frank cope



Frank Cope, from a photograph published in the Chronicle (1953)
Frank Cope, from a photograph published in the Chronicle (1953)

The Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame has attempted to locate members of the Cope family so that we may share this honor with them and celebrate Frank Cope’s achievements in broadcasting. If you can assist us in making contact, please get in touch with us. Thank you!

Frank Cope was inducted as a member of the Hall of Fame on December 12, 2007, by founding director David Ferrell Jackson:

In radio’s earliest days, programming usually centered on segments of fifteen minutes or a half-hour featuring a musical combo, playing live, or a group of thespians gathered around the microphone, presenting a dramatic reading.

In time, the network comedies, dramas and variety shows became the staples of the airwaves, but on the smaller, independent stations — such as San Francisco’s flea-powered KJBS – it was difficult to attract big name, expensive talent.

Instead, KJBS experimented with a variety of programs, including the remarkable concept of having a fellow sit in the studio with a stack of records, which he played, followed by giving the time, the temperature, maybe a news headline or two, and comments on the events of the day.

On March 3, 1930, Frank Cope — freshly arrived from KLO Radio in Utah — took a seat behind the microphone at KJBS and began playing records and doing all those things that disc jockeys do — only he was doing them decades before the disc jockey became king of radio.

From 1930 until 1959, when KJBS became today’s KFAX, Frank Cope woke up San Franciscans with “The Alarm Klok Klub,” the longest-running morning show with a single host in Bay Area radio history.

We tried valiantly to find a family member to represent Frank Cope here today, but, regretfully, we failed. Nonetheless, let’s give a nice round of applause for Frank Cope – the world’s oldest disc jockey – upon his induction into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

Special thanks to Len Shapiro and the San Francisco Chronicle for research materials on the life and career of Frank Cope.

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