THE 1090 EXPRESS
By David Fiorella
There was a country station that did not last long, but was very powerful outside Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Although the studio was located on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, the transmitters were in Baja near Tijuana, Mexico.
From 1974 to 1975, XPRS (in the daytime) was known as "The 1090 Express". The "1090 XPRS" or "Express" would have country music from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The playlist went something like this:
Sometimes Sunshine (Jim Ed Brown), Bargain Store (Dolly Parton), Happiest Girl in the Whole USA (Donna Fargo), Wolfcreek Pass (C. W. McCall), Yesterday When I Was Young (Roy Clark), Jolene (Dolly Parton), The Streak (Ray Stevens), Wrong Ideas (Brenda Lee), 20th Century Drifter (Marty Robbins), Lord Mr. Ford (Jerry Reed), Whatever Happen to Randolph Scott? (Statler Brothers). Sometimes they would flash back to the past: My Grass is Green (Roy Drusky), Easy Lovin' ( Freddie Hart) and It's Such A Pretty World Today (Wayne Stewart).Obviously they were trying to compete with KLAC during this time.
It should be noted that KFOX was playing the same music in its death march during this time. At night, (about 11 PM) it would switch to a '50s and '60s Oldies Rock N' Roll Station. During this time it was unique: a Mexican-owned station having a format that covered English: Country/Western and Oldies after 11 PM. (Try that today!)
Hugh Cherry was possibly the sole music host. On Sundays (probably at night) it was automated with a country announcer's voice on it (but might have been Spanish being that it was based in Baja.) With 100,000 watts of power at 1090, it came through loud and clear up Baker grade at Halloran Summit on Interstate 15. After 11, it would play two or three songs like Johnny Angel, My 409 and Alley Oop -- and then you would have twenty minutes of people trying to sell you tapes and records of the same music you'd hear. They would play two or three songs and then the only sponsor would be a company that would take your good credit card or money order to sell you a "fistful of records" or tapes. This station with all its power that blasted throughout Southern California lasted (in its country format) until 1975. Today XPRS is all Spanish. The country "express" did not last too long. It fell victim to KLAC also.