KSAN Radio: 1968-1980
The Jive 95 Years

San Francisco, California

A KSAN Family Photo
Circa 1974

The history of KSAN (Jive 95 Radio) in words and pictures.

A bumper sticker commemorating KSAN’s tenth anniversary in 1978
On The Air Sign (Image)

“The Jive 95”

Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame
Legendary Station Award Recipient – 2014

Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame Logo
Bob Dylan Special #176 on KSAN (April 26, 1969; 71 minutes)

Bob Postle presents an hour-plus retrospective of Dylan’s work to date, sponsored by Columbia Records (which had recently released his “Nashville Skyline” LP) and featuring a guest appearance by the Congress of Wonders. The original stereo recording heard in this exhibit is from the collection of Richard Links, who also digitally remastered the audio for presentation here.

Altamont Aftermath on KSAN (December 7, 1969)

In the wake of the cataclysmic free concert at Altamont Speedway (near Tracy, Calif.) one day earlier, Stefan Ponek hosts a post-mortem program on KSAN featuring several people tied to the event, including Sonny Barger, founder/president of the Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, who phones in to the station to share his unique perspective of what happened that day. (Note that the location is mispronounced as “Altamonté” – as in “Altamon-tay” – throughout the broadcast.)

Dave McQueen on KSAN (October 12, 1970)

The KSAN Gnus Department, led by Dave McQueen (BARHOF 2010), reports on the demise of KMPX FM 107, where the primordial roots of The Jive 95 had been planted by Tom Donahue (BARHOF 2006) and his merry crew two years earlier. Includes a recording of Roland Young and other members of the KMPX staff before the plug is pulled on the station.

Milan Melvin on KSAN (Undated excerpt; circa 1970?)

Less than a minute of Milan Melvin (1942-2001) reminding KSAN listeners that he won’t take requests for specific songs, regardless of how many Blue Cheer fans phone in – or how many fake accents they use. Courtesy of Norman Davis.

Tom Donahue, Ben Fong-Torres and Dylan on KSAN (February 9-10, 1974; 2+ hours)

A weekend’s-worth of Dylan-oriented programming on The Jive 95, all in advance of his concert appearance with The Band at the Oakland Coliseum Arena on Feb. 11, starting with a Saturday night salute by Big Daddy himself. Next, enjoy nearly two hours of Ben Fong-Torres (BARHOF 2010) and his tales of Dylan, including plenty of music and excerpts from an interview with Robbie Robertson of The Band.

Ben Fong-Torres and Mimi Fariña at a KSAN remote broadcast.
(Undated photo)
KSAN: Tenth Anniversary Simulcast (1978; 2 hours)

To celebrate its tenth year as KSAN, the station simulcasts “films made for television” (later known simply as “videos”) of popular musical acts, including Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Rolling Stones and Santana, in conjunction with KQED (Channel 9). Includes intros by KSAN general manager Jerry Graham, Glenn Lambert, Norm Winer and Tony Kilbert. After the simulcast, stay tuned for a lengthy segment of KSAN music (without pictures).

Glenn Lambert on KSAN (July 4, 1979; 15 minutes)
Stephen Capen on KSAN (Sept. 20, 1980; 20 minutes)
Stephen Capen and Jack Popejoy on KSAN (November 14, 1980; 1 hour)

IN STEREO! The final rock’n’roll morning show on KSAN before the switch to Country Music, featuring a phone call from KFRC’s Rick Shaw, an interesting mixture of “farewell” songs, a collage of memories and a final list of thank-yous from Stephen and Jack. The recording concludes with a short segment of Billy Juggs’ shift on “the station you’ll never forget.”

KSAN-FM Print Ad (Image)
Print ad from the Milline Club show program, December 1971

FRONT ROW (from left): Stefan Ponek, Trish Robbins, unidentified naked woman, Edward Bear (with Dave McQueen’s arm over his shoulder), Paul Boucher (head showing over Peter Laufer’s), Peter Laufer (wearing black hat), Chandler Laughlin (Travus T. Hipp);
BACK ROW (from left): Bob McClay, Richard Gossett, unknown, Dave McQueen (above Edward Bear), Bobby Cole (behind Paul Boucher), Dusty Street, Doug Dunlap (with cowboy hat and glasses);
REAR CENTER: Willis Duff (station manager, in Napoleon hat).

Special thanks to Norman Davis and Jive95.com!

Milline Club ad (“Unduplicated Exposure”)
generously provided by Duane Wadsworth.
Identities provided through the kind assistance of
Bonnie Simmons and Tom Ballantyne.



Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
26 November 2019 11:28 PM

KSAN didn’t switch to “modern country” from rock ‘n roll in 1980, they switched to classic country (oldies) – and it was a beautiful thing. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that they switched to “modern country”, at which time I stopped listening.

Cori Simpson
Cori Simpson
Reply to  Brad
19 November 2020 6:31 AM

Either way it was the end of an Era and a truly sad end at that.

Katherine Brunner
Katherine Brunner
30 November 2020 7:43 PM

I am looking for a copy of the radio drama produced in the Watergate years by KSAN called The Darkening Sky as a culmination of the Watergate Follies

Reply to  Katherine Brunner
10 April 2023 8:16 AM

Also looking for The Darkening Sky radio show. No luck finding it online. Any luck?

David Gardner
David Gardner
26 January 2021 6:57 PM

I am from New Jersey so my radio memories are mostly from New York & Philadelphia stations. I am most interested in the broadcast in which “Ransaan” Roland Kirk” (arguably the greatest musician who ever lived) took over KSAN. An edited version of which was broadcast here on public radio jazz station WBGO as “Radio Free Ransaan” around 1984-85…

James Wong
James Wong
9 February 2021 12:18 AM

Hi…On 1/31/76, KSAN aired a fantastic 12-hour retrospective “Suddenly Lost Summer 1966-1976”. Do recordings of this complete show exist?

Dwight Rawlins
Dwight Rawlins
24 November 2021 11:50 AM

I went S.F.S.U in 1975-76 and KSAN was the best!

24 December 2021 3:28 AM

Does anyone know what’s the picture on the wall – please email me: david at smileforawhile dot de

26 March 2022 8:31 PM

I was a Berkeley grad student in physics, I used to listen to KSAN while scanning bubble chamber film in LeConte Hall late at night, as KSAN would get more and more risque as the night went on. They would do tongue in cheek ads for themselves, one had a man saying “Ladies and gentlemen.. Leonid Brezhnev” followed by a whole string of russian, ending with “Ya slushily, KSAN the jive 95.” When Ronnie got elected, Giant Hamburger went out of business, and KSAN went country western, all at about the same time, it was like the end of an era.

Doggy Daddy
Doggy Daddy
20 August 2022 6:27 PM

I was given a box full of reel to reels of KSAN air checks dating from 1968 to 1971. It includes a four hour version of the Altamont program as well as a bunch of complete shows. Comedy by The Congress of Wonders too. I haven’t transferred any of it yet. I need to dig out my old reel to reel.

Doggy Daddy
Doggy Daddy
Reply to  Doggy Daddy
29 August 2022 5:24 PM

Is anyone set up to easily transfer from R2R to CD? If so, I’ll send you a tape if you send me back a CD of it. You can keep the tape.

10 December 2023 9:36 AM

[…] Here’s a colorized photo of the crew at KSAN circa 1972. You can hear some fascinating audio clips of their broadcasts at the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame website. […]

10 December 2023 3:05 PM

The colorized photo is circa 1974 NOT 1972. Three men in the photo -Sean Donohue, Phil Charles and Bob Simmons – worked at KOME in San Jose in 1972. Those three plus the KOME DJ I lived with (Don Potoczak) were hired by KSAN and we all moved to SF in late 1974. Tom Donohue died in 1975.

George Barnett
George Barnett
29 March 2024 7:05 PM

It was the early 70’s, “drive time” I think it was Richard Gosett on the air, when Lynnyrd Skynerd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” came out. He played it once, then said what a great song it was, and played it again. Then…he played it again. 3 times in a row! Who does that?!? KSAN did. They did. The “Freeform Rock and Roll DJ’s did. I miss them. I miss their creativity and their “I play what I like” attitude. They helped make life wonderful. I hope they all know that.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x