Tuesday, April 21, 2009

KSTT Radio

I wish I could enlarge the pictures more than I can. Maybe I don't know how, I am not sure. The picture on the left is pretty self explanatory. This was the KSTT staff right after I left the building. Right before then, I did overnights at KSTT and middays at 97X. Mike Keneally was one of the funniest jocks ever and I'd like to find him again. Jay Gregory recently passed, he drove in from Sterling Il every day (about 60 miles). Another great underrated jock and a better guy. Jay was a very funny, animated, gregarious guy who shaped my sound a lot. Jim Ohara is still there. Michelle is somewhere and of course, that's Spike Odell, who just retired at the age of 55 after doing about 20 years at WGN in Chicago. Good for him. I have known Spike since high school. His dad was the police chief of the East Moline Police Department. His wife was my favorite bank teller.

The picture up on the right is a KSTT "survey" from July 14-24th 1972. (If you look closely, you can almost make out the print). The summer of my 16th year.
Here was the top five:
1. "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast"-Wayne Newton
2. "Happiest Girl in the Whole USA-Donna Fargo (up from 11 the week before)
3. "Brandy"-Looking Glass
4. "Sealed With a Kiss"-Bobby Vinton
5. "Hold Her Tight"-The Osmonds.

Ick. But, here are some other songs they were playing:
14. "Couldn't I Just Tell You"-Todd Rundgren
21. "Happy"-Rolling Stones
31. "Good Feeling To Know"(!?)-Poco
33. "Immigration Man"-Crosby and Nash
34. "Lady Elenore"-Lindisfarne (great song)
38. "Join Together"-The Who

There are three songs by bands that even I don't know
"Music's Calling Me" by Griffin
"It's Alright (I Don't Mind)" by Robey, Falk and Bod
"Waitin' Line" by Spyder's Gang
I honestly don't remember ever hearing those songs on the radio. I'm sure I did.

KSTT was also playing album cuts like:
"Rock and Roll Crazies"-Manassas
"Stairway to Heaven" yes!
"Mona Lisas and Mat Hatters"-Elton
"You're Still A Young Man"-Tower of Power
"Blue Sky"-Allman Bros
"Them Changes"-Santana and Miles
"I Just Want to Make Love to You"-Foghat

Within minutes of each other, you could hear Donna Fargo and Led Zeppelin, Bobby Vinton and Tower of Power, The Osmonds and Foghat, and Mac Davis and The Allman Brothers. Now, THAT's a great radio station and one of the biggest contibutors on the soundtrack of my life! Especially during the time when music meant so much to me and my friends. On AM, kids. How much that station influenced cannot be stated in words. Literally, the soundtrack of my adolescence.

I got this from the still cruisin usa website:

Radio station KSTT was a large part of the lives of baby boomers in the Quad Cities years ago. KSTT AM 1170 was on the air from 1946 until the late 80's. The station was located on east river drive in Davenport, across from Hostess Bakeries. The studio had a large window in the northwest corner where listeners could watch their favorite on air jock spin records. KSTT was "The Big #1", rated the #1
station in the Quad Cities for over 3 decades. No one else even came close during their record run at the top. . People who listened to the station would remember such jocks as Spike O'Dell, Lou Gutenberger, Lee Shannon, Jay Gregory, Mark Stevens, Bobby Rich, Ruth and Fred, and Jim O'Hara, each of them spinning top 40 hits in their own style. Booty Bottles, Top 40 surveys, Chicken Man and Big Red were also part of "the station you've grown up with". KSTT listeners participated in many on air contests, calling in on the Ruth and Fred show, calling in song requests, and phoning in news tips. KSTT sponsored hootenannys and hops, ballgames, Good Guy a Go Go dances, picnics, and had listeners search for "Bootie Bottles, filled with gift certificates, and keys to motorcycles. Quad City area seviceman had tapes sent to them in Vietnam. Dick Orkins famous "Chickenman show and Toothfairy episodes were heard daily. As fm radio began to gain popularity in the seventies, KSTT's audience began to shrink. People were now listening to KIIK 104 fm. by the eighties, KSTT was simulcasting with its sister station WXLP fm 97X. By 1992 they had switched their call letters to KJOC and had become an all sports talk station. The KSTT building at 1111 East river drive is now a law firm. But out of respect for the radio station, it is named KSTT Place. The interior still has the KSTT station memorabilia hanging on the walls. The picture window the jocks spun records in is still there. Former KSTT newsman Jim Orr summed it up "The radio station was a really special thing. We've been a lot of places. But nothing compares to KSTT."


Brian Holland said...

I love old radio station memorabilia--buried somewhere in the archives here, I have some of the old KY "Hot Sheets", and one of these days, I'll dig them out and scan a few for you.

"Hold Her Tight" was a cool song for the Osmonds--I have it on my iPod today, along with "Join Together", as you might expect from a mondo Who fan like me. That Top 40 gives the unitiated what a weird cross-section of music listeners were into back in the early '70s.

In that KSTT air staff photo, that Jay Gregory kinda resembles you during your KY days...

Brian said...


Kenneally did mornings for me in Dubuque starting in 2004 and stayed after I left...he hit the beach a couple months ago in a budget move. Hit me offline for his e-mail if you want. (bdavis@wcinet.com)

Art Morris said...

1972! No doubt my favorite year. I was working midnight to 6am (7 nights a week) on KOTN in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It was the most fun I ever had in radio, and I was awful. But, that's when you put the new kid in the overnights, so he could learn and get better.
I was working for Buddy Deane, and had NO IDEA that he was an absolute legend in the broadcast business. And, he was younger then than I am now. I still have some aircheck tapes from that year, but as I said, I was awful.
A few pictures from that remarkable year:

Mark Moskowitz said...

I was nighttime jock on KSTT from '68 to '69 when " nighttime " meant from 9PM to sign-off at 1AM. The PD was Bobby Rich ( now AM drive at KMXZ in Tucson ), housewife was Bill Vancil ( who did the excellent KSTT Place website--check it out ), Rich did PM drive and Clark Anthony 6-9PM. KSTT was both a great station and a fun place to work. Our airstaff had a great reunion in 2005 and we keep in touch after 40 years. regards, mark moskowitz, naples florida

Anonymous said...

I remember Griffin's "Music's Calling Me" from airplay on San Diego's leading top 40 station KCBQ that summer. Pretty good song, one of those that hoped to ride the fence between FM and AM airplay.

I'll second the vote for the Osmond's "Hold Her Tight". Some teen music hasn't maintained its appeal to me over the years but that song surprised me at the time, coming from the Osmonds, and I still enjoy it today.


Blog Archive