Friday, July 3, 2015

MICHAEL GOODROAD BIRTHDAY & EARLY K-SKY HISTORY

VIDEO: MICHAEL GOODROAD BIRTHDAY
& EARLY KSKY

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GALLERY ONE: BEFORE KSQY 95.1


Main Street Deadwood 1978 #1


Main Street Deadwood 1978 #2



Main Street Deadwood 1978 #3

GALLERY TWO: TERRY PEAK TOWER


 KEN AT THE TOP-OF-THE-ROCK 1982


THE ROAD TO TERRY PEAK 1982


VIEW FROM THE SKI BASE • KSQY TOWER ON THE FAR RIGHT

SKY PEOPLE 1982

 MATT EFFKEN
 


CONSULTING ENGINEER MIKE TROJE


MULSO AT GRAND OPENING
September 2nd 1982

 JACK LUNDY 
aka MIKE HEMMER
& ROCKY RACOON


JANET & GREG OLSON


TOM & ANNE'S HOUSE


LIFE & TIMES: 
LETTER TO BOBBY KENNEDY, JR'S JUDGE





 

Friday, April 25, 2014

SD RnR HISTORY INTERVIEW 1 --KEVIN KING pt1

In the first portion of the interview seen here, we meet Kevin in the early years, formative phases and sense of adventure.  Sioux Falls residents of the era will love his first person descriptions of the rise and exit of Ma's Boys. Recorded 4/12/14 at the Ramkota.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

EXCERPT FROM MY INTERVIEW WITH JOHN BROWN


I had the opportunity to interview John Brown, the man who orchestrated the 1960s KOMA band scene.  He began with the Flippers, discovered the promo power of KOMA, built Mid-Continent Entertainment and opened the Red Dog Inn, all before the age of 30.

John is one of my heroes.  He is a self-made, visionary and bold businessman – the kind of person who makes America a land of opportunity.

I will post more of my interview with John.  Here is a small sample of our conversation.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

THOSE OF US Ramkota 041814

THOSE OF US rocked the Ramkota Ballroom on a brisk Saturday night in April.  I got to the hall just before they started playing so I hadn't established a camera shot.  Shaky sometimes but a real live scene.  Enjoy!

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Friday, March 14, 2014

YOURS TRULY K-O-M-A

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KOMA, 1520 on the AM dial, was a radio phenomenon in the 1960s and 1970s.  KOMA had millions listeners in a couple of dozen Midwest and high plains states.  The South Dakota Music Association has chosen KOMA  its 2014 Radio Station of the Year. (scroll down to read more about KOMA)


WHAT SONGS DID KOMA PLAY?

Here is a KOMA survey from August 1965 (click to expand):



WHY KOMA MATTERED IN SOUTH DAKOTA

In the mid 1960s, South Dakota, like most of the plains states, had very few fulltime Top 40 rock stations. Stations like KLOH and KELO aired rock only part time and KIMM and KSDR signed off at sunset. For many eager rock listeners, KOMA was their favorite nighttime station.  You could hear KOMA almost anywhere in South Dakota.

In 1964, John Brown, owner of Mid-Continent Entertainment in Lawrence, Kansas, was promoting a band called The Blue Boys, who soon became The Blue Things.  According to Brown, he was tired of driving endless miles to put up posters for gigs when he starting buying ads on KOMA.  The ads worked incredibly well and led the way for dozens of bands to advertise dances and summer tours on KOMA.

Brown’s bands, The Blue Things, The Flippers, The Red Dogs, Spider and the Crabs, The Rising Suns and The Young Raiders, became regional sensations and were role models for aspiring South Dakota musicians. At least two South Dakota bands, The Apostles and The Bleach Boys also advertised on KOMA.

Listening to KOMA was a common shared experience, a place to hear new tunes and the source of information about dances in ballrooms, armories, Legion halls, clubs and frat parties.

BRIEF HISTORY OF KOMA

KOMA was one of a handful of US radio stations authorized to operate at night with 50,000 watts, the maximum power allowed by the FCC.  To protect the signals of stations from Central and South America, KOMA was required to use a highly directional signal which covered much of the central and western US and parts of Canada.

In 1958 KOMA was acquired by Storz Broadcasting headed by Todd Storz, an heir to the fortune of the Storz Brewing Company in Omaha. Storz also owned other legendary early Top 40 rock stations like WDGY, Minneapolis; WHB, Kansas City; WTIX, New Orleans; and WQAM, Miami.

KOMA switched from automation to live programming in early 1964 and quickly became the most popular station in the region. DJs who spun the hits included Dale Wehba (heard in the clip above), Perry Murphy (the fat daddy fun frolic), Charlie Tuna, Don McGregor, Paul Miller, John David, Chuck Dann, J. Michael Wilson, Johnny Dark, Buddy Scott and a Brit, John Ravencroft.

Unknown to listeners, in the late 1960s the FCC fined KOMA for over modulating its signal, a technique that pushed its reach even farther than authorized.

TWO OF MY EXPERIENCES WITH KOMA

When I was in ninth grade, KOMA was saluting listeners in the many states where it was heard.  I sent in a card for “South Dakota Night” and they said my name on the air and joked that my handwriting made my name look like “Ken Zookie.”  I was amazed by how many kids at Patrick Junior High told me they heard it.  This was one of things that led me to a career in radio.

In the fall of 1969, after I worked at KISD, I was living near Stillwater, Oklahoma and I made a pilgrimage to the KOMA studio and transmitter in Moore, just south of OKC.  John David was my tour guide.  Among the many things I saw included KOMA’s underground production studio.  KOMA was a “conelrad” station – stations that were supposed to keep broadcasting in case of nuclear attack.  The production room was also a bomb shelter with emergency food, water and supplies.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My First Radio Research Project


 Ken Mills with radio and research telephone



In 1959 there were four radio stations in Sioux Falls: 

KSOO at 1140am was the mom and dad station.  Rosemary Clooney tunes and a morning guy who had conversations with himself in high-pitched nasally voice.

KISD at 1230am was automated, mainly featuring the voice of Jim Ameche, Don Ameche’s brother, playing what was then know as “beautiful music.”

KELO at 1320am had talk shows and hour after hour of NBC Monitor. 

And KIHO – my favorite station, the outlaw rock station at 1270am .

KIHO, or KI’-ho, as it was known, played 24/7 rock n roll.  KIHO was owned by a company from Chicago. Having watched “The Untouchables” me and my speculated  that the mob had something to do with the station, a rumor that made KIHO all the more appealing to me, a 10 year old boy.

KIHO, with jocks Smiling Jack Shafer, Dandy Dan, “The Morning Mayor KIHO Helgie” played the hits without regard for parental sensibilities.  I was in love with that skywave, particularly The Coke Show, a Saturday night request show where I had made my first on-air appearance answering a trivia question.

My dad and I had a disagreement about KIHO.  He didn’t like station.  I claimed KIHO had more listeners than any other Sioux Falls station.  He disagreed -- certainly KSOO had the most listeners, he bragged.  After all, KSOO was where he bought his political campaign ads.

So, on a Saturday afternoon in May 1959, my parents and my little sister went somewhere, leaving me home alone for a few hours.

I decided that the only way to prove my dad wrong was to do a survey that would prove that KIHO had the most listeners.

I got the phone book.  I marked every tenth name and phone number. 

Then, I started calling the numbers.

I’d say, “I’m taking a survey to find out what your favorite radio station is.”

Some of the people getting the call would say “who is this” and “who do you work for.”  But almost no one hung up on me and most gave me the call letters of their favorite station.

If I reached an older voice, I knew it was probably a KSOO listener.  If I reached a kid, they were likely to be a KIHO listener.

I kept a careful tabulation of the responses hoping my beloved KIHO would win.  It was close.

After three hours of calls, the final count was

KIHO  14
KSOO 12
KELO 2
KISD 1
Other (WNAX, Yankton) 2

When my parents and sister got home, I could hardly wait to show my dad the “proof” of KIHO’s superior popularity.

To my surprise, when I told him about the survey he wasn’t pleased.

“You did what?”

I went through my methodology.

There was a quiet conference between my mom and dad.

My telephone privileges were ended until further notice and I was sternly advised not to do this again.  But my dad never again said that KIHO wasn’t number one.

The lesson for me was that research works.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My KISD Tribute Video



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