Michael Hagerty, Dave Andrews, Derin Phelps, Alan Oda, Tom Nefeldt, K.M. Richards, "Robnoxious"

In 1967, KLAC-FM 102.7 switched frequencies with 94.7 KRHM. It kept these calls until April 15, 1971 when it became KKDJ. Longtime KKDJ person Jeff Salgo was on the air for the transition.

KKDJ went Top 40, but it was a very poorly executed automated station. In 1973, PD Rick Carroll (later to pioneer KROQ-FM's "Roq of the 80s Format"), took the station live, with a tight, bright sound that made KHJ, which was dealing with the transition from Bill Drake to Paul Drew, sound dated.

Charlie Tuna joined the station for the morning shift in the fall of 1973. Jay Stevens (voice of the Wherehouse Records ads) did middays, Rowdy Russ O'Hara afternoons, Billy Pearl evenings, Kris Erik Stevens late nights and T. Michael Jordan overnights. Pearl left for K-100 in late '73 .

KKDJ was the first station to hire veteran (Humble) Harve Miller after his release from jail on a manslaughter conviction. At the time, the station said "we're not taking a chance, we're giving him a chance." Kris Erik Stevens was actually a midday personality who was replaced by Humble Harve. Another talent there was overnighter Pat Evans (who went on to KHJ as Terry Foster and Terry Moreno, later doing a long gig at KRTH).

Later on, the station hired Rich (Brother) Robbin, who proceeded to make changes at the station, including speeding up some of the music (Ten-Q had done that to most of their playlist), segueing two songs in a row (unheard of on Top 40 radio at the time), and expanding the playlist.

Only Rich Brother Robbin would segue two records together without ID during his shift at KKDJ; the rest of the talent followed the regular format. But it did serve as a precursor to what Rich Brother Robbin would do at Ten-Q when he moved over there (a bit of trivia about Ten-Q - Robbin was the one to record all of the music when Ten-Q first went on the air - all of the music was not only speeded up, it was all recorded in stereo, in anticipation of AM stereo).

Tom Nefeldt - you probably know him better as T. Michael Jordan - did the 7 to 12 shift at KKDJ until Billy Pearl was hired, then went to all nights. Rich Brother never made any changes at KKDJ: Rick was always interested in what Rich had to say, but Rick really ran the place. Rick was violently opposed to speeding up records, something he hated from listening to Bay Area radio as a kid (KYA in particular). KKDJ never played two records back to back without some identification. Rich did all that at Ten-Q when they went on the air, and was their first PD. Prior to Tuna coming to KKDJ the morning man was Neal Blaze (from KLIV and KNDE-Sacramento) with Chris Sheiffer who then became Mrs. Chris Blaze (Radio and Records fame), and is now still at the Wave as Chris Brodie.

Russ O'Hara was also referred to as "Russ O'Hungry." He would always talk about the hamburgers he would eat while doing his show. And then there was John Peters, who always started his show out with, "It's Showtime!" Of course, who could forget Charlie Tuna in the morning and his "Breakfast Serial?"

KKDJ gave KHJ a run for a while, but when Charlie Van Dyke added PD duties to his morning gig in later '74, he polished KHJ to the point where it was hard not to listen (Van Dyke in mornings, Mark Elliott and Bobby Ocean in middays, Machine Gun Kelly in afternoons, Billy Pearl and later John Leader in evenings, Beau Weaver at night). Plus, there was now K-100 trying to make its mark with bigtime jocks like Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele.

In 1975, KKDJ was sold by Pacific and Southern Broadcasters to Combined Communications Corporation. The new owners wanted to make the station more mainstream, firing T. Michael Jordan, Rich Brother Robbin, and Pat Evans almost immediately. Rick Carroll claimed that he was offered to stay with the station, but chose not to, clearing the way for Charlie Tuna to be named program director.

On October 22, 1975, KKDJ ran up the white flag, flipped to Adult Contemporary and changed call letters to KIIS-FM. Its AM sister (now KXTA)'s calls since 1970. It fell to Charlie Tuna to inform listeners that KKDJ was no more. Combined Communications soon purchased KIIS-AM, leading to an eventual simulcast.

It was kind of neat the way they brought KKDJ and KIIS-AM together. The two stations got married on the air. KIIS-AM, of course was the male station, while KKDJ was the female. They were united in "matrimonial simulcast" and KKDJ promised to use the call letters KIIS-FM "as long as they both shall broadcast." The KKDJ gang re-emerged at KEZY AM in 1976.

Tuna became PD in addition to his morning gig. Much of the day was simulcast (jingles: "AM and FM...K-Double-I-S!"). Still not enough in terms of ratings and ad revenues. Tuna rejoined KHJ (replacing Van Dyke in mornings) in 1977. KIIS went all-disco in '78... not finding true Top 40 success until 1981 or so.

DJ's like Jerry Bishop, Bruce Phillip Miller, and Mike Wagner were just some of the personalities to grace the studio. However, the frequency really didn't take off until it hired Rick Dees and was purchased by communications giant Gannett Broadcasting. But that's another story.

TRACKIN' THE CALLS: In the late 1970s, the KKDJ calls were assigned to a station in Fresno. Recently they have surfaced at 105.3 in Bakersfield, playing oldies but goodies.

KIIS-FM, with legendary Rick Dees in the morning, has enjoyed many successful years as the top-40 leader in the Los Angeles area, and has now been on the air for over 30 years. At last report, the KRKD tower (KIIS-AM's old call letters) was still standing in downtown Los Angeles.

(Photo by Sal Garcia)

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