KSAN 1450 George Oxford 1955

KSAN 1450 Radio, San Francisco
Jumpin’ George Oxford
1955

This recreated broadcast, recorded in 1966 for the series of “Cruisin’” LPs, features one of the Bay Area’s best-loved and truetone_stratoscopelongest-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 communities.

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.

george-oxford_kdia_1966
George Oxford at KDIA, 1966

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.

Inducted 2006
Inducted 2006

  FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE…

1955              Jumpin’ George Oxford on KSAN 1450, 1955 (30 minutes)

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