bargain prices, and Diana Ross starts singing about love. It could be 2001, but it's not. You realize that the minute the disc jockey shouts: "Remember our war cry: Tina Delgado is alive, alive!!!" And suddenly it's July 1964 and this audio time machine has transported you to a time, place and sound that foreshadowed what the rest of the U.S. would be dazzled by in less than a year.
The disc jockey's name was The Real Don Steele. Well, actually, it wasn't. His real name was Don Revert, but even at birth his mother had big plans for little Don. She gave him the middle name "Steele" because she, a former vaudevillian, knew Don Steele would make a great stage name. Don grew into the name; he became a big man with huge ambition. By the time he hit KISN radio in Portland in 1963, at 27, he'd been a DJ at three Northwest radio stations; by the time he left for California a year later, he was just months away from being the hottest disc jockey in L.A., co-father of the sound of "Boss Radio." In a 1994 poll to select the 20th century's greatest disc jockeys, the Real Don Steele came in second out of 232. But the sound did not spring fully formed in L.A. in 1965, and there's proof: a Web site called reelradio.com that offers air checks of actual historic radio broadcasts.
There in the midst of L.A., Chicago and New York greats are 1964 air checks of the Real Don Steele, broadcasting from "the booth on Burnside," KISN-AM's roadside radio station, across the street from where Powell's Books stands today. "Relax at the wheel with the Real Don Steele," urges a female announcer, and then Don Steele hits the microphone, pumping personality at the listeners, screaming, shouting, proclaiming himself "Emperor of Portland." Don Steele was outrageous from the moment he hit the airwaves at KISN, says Tom Murphy, whose evening show ("Tiger Tom Murphy!") followed Don Steele's afternoons. "I just loved him," says Tom, by phone from Los Angeles, where he still works in the radio business. "Everybody talks about how colorful Don was. Which, of course, he was.
He was a real character, so unusual. It was his whole presentation, the energy and the volume, the excitement he engendered. And he was extremely intelligent." Later, L.A. radio great Robert W. Morgan would say of Don Steele "that he could do more with a grunt than most of the rest of us could do in five minutes," recalls Tom. "Which I took offense at. I could grunt, too. But Don did things so quickly. In two seconds he would slide in so much." You can hear it on the recordings at reelradio.com: Don Steele packing two laughs into an eight-second riff, over the intro to a cheesy girl group pop song.
Don Steele with an attitude, oozing out a "hey, baby," Don Steele as "the Emperor," urging listeners to accept commissions as "The First Real Louie," and delivering an ironic tribute to KISN's businessman of the day: Mr. Bill Workman, manager of the downtown Newberry's. (This was 1963 -- Bill and his "lovely wife Marge and their three sons, Kim, Keith and Kevin," were praised, their home address read over the air. Marge was sent a dozen red roses.) "He became the Emperor after his failed presidential run," says Tom Murphy, who remembers Don Steele's 1964 presidential campaign well.
"He declared that he had the strongest platform in the world: the Steel Bridge." So the Real Don Steele and Tom Murphy (who supplied the character voices of "voters and bystanders") broadcast Steele's KISN program from the bridge itself one fateful day. "We had traffic tied up for miles," says Tom. Don wore a colorful Uncle Sam suit over his long-limbed body; Tom wore Don's too-large overcoat. ("Years later he said I looked like a flasher," says Tom.) Roger Hart was on the bridge that day, too. Roger was holding down two jobs: managing the soon-to-be-famous Paul Revere and the Raiders, and doing the midday show at KISN. "We were all young and inventing Top 40 radio as we went along," says Roger. "We made $162.50 a week and all the records we could take home."
That day the records were spun at the station, Roger recalls, and between tunes and commercials Don Steele would "call in reports on the air." Truck drivers, housewives, politicians drove by. "Kids would flip him off," says Tom, "and he would say, 'Red, white and blue to you too, baby.' " When police arrived, Don told Tom they should stay on the bridge until they were arrested. "I told him, 'Are you out of your mind?' and he said, 'It would be great publicity.' He wanted to throw all the equipment into the river to get rid of the evidence. There were kids standing there watching, and he was saying to them, 'Throw that stuff overboard.' I said, 'Don -- they actually will. They're only 12 years old.' He figured we'd get on the front page of The Oregonian. I said, 'Yeah, right.' " Tom and Roger convinced Don that the daily paper wouldn't pay much attention to their arrest.
"So we ended up getting off the Real Don Steele Bridge," says Tom. "Don figured if he couldn't have the Steel Bridge as his platform to run for president, he'd declare himself emperor." Until time travel is perfected, listening to these rare air checks is as close as Portlanders may come to slipping back to those old days, when the commercials were quaint and cloying and the music just was starting to heat up.
"We don't have much on tape from back then," says Tom Murphy. "We didn't have cassettes to pop in and hook up to the mike. In those days, to record a show, you had to patch in a reel-to-reel recorder and remember to turn it on." The KISN tapes last over an hour; place names haven't changed, but nobody on Portland radio today has the same spark. "He really was the emperor," says Roger, who lives in Portland. "He would do anything. He had no fear. He was the kind of guy who'd stand on a table if he couldn't get the waitress over soon enough." Tom Murphy recalls Don drag racing his Cadillac convertible on the Banfield freeway every Sunday night. "Drag racing on the world's worst freeway. I'm surprised both of us didn't end up in jail." Instead, Don Steele ended up in freeway heaven, a jock at L.A.'s top rock station, KHJ, for years. "It was a marriage made in heaven," says Tom Murphy. "The format was tight, and Don could do it perfectly.
Some of us would go on the air and talk about what was on our mind. But the curtain would open up and Don was always doing a show. If you listen to these KISN tapes, he was already doing it." Portland native Mike Phillips, also a veteran of KISN radio, gave Don Steele his last radio job in Los Angeles in the 1990s. "It was incredible," says Mike, by phone from Los Angeles. "He was the consummate professional. He worked hard on the air; he never went through the motions." As Don Steele demonstrated even in his early days, "he could be very entertaining in a brief amount of time."
Don Steele died of lung cancer in L.A. in 1997. Tom Murphy and others he'd known at KISN were hit hard. "That was my favorite year, the year I worked with him at KISN," says Tom. "We had a lot of good times." The emperor may be dead, but for those who still are tuning in at reelradio.com, the emperor will reign forever. Other KISN Notes Rumor was when Pat had to go to the transmitter site(when it flooded)he took a motor boat.
In June 1964 KISN retires the Kisn heart logo for the new Kisn star logo. By July &, 1964 Kisn slogans were: Spectacular KISN, the Portland powerhouse. More music, more often, that's the good guys guarantee. Kisn radio, 91-derful. KISN Total Information, the standard of American radio news. (ID) KISN Vancouver checks the weather word. Magnificent! RDS Sends a Aircheck of his KISN material to the PD at KEWB..and he likes it…and calls Don, but he gets chewed out for doing so..
In late July 1964 The Real Don Steele leaves for KEWB. On January 17, 1965 the Kisn air staff included: Sam Holman, Jim Meeker, Dick Saint, Frank Benny, Tom Murphy, Pat Pattee, Bill Howlitt. On January 30, 1965 Tiger Tom Murphy does is last show on Kisn.(Holman comes from WABC,WLS and KQV and becomes The New off Air PD).
KISN'S NUMBERS WENT WILD & OFF THE MAP IN 1964.....GEE...LET'S THINK WHAT WENT ON THAT YEAR??!!!?!!?!?!
New lineup for March 65 is; Holman,Meeker,Sherman,Howlitt(news),Parsons(production and news),Benny and Pattee.
On June 12, 1965 KISN becomes the first media member to enter a float in the Rose Festival Parade. By August 13, 1965 Kisn slogans were: Kisn Radio, 91-derful, Be A Kisn Good Guy. Kisn country. Total Information, a leadership service of the star station. On September 29, 1965 KISN is fined $2,000 by the FCC for creating the impression that Kisn is licensed to Portland. KISN paid a similar fine 2 years earlier. Also in 1965 Whitey Coker becomes the first news correspondent to report from Vietnam. His reports are exclusive to The Star Stations. On January 16, 1966 the kisn air staff included: Don Kennedy, Tom Michaels, Joe Light, Don Kneass, Pat Pattee, Bill Howlitt.
Baker's Dozen, July 1, 1965 by Doug Baker.
Fireworks, Other Pyrotechnics
KISN radio will lead the new Pulse ratings with KRDR (country music) just shading KEX to run second in somewhat of a surprising commentary on listening habits. KOIN will show fourth...
Baker's Dozen, October 7, 1965 by Doug Baker.
A Bakers Day Old Bread
The upcoming issue of Billboard will raise a few eyebrows in the radio industry. In it's "radio response ratings", it gives KISN a "100 per cent" rating in pop singles and KEX the lead (59 per cent) in LP's, a top rating for rhythm and blues to KLIQ and the leadership in classical to KXL-AM.
The ratings for individual deejays will fluster a few egos. KISN's Frank Benny gets a 43 and KEX's Ric Thomas leads Barney Keep with a 28 to 25 per cent rating. Bob McAnulty and Jim Stovall of KPAM-FM share honors in the jazz field with identical response ratings and Sammy Taylor at KWJJ leads all the country music jockeys with a whopping 81 per cent...
Since Tom Murphy was the hottest dj in town he had no reason to stay at KISN so he left on Jan.30,1965. It makes one wonder if Don Burdon had anything to do with KYMN's change. For the rest of the 60s KISN was the only show in town, except for KGAR, then across the street from KISN.
TM goes to KJR/Seattle and in contract to see the Beatles..(various sources)
On October 1, 1966 KISN raises power to 5kw. (2 pattern day & night), from it's new additional studio & transmitter site located at 4615 N.E. 158th Ave. in Portland. Towers are 270 feet. Original Transmitter/Towers site was transmitter site, 1/4 mile west of North Portland Rd.,south shore of Smith Lake in North Portland OR.
Some changes…as well…As mentioned RDS left and Kisn’s attempt was to fill the slot with The Real John Steele. Kisn’s Night show was beginning to fade so Tom Murphy returned to nights in 1965, in 1966 20/20 news was added and at that time KISN lost it’s edge by using different Jingles and adding more spots
There was a lake bed where KISN put their transmitter, as there was also where KWJJ moved to. Both are long since dried up. About The Preacher Pat Pattee.
Unfortunatly Pat never airchecked at the transmitter....He never pulled a shift in the kisn window...Every all night show was done off site.....At the Kisn trannie there was no easy way to roll an aircheck....So what is out there was taped by fans...There is very little out there. Pat was the best all night jock ever. Airchecks of Pat Pattee are almost non-existant unless someone (maybe Pat himself?) has been holding out on us. ..Comments from a former KISN DJ.."FCC made it a rule back then due to Kisn being licensed in Vancouver that so many hours per month had to originate from the transmitter site. Never made any sense to me since the transmitter was in Portland!!!! It was also a major pain to do weekends from the transmitter. All the spots and records (later carts) were sent to the trannie at midnight on Friday....Pat did not have the complete library out there ....Plus he played lots of his own stuff.....Kisn was really one of a kind. We had great times in both studios.
The transmitter was a break from being mooned, eggs thrown and bums taking a leak on the window!!!!!!" "I grew up listening to him with the transistor radio under the pillow...Hey it was after midnight on a school night!!! All the kids thought Pat was a black guy with that soul rap....I was shocked when I saw his picture! Years later when Tom Michaels hired me at 91 I went to my first jock meeting downtown in the Burden Suite....and there was Pat in a really cool midnight blue suit! For many years we worked together but rarely saw each other due to me going off at 12mid and Pat flipping on his nightwatch jingle from the transmitter. According to some you had to have a first class FCC radiotelephone license to operate the studio and transmitter and take basic readings from both The KISN Corner and Transmitter.
The audio was sent via TELCO dedicated Broadcast Lines(more than likely 5kc)to the Transmitter.
While KISN had a license for a VHF STL (portable) which they used for remotes (voice only from a lunchbox transceiver)the fixed link was a leased line (probably balanced/equalized, but not necessarily), as it was just across town, and I don't think STLs were used for radio then except for roving remotes or to reach otherwise inaccessible FM sites sites on mountains. The FCC may even have discouraged such, even for just program (I think a hard line was a must for remote control). Every station I did see the innards of had a jack panel in the rack to feed the xmtr line.
Pat never pulled a shift from 10th & Burnside. I would see him at appearances and once in a while I would watch him do his thing and hang out at the transmitter.....He was the BEST all night guy ever. I don't think any station including KHJ had a better all nighter....Because he LOVED all nights and Kisn gave him the freedom with the hits he loved. That came to a close when JJ Jordan became PD from WRKO...Because he was not from here and did not understand the LEGEND value of Pattee he fired him. I could not believe it! He must of done a great sell job on Burden because pat never caused a wave ever at the station and Don always liked his schtick on the air....It will be a blast to hear those pipes intro the Chantells.....Little Richard...little Eva and others!"
(And a slow, painful death to the blankety-blank who canned his "Nightwatch" show.) He had the DJ patter down -- in character for the time, but still original. And you just knew he played whatever he damn well pleased. Anybody remember "Weather-wise we prophesize" with the "little drippy droopy droplets of H20?" Seems to me "here's the word from the weather bird" Theophilous Thistle was also his creation. I used to stay up late (with said transistor hidden under the pillow) for the R&B feature single of the night, a segment he called the Blues Spectacular. Don't know who else would have played Bobby "Blue" Bland on KISN at the time.
Pat Patee prefered to do his show form the Transmitter site because “it had more soul” according to pat, with a 100 watt light bulb hanging by the wires, no windows,dark and with cobwebs.
The Original Board used from 59-72 was a one of a kind...Designed and made by chief engineer Byron Swanson(a.k.a Johhny Dark), What made this board so unique was....It had ONE POT for both turntables with a fader button to fade the song out...The cart machines were built into the board. It was a real challenge to work. In the summer of 1972 it was replaced by a blue RCA board.As well three Turntables and various equipment. After all the talk of the jocks who were waiting anxiously for the new modern board....We all missed the Swanson original.Kisn had the first cart machines in Portland, before that stations were using transcription records(acetates),more about the board from Byron”We looked at all the boards that were available, but none would do what we needed.
Remote starts for cart machines for example were simply not available on standard radio consoles. KISN had some of the very first cartridge machines in Portland. The came from Collins, but were built by ATC. Very crude machines by the way! A challenge to keep running. There was one capacitor that had a habit of exploding. (It was an electrolytic) Scare the hell out of the jock! The 'board' had three audio channels. Two of the channels were similar to a regular 2 channel board with one major exception.
The program amplifiers were gain controlled. This produced the same level audio at the amplifiers output regardless of the input signal. In otherwords the jock didn't have to adjust levels from one input source to the next. So now we have constant levels from the turntables, cart machines, reel/reel and etc. There were input selectors on each program amplifier input, so the audio could be routed to either program channel. I believe there were 14 inputs. The two program amplifiers were summed together via two of those big black knobs. (Daven attenuators actually.)
This did give the jock the ability to 'duck' the audio from the turntables, cart machines or what ever. This didn't have all that much effect because the microphone channel was injected at the output of the 'mixing pots'. The microphone also had it's own processor and was set 'hotter' that the mixer levels. Next in line was another gain controlling amplifier that would 'duck' the input source below the microphone because the mike was hotter than the other audio source.
That, in a nut shell is how the audio was controlled and mixed. It worked very well and you couldn't overdrive the amplifiers or start something to low on the air. In fact, the way it was arranged, when a cart or record would start, it was HOT! Really punched. The turntable circuits were novel in that if the turntable was off, it was in cue. There use to be a problem with records being 'cued'on the air.
That would happen if the jock forgot to click the 'pot' into cue and it was left open. A no-no! The PD and Mr. Burden would be very upset. So when the turntable was off the air, it was across the cue bus. The motor was also off. You placed the record and cued it and it was ready to go. You could listen to the record if you wanted to by operating the motor switch on the turntable. It would only go through the cue speaker. The actual buttons that controlled all the on air operations were in a row directly in front of the jock. They were color coded and all were mounted in a row about 12 inches long.
This allowed either lefthanded or righthand operation. The buttons had a split display. The bottom half on all the buttons were red, indicating that source was on the air. The top half was color coded to the buttons operation. For instance the microphones were Blue, the carts were yellow and would only light if a cart was inserted and the turntables were green when they were off. The jock could glance down and see exactly what was on the air and it was very quick to operate.
This resulted in very tight air work. It was almost impossible to make a mistake.There were only 3 cart machines in the beginning. This required fast recue on every cart because the jock was always loading the cart machines during the break. One comment on the rotary pots. It is much quicker to twist you wrist than operate a slide pot. Also a board with slide pots would place the copy stand and other visual material further from the jock. Not so important today maybe, but at KISN we had lots of live stuff to read and had to have quick access to the on air material and dropping something on the slide pots would have been a disaster!” We diddled with the turntable speed at KISN.
We had some brass spindles turned at a machine shop, but never were satisfied with the results. If they were fast enough to make a difference, it sounded to 'Chipmunkish'. , the turntables were sped up at times on an experimental basis.The board was custom-designed for their format and more or less ergonomic, and the DJs were of course all highly skilled in its use, it wasn't actually very interesting to look at (i.e., no blinking lights, few labels).
The original one was a narrow RCA four channel board with custom side mixers. They changed to the custom board later. It was simple for the DJ's to use because, as you mentioned, everything was preset and they were so heavily compressed with a Gates Sta-Level(see below) that it didn't matter, loud stuff was pushed down, and low stuff was brought up. When they were talking normal or when there were quiet passages with the mike open, you could hear the background level pickup and you would always hear trucks going by the window and some loud cars, also.
The old KISN days over at 10th and Burnside studios and out at the xmtr at 158th and Marine Drive (considered to be Vancouver by the eyes of the FCC). The transmitter site never had to be within the city of license but the main studio did. For several decades, it's been almost a necessity to locate the transmitter some distance from the city of license.
The city of license was Vancouver and it was served from the transmitter location. The Portland studio was a remote. The legal ID was 910 - KVAN - Vancouver. The only thing that changed was the call letters. The legal ID was 910 - KISN - Vancouver. In those days, Vancouver was a small bedroom of Portland. They wanted to be associated with Portland, for the obvious reasons of advertising. Who is going to buy advertising (National) in Vancouver (Where the hell is that?). Portland was the larger city and that was the identity they wanted. Making quick changes and filing with the FCC was much different in the 50's.
The got around it, if you remember, by at the top and bottom of the hour during the newscast, they buried the legal ID in the weather. They would say...The 9-10 KISN Vancouver ...(short pause).... Portland weather is......... Both Bill Howlitt and Whitey Coker were very good at doing that. The station did get into hot water with the FCC for not making it distinct enough......hence the pause. The station walked a fine line on many different things. That ultimately helped lead to its demise.
The FCC demanded that they had an office where the license was held. Only legal mail was delivered there. Now take a look at the FCC. They are the radio giants best pals today. Office was above a furniture store if my memory serves me correctly. I will not expand on what the jocks used it for!!!!!!!!!! remember the slogan KISN Vancouver radar weather eye. I wonder why the station couldn't have applied for a city of license change to Portland. KKEY did it in the late 60's, even though it also was a Vancouver station.
It periodically flooded every few years, and the DJs & Newsmen who had to pull a shift out there had to take a rowboat from the roadway to the Transmitter.
From Tiger Tom Murphy..” Don Burden knew he had to "make" KISN a Portland station to enable him to sell the station to Advertising Agencies in the major media centers: NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. It was impossible to explain to someone in NYC that KISN-Vancouver was "just across the Columbia River" from Portland. So, Don being clever as he was want to do, claimed the KISN Transmitter was KISN's "Main Studio" and the KISN KORNER in Portland was the "Remote Studio & Sales Offices."
In the summer of 1962, KISN had a major FCC inspection and among the many, and I do mean MANY violations, it was noted by the FCC that if the transmitter site was the "Main Studio" since KISN was not a "Network" station, 51% of the KISN's broadcast schedule had to emanate from its "Main Studio."
AND SO BEGAN THE EVERYONE'S "TRIPS" TO THE TRANSMITTER.
To answer your question about commercials I can only give you a partial answer. When I did my show from the transmitter, I would go to the the Portland studios and pick up the commercial carts I would need for that evening along with my "copy book" and any other "stuff" and then drive to the transmitter. After the show, I would go back downtown and return the commercial carts. I seem to remember a reel to reel tape was dubbed for the spots that would be needed between 6:30 and 7:00, while I was on the way to the transmitter. All the jingles, production pieces and the records were at the transmitter.
After about 6 months of this, I prevailed on Burden...actually I threw a minor tantrum...to return ME to the window at night and send somebody else to the Transmitter. It turned out that one of the mid-day shifts assumed Transmitter Duty. Addie never went to the transmitter but I remember, among others, Dick Sainte did. He was unamused. Besides my not wanting to do the "Transmitter Thing" MY being in the window at night, along with the Afternoon Drive Jock, made more sense since in those days more of "our audience" would be able to see the "jock" during those hours than during the mid-day.
I think it was rare that Pat picked up anything from downtown. He lived in North Portland and it wasn't a long drive for him to Smith Lake. The transmitter location was not a glamorous place.
Early on, when I stopped doing Saturday Night ( tired of 6 nights a week ) and moved into Saturday Afternoon 3PM to 7PM, another result of the aforementioned "tantrum", mine was the only show on Saturday from downtown. Later on I also ended up going to the transmitter on Saturday.
Don Steele did a Sunday Night shift from the transmitter and that is when he encountered the snakes in the boat. By the way it was a motor boat not a row boat. I used to meet Don @ KISN downtown after his Sunday shift and we'd go over to the Fish Grotto for a few "rounds." The night he came back from the now "infamous boat ride" he was really beside himself. When he saw me he yelled something to the effect, "Hey Baby!!!!There were F*****G snakes in the boat." One of many RDS moments I still get a kick out of.
KISN never had a good signal on 910 anywhere in Portland. At least, they had no quality. They had coverage, daytime, Nightime, the signal level degraded. They used a Sta-Level in their audio chain, They modulated 110% on negatives, they didn't watch levels.
They didn't care. They went for loudness. Whenever you went by KISN corner and looked at the VU meter on the console, it was most always pegged or pegging on that small RCA four channel console. They didn't control levels. Didn't need to....they had a Gates Sta-level amp. Every split second of silence would raise the background noise level and hum level. Those old tube radios of the day and even the first transistors had IF of 455 kHz and the second harmonics of those circuits put a whistle at the center of the 910 frequency so we heard a whistle when slightly off tune (Radios were manual dials).
The KISN whine was atrocious, making the station almost unlistenable. The KISN 910 whine on most radios was because of the internal circuitry. The standard internal conversion frequency was 456 khz, the first harmonic of that is 912 khz (2x 456), resulting in that whine.
Post-script for the 910kHz whine issue: the diode detectors in transistor radios had to operate at signal levels of hundreds of millivolts in order produce enough output to drive the automatic volume control circutry in the radio and to keep the audio distortion down. The signals coming from the antenna, on the other hand, could easily have been in the hundreds of microvolts range. It would take just a little bit of unintentional feedback from the detector to the antenna to really muck things up with an annoying whine.
It was reported that KISN USED A 5kw Bauer Transmitter. It was 1kw day and night with a night directional. I'm thinking it was 2 towers It wasn't four until they moved to 158th and Airport Way. I think they were the same power day and night but directional at night.....Probably protecting KEWB and possibly someone up north. Probably had good coverage in North Plains and points towards Seaside. They still covered all Portland/Vancouver but had some problems in outlying areas.
Apparently Mr.Burden wanted his competitor KYMN(Sister station of KIMN 950 in Denver,Co.) There are unsubstantiated rumors that Don Burden paid KYMN to bail out of the format and financially suport KYMN as a religious station. KIMN Dj’s (some of them)came to KYMN 1520. When it was going to 50kw it was planning to take on KISN. January 1965 when KYMN made their Feb 1st format announcement. Kim wanted to bail out of top 40 as early as January 1st. I believe they said they were waiting for over due reel to reel machines to arrive. Kisn must of been killin'um! KYMN changed from top 40 to beatuiful music on Feb 1, 1965 Just before the change to KYXI, KYMN was scheduled to return to Top 40 and take on KISN. They were within days of the change, with a new airstaff ready to go when they got a call from the owners of KIXI asking how much they wanted for the station. KYMN was sold, it became KYXI and that was the end of that!
From Craig Adams…..
January 1966 KGAR switched to a Top 40 format. 50KW KYMN 1520kc. had abandoned it's Top 40 format on 2-1-65 after battling 1KW KISN 910kc. for 6 months. The KGAR feud would be more personal, a battle KISN would never forget. KGAR's Program Director became A.J. Harold (formerly on KSNN, later aka Bobby Noonan). Tim L. Freed, Chief Engineer (formerly on KBPS, KPAM-KPFM). KGAR slogan: Everything's nifty on 15-50. The KGAR air staff included: Tim Freed, 6-10AM; Rob ???, 10-2PM; A.J. Harold, 2-sunset.
On January 31, 1966 Robert T. Fletcher joined the KGAR sales staff (formerly on KEED, KOMB, KBAR, KFLY, KGAY, KRXL, KLOO & KWAY G.M.). In March 1966 Robert T. Fletcher aka Bob Duke became Program Director. On May 1, 1966 KGAR launched it's "Boss Radio" slogans: Boss radio at 1550. The IN sound in town. The Boss 1550. More rockin' rhythm, more often. KGAR plays more music. Much more music machine, KGAR 1550. (Boss Radio duplicated from "93 KHJ" slogans launched 5-3-65).
On May 10, 1966 KGAR moved studios to Portland OR. Baker's Dozen by Doug Baker 5-9-66: "Early this year one Gordon Rogers, Sr. the owner of KGAR radio in Vancouver WASH. secretly leased the Flatiron Building at the corner of S.W. 10th & Burnside (949 S.W. Oak St.). Once he had a 10 year lease Rogers took pains to white wash the windows of the building with poster paint thus masking from view what has happened in the building during the past six weeks.
Just to turn the knife in the wound, Rogers will erect on his new building large signs. The first one due to go into position this Monday (today), will read "KGAR Boss Radio, Dial 1550". On the side of the building which faces KISN's building another big sign will read "Radio IS KGAR". Although KGAR is moving it's sales and administrative offices into the new Portland site, it will continue says Rogers to keep it's Vancouver WASH., identification, operating studios there and licensing it's news truck in Washington."
"Rogers, while he plans to spoof KISN's various promotions has no intention of spending the large sums of money spent by the Star Broadcasting Co. on it's promotional efforts. He gave as an example, his recent "Bat Guanomobile" contest ran in rebuttal to KISN's "Batmobile" contest. KISN gave away large prizes, KGAR only a wheelbarrow of guano and a trip to Scappoose." KISN's only comment came on 5-12-66 in "Baker's Dozen" from a staff member not mentioned. "KGAR took a big gamble in signing a 10 year lease. The radio biz being what it is, it was risky..."
The Oak Street studio was used on air mornings & afternoon drive only. Middays the studio was a production room. By July 1966 The Boss Personalities were: Don Coss, 5-9AM (formerly on KWAY & KUIK); Big Daddy Duke (aka Bob Duke) 9-Noon; Tim Freed, Noon-2; A.J. Harold, 2-sunset. In late September 1966 Robert T. Fletcher became Assistant G.M. & Paul Oscar Anderson aka P.O.A. became Program Director (formerly on KISN). The Boss Jocks were: P.O.A., 5-9AM; Don Coss, 9-Noon; Tim Freed, Noon-2 & A.J. Harold 2-sunset.
On October 17, 1966 in a civil action before Circuit Judge, Robert E. Jones, Paul E. Brown aka Paul Oscar Anderson claimed he was fired for refusing to go along with KISN election coverage. Mr. Brown told the court that on September 22, 1966 Don Burdon, President of KISN told him he planned "to put Mark Hatfield in the U.S. Senate." KISN News reports on rival Bob Duncan were to "show Duncan in a bad light." Mr. Brown believing this policy to be in violation of the FCC equal time provision, refused to play promotional spots announcing special coverage and was fired by KISN's Program Director. (PD name not mentioned).
On October 18, 1966 the KISN slanted news charge was "not substantiated by the preponderance of evidence." KISN had sought an injunction enforcing a no-competition clause in Mr. Brown's contract for one year. The Judge ruled Mr. Brown could not broadcast on KGAR until December 1, 1966. "Gordon A. Rogers, owner of station KGAR, said Brown will immediately go to work for his station doing sales. On December 1st he will go on the air as our top morning disc jockey." Rick Chase was interim mornings.
In hindsight October 17, 1966 would mark the beginning of the end for KISN & the Star Stations, Inc. group. In December 1966 P.O.A. dropped the "Boss Radio" slogans in favor of "KGAR, the hard rock of the Northwest." By early 1967 P.O.A. had parted from KGAR and Bob Fletcher was P.D. again, as well as Assistant G.M. By Summer 1967 Gene Nelson was doing Afternoon Drive on KGAR.
On January 1, 1968 abc Radio divided it's network into four services. KGAR became an affiliate & debuted the "American Contemporary Radio Network" to the Portland market. By May 1968 the KGAR air staff included: Don Coss, 5-10AM; Tim Freed, 10-3PM; Todd Dennis (younger brother of Don Coss) 3-sunset. By this time the KGAR BIG '15' music surveys were being distributed. By October 1968 KGAR was listed as programming "Negro music 6 hours weekly". By June 1969 KGAR's format was described as "Top 30 and R & B music." By October 1969 Danny Dark aka C. Norman Chase was News Director & Chief Engineer.
In late 1969 KGAR closed it's Oak Street studio. (by fall 1970 the studio was the new location for "Ron Bailie School of Broadcast"). By late 1969 the KGAR air staff included: Big Daddy Duke, 6-Noon & Danny Dark, Noon-sunset. Sundays included: Dave Stone (formerly on KRDR as Junior Rockaway, later aka Dave "Record" Stone) 10-sunset. KGAR slogan: The music station. On December 15, 1969 Bob (Duke) Fletcher became General Manager, as well as P.D.
From R.W Morgan…” now about KGAR Being across the street, R.W Morgan and other jocks were merely joking about another station being across from KISN, well the window had been whitewashed and started to be a hole a size of a quarter and daily it would get bigger and bigger until they jocks from KISN WOULD BARELY SEE THE INSIDE OF THE STUDIO OF KGAR…wow did it hit the roof and the jocks from KISN were trained not to look across the street, they had a sign up for all to see..”LIKE THANK YOU FOR LISTENING to KISN..or somewhat like that, but apparently a jock had one"LIKE F@*#^ YOU!"…I HOPE I GOT THE STORIES RIGHT??..and yest the jocks were flashed at and shot at...and all the weird stuff.”
I was credited by Stoner as having once been "Jerry Hunter" on KISN. The true story is that I was originally hired by Steve Brown at KISN in the early 60's and I used the name, "Jim Hunter", a name that I was using as a recording artist. I had one song that charted, "Just Being Young" and the station had some confidence in the possibility that I might make a hit record. (It never happened.) My birth name was "Jerry Lambert" and as Stoner said, my dad owned an auto dealership in Salem. He also was responsible for securing Will Sampson as the "chief" in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". My dad was Mel Lambert, one of America's most celebrated rodeo announcers. (Pro Rodeo and Cowboy Halls of Fame inductee). My name was changed (legally) to Roger W. Morgan in 1968 when I joined Star Stations in Omaha at KOIL. I've been Roger W. Morgan ever since.
From Greg Charles…”"Roger W was from Salem Oregon. Burden (owner) played on the (Robert W) popularity who had become a morning icon at KHJ. There were 4 ROGER W's at Kisn.I was one of them!"
To some Don had ways to “eliminate” his competitors…
An additional studio was located at the transmitter site in Fruit Valley WA (2915 Fruit Valley Rd.) The tower was 250 feet. On November 21, 1967 the kisn air staff included: Michael O'Brien 6-10AM, Tom Michaels & P.D. 10-noon, Bobby Noonan noon-3, Roger W. Morgan 3-7PM, Judge Ramsey 7-midnight, Pat Pattee midnight-6, Whitey Coker news, Scotty Wright & Sherm "Man On The Move" Meyer traffic. Kisn slogans were: Good guy territory. The Mighty 91. (ID) This is KISN, serving the great Oregon territory from Vancouver. Yours truly Kisn radio. Home of the good guys. Radio 91. This is KISN, the station with a corner on news. KISN 20/20 news. KISN traffic condition "Yellow". Mobile 91 clear. By August 13, 1968 no air staff changes.
KISN uses The Panic Cart(tape)… "Bulletin, Bulletin...Stay Tuned For More Total Information!" and sounder.. when Bobby Kennedy got shot in 68'
KISN Good Guys Present In Concert
Portland Civic Auditorium
Dec. 29th, (1968) 7:30 P.M.
Plus Special Guests LED ZEPPILEN (spelling correct) Featuring Jimmy Page
Tickets: $3.75, $4.50 & $5.00 Produced By Concerts West
"This is KISN, serving the great Oregon territory from Vancouver!" In 1969, with a rule change, they were forced to change it to: "This is KISN Vancouver, serving the great Oregon territory!"
By 1970 Kisn had opened a sales office in Vancouver at 1001 Main St. By March 1970 Kisn slogans were: KISN, the mighty 91. KISN just doin' are thing. By Summer 1970 J.J. Jordan was P.D. On December 3, 1970 the FCC refused to renew the license of KISN and other Star Stations, Inc. (WIFE-AM & FM Indianapolis & KOIL AM & FM Omaha). The KISN case centered on charges by Paul Oscar Anderson and other former KISN employes. (1) That KISN slanted the news in order to favor Mark Hatfield over his opponent Robert Duncan in the 1966 Senate Race. (2) That KISN ran "phony" contests involving the giving away of turkeys and a "lucky key" for unlocking a camper. (3) That KISN made campaign contributions to candidates in order to get a permit to construct high transmitter towers. Mr. Burden would fight this ruling. It would take years
The office Kisn had in downtown Vancouver....It had a desk...a chair and a photo of Burden with Gordon McLendon on the wall. That was it!
The FCC demanded that they had an office where the license was held. Only legal mail was delivered there.
From Craig Adams…”Here's an interesting KISN line-up from December/January 1970 with Judge Ramsey doing Mornings. In this time period I always saw Roger W. Morgan or Michael O'Brien listed. A special thanks to Ray Doern for this listing:
Judge Ramsey 5:30-9:00am Steve Glass 9:00-12:00pm Bob Noonan 12:00-3:00pm Dave Stone 3:00-7:00pm (not Dave Record Stone, this is the 1st Dave Stone) Buddy Scott 7:00-12:00pm Pat Pattee 12:00-5:30am
Dec 1971-Line up
Michael O'Brien AM John Christy AM Tom Michaels Noon (not exactly sure who did afternoons in December) Ron Ugly Thompson 7-mid Pat Pattee Mid
From Dave Stone..” Noonan was doing drive when Ron Ugly did nights. I was breaking in on weekends & doing remotes!!!” The staff that followed in 71 Obrien Michaels JJ Jordan (new pd from wrko) Chuck Martin (went on to become pd at KHJ) Pattee then in 72 Roger W Morgan -mornings Dick Jenkins-mid days Mother Bear- (was also Buddy Scott) Stone-evenings Pattee.
In January 1972 Don Burden becomes Chairmen of The Board of Star Stations, Inc. Steve Shepard rises to President & General Manager of KISN. On September 13, 1972 the Kisn air staff included: Roger W. Morgan & P.D. 6-10AM, Tom Michaels 10-noon, Bobby Noonan P.D. a short time, noon-3, Mother Bear (aka Buddy Scott) 3-7PM, David Stone 7-midnight, Pat Pattee midnight-6. Kisn slogans were: The big 91. The rock of the Northwest. Kisn 91.
The D.J.'s were "The 91 Jocks". On February 14, 1973 KISN is granted a license from the FCC. Kisn slogan: Keep on Kisn. (also a sticker) On January 31, 1975 the FCC denied license renewals for the 5 Star Stations owned by Don Burden (92.3%). Star Stations of Indiana, Inc. (WIFE-AM & FM), Central States Broadcasting, Inc. (KOIL-AM & FM), Star Broadcasting, Inc. (KISN-AM). Charges brought back to life from 12-3-70. Mr. Burden then took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
KISN Traffic…..was done by The Aerocar. Powered by a Lycoming aero-engine, it could cruise at 65mph on the road, towing a trailer in which its wings, tail and propeller were stored . These could be attached to the car in five minutes.Hey presto, a light aircraft , capable of cruising at 100mph at 12,000ft, and with a range of 300 miles. Taylor's Aerocar Incorporated produced a prototype and four more examples. In 1961, the radio station KISN, in Portland, Oregon, bought one for traffic reporting. Steve Brown convinced Don Burden to buy one. Kisn was a pioneer in this.
This and that….I got a wonderful e mail….” "Jerry I read with interest your history of KISN. Much of it I lived, and there are some people and impartant parts of KISN history that you have missed. For one thing Frank Lindsey was a newsman at KISN during the late 60's and up until the the end.
He and Whitey Coker and Pat Pattee worked together from the transmitter and partied hard a number of places. Frank had the distinction of working at both KISN and KOIL, and being fired and rehired 5 different times by Sol Rosinzky, the GM at KISN. Frank was also Don's fall guy in 1972. Frank and Don agreed that Frank would purger previous testimony to the 9th circuit court. Don would fire him, and we would take a year's PAID sabatical! Frank was instermental in Burden staying on the air for another four years. You should be able to research some of this, it was in Pasero's writing in the Oregonian. If you are interested in some of the behind the scenes from the transmitter, and lives of the Mighty 91ers during the late 60's and early 70's when I was part of that life as Frank LIndsey's wife.
I'll b be happy to provide what I know from time to time. You have a good, site, and it was nice to walk down memory lane. Frank Lindsey died in 1990 from ALS. He was living in Gold Beach Oregon at the time. Diane Lindsey Hickok" Diane thank you!!!..
The sounds of KISN… ...All the DJ themes were from a jingle company called CRC, which was Tom Merriman's company. Tom was a composer and bandleader who follow Pams' founder at KLIF-Dallas in creating jingles for Gordon McClendon's Top 40 Powerhouse in the early-mid 50's.
CRC preceded Tom Merriman's much better know TM Productions. National PD Steve Brown preferred CRC, and Don Burden liked Pams, so they alternated purchases from the 2 vendors. In the early years (1959-61), KISN bought virtually every package available...many they never used on the air.
Last Day Of KISN….KISN did not mean much in Portland at the time because KGW under Mike Phillips was dominating and KISN had lost their license and the FCC gave them 90 days to get things cleaned up. But KISN still reported to R&R, Gavin, Billboard, all the trades, and therefore to the record community they were still important.
The last KISN line up: Chuck Webber, Midnight-6(replacing Pat Patee) Uncle Don Wright 6-10am(last morning man on KISN) Bill Stevens 10-3pm Dick Simms 3-7pm Dave Record Stone 7-Midnight
Those who came and went..by Craig Adams…”I've been sending around to "The Good Guys" this list below I've put together of KISN personnel and their positions from 1959 to 1976. Corrections, additions and the all important dating when people began will be appreciated. Some info came from Broadcasting yearbooks but the years 1964 through 1971 just listed Burden and Shepard.
Any help is much appreciated.
P.S. I've also collected additional station calls and names "Bwana Johnny" used in Portland, plus the years, if you're interested.
GENERAL MANAGERS Charles J. Vais - May 1, 1959 Richard Shireman - early 1960 Gerald J. Flesey - early 1961 Timothy F. Moore - by 1962 Steve Shepard - July 1964 Doyle Peterson - by Oct 1972 Sol Rosinsky - Sept 1973 to Sept 2, 1976
PROGRAM DIRECTORS Chris Lane - May 1, 1959 Steve Brown & Jim Tate - July 21, 1959 Steve Brown - August 1959 Hal Raymond - October 1959 Les Parsons - November 1961 Real Don Steele - July 1963 Frank Benny - July 1964 Paul "Buzz" Barr - by April 1966 Tom Michaels / Bobby Noonan - ?? J.J. Jordan - 1972 Roger W. Morgan - by Oct 1972 Chuck Martin - by Sept 1973 Jim Rose - by Nov 1974 Bill Stevens - by Dec 1975 to Sept 2, 1976
NEWS DIRECTORS Jon Doe - May 1, 1959| Loren Hassett - Summer 1959 Bill Howlett - by Sept 1961 George Sanders - March 4, 1963 to May 1, 1963 Bill Weaver or John Sandifer - 1964 ? Whitey Coker - 1966 to Sept 2, 1976
MUSIC DIRECTORS Hal Raymond - May 1, 1959 as well as PD Bill Jackson - February 24, 1960 Bob Stevens - April 1960 Johnny Williams - Early 1962 Frank Benny or Ken Chase - 1963 ? Real Don Steele - July 1963 as well as PD Frank Benny - July 1964 ? was PD Jim Hunter - 1966 David Stone - Fall 1971 Jim Rose - by Sept 1973 Sam W. Lee - by Dec 1975 Bill Stevens -1976 to Sept 2, 1976 as well as PD
CHIEF ENGINEERS Gerald E. Weist - May 1, 1959 Russ Ripley - December 1959 Ben Dawson - July 1960 ? Byron Swanson - Early 1961 to Sept 2, 1976
Other mentions…Jerry Rohnert 7pm-Midnight,Steve Glass,Gary Mack(3-7pm),Chris Alexander,Charlie Brown,James Bond(no kidding)from the UK,Jim Cassidy,Chuck Bronson.
The who came through town/promotion via KISN chart survey info…
The Beach Boys-Memorial Coliseum August 20,1966(see above Steve Brown-Beatles) Lovin’ Spoonful- June 30,1967 Herman’s Hermits/Blues Magoos/The Who-Memorial Coliseum July 14,1967 Diana Ross and The Supremes-Memorial Coliseum October 28,1967 CCR/Grassroot-Memorial Coliseum-July 10,1969 Steppenwolf-Memorial Coliseum September 7,1969 Elvis-Memorial Coliseum November 11,1970
On January 31, 1975 the FCC denied license renewals of the 5 Star Stations".
As of May 24, 1976. "The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the FCC decision."
The last broadcast(at the end)..
On September 1, 1976 the FCC denied KISN's request to stay on the air. The kisn air staff that day: Pat Pattee midnight-6, Dick Simms 6-10AM, Bill Stevens 10-3PM, Sam Lee 3-7PM, David Stone 7-midnight. With the FCC forcing the last show from the transmitter site, two dozen employes and well-wishers filled the transmitter studio plus many people from the media, some say local and or National.
Here's the playlist starting at approx 11:15.. September 2,1976
Hey Jude Play That Funky Music Disco Duck Rainy Day Woman 12 + 35 Rock N Roll Ladies (ME!!) I Can't Get Next To You Shake Your Booty Lonely Days This Masquerade Someday We'll Be Together Midnight Blue Devil Woman Homeward Bound I'd Really Love to See You Tonight She's Gone Someday We'll Be Together...cuts off to static(12:01 AM)
From Dave Stone(Last DJ)on KISN…”The last show was broadcast from the tower not the Kisn Corner. KISN transmitter site studio at 4617 N.E. 158th Ave.
FCC demanded we played it out to the end off Marine Drive. There was a crush of news people in that studio...Sol Rosinsky the GM stood to the right of me...as the last record rolled I looked at him and he was crying. I went home and sobbed as well. The FCC stood by our engineer like NAZIS so they could pull the plug. Total pricks they were that night. F- them. By that time, KISN was #3 in the format behind KGW and KPAM FM-AM. KISN DOMINATED TEENS AT A TIME WHEN TEENS WERE A BIG SELL TO NATIONALS.
By 1976, KISN was a shell of its former self. It was the 3rd ranked Top 40 out of 3. KPAM had gone ahead of them and I think KISN was #8 overall. Failing may not have had the resources to launch a strong comeback and by 1980, there was a lot more competition. In addition, FM had made great strides in the intervening years and nationally, Top 40 was waning. The music was pretty soft in '80 & '81, coming off the disco backlash and didn't really recover until '83, when Thriller hit it big.
KISN had 32 Employees. Don W. Burden was on the phone with me the last hour on the air....I had the record "We have to get out of this place By Eric Burden & Animals.... he had a SCREAMING fit on the phone from Omaha... We agreed on Someday we will be together again by The Supremes.....He wanted NO mention of no more Kisn....or making mentions of the history of the station....He really believed The Mighty 91 would return.
During one rating book in 1963, at night they had 86% of the audience listening. From 1964-1968, it was the only viable station aimed at younger people. If you liked rock-n-roll, that's what you listened to. If you wanted to be informed, that's where you heard about it first. When KISN signed off 91 am from the tower..Days before everyone was grabbing what they could take from the photo gallery, records, jingle packages (pams) pens, paper clips you name it. There was no payroll after that famous night. Just a few people to tie up acct payables etc etc. When Kisn went dark...it was LIGHTS OUT.
Do you remember…224-KISN was the main phone number and before that it was Capitol 6-7191.
Star assets were estimated at 20 Million. Mr. Burden: "This is the greatest injustice ever perpetrated against a broadcast company in the history of the FCC".
I give you the god damn Queen Mary....and you treat it like the Titantic.
Don W Burden owner of Kisn/Star Stations in a jock meeting.
This page will be updated often..