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Thread: 1540 HISTORY

  1. #1

    1540 HISTORY

    Hey Guys:

    I was hoping you guys can help with this:

    1. 1540 was KBVU from 1958 to Nov 1964 does anybody happen to know the format?

    2. Did 1540 simulcast 92.5's (KFKF-KBES) formats from Nov 1964 to 1975?



  2. #2
    DJ Alan

    Re: 1540 HISTORY

    Both the former and the latter were MOR adult stations. It was owned by Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman (hence KFKF- locals refered to it as Keep Feeding Kemper Freeman). In 1975 both 92.5 and 1540 were sold to another local owner (name escapes me now). At this change of ownership KBES started playing hit music and ran liners announcing 'The radio station you are building...call in with your suggestions...' and changed its calls to KZAM. KZAM eventually became a great Alternative AOR station with an airstaff that was very popular. After 'consolidation' it started playing an Adult Hits/CHR mix before Sandusky changed it to KLSY. On the AM side started using the KZAM calls (around '79) and was the very first Alternative Rock--- read that as 'Rock Of The Eighties' station. In '81 it changed to KJZZ (I'm PROUD to have been a big part of that station as we played a mix of jazz that eventually became what is now known as a 'Smooth Jazz' format... though the format has been tweaked over the years. SHOUT OUT TO CAROL HANDLEY, CHOPS CARLSON, and of course Jeff Hanley the Brainchild PD. I was the OM and 6pm to midnight DJ and moved on to KLSY after KJZZ's demise. Sandusky sold 1540 eventually.

    So there ya go TJ... Have a GREAT EVENING!!!
    DJ Alan :-)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Bellingham WA

    Re: 1540 HISTORY

    KZAM-AM always seemed edgier than KJET would later be, good doses of punk rock (Sex Pistols, Ramones, Television, Patti Smith) were mixed in with the more new-waveish Elvis Costello, Blondie, Cars, Ian Gomm, etc. tunes.

    When KZAM-AM flipped to KJZZ, I was really bummed. But I also have a soft spot for jazz too and that kept 1540 in mind long after KPLU flipped from classical to jazz. As KJZZ, it played a format that could be considered the very best prototype of what was later to be known "Smooth Jazz", only KJZZ didn't rely so much on saxophone players like KWJZ. It also featured some AC vocals (Joni Mitchell was often played on KJZZ) and some blues (Legend has it Stevie Ray Vaughn once showed up for an intoxicated on air interview/acoustic session on KJZZ. I would LOVE to hear that tape, if it was ever recorded....)

    As KLSY-AM, 1540 at first ran a separate automated format that was a little hotter than KLSY-FM (at least I found KLSY-AM far more listenable because KLSY-FM in the mid-'80s actually slowed down the pitch a tad on many upbeat songs while KLSY-AM kept everything at normal pitch.) By 1986, KLSY AM & FM were 100% simulcasted until 1992 when Sandusky picked up KIXI and in turn, 1540 was sold to The Country Gold Network and renamed KBLV. In 1995. a short lived "Motivational Radio" network had picked up 1540 and renamed it "KXPA, Your Personal Achievement Station", which consisted of talks from motivational speakers like Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, Deepak Chopra, Anthony Robbins, etc.) When Personal Achievement drifted off to a higher plane of conscious than radio, KXPA was bought by Multicultural Radio where it is today.....
    To the person who stole my antidepressants; I hope you're happy now.

  4. #4

    Re: 1540 HISTORY

    I've been working on a timeline for KZAM-FM, and that dovetails into some of 1540's history. You can find the FM stuff here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KZAM_(defunct)

    KBVU-1540 was playing jazz circa 1965. And not that softie stuff, either. I distinctly recall cranking the radio to max on my '53 Ford one night when they played some screamingly outside Sonny Rollins piece. That had to be late 1964 or early '65.

    KFKF-AM started out on 1330. After KBVU went dark (circa 1966), Freeman applied for a frequency change to 1540. One of my pals in the IRCA logged the change on 1/11/68. He also logged call the changes to KBES on 7/18/72, KZAM on 4/19/75 and KJZZ on 8/25/81. Since he was pretty diligent in his radio geekdom back then, it's safe to assume he recorded the changes almost as soon as they occurred. That would put the shift from KFKF-AM & FM to KBES around July '72.

    Both the AM & FM were owned by Stuart Ballinger, in partnership with at least one other investor. According to former KBES/KZAM news guru Jim Stutzman, the FM calls were changed to KZAM "some time in '74," most likely by Jim Nelly, who ran the station. "Some time in early '75, Corddry convinced Stu to change direction and the legendary KZAM took off." That, however, was the frequency's second KZAM incarnation. (See the Wiki entry) Also, I'm thinking the FM change to KZAM wasn't until April '75 , which corresponds with the date my pal logged the AM call changes. I'm trying to get the correct info from the FCC or Broadcasting Yearbook.

    My IRCA pal says, "Going from memory, KFKF-FM circa 1971 ran Drake's "Solid Gold Rock & Roll".

  5. #5
    DJ Alan

    Re: 1540 HISTORY

    YOU ROCK! Your info is very accurate, my date was skewed as to the start of the 'Rock Of The 80's KZAM'... on AM.
    And your info goes back farther than I have even been on the planet. It is cool to know that 1540 was so HIP back in the 50's / early 60's.

    -DJ Alan

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