Thursday, January 10, 2008

KYYS-RIP?

In it's heyday, KYYS-FM (KY 102) owned Kansas City. It was here that a 23 year old punk kid from the farm via the Quad Cities learned his craft and found his niche. I first heard KY while taking a trip from the Quad Cities to Ava, Mo to Denver to see a friend of mine early in 1978. As I passed thorough town, I thought it was a very good sounding radio station. Somehow, someway, through the grace of God, Max Floyd found me and gave me a chance to fail. Here's the show, go do it. Starting in September of 1978 and continuing to June of 1985, I did afternoons, nights, weekends, production, you name it, I did it and I loved it. I got to interview people I grew up listening to but never, ever thought I would meet, let alone spend time with.
Robin Trower, Steve Perry, Jon Anderson, Bob Seger, Geddy Lee, John Mellencamp, Lou Reed, Ozzy, Frank Zappa....and it all happened right there on Southwest Trafficway, owned by Taft Broadcasting. My first engineer was a guy by the name of Randy Michaels, who told me the tower height, location and effective radiated power of the station I had just arrived from. Off the top of his head. I went out with some of the most beautiful women in the world. Liza Gibbons and others who are some of the most colorful parts of my life story. The ubiquitous Hippo! All of the talented people that walked those halls. Paul Fredrocks, who, in my mind, was the most talented guy we ever had. Dick and Jay. Joe MacCabe. Ray Sherman. Brad Oleson. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Max Floyd and his rock and roll army, Randy and Katie with their valuable Nightrocker cards (redeemable for nothing), the dulcet, smooth sounds of Mr. Vaughn Mac. Skid Roadie. Frankie and the Knockouts. And the ever present always on top of the movie world....Jaaack Poessiger (see previous post). {Heavy ass sigh} KYYS (KY 102) was blown up in 1994 and resurrected on another frequency. It wasn't the same, though and today comes word that it's blown up again.
KYYS-FM (1974-2008)

"The business I miss is no longer the business anymore."-Randy Raley March 2007

13 comments:

Mary said...

I just saw this on the local news tonight. I was a member of Max Floyd's Rock and Roll Army back in the day. There's even a picture of him in one of my high school yearbooks.

But I used to listen to you too, Randy. You were my co-pilot when I drove home from Lawrence on Friday afternoons during college. I can't imagine making that drive every week without listening to you on KY102.

Wes said...

RIP....it did rock.

Anonymous said...

This is the future of Radio....like I have said before it is the same movie over and over....just different players, and we know how it ends. 2008 will be another year where good radio goes bye-bye....and the higher ups wonder how can we get by with less....less also means less talent!

Max said...

I remember in the short time I lived in KC that I listened a little bit to KY102. I remember you talking about the station when you came to Southeast Missouri State just after joining KSHE. Course during my time in KC I was a KCFX fan more than a KY102 but I made a point of listening in on your show when I had the chance.

Tis a shame when legacy stations like this tumble. We have seen way to much of this over the past few years. My Hippo sticker will remain on the old boombox and the foot locker that it has been attached to since 1990 (just like my old WMRY bumper stickers).

Max...

dr sardonicus said...

KY 102 was one of the high points of my many visits to Kansas City in the late 70's and early 80's. I was going to school in Wichita then, and you had to go to KC for all the decent concerts. Given the piss-poor state of rock radio in Wichita, it was great to know that KC had a real radio station.

It's like you said, "The business I miss is no longer the business anymore." I feel like that about a lot of things these days...

Brian Holland said...

This kind of thing is why I'm glad I got out of radio years and years ago--too much instability--but then again, KY's (second) demise isn't totally unjustified. As I wrote on my blog, the station got stale, and the ratings showed it. With all due respect to the Mighty Max Floyd, your recent Pat Summerall commentary could apply to him as well--it's time to hang it up. There were many times in recent years when I'd tune Max & Tanna in and he sounded like he'd much rather have been doing something else--a far cry from his Rock 'N' Roll General days.

Getting back to the station itself, this is also what happens when corporations run radio stations instead of people who, as Pete Townshend would say, "give a monkey's" about the friggin' music! The first time they blew up KY, it felt like a death in the family to me. This time, it's almost a relief. I feel badly for the air staff, but I don't think I'll miss KY Mach II all that much since the good ol' days are long gone anyway...

Long live the Hippo!

Matt said...

Hard to believe. KY was my station, from nearly the time my family moved to KC from Des Moines in September, '77, through all of high school and college, until I returned to KC from Columbia, MO for med school in '94 (I even showed up at the impromptu rally outside the studio prior to it's resurrection as 97•KY). Countless hours listening to Randy, Fred, & Skid and great rock'n'roll! Farewell -RIP!

Kitty K said...

After 24 hours of reflecting on the demise of KY Classic Rock I realize that this isn't about losing the station or the classic rock format. What it is about is the loss of our friends. It's another example of how society is disassociating itself from each other. The path may take us to a new place in music, but this journey is a solo one. Where are all the people on this path? Is anybody out there?

Rob Creighton said...

KY102 is indirectly related to my deciding on a radio career. I was born in KC in 1972. My parents and I moved soon after, but I spent a lot of my youth bugging them to visit the city of my birth.

In 1979 we first visited, and wow, my folks actually enjoyed seeing some old friends, taking in Royals games and just seeing the sights. So KC became a vacation place for our family. One year, in the late 80's we went. I had been bugging my mom to buy me a KC Royals jacket, so we ended up at the Jones Store looking at the sports wear.

Among the Royals offerings I saw the KY logo and the hippo looking out between the Y and the 1. I didn't know what KY was, and I certainly wasn't going into radio. I had notions of going into film, or being a rock star, or being an athletic trainer. But no way being in radio. But it was a cool looking jacket, so I convinced my mom to get that instead of a Royals jacket.

Once I had the jacket, I had to find the station. It was cool, and I think I spent the rest of my vacation listening to that on my walkman, annoying my parents by playing guitar, or going to Royals games.

Fast forward 6 or 7 years. I was in college. It was 1992. I decided to treat myself to a road trip to Kansas City. I was already in college radio, and had been bitten by the bug, and thinking I might be more interested in that than film making or video production. One of the things I wanted to do in KC was experience the radio dial.

KY102 jumped right out at me. It was like nothing I had ever heard. It was edgy, funny. The whole package. Jocks, imaging, music. For a radio junkie--it was ear candy. And right there, that hooked me into the radio career right there.

I'm sorry to see it go, because it was the 1st station I heard that really made me get excited about being in radio. That said, the re-incarnation, from what I heard on line lacked a little bit.

These days the radio industry is a tough one to be in. But I still like it. And I'd like to think, whereever I am and whatever station I'm programming I bring a little bit of what I learened from listening to and being inspired by the Hippo.

Chicago Socialista said...

The business I miss is no longer the business anymore.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do now because that is SO TRUE! And I barely got a taste of what it was...

((HUGS))
Bonnie

barbinkc said...

Yes, very sad day, but they have introduced an expanded list of songs very close to the old format. Funny thing is, they are already in rotation and they aren't even on the air a week after touting 5,000 songs back to back. God only knows what the air staff will be like at this point. At least I can flip back and forth from that to the Fox to cut out some of the repetition, but I will miss the old airstaff. You're right, radio is not what it once was, and ne're will be again I'm afraid. Corporations are ruining more than they are helping in all aspects of our lives these days. About the only thing they're good for is a paycheck. Sad thing is the kids have no idea how much privacy they don't have anymore.

Good thing we have memories ...

Anonymous said...

Requiem...
I grew up in Kansas City and I remember the first time I heard the "young" KYYS in 1974. I was only 13 years old. And, it was graduation day...leaving the purile pop music of WHB AM71 with the purchase of my first FM radio. KY102 was playing stuff like Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull and Fleetwood Mac--cutting edge. I was hooked...and of course, the rumor back then among my friends was that KY102 began as a "bootleg station in a van and was constantly on the move to avoid the FCC"--just the kind of renegade rumor that appealed to a late model, teenage baby boomer of the middle class suburbs in KC who played guitar and dreamed of being a star one day. It was the station my big brother listened to...(later, I did a brief tour of duty all my own as a DJ and loved every minute of it--radio like KYYS was a prime motivator!) I'll never forget hearing, when it first was released, the entire album of "Peter Frampton Live" (played without commercial interruption--no one else was doing that back then) late one Sunday night.
Today (3/7/2008), I am nearly 50 years old and as I searched (online) for the station I had grown up with, I saw the sad news. I wept as if an old friend had just died, realizing another piece of my youth had disappeared with the times--never to be heard from again. Still, it seems to be the way of things...as KY102 made its reputation playing on the edge rock-n-roll of the 70s, time was not kind and just like 70s Rock was destined to become the "classics," and eventually, the "same old worn out stuff," so KY102 was destined to suffer its demise in the halls of irrelevance--things change. Just another reminder that we're not young anymore and those who are stuck "Living in the Past" will lose touch with those who are now "cool" (as we once were)! We cannot go back...nor would we want to--truth be known.
So, today I grieve the passing of an old friend--"KY102, KYYS, FM102, Kansas City"--and I will forever hear that deep voice deliver those call letters like some smooth smoke. Yes, my friend, you once owned the hearts of young rockers all over Kansas City, but as all generations must, it is time for this one to move over for a new generation and new sounds. We will miss you! Good bye my friend, we will soon join you...and all the best to the Mighty Max Floyd and air staff of what was once the greatest KC Rock station ever. Rest in Peace...you will be missed!
Jim L.
St. Louis

Anonymous said...

im only 24 years old now(feb 2009) living North of the river i remember back probably late 80's listening and growing up on ky102 then 997ky cause my dad listened. i like 989 but kyys was just an all around better quality station. thanks dad and KYYS for giving me a good rock and roll background not to old(elvis etc.) and not the crap coming out today(most stations) i still have my 25years 997 Ky shirt (of course out grown) and a ky102 shirt with the hippo in the middle(of course even smaller). ill never forget you Ky i remember the "smurfin and Porky piggin". and i vaguely remember the comercial where there is like a fat boy dancing and it says something like "listen or next time he'll be naked!". great memories thanks.

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