KSAN 1450 Radio, San Francisco
Jumpin' George Oxford 1955
at KDIA, 1966
This recreated broadcast, recorded in 1966 for the
series of "Cruisin’" LPs, features one of the Bay Area's best-loved and
longest-running radio favorites, "Old G.O." — Jumpin' George Oxford.
A true Son of the South, Jumpin' spun rhythm and blues
platters — what many called "race records" back in the day — and
targeted the local black audience. With his smooth, deep Southern drawl
and hip patter, many listeners automatically assumed that G.O. was
black. Indeed, he wasn't.
Jumpin' George and KSAN were pioneers in broadcasting to
the black audience in the Bay Area, along with Oakland's KWBR, which
later became KDIA. Until the mid-1950s, the relative handful of stations
on the air locally devoted little time to "ethnic" programming of any
kind, with the exception of KSAN and KWBR, which also broadcast programs
intended for the Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, German and Japanese
After working at both KWBR and KSAN in the 1950s, George Oxford moved
to KDIA as its morning man. In the Summer of 1966, near the end of his
career, he was moved to a part-time weekend position at the station.
The original KSAN, not to be confused with the local FM
stations that have used the same call letters more recently, was born in
June 1925 as KGTT. In 1929, it became KGGC and, in 1938, it became the
first local station to use the KSAN call letters — again, not to be
confused with the local FM stations that have used the same call letters
more recently. In 1958, KSAN switched to a fulltime rhythm and blues music
format, targeting black listeners in the Bay Area, the first station on
the local dial to broadcast R&B around the clock.
On July 3, 1964, KSAN was sold to John F. (Les) Malloy
and Delmor A. (Del) Courtney, two well-known San Francisco radio and
television personalities; Les Malloy was for many years a star on
local radio and had hosted a popular TV talk show on KGO in the 1950s,
while Del Courtney found fame as a bandleader and personality on
KSFO. With Malloy as president and general manager,
KSAN became KSOL on its first day under new ownership, hoping to better
emphasize its "Soul Radio" format, which it continued until September
1970. The station is currently known as KEST.