Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame
Class of 2008!
An overflow crowd of fans, friends and colleagues was on hand to welcome the latest group of inductees into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame on October 1, 2008, at the Doubletree Inn on the Berkeley Marina.
Sixteen of the seventeen members of BARHOF’s Class of 2008 were represented at the gala luncheon, including Broadcast Legends Red Blanchard and Don Klein.
New inductees Rosie Allen, Alex Bennett, Renel Brooks-Moon, Bob Fouts, Mickey Luckoff, Terry McGovern and Dave Sholin were all present for the ceremony.
Roy Storey, who could not be present, was represented by his sister Marcia Johnson, while Bill Gavin, Hap Harper, Mikel Hunter Herrington, Russ Hodges, Dude Martin, Doug Pledger and Russ “The Moose” Syracuse, inducted posthumously, were represented by friends or family members.
Presented under the auspices of the Broadcast Legends, the BARHOF 2008 program was emceed by David Jackson, executive director of the Bay Area Radio Museum. Joe Starkey, radio voice of 49ers and Cal football, inducted the four legendary local sportscasters — Hodges, Storey, Klein and Fouts — into the Hall of Fame.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, a successful sportscaster in his own right, presented his father, Bob Fouts, with a funny and heart-warming speech. “We’ve all worked for a variety of stations with a variety of call letters — KFRC, KCBS, KPIX,” Dan Fouts commented. “But this is one set of call letters that’s for life — BARHOF.”
The senior Fouts, the early voice of the 49ers on radio and television as well as a longtime sportscaster on KSFO and KCBS, regaled the audience with tales of his the Niners … and pro wrestling!
Other presenters included Bill Faust (for his step-father, Doug Pledger), Bob Matheson (for Red Blanchard), Ed Baxter (for Rosie Allen), Ronn Owens (for Mickey Luckoff), Dana Jang (for Mikel Hunter), Mike Preston (for Dave Sholin), Ted “Hezzie” Johnson (for Dude Martin) and Al Newman (for Terry McGovern).
Ben Fong-Torres and Tommy Saunders presented their memories and an audio montage of their friend, Russ Syracuse. New Hall of Famer Dave Sholin presented his former boss, Bill Gavin, for induction.
More than 6,000 votes were cast in the BARHOF 2008 balloting. Renel Brooks-Moon, host of 98.1 Kiss FM’s morning show and voice of the Giants at AT&T Park, was named on more than 25% of all ballots — most of any nominee — and, along with KGO’s Rosie Allen, was one of only two women to be inducted this year.
Other notable guests in the capacity crowd included sportscaster Barry Tompkins, KGO production superstar Mike Amatori, popular KYA disc jockey Chris Edwards (now an account exec with KFRC), legendary R&B disc jockey John “Bouncin’ Bill” Doubleday, longtime radio personality Ward Glenn and voice artist Gary Mora (now hosting Classic KYA Radio).
But it was Celeste Perry, Dave Sholin’s partner on KFRC’s morning show, who got off the line of the day. During his acceptance speech, Sholin proudly introduced Perry, noting that she, too, will someday be inducted into BARHOF.
Perry quickly shouted “I’m not old enough!” and was met with raucous laughter and applause from the multitude.
The complete Class of 2008, listed alphabetically, includes:
Currently the co-anchor of the KGO (810 AM) Afternoon News, Rosie began her local radio career at Oakland’s KNEW and San Francisco’s KNBR. She moved to ABC-owned KSFX (103.7 FM) in 1976 as public affairs director, before joining co-owned KGO a year later as weekend talk show host and part-time news reporter/anchor. In 1984, she became co-anchor of KGO’s afternoon newscast.
Bay Area born and raised, Alex started his broadcasting career at San Rafael’s tiny KTIM (1510 AM), which he used as a springboard to success in Houston (at KILT as James Bond) and New York City (at WMCA and WPLJ). Upon his triumphant return to San Francisco, Alex became morning man at KMEL (106.1 FM), KQAK (98.9 FM, “The Quake”) and KITS (105.3 FM, “Live 105”). He later hosted a technology-oriented talk show on the CNET Radio and, since 2003, has been one of the stars of Sirius Left (Channel 146) on New York-based Sirius satellite radio.
One of broadcasting’s zaniest personalities ever, Red Blanchard bridged the gap between radio’s network-oriented “golden age” and the disc jockey-driven “modern era” in the 1950s. Working with a cast of oddball characters – most of them his own invention – Red gained a fanatical following with his live program on KCBS (740 AM), one of the last radio shows to be performed before a studio audience in the Bay Area. Popularized the 1950s catch-word “Zorch!” Red — he was born Richard Blanchard — currently resides near San Diego.
Renel’s remarkable career has led her from being one of the last personalities on the original KFRC during its “Big 610” heyday in the 1980s to being one of the ringleaders of KMEL’s pioneering “Morning Zoo” to full-fledged stardom as host of “Renel In The Morning” on 98.1 Kiss FM since 1997. The Oakland-born graduate of Mills College, known to many as the in-stadium voice of the San Francisco Giants, received the most votes during this year’s Hall of Fame voting, being named on more than 27% of all ballots cast.
The voice of San Francisco 49ers football in the 1950s, Bob was also a popular sportscaster and commentator on KSFO (560 AM) and KCBS (740 AM), as well as on Bay Area television. In addition, Bob called play-by-play for the San Francisco Warriors, the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals, and covered the World Series, British Open championships, three Olympics and a variety of other sports during twenty years as a correspondent for ABC Radio Sports, as well as for the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). His son, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, followed in Bob’s footsteps as a respected sportscaster.
Perhaps best known for creating the industry-standard record tipsheet The Gavin Report, Bill Gavin was a pioneering disc jockey who created and hosted “Lucky Lager Dance Time,” which garnered an extensive audience throughout the western United States. In 1958, three years after he began “Dance Time,” Gavin parlayed his knowledge of music into a mimeographed tipsheet covering Top 40 records, which quickly became a “must read” for radio station programmers throughout the industry. Bill Gavin died in 1985 at the age of 77.
Radio’s original airborne traffic reporter, Hap was a Marine Corps lieutenant and pilot during World War II whose friendship with KSFO’s Don Sherwood led to an on-air role as in-the-air weather reporter. Spotting an auto accident on the Bay Bridge one day, Hap described the aftermath and helped create a new industry. In addition to KSFO, he also was a popular personality on KFRC, KNBR and the combined KSFO/KYA-FM. Howard “Hap” Harper passed away in 2006.
MIKEL HUNTER HERRINGTON
An innovator, entrepreneur and radio original, “Captain Mikey” – also known on the air as “Hot Rocks Hunter” and “Oil Can Harry” – was a Top 40 disc jockey at San Jose’s KLIV (1590 AM) and helped to pioneer the album rock format at the Southbay’s KOME (98.5 FM); he later repeated that success at L.A.’s KMET. A noted wine connoisseur, he relocated to Napa later in his career, working at KVON/KVYN within a cork’s throw of the vineyards. Named to the San Jose Rocks Music Hall of Fame (2007). Mikel Herrington died in 1997 of leukemia at the age of 62.
Educated as an attorney, Kentucky-born Russ Hodges arrived in San Francisco in 1958 as the voice of the transplanted Giants, working alongside Lon Simmons (BARHOF Class of 2006) for a dozen years on the team’s radio broadcasts. Known for his trademark call of “Bye-bye baby” on Giants’ home runs, Hodges attained baseball immortality for his legendary call of Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round The World” (“The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”) in 1951. Inducted into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, Russ Hodges passed away in 1971 at the age of 61.
One of the Bay Area’s most versatile and knowledgeable sportscasters, Don Klein served as the play-by-play voice of University of San Francisco basketball, Stanford football and basketball, San Francisco Seals baseball and hockey, and San Francisco 49ers football. During the Niners’ glory days in the 1980s, Klein was behind the microphone to describe all of the memorable plays for six amazing seasons. His broadcasting career spanned more than fifty years, including as sports anchor on KCBS (740 AM).
The monumental success of San Francisco’s KGO (810 AM) can be attributed to many factors – great talent, great programming … and the skilled direction of Mickey Luckoff, who has served as president and general manager of the station since 1972. Under his watch, KGO remained solidly atop the local radio ratings — a position the station maintained since the summer of 1978 — while becoming one of the most honored radio stations in the history of the industry.
At the forefront of the Bay Area’s burgeoning western music scene from the 1930s through the 1950s, Berkeley-raised Dude Martin (born Steve McSwain) and his band were a staple of local radio and nightclubs. In addition to leading his own western orchestra, the Nevada Nightherders, Dude hosted programs on KLX, KYA, KSFO and KGO over the years; at KGO, his morning radio program of familiar tunes, interspersed with conversation, led to his next venture as one of local television’s first stars on KGO-TV. He passed away in 1991.
Currently one of the most popular voice actors and coaches in the industry, Terry McGovern arrived in San Francisco fresh from KDKA/Pittsburgh in 1968 to become one of the greatest stars of star-studded KSFO (560 AM). His next stop led him to progressive rock powerhouse KSAN (94.9 FM; “The Jive 95”) during its apex under the direction of Tom Donahue (BARHOF Class of 2006). Terry later morninged at K-101 and KSFO/KYA-FM. Beyond radio, Terry is a successful actor who appeared in countless motion pictures (including “American Graffiti” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”) and numerous television shows.
There was a time in Bay Area radio during which it was nearly impossible to miss hearing Doug Pledger on the air – as morning man on KSMO and KKHI (both at 1550 AM), KWUN (1480 AM) or KNBC/KNBR (680 AM), host of specialty programs (“Pledger Plays The Classics,” “Pledger Plays Polkas”) and advertising pitchman. A University of Wisconsin graduate with a degree in law, Pledger made his name originally as a sportscaster before settling in as one of San Francisco’s most popular announcers. Later owned San Mateo’s KOFY (1050 AM). He passed away in April 2008 at the age of 89.
Another of San Francisco State University’s endless stream of talented broadcasters, Dave Sholin – “The Duke” – got his start at San Jose’s KLIV (1590 AM) and KARA (105.7 FM). Having quickly built a reputation for having a “golden ear,” he was hired by the legendary KFRC (610 AM) as music director; he cemented his reputation by being named Music Director of the Year by the Gavin Report as KFRC pulled off an unprecedented string of seven consecutive Billboard Major Market Top 40 Station of the Year awards. Later named national music director for KFRC’s parent company, RKO General, he took the job one step beyond by creating a series of RKO Radio Network specials featuring stars such as Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder, as well as a historic interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono conducted only hours before Lennon’s murder. Dave Sholin is currently the morning host at Classic Hits KFRC (106.9 FM).
Another member of the Class of 2008’s stellar group of sportscasters, Roy Storey excelled in all fields but was unparalleled when it came to describing ice hockey on the air. His long career included stints behind the microphone for major league baseball recreations on KYA and for one of the earliest sports-talk programs in the mid-1950s on Oakland’s KLX. Roy was also the color and play-by-play voice of the San Francisco 49ers (alongside fellow inductee Bob Fouts), the Western Hockey League Seals (alongside fellow inductee Don Klein) and the NHL Oakland Seals. He was the radio announcer for hockey matches at the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, and was the voice of St. Mary’s College basketball for many years. In addition, he was a news anchor at 1260/KYA in the 1970s.
One of KYA’s famed New York imports in the early 1960s (along with Gene Nelson, Tommy Saunders, Peter Tripp, Johnny Holliday and Larry Brownell), Russ The Moose served as captain of the “All-Night Flight” on “Super Freak 1260,” dive-bombing bad records – and some commercials that didn’t appeal to him – while serving up tasty laminated yak fat sandwiches to his insomniac passengers. His local career also took him to KFRC (on two occasions), KSFO (three times), KNBR (once) and back to KYA (for a total of four stints). A legend among his fellow broadcasters, Russ The Moose passed away in 2000 at the age of 70.