Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame
Class of 2006!
The first class of inductees into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame was feted during the quarterly luncheon of the Broadcast Legends on Wednesday, December 6, 2006, in front of a capacity crowd of enthusiastic well-wishers at the Doubletree Hotel on the Berkeley Marina.
Frank Dill, Al Hart, Ken Ackerman and Bill Moen were among the Hall of Fame inductees present for the celebration. In addition, Patti Collins, widow of Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins, was on hand to honor the legendary jazz disc jockey, while Greg Sherwood Cohelan, son of “The World’s Greatest Disc Jockey,” Don Sherwood, accepted the Hall of Fame plaque on behalf of his father, and Travus T. Hipp and Bonnie Simmons shared stories about Tom Donahue with the crowd.
Other inductees included Jim Dunbar, Bill King, Lon Simmons, James Gabbert, Jim Lange, Dave McElhatton, Gene Nelson and Dr. Don Rose. (The complete Class of 2006 list follows below.)
A video presentation introduced all 37 inductees to the audience. The video was produced by David Jackson for the Bay Area Radio Museum, which presented the new Hall of Famers in conjunction with the Broadcast Legends.
Also in attendance were numerous notable local broadcast personalities, including Sam Van Zandt, Trish Bell, Peter B. Collins and Paul “The Lobster” Wells, plus a large contingent of Broadcast Legends, including Aaron Edwards, Norm Howard, Chris Borden, Bob Lazich, Don Mozley, John Hamilton, Franklin Mieuli, Mike Pechner and Elma Greer.
Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame
CLASS OF 2006 – PIONEER ERA
Honorees are listed in alphabetical order.
— denotes brief audio clips accompany certain Hall of Fame inductees when available.
* – Selected posthumously.
Preston D. Allen *
A founder of both KZM and KLX (forerunners of today’s KNEW), he designed and built much of the broadcasting equipment used on the air by the stations.
Ralph R. Brunton *
Innovative longtime operator of groundbreaking pioneer station KJBS; later also co-owned KQW/San Jose.
Hugh Barrett Dobbs *
A pioneering health and fitness advocate, he was hired by KPO in 1925 to present an early-morning exercise program. The ebullient “Dobbsie” went on to host the landmark “Shell Ship of Joy” program, which later became a regular offering on the NBC Pacific Coast Network.
Wesley I. Dumm *
Went from director to owner of KTAB’s licensee, to establishing station as market leader KSFO in the 1930s and 1940s. Also founded KPIX (Channel 5) and locally-based shortwave stations KWID and KWIX, which formed the foundation for the Voice of America service.
Edna Fischer *
“San Francisco’s First Lady of Radio” was among the earliest female radio stars, making her debut on the air in 1918; her career spanned from radio’s birth to the dawn of the television age.
Fred J. Hart *
A farmer by trade, he developed KQW (now KCBS) from humble origins to key position among local stations; later also co-owned KROW, which later became KABL (forerunner of today’s KQKE).
Charles David “Doc” Herrold *
An inventor, innovator and educator, known today as the father of radio broadcasting and founder of KQW (the forerunner of today’s KCBS), which dates its origin to 1909.
Harrison Holliway *
A founder of KFRC (as well as experimental station 6BN and the short-lived Emporium commercial station, KSL) and notable early radio personality and executive.
Colin B. Kennedy *
Experimenter, innovator and station builder; the Canadian-born Kennedy (1885-1942) produced popular line of receivers for home listeners and founded Los Altos broadcast station KLP (now defunct) and pioneering amateur station 6XAC.
Carlton E. Morse *
Former newspaper reporter and creator/author of “One Man’s Family,” the popular radio drama which ran for nearly three decades on the air, first at KPO, and later across the entire nation. The Louisiana-born Morse (1901-1993) also created the memorable “I Love A Mystery” radio program.
Johnny Patrick * and Helen Troy *
Parlayed screwball “Cecil & Sally” comedy serial into one of the first nationally-syndicated transcribed (pre-recorded) programs, beginning in 1928 at KYA before moving to KPO and NBC.
Sherwood Patterson *
Longtime owner of station KSAN (forerunner of today’s KEST), he built the station up from hardscrabble beginnings to wide popularity; patriarch of a radio-industry family that is now in its fourth generation.
Al Pearce *
Popular radio personality (KFRC’s “The Happy Go Lucky Hour”); among first local stars to graduate to network stardom, originally on CBS and later on NBC with “Al Pearce and His Gang.”
Rev. George W. Phillips *
Pioneer of religious broadcasting, he built KTAB (forerunner of today’s KSFO) to serve and grow his congregation at the Tenth Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland.
Glenhall Taylor *
Among earliest performers on local radio as musician and announcer; later managed KTAB (forerunner of today’s KSFO) before becoming noted network program producer and writer.
Mel Venter *
Popular early program host (including KFRC’s “The Breakfast Gang”), newsman and sportscaster, as well as a station executive. He later made the transition to television as a KTVU host and announcer.
CLASS OF 2006 – MODERN ERA
Announcer, program host (“Music Till Dawn”) and newscaster on KQW and its successor, KCBS, he spanned the decades from the Second World War and was a founding member of the Broadcast Legends.
Ira Blue *
A staple of KQW, KNBC and KGO as a sportscaster from the 1940s, he also helped pioneer KGO’s usher in nascent talk show format with his eclectic broadcasts from the hungry i.
Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins *
Perhaps the greatest character in Bay Area radio history, his broadcasts from the mythic Purple Grotto on KSFO, KGO and other local stations defined the very essence of “cool.”
Imported from New York, he was the perfect fit at personality-plus KNBR for three decades, both alone and with sidekick Mike Cleary.
Tom Donahue *
The iconic “Big Daddy,” a Philadelphia Top 40 refugee, made his initial impact here at KYA, then rebuilt KMPX and KSAN (“The Jive 95”) into underground rock radio shrines.
Brought in from Chicago, Dunbar came to represent all things KGO, directing its programming shift to “news/talk” while anchoring its morning news broadcast for three decades.
As a Stanford student, he parlayed a small investment in a fledgling FM station (KPEN, which later became KIOI) into a local broadcasting empire, adding KOFY (AM, FM and TV) to his portfolio while become a familiar voice on Bay Area airwaves.
Arrived in the Bay Area as program director at KABL, then programmed KNBR before becoming a beloved newscaster at KCBS for three decades.
Pat Henry *
As the creative force behind Alameda’s renowned KJAZ (which its transmitter on San Francisco’s Russian Hill), his name is synonymous with jazz radio in the Bay Area.
Bill King *
With his devilish moustache and an infinite vocabulary used with poetic grace, he was the voice of baseball (A’s, Giants), football (Raiders), basketball (Warriors) and hockey (Seals) for Bay Area sports fans.
Les Malloy *
From pioneering disc jockey on KSAN, KYA and KGO to owner of the Bay Area’s original KSAN (1450 AM), a popular listener favorite from the 1930s through the 1970s.
A home-grown legend at KCBS as morning personality, “Mac” later became the popular “Eyewitness News” anchor at KPIX (Channel 5); his local broadcasting career encompassed more than fifty years on the air.
Beginning as one of the nameless voices behind the beautiful music on KABL, his “Moen in the Morning” show won over the hearts and ears of his listeners during his four decades at the station — and finally was allowed to identify himself!
Crowned as “The Emperor” upon his arrival at KYA in the mid-1960s, he rapidly became a favorite of loyal listeners who remained his constant companions for four decades; stalwart of post-Sherwood era KSFO.
Jumpin’ George Oxford *
On KSAN, KSOL and KDIA from the 1950s through the 1970s, velvet-voiced “Old G.O.” – a southern-born white man – became as elemental to local listeners as the R&B records he played.
Dr. Don Rose *
A radio legend as beloved off the air as he was while on, the good Doctor’s cornball humor and madcap cast of characters attracted a legion of listeners to his morning show on KFRC.
Don Sherwood *
Known rightfully as “The World’s Greatest Disc Jockey” at KSFO for parts of three decades, this native son of The City also worked at KFRC, KROW, KCBS and KYA during his nearly mythical career. At any given time during his tenure at KSFO, one of every four radio sets in the Bay Area was tuned to his program.
The Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster has blessed sports fans for six decades with his booming voice, casual style, extensive knowledge and sardonic wit on Giants, 49ers and A’s play-by-play.
Owen Spann *
Talk radio pioneer who helped transform KGO into the model for how the format should be done; initially built his following while at KCBS.