"And the hits just keep on coming!"
The response to the Unplugged KYUU Radio Archive has been tremendous. Thanks for all the kind letters.
Beginning with Spring, 1997, the comments we receive will be posted.. Thanks for writing. Comments may be edited for content and email addresses of the writers will only be provided if they have left them for us.
I recently returned to the Bay Area after more than 20 years. I was a graduate student at Stanford 82-83 and KYUU was my favorite station. I used to listen to it on my bike from and to class. I lived on campus in a small townhouse for married couples. I visited again several weeks ago and the first thing we did once we picked up our car at the airport was look for KYUU. I moved the dial up and down, changing stations waiting to hear KYUU San Francisco.....and nothing. We even got into an accident for paying too much attention to the radio and not the car in front of me. My wife searched and we finally gave up. Just today I thought lets google KYUU and see if I can find it and maybe on my next trip I'll know how to find it on the radio. Too bad, now I know it remains in my past as the best radio station I have ever experienced. Even Sundays with "the god squad" can't remember the father's name but that was the best religious program....Fond memories remain....even if the station is gone.
...happened upon your site and about fell over. Been on the road a lot these last few years, programming, consulting, etc. Just finished putting a new country station on the air here in Traverse City, MI and am returning to the Bay area in February.
I remember sitting by the pool at the Watergate apartments in Emeryville listening to your show and to as much of YUU as I could when I left work each day at KNEW and always thought it was a great station. Before KZLA went country we were AC and I was doing middays and then mornings and the GM would make sales calls in SF and come back to L.A. and say "We need to sound like KYUU" I didn't realize what he meant til I moved to SF..Great Station..Great Memories.
Sad that Don is really about all that's left of that era. And as far as I'm concerned they have him aimed TOO MUCH at female demos. Well...that's enough for now. Take care and keep up the good work. I just hope I can find a gig when I come home next month.
Jon "Wailin in the Morning" Wailin
You probably get tons of these from people who "hit" your web page. But I'd never forgive myself for not taking an opportunity to thank you.
My name is David G Hall and I am the PD at KFI radio, now a talk station (and finally, for KFI, top four or five in the market).
I was 17 and on the air as a jock in Monterey from 1982 to 1984, and you taught me how to do it. I listened every minute I could & recorded what I coudn't. You got me out of Monterey. Eventually I got out of playing the hits, and now I'm a talk PD. Yikes.
Anyway, thanks for the inspiration and instruction. I hope all is well with you!
David G. Hall, Los Angeles
I used to really enjoy the parodies, comedy interludes and other
inventiveness by you and by Jackie Skarr. And there were some great songs
going around then - maybe it's just me, but I've liked the top 40 less and
less ever since.
Enjoying KYUU was one of the things that led me to get into college radio
and get shows on KCSB in Santa Barbara, and KZSU Stanford.
Thanks for the pages.
Finishing my last year of undergraduate work at UC Davis, I was one of Steve Kane's listeners who regularly participated in his "Brain Busters" game. Not particularly something I'll be listing on my resume, but the distinction was that Kane was doing Trivial Pursuit before Trivial Pursuit had ever been invented. He took down my name and address, yet to this day, I never did receive the "certificate of merit" for answering some of the Brain Buster quizzes successfully. I'm still waiting. You might have guessed that I enjoyed KYUU quite a bit if I were willing to listen to the station through the static in Davis. Thanks very much for this website, it's great fun!
Psychology Faculty, Azusa Pacific University in Southern California
As a high-schooler in the early to mid 80's, I remember your afternoon show, as I'd drive home (with that new drivers license). By the time I hit sophomore year, I, too was in radio...working as a "Board-Op" for KHTT in San Jose. It gave me a greater appreciation for all that YOU put into your show! I loved the line-up of that era!! I'm impressed when I tune in Jackie Skarr, and she sounds as "perky" as ever on K101 these days! I have made a life (if one can call it that) out of radio...This month (April '97) marks 11 years at the same station,on the SAME shift (7-Mid @ KKIQ in Pleasanton). Fortunately I'm in therapy..and many years down the road I may recover! In those 11 years, I pulled weekends at HOT 97.7 (aka Bobby Corona... that was THEIR idea), STAR FM (aka Tony Erickson), KRTY (aka Nick Erickson), and currently KSAN (..still "Nick"). When I was young, the radio provided me with a "friend", who always made me laugh, and feel good... that's why I got into it, so that I could do the same thing! I hope I have... and despite the "industry b.s.", I'm gonna try my damnedest to continue! Shawn DeAngelo, KKIQ
EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks or all the kind things you said about me. The check's in the mail.
It will probably means nothing to you, but I must say that it was quite a
thrill to come across your little web site at 440 international. Back in
the olden days, I was always kind of an outcast kid. While all the other
kids listened to that Satanic Rock stuff or (on the other side of the young
musical spectrum) that brand new electric funk stuff, I was on Paul Davis,
Culture Club, The Kinks, and other Great Music. I started listening to
KYUU when I was in, I believe, 5th grade (around 1979) and listened until I
left for basic training in 1988. I don't mean constantly, sometimes I did
stop to play with my friends who didn't want to sit next to the radio all
day and sometimes my mother made me turn it off when it was time to eat,
and of course, they wouldn't let me listen to it in class, but the rest of
the time I was tuned in. I even kept a clock radio under my pillow with
the station playing all night. I'm of course being a little sarcastic
about by listening habit, but I did love the station. I cried hard when I
returned from basic training to find that someone had bought the station
and turned it into that KXXX X-100 station.
I feel kind of bad because I can't remember which one of you guys (wasn't
it you?) hated Prince to the point of using a chain saw to terminate the
stations Prince collection. I thought that was great! I have always loved
radio because, other than loving music, I have always loved the imagination
it takes to make radio happen. Using just sound you have to paint a
picture in the listeners head of what it is you are trying to convey to
them, you know what I mean, but the KYUU staff seemed to be most adept at
making the pictures very vivid in our imaginations.
It was KYUU that made me decide that I wanted a career in radio. I spend
my younger years developing my "radio voice". I would make tapes for
friends and family with great music and I would talk the ramps and practice
hitting the posts introducing myself and the music, and every once in a
while, I would do a mock station identification and of course it was (by
strange coincidence) "The Hit Music Station KYUU". I guess you could say I
was doing my first air checks. I spent my teenage years jocking parties,
but fun as it was, it wasn't cutting the mustard.
Last year I took up a part-time job at a little radio station in my town
of Vacaville. The station is KUIC (Quick Broadcasting). It's an adult
contemporary station, jingle "Today's Hits, Yesterday's Favorites" (how
original, eh?) and the music makes me just want to puke! The new music
made by Celine Deon, Mariah Carey, Denise Williams, and all those other
winey women who can't seem to "keep a man faithful, but since he's done
with that other woman he still loves me, and I want to be with him
forever.", it's all just crap! They tell me I can't hate any music if I
ever want to be a real jock, but how can you not.
I had to begin my job at KUIC as a promotion assistant because they said
that's the only entry level job there is in radio. Within my first month,
I had already won the hearts of the station management by being the most
animated promotion assistant they had ever seen (and at only $6 per hour!).
I was actually getting people to listen, they couldn't believe it. Then
when the Engineer went out for a haircut and never returned, I began taking
over his duties, and they loved me more! I built a remote broadcast studio
in this old piece of junk RV (which I also got running) and I also built a
portable broadcast studio that could run off of a car battery. The more
they loved me, the more I reminded them that I just want to be a
disc-jockey. I kept begging and begging and finally my big day came. They
let me start filling in on Sunday mornings. It was quite a treat, because
one of the things I used to never miss on KYUU was the top music countdown, and that's what I got on Sunday's. The Dick Clarke U.S. Music Survey top 20 countdown (along with some other religious shows). I was on the road to the top, but of course at only $6.00 an hour. One day they had a contest where all the employees of the station were given "sticker spotter" cards to place on windshields of cars with our bumper stickers on them. We would write our names on the cards (they were business reply cards) and the listener then had to fill in their own information and mail it back to the station. Whichever employee got the most returned won a trip. Well I will say our morning jock Dave Paris was a worthy contestant with getting 5 returned and achieving second place, but I guess he couldn't compete with my 76 returned. That locked me in, the next thing I know the General Manager has me locked in his office to talk about their needs of me. He offered me the Midnight to 5:30 am slot. I excitedly informed him that I just needed to give 60 days notice at my other job and I would be happy to do it. He then told me that I may want to keep my day job, and when I asked why, he basically told me that he didn't think they could pay me enough to provide for my family. When, after about 15 minutes of him evading it, I finally got his monitary offer out of him, he told me he may be able to squeeze out of the station budget $5.00 per hour. His reasoning was, he needs me there because the RCS computer keeps going down, so he wants me to do it's job, and he's not paying it anything, so $5.00 per hour is a lot. He insisted that it would not be impossible for me to continue working my 10 hour days at my day job (I work 4 10's), along with my 1 weekend a month for National Guard duty, and work the overnight at the station. He told me my wife and family would understand, and he also said he didn't mind if I slept during the music. How generous!
For that and other reasons, I no longer work for that awful station.
When I asked them how they could use me like that, they said that any radio
station would have done the same. They left such an awful taste in my
mouth that I didn't want anything to do with radio anymore. Admittingly
though, I do miss what I craved about it. And now that I found your web
site, I realized that there may be some fun radio stations out there still.
A station that remembers that the listeners are people, so maybe the
air-staff should be too.
I thought I only babbly verbally, I guess typographically I do also.
Sorry if I wasted your time, but it would be neat if you actually had the
time to read this. What would even be neater would be if there was some
advice that you, the almighty one of the airwaves, could give a wanna-be
pee-on like myself. It is for the best, and would make the airwaves a
greater place by having a mouth like mine out there. Trust me.
Hey! You were the best thing KYUU ever had! (kiss butt intro) Now that I
have your attention....i remember listening to you back on KYUU and I'm
sorry to say you and Dr. Don were the main reasons why I got into this
total bullshit thing called radio! Just kidding...I worked at Disney's
Big 98 in SF for a while after doing 6 years of underpaid small market
middays, now I'm involved in a different career still doing weekends at
KUIC in Vacaville (where??). Just thought I'd drop you a line...it's
nice to see you're still in it.
What memories your page brought back to me, I was in high school when I
ALWAYS listened to 99.7. I listened to Don Bleu before school, didn't
really get to listen to Rick Shaw, heard you on the way home and while I
was at home, then always listened to Jackie Skarr at night. I still
remember when KYUU didn't have a graveyard man.
I also remembering winning a Star Tours pack from you back in 1987.
I met you Rick and Jackie once when you did a live broadcast from Sunvalley
Mall in Concord. My favorite commercial you used to do was a "Fuki Sushi" commercial, don't know if you can remember that.
I saw a person named Jeff McNeal that posted regularly on the DVD newsgroup It never occurred to me that it actually could be you. (All Right
DISNEY!!!!!!) I always wished that a top 40 station would appear again in the SF bay area but I don't think it will ever happen again.
Talk to you later;
P.S. I also listened to you when you came to the East Bay and went on 92.1
(I can't even remember the call letters anymore, it's a Spanish station now)
P.P.S. Some of the Jingles WAV files didn't work for me, just wanted to let
you know, again thanks for the memories.
P.P.P.S. Any idea where Jackie Skarr is now? Her daughter used to goto the
same middle school that I went to.
I worked at KYUU in its final year before it was sold by NBC. The NABETs were on strike when I started. It was my first job in radio and I worked alongside Vicky Jenkins as her editor in the morning. Back then I used
my real name Michael Hotten. Now I'm a Reporter/Assignment Editor at KFI Los Angeles. Some of my favorite Radio days were at KYUU. Having Gil Haar as a first boss was a perfect way to start a News career. His use of sound in the News and crisp writing style stay with me today. After the
fallout at 99.7 I stayed in touch with Asst Promotions director Lucy Allen but haven't heard from her in about five years. This web page brings back some great memories.
Michael Clarke KFI Los Angeles Reporter/Assignment Editor
Thanks so much for a great sample of your time on KRTH-101 in 1991...I
was in LA in the 80's and part of the 90's, but unfortunately missed
your time in the summer of 91....Great show on the greatest station in
the nation!!! I wish i was in LA for KHJ's golden days of Boss
Radio....caught bits of it via tape, or hearing CKLW/The Big Eight, out
of the Motor City...also heard KHJ in 1970/80, as well as "The Boss Is
Back" and "Car Radio" eras of 1983-1986....If you have any more info
relating to KRTH or KHJ or Boss Radio, I would love to know about it!
Thanks again for your contribution!!
firstname.lastname@example.org....near Princeton NJ
How are ya? I've been back to the KYUU website a few times since my first
time, and am still waiting for the details behind the whole "shuttle joke"
episode. Inquiring minds want to know...
Also, I just came back from a trip visiting friends and family up in San
Francisco/Sunnyvale. While I was up there in occurred to me there were other things I loved about you. I may have mentioned in my last email how much I got a kick out of your "inadvertent" scratching (or some sound effect
facsimile) of certain songs -- those of the Artist Then Known As Prince in
particular. Also, you seemed Hell bent on altering a Janet Jackson song... it
always started with the words, "Gimme a beat...," but you changed it to
something like, "Gimme a rutabaga" or some such. If I remember correctly, you experimented with a few different vegetables before settling on one.
And, of course, no trip to the Bay Area would be the same without hearing a
commercial with the incomparable Tom Shane. For those who don't remember how you would embellish his already silly commercials with some of his traditional deadpan, Jack Webb-like wording... well, I'm sad for them. I can't sit through one of his commercials without a smile erupting across my face. "Yes." "Uh huh." "Yes." Etc.
Lastly, while I was home I was forced to clean out an old dresser drawer,
when I unearthed some treasure. I found about five of your "Stinking Weasel" newsletters from 1986 (One is dated 1985, but I believe that is a typo.) I would be more than happy to surrender this rare find to your KYUU archive. Please let me know how I can get these to you.
Hope all's well. My current favorite station, KROQ here in L.A. has been
looking for a evening D.J., and I've had to fight the urge to press you into
service. I don't know if modern rock is your schtick, but I would do almost
anything to hear you ply your trade again. Maybe Tom Wolfe is right and "you can't go home again," but damnit if I'm not willing to give it a try.
Letters from KYUU Staff
...Nice job. You got a lot of it right.
Walter Sabo, NYC
...KYUU is embedded in my memory as one of the greatest radio stations I worked at. (There were many. Fifteen not including the ones I have consulted.) Too many memories to write down. I guess Jeff breaking the toilet is one of the best. Or would it be the wild ski trips we used to take? Certainly Bob Barnett will always be with me. For some reason Ill never forget the jock meeting I held in the dark. Or the time I crashed the station car into the building owners Bentley. Or the early mornings when Id arrive at the station to find Linda crying at her desk. Mimi Chen and I drove up to see Haleys Comet from Mt. Tam only to run into a KYUU engineer at I-HOP around 4:AM. We can all guess what he thought when he saw Mimi and I stroll in together. But actually I had been dating a former KYUU employee, Sandy,who had left the station to work for Levis. I learned things at KYUU. Like football players all seem to have beautiful wives. Dwight Clark did weekly 49er reports for us. I can still see Terry DeVoto falling over himself when ever Dwight would walk into the station... Id love to hear some other stories and will check back occasionally to see if anyone else has come out of the woodwork.
Ric Lippincott, VP Promotions - Curb Records
...Rembering some of the truly great times at KYUU, I recall the day you went to the CHP Drunk Driving demonstration. As I recall, I got called in to finish your show after you lost your lunch in the men's room! Weren't they serving screwdrivers or something? I remember the day Rick Shaw, the self-appointed station horticulturist, was watering the plants down the hall. He realized his song was ending and raced back into the studio, but his 6-foot-5 frame just didn't quite negotiate the final turn, and he rapped his head on the studio table. I remember getting an emergency call to finish that shift. What ever happened to Jocques Verdier? I ran into him at an NAB convention quite a few years ago, but haven't heard anything about him since.
Ron Castro, Owner & GM of KRPQ Santa Rosa
Editor's Note: Oh man! I've tried to forget the drunk driving thing at Candlestick Park! A limo picked me up at the station and drove me to and from the demonstration. I reached a blood alcohol level of just over .8% and I was a wreck! When I reached the station, I knew there was no way I could do my shift and after throwing up for about a half an hour, I just layed on Ric Lippincott's couch in his office and waited until I was sober enough to drive home. It was several hours... Besides taking care of the plants, Rick Shaw was also the volunteer fire patrol. I remember the time there was a small fire in an ashtray by the elevator. Rick pulled out his hose and doused the menacing flames with urine. Another funny memory was the time the air conditioning was out and to protest, Rick took off his shirt, shoes and socks and rolled up his pant legs while he was on the air. When I arrived for my shift, I thought I was taking over for Huckelberry Finn for chrissakes! As to Jacques Verdier, I have no idea where he's been or what he's been doing, but I hope he's happy and doing well, whatever it is and wherever it is.
This is the first time I've actually SEEN the KYUU website, and I've
gott tell ya, I'm warm all over (some parts warmer than others) reading
all the great messages, etc. I loved EVERY minute of my stint at "The Q"
and I remember almost all of it. When Jeff told me "Jacque, you know
we'll never have this great a job again." he was dead on...at least it
hasn't happened since. I've managed to police the world from other
frequencies since KYUU, but have been off the air since August 1997 and
am sniffing for a new radio home/soapbox/forum from which to keep all
you people in line! (and I gotta tell ya, I'm starting to get BACKED
UP!) So, when I land on my mouth again, I'll log in and own up to my
whereabouts. In the meantime, my E-mail address is email@example.com.
Please be patient if you send me a communique and I'm slow to answer...I
have to use the computer that I bought the Public Library...
Jacque 7-midnight Skarr!
Jeff, I just found your page. Thanks for some memories. I was NABET
production from '80 until mid or late '82. Sorry i missed you.
I am teaching broadcasting at College of San Mateo and GM of KCEA
(Menlo-Atherton High School).
Hope you are doing well.
Again, thanks for the memories.
An entire website devoted to KYUU! Only on the web could it happen. Yeah,
I was there, too. After I quit KFRC in 1980 to put a Christian music
station on in Santa Rosa, I did some fill in work for Mike Phillips,
including quite a lot of KYUU. I was happy to do it, because $$ were tight
putting a new station on. I would do mainly am or pm drive, and some early
night shifts. I also did 7 weeks in Chicago at NBC's Q-101 (pm drive) when
they let Art Roberts go. Just keeping the seat warm until they could find
somebody permanent. I got fat on NBC's expense account.
Lots of the folks who are mentioned on your KYUU site are still friends.
Tom Parker and Steve Cain are both here in the Portland area. And
I just talked recently with Mike Novak after all these years. And I see or
talk to Phillips about every year or so. I've lost track of Jack Friday
and Stefan Ponek, though.
Anyway, you've got a fun site. I enjoyed the cruise to the past. Thanks.
Wow...I can't believe it. What memories! It made me get out my binoculars and look out my window one more time. Yeah, I remember the times from '79-'85. I went throught the transition at KYUU as an engineer. The "I file a grievance times". Taking naps on the floor of the production studio. Coming back after a station party in '80 and puking all over the console...you didn't hear about that one. Goofing around and forgetting I programmed only two songs into the IGM automation machine, which played all night, in '80. Going through a certain jock's storage bin and reading all his dirty mags on the night shift. KYUU was FUN! Tony Mercurio/engineer '79 -'85. I've been teaching special education for the past 10 years and nothing even some of our most nutty kids would have done can (compare with) what we did on the late night shift. Thanks Jeff!
Tony Mercurio, now teaching special ed. in Antioch, CA
Hi. Got directed to your site. Great Fun. I think I have some old Pix as well as an original KYUU jersey with the two sheep somewhere in my drawer. I'll take a pix and send it to you.
Jacque is alive and well. I will send him the site address. He can fill you in on so many stories you'll need a new server.
More soon. Thanks for the great work. The site is a blast!
Engineer '78 - '84
Uh... Not at this time, thank you.
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