RARE PHOENIX RADIO AIRCHECKS, 1963–1991
September 24, 2006
I have a number of tapes that can be divided into several categories, as outlined below:
(1) KCAC airchecks, 1970 and 1971
(2) KDKB airchecks, 1971–1978
(3) KDKB event programming, 1971–1978: live and pre-taped interviews with celebrities and newsmakers; live music from local artists and touring national artists; locally produced comedy shows; etc.
(4) KDKB live remotes, 1975–1978: live broadcasts of concerts by nationally known artists from local venues.
(5) KCAC/KDKB-related recordings other than those recorded directly off the air.
(5) Other Phoenix-area airchecks and special broadcasts.
The details on tapes in each category are provided below. Items marked with an asterisk (*) have been transferred to CD; the others are still languishing on tape. Recording dates, where known, are provided; some are specific to a known calendar date and others are uncertain even as to year, but represent my best educated guess. Tapes are listed chronologically. Times are approximations unless stated otherwise. All tapes are first-generation from broadcast sources unless noted otherwise.
KCAC airchecks, 1970 and 1971
July 4th, 1970, with Bill Compton. Approx. 3 hours, mono AM radio broadcast, from reel-to-reel tape. This is the complete master recording from which all currently-circulating copies were made.*
February 1971 and July 4, 1971, with Bill Compton. Mono AM radio broadcast, 46 minutes, from cassette. Much poorer quality and less interesting than the 1970 tape. This is a copy of someone else’s master recording.*
KDKB Airchecks, 1971–1975
1971-1975 miscellaneous. A collection of mostly short bits, including a Dwight Tindle prank phone call from 1971, an on-air staff Christmas party from 1975, and Toad Hall playing country music records ca. 1975. Mono cassettes.*
May 1976, with Scott Niccolson. Mono cassette, copied from someone else’s master. Lots of stops and starts, and mostly music with very little DJ talk.
KDKB event programming, 1971–1978
Ca. 1971: one 30-minute episode of "Bunkhouse Capers with Buck and Berry," a locally-produced comedy show, ca. 1971–1972. Mono reel-to-reel tape.
November 15, 1973: Bill Compton interviews Danny O’Keefe. 1 hour mono cassette.*
1973? Jesse Colin Young interview and live acoustic performances. 30 minutes, mono cassette.
1973? Local folk duo Early Peas, interview and live music. Approx. 90 minutes total, from two different mono cassettes.
1973: Robin Trower interview with Michael Willard Curtis. 60 minutes (including album tracks), mono cassette.*
ca. March 1974: interview with Martin Mull. Approx. 45 minutes, mono cassette.
Late 1974/early 1975: Hans Olson live in the studio, talking and playing music, hosted by Linda Thompson. 1 hour mono cassette with poor sound and some tape damage, but great music from Hans.*
Late 1975? Joe Bethancourt (local folk singer/guitarist extraordinaire), 30-minute live tape, mono cassette.
Late 1975: Bill Compton interviews Stevie Nicks. Mono cassette. Interview runs about 36 minutes, and is supplemented on CD with two additional Stevie Nicks interviews from later in the station’s history (with Linda Clayton, 1/26/81 and 10/17/82, from cassettes).*
January 1976, author Ed Abbey (Desert Solitaire, The Monkey Wrench Gang) interviewed by an unidentified male on an the KDKB public affairs show Forum. Mono cassette.*
May 21, 1976: Hans Olson live in the studio, talking and playing music with host Marty Manning. 1 hour mono cassette, better sound than the early 1975 tape of Hans.*
April 26, 1977: brief (ca. 15 minutes) interview with Muddy Waters, backstage prior to a show at Dooley’s (a local club). Mono cassette.
June 22, 1977: Tribute to William Edward Compton. One-hour news special with Mark Nykanen, Hank Cookenboo, and others on the evening following Compton’s death. 60 minutes, mono reel-to-reel tape.*
Early 1978: local group Riverstone (Paul Morris and Jack Ahearne), interview and live music. Approx. 30 minutes. Mono cassette.
May 3, 1978: unknown male DJ interviewing film director King Vidor and film historian Arthur Knight. Last 30 minutes only of hour-long show, mono cassette, poor sound but clearly audible.
July 11, 1978: interview with David Bromberg, approx. 30 minutes. Mono cassette.
May 11, 1981: Tribute to Bob Marley by Johnny D. (Marley had just died a day or two before). One hour stereo cassette with a mix of music and commentary.
KDKB Live Remotes
Jerry Riopelle: March 12, 1975, Balcony Hall. 60 minutes from a reel-to-reel tape.
Tom Waits, March 13, 1975, Balcony Hall, warming up for Jerry Riopelle. Two versions: a complete mono cassette with some tape damage, 55 minutes*; and a better-quality reel-to-reel tape with a few songs edited out (45 minutes).
Tracy Nelson, Spring 1975, Balcony Hall. First 30 minutes of show only (five songs) from a mono reel-to-reel tape.
Jerry Riopelle: July 29, 1978, Celebrity Theater; stereo cassette of complete concert, 80 minutes.*
Reconstructed version of KCAC’s final sign-off, August 14, 1971. No tape of this is currently known to exist, but Compton closed out his last shift with a memorable set of songs about goodbyes, farewells, and moving on. I’ve reconstructed that set using various CD and vinyl sources to string the same songs together in the same sequence.*
Three, 1-hour episodes of "Profile," a TV show on KAET (the local public TV station) that Bill Compton hosted in late 1974/early 1975. I don’t have the video, only the audio. The show featured touring musicians who would play music and chat with Bill. The artists (1 hour each) are Jerry Jeff Walker, David Bromberg, and Shawn Phillips. From reel-to-reel tapes, but the original broadcast sound was often pretty poor (muddy sound and lots of distortion).*
Other Phoenix- Area Airchecks and Special Broadcasts
KHAT, August 19, 1963, with Ray Odum. A typical hour of AM country music radio in Phoenix in the early 1960s. Interestingly, there’s a lot of good music here from artists whose names are still well-known: Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jim Reeves, and Patsy Cline among them. From a mono cassette, copied from someone else’s master.*
KRIZ, August 1966. Aircheck of AM Top 40 station with DJ Tony Evans. Approx. 30 minutes, mono cassette, copied from someone else’s master.
KRUX, two airchecks: 6/10/67 with Lucky Lawrence, and 1969 with Rich Brother Robbins, total time approx. 45 minutes. Mono cassette, copied from someone else’s master.
KMCR, October 19, 1978: tape-delayed broadcast of Pete Seeger concert at Gammage Auditorium in Tempe on July 21, 1978. Approx. 2 hours, mono cassette.*
Various stations, December 8, 1980: breaking news on John Lennon’s murder, and a series of hastily-thrown-together tributes and specials recorded over the next few days. Total time is probably at least 4 hours, from a mix of mono and stereo cassettes. Stations include KDKB and KSLX, and probably some others. (Haven’t listened to these in years, and the notes are a bit chaotic, thus some uncertainty, but I can figure out stations & dates if necessary.)
KSTM, "Afterhours" show of December 5, 1982: Johnny D and Grant Cleaver (of Grant & the Geezers) each play some of their favorite records. Approx. 45 minutes, stereo cassette.
KSTM, the final "Afterhours" show with Johnny D, Spring 1983, approx. 60 minutes, stereo cassette.
KEYX, April 1, 1987, with Johnny D. This was April Fool’s Day, and Johnny D does an on-air prank that has to be heard to be believed. 1-hour stereo cassette of FM broadcast.*
KSLX, April 16, 1988: Toad Hall’s last shift on this station, missing only the first 15–20 minutes. Approx. 4 hours from stereo reel-to-reel tape of FM broadcast.
KJZZ, February 17, 1991: Johnny D’s History of Phoenix Rhythm & Blues. Approx. 90 minutes, stereo cassette.