Friday, July 17, 2020

The 93 KHJ-LA Complete Boss 30 - 1974 (End Of Series)

KHJ 1974

The decade from 1965 to 1974. Suburban LA white girl, ages 7 to 16. Now, looking back, still in Southern California. Sixty-two now, but also seven. Also sixteen. The years don’t change, they accumulate, like the leaves of my liquidamber tree, crumbling and softening and feeding the life on the surface.

My earliest AM radio memories were mingled with the smell of cut bermuda grass, the whir of the push lawnmower, the feel of sun on my skin: the voice of Vin Scully on my dad’s transistor radio, calling the Dodgers game and telling us about Farmer John bacon and sausage, “the easternmost in quality and the westernmost in flavor.” Not KHJ, of course. My parents loved music, but if there was music on their radio it was KPFK (folk) or KFAC (classical). They had disdained popular music since the big band of their youth went away in the fifties, and weren’t about to listen to it now. Snobs? Well, yes. Me too.

Prior to this, most of the pop music we had heard (aside from the somehow ubiquitous Beatles) had been from singles/45s played by our babysitter, a paragon of 1965 teenage girlhood, complete with sponge-curler knowhow, ski vacations, and cheerleader pom poms. (She went on to shrug off all that, married a Frenchman and became an economist for the Fed). But I heard the top 30 hits in her room, and at some point during the middle Beatles years, my techie dad got my older sister a transistor radio of her own. 

KHJ and the boss 30 became part of our reality.

At age 11, 1969, lying on a faded beach towel on the grass in the backyard, reading The Hobbit, trying to get a tan on my tall, skinny, girl-child’s body. The smell of Sea and Ski lotion, the feel of prickly zoyzia grass sticking up through the threadbare towel: listening to KHJ on my very own transistor radio, the sound tinny and interrupted by static, trying to get that tiny dial to stay on the sweet spot of best reception. Aware of “hippies,” the Vietnam War, discrimination against Negroes (as we called people then), hearing my folks discussing a cousin’s attempt to go to something called Woodstock. I was not out in the world yet, but in a few years I would be, thanks to junior high and high school and my parents’ increasing preoccupation with their own, adult, worlds.

At age 14, 1972, lying on a JC Penney’s mass-produced psychedelic beach towel, at the actual beach and without adult supervision. Gossiping with my current best friend, reading Ray Bradbury, and improving the tan, except for that portion of the tip of my nose that was a perpetual blister from June through September. The smell of mustard, the feel of the warm sand and drying saltwater that encrusted every surface of my taller, still-skinny, most-definitely-not-filling-out-the-bikini body: listening to KHJ on the radio, mostly because one MUST have music at the beach, and the FM stations didn’t always come through. I was starting to have definite musical tastes, though, and when a song came on that didn’t make the cut, I would ruthlessly switch over to KRLA. But KHJ was in that salt-laden air, and each of the songs in the Boss 30 for 1972 is one that I know.

1974. I was 16, still a Southern California girl. I no longer body-surfed much, and it had been some time since I had lusted after surfer boys. The culture of Laurel Canyon had captivated me, as well as the intellectual life of speculative fiction; and if I was outside listening to the radio, it was a fancier one that played KMET and KLOS FM. The smell of the apricot tree, the feel of the embroidery floss and macrame rope sliding through my fingers: the sound of “top hits,” still, but hits that had filtered back and forth across the AM/FM divide. On the lists, I see Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Eric Clapton, but not the “good stuff.” More, the silly self-parodying stuff, the maudlin weepy stuff, the bounciest piece on the album. And yet, every single one is familiar to me, even now, 25 years later. KHJ was in the air. The DJ’s names, the ads, the station breaks - all somehow imprinted into my consciousness, a palimpsest faintly showing through all of the years, all of the music, all of the life that followed. 

KHJ. Southern California. That decade. It was in the air. 

It still is. Essay by Rebecca Roberts

1973 to 1974 YANDEX
1974 Part 1 (January-February) YANDEX
1974 Part 2 (March-April) YANDEX
1974 Part 3 (May-June) YANDEX
1974 Part 4 (July-August) YANDEX
1974 Part 5 (September-October) YANDEX
1974 Part 6 (November-December) YANDEX

It's been a long, and sometimes, a hard road to get this completed. And at last, it finally is. 1974 will feel quite different from the others but after listening to most of it, this seems like a fitting way to end the series. I'm not saying anything else about it. You gotta find out for yourself and be surprised! I think it turned out quite well. I hope it puts a smile on your face. So with this post and the others in the series, you will have EVERY LA Top-30 song, along with every US Top-10 (if it never made it onto the KHJ chart) nearly all (98%+) in the exact 45 single mixes (either mono or stereo) spanning from July 1965 through December 1974. Also included are actual station IDs, airchecks, and advertisements from each year featured in the series. I estimate 300+ have never seen a digital release. 3563 tracks. 137 hours long. This is the soundtrack for our lives. It documents the time when Los Angeles radio, particularly KHJ, was ever-present, like a passive participant in our lives. In Los Angeles, KRLA and for a while, KFWB were cooler stations but it was only KHJ that kept everyone in the family happy. So as youngsters, KHJ became the default station.

KHJ also spoke to the entire city and in a way united the city in a way that seems impossible today. Be it Lynwood, Compton, Covina, Tarzana, Anaheim, Bellflower, East LA, Canoga Park, Culver City, or Redondo Beach, it didn't matter if we had never met anyone or had never been to these areas. We were still united through KHJ.

There are a lot of people to thank officially for this. When I first started posting these last autumn, some AYBCS readers offered me upgrades and airchecks, so by my third post I understood how the series should be: all original single mixes and included as many airchecks as possible. Furthermore, I understood that I'd have to start all over again, go back to the first aircheck in 1965, completely overhaul my original posts, and add three additional years.

My friend Kwai Chang kept the flame burning and gave me the advice, support, and encouragement to see it all the way through. Without his support, I definitely would have petered out before completing it. It is his essays that you'll see in 1965-1973.

Rory has been my second set of eyes and has pointed out many of my errors and opened up both his vast collection and knowledge. He has been instrumental in bringing this series up to the next level.

Dave Rafter also helped me quite a bit by helping with his detective work, and I suspect, even bought a few items so we would have them here!

Kevin Johnson, Sitar Swami, Colin Push, Patti Rules, and Timmy have also made valuable contributions to this series.

I thank you all and I also thank AYBCS readers for sharing my enthusiasm for this project.

Finally, this will be my last post for a while, I'll be around to update links and make corrections. I need to recharge my batteries. I do invite you to look deeper into the blog, I try to keep all posts working properly.


DK said...

Thanks again to all involved in such an heroic effort!

antony j said...

Truly epic! Congratulations and thanks!

monkeeboy said...

Genius! Thank you so much. Get a well deserved rest and stay safe. Truly looking forward to your next concept.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this series! I'm sure it was an enormous amount of work, and the results have been just outstanding! Cheers!

LOFC said...

Superb! Your hard work and time is most appreciated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on this great project! It reminds me how much the radio meant to me as a kid. Many, many thanks!

Bert said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful serie of uploads. It was a joy everytime. I'm very happy it, and I am grateful for all the labour you put into this!!! .

Aussie said...

big thank you from Aussie

Len said...

Thank You so very much for all your hard work to bring this to us!!

Anonymous said...

Truly great series....


hotrodmike said...

Wow, what great way to wrap up this amazing look back. You certainly delivered the surprises you promised. Those in studio calls were just so incredible to hear. Thanks to you and all your helpers for putting this great series together. I almost feel like a regular KHJ listener at this point. Enjoy your well deserved break.

Chi-Town said...

This has been an awesome series. Thanks, BF, to you and your helpers.

Anonymous said...

All of your work is incredibly creative and well done. It's miraculous.

Anonymous said...

Deepest thanks for this, the story of my youth.

LonChes said...

Thanks for this great series and all of the hard work you put into it. Very epic!

GW said...


Peerke said...

Many, many thanks for this wonderful series.
Thanks to everyone who contributed.

The Chairman said...

Mighty! Big big thanks, BF & KC - now take your well deserved siesta! TC

Keith said...

Thank you again. As a Brit this is a Time Travelling Machine that brings alive an adopted culture. Should this not be available as a Historical document? Smithsonian? Enjoy your rest.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good work

draftervoi said...

Thank you for the mention, it was a pleasure tracking down mono versions. I gave a bunch of your earlier work to a friend of mine. Three weeks ago he called me. He'd taken a long flight and listened to the "oldies" channel. He said, "You're right. A lot of those early stereo mixes are AWFUL. I'll never be able to listen to them the same way ever again after listening to what you sent me." I'm not a mono snob; I'll take a good stereo mix over mono most of the time. But there was a period where the producers didn't make good stereo mixes. Instruments or vocals were panned hard right or hard left, or they did distracting tricks like making the guitar solo move back and forth from one channel to another. 1974 is a good place to stop, because they began getting the stereo mixes right about that time. (As a possible future project...there's the "single edit" issue. I'm trying to track down the short single version of Bob Seger's "Katmandu, Prince's "Purple Rain," etc.

Jay Dee Gee said...

Amazing job! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Awesome series! Many thanks for all of the work that was put into this.

madhouse51 said...

Humbled by your dedication and generosity. Thank you.
Barney from Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a fantastic idea for a project and a masterful execution!
Thank you!

Rebecca Roberts' essay brought me RIGHT back to my sister's constant sunbathing--chasing the perfect suntan using baby oil and mercurochrome if memory serves.

Thanks to everyone involved in this labor of love!

- Stinky

HD said...

Very cool essay to cap off a truly epic series. I never visited L.A. until 1978, but, as perhaps goes without saying, this encapsulates the mid-60's to early 70's Top 40 radio experience across the country like little else. Contemporary broadcasting seems unable or unwilling to deliver this kind of programming to the nostalgia starved boomers of 2020, but keeping the drooling masses in front of their video screens is clearly today's priority. Brilliant work, much appreciated, stay well, and Thank You!

SoCal Surf Fan said...

Thanks for all your effort and attention to detail. These posts covered the years when I was never without my transistor radio. Coincidentally, 1974 was the year I started to ween myself off of AM radio and expand my musical tastes. I remember listening KHJ growing up in the L.A. area. (However, I preferred KRLA because the DJs were a little more like FM DJs.) You brought back some great memories. Looking forward to your next project.

1968er said...

Just finished grabbing it all, thanks so much! It is the perfect Summer driving car list. So many I've heard and so many oddballs I've never heard, love it. 5 Years on my phone so far, eventually all 10. I tweaked a Survey for each year to create a cover, all clean, square and (I say) great colors. Anybody want them?

zipper said...

Thanks to everyone involved in this mammoth series and to BF for posting it here. A truly awesome collection. Cheers!

roger said...

Many thanks for these nice series and all the good work to share this allthough the last one regarding 1974 doesn't seem to work. Kind regards roger

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Pitiful 57 said...

Got It All except 1974 - Doesn't Appear To Work. Can You Do Anything to Help? If So I Would Greatly Appreciate It. Thank You For ALL of your shares.
Mr. Pitiful 57

Unknown said...

Thanks a lot for this whole amazing series! The wetransfer link for 1974 doesn't seem to work... Is it possible to fix it?

Kwai Chang said...

Here is 1974...
Link expires in 7 days!
Good luck!

Kwai Chang said...

Please feel free to share your artwork!
I'm non-profit...ALL donations are accepted.
Thank you, in advance!

1968er said...

KHJ Cover Art

Two each of five styles to take you through the years. Made from the survey scans these are all simple, square, clean and border-less. And I declare them the best colors they could possibly be.

Depending on your music player - make each one the art for *just* track one to display them without interfering with the meticulously placed survey art (and more) already tagged onto the tracks. Enjoy!

Kwai Chang said...

Thank you, ever so kindly!

Edward said...

Such a great accomplishment. Thank you so much for all your efforts.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing, a monumental effort by everyone involved, but i cant see any links for this part, 1974 if some one could set a link for me that would be awesome. i even missed the we transfer re-up, as i was away. many thanks in anticipation. kev in the uk. thank you

Kwai Chang said...

KHJ 1974
WeTransfer link will expire in 7 days!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the re-up. Kev

Kwai Chang said...

I'm sorry I didn't see your request sooner!
Thanks for your vigilance.

Dama said...

This is beautiful,thank U

Anonymous said...

@KC. Got it now thank you very much. kev

Tinman said...

Thank You for the Reup. Would hate to miss the end of this great post. Thanks Again, Mark

Kwai Chang said...

I'm trying to write one more essay about
this great's called:
'Since Our Host Needs A Break And A Vacation', I don't mind helping out. I sent him
some work-repellent and I've tried to keep a
watchful eye over the 1974 links. Since using
WeTransfer means re-uploading every week, I'm
using Zippyshare this time in the interest of
an economy of motion. If we get more mileage
from the download links, then everyone can be
happy and I won't have to check on things so
often. This main thing is to make sure that
no one is deprived. So, late-arrivals will be
required to download four separate parts which
are actually two folders each. Nothing scary,
nothing is different. WeTransfer has a limit
of 2GB...while Zippyshare only allows 500MB.
So, what you are downloading is as follows:
**1973 to 1974
**1974 Pt. 1(Jan-Feb)
**1974 Pt. 2(Mar-Apr)
**1974 Pt. 3(May-June)
**1974 Pt. 4(July-Aug)
**1974 Pt. 5(Sept-Oct)
**1974 Pt. 6(Nov-Dec)

Here are the links:

Anonymous said...

I must have missed the 1974 stuff here. I tried a copy and paste of these links to Zippy you've provided -


None of them work. It's an amazing collection which I'd like to complete. Help!


Anonymous said...

Anonymous... don't include the "1974-A" part when you copy and paste.

Kwai Chang said...

They DO work!
Thank you, Anonymous!

irish66nd said...

Such a great quality, generous selection! Thank you for all the time and effort!

jgmoney said...

Thanks for this. Great series!

I too am anonymous. said...

Yes they do work and a big thank you for all of this, about to do a catch up.

foppington said...

Although my first visit to LA was 1977, I had a radio stapled to my ear with one of the NYC stations, particularly WNBC and WABC, from at least 72-75, so stumbling across this was exciting even if I'd never heard of KHJ at the time. What a mammoth undertaking, including the great essays, bringing back memories of Lean On Me wafting its way across the fields from the kitchen radio at day camp in the summer of '72--congratulations and thank you!

Zoran said...

Whether You continue working or not.

Uncle Pete said...

woooow a huuge thank you for this amazing labour of love. i (and obviously many, many more) have much appreciated your work. take a well deserved break but PLEASE come back and continue. You will be missed but appreciated more if you return

Theabs06 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ace F'really said...

This is the internet used properly, INHO. Many thanks!

Timmy said...

Guess you are either dead, or waiting until July 2021 to post something further.

ppp said...

I know i am very late but thx a lot for everything u post (especially singles of Steely Dan, Rascals, Small Faces, etc.)

BarrieB said...

Get well Frank & fuck the world.

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Stephen said...

Come Back................!

Judemac said...

Great story & remember growing up outside L.A. listing to all these countdowns, a friend of mine collects KFJ aircheck, have lots of them but need to find them all one day. Anyway, is the actual site owner done? never see new posts here. Lots of posts like Tom Petty have dead links. Anyway, just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for compiling and sharing these wonderful radio programs.

ex-mixer said...

Happy New Year! New to this blog and all I can say is WOW and Thank you!
Amazing work! Cheers for a better 2022.

Anonymous said...

If I could wish any blog back into existence it would be this one!