KDIA 1310 Logo (1984)

Oakland’s KDIA Lucky 13 Named 2018 Legendary Station

The Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, in cooperation with the California Historical Radio Society and the Broadcast Legends, is proud to announce that KDIA Radio (1310 AM) of Oakland has been named as the recipient of its Legendary Station Award for 2018.

KDIA, which began its life as the amateur station 6XAM in Oakland about one-hundred years ago, was the premiere radio station in serving the Bay Area’s vast African-American audience in the years following World War II, when it was known as KWBR, and well into the 1990s.

The station, which marketed itself as “KDIA Lucky 13” and “Boss Soul Radio,” played a central role in the community during the turbulent 1960s, as Oakland and the Bay Area became a focal point for the Civil Rights movement, the War on Poverty, the rise of the Black Panthers, and social unrest in the wake of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the protests against the war in Vietnam.

KDIA Music Survey (Image)
KDIA Music Survey (May 20, 1966)

Beyond its role as a powerful voice in the community, KDIA was also the go-to station for listeners seeking the solid sound of Soul Music – regardless of their ethnicity. Whether it was James Brown, The Supremes, The Impressions, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett – the list could go on forever – you weren’t cool unless your radio was set to KDIA!

That cool was delivered by a supremely talented team of announcers and news people, including “Big Daddy” Don Barksdale (BARHOF 2007), Belva Davis (BARHOF ’07), Bouncin’ Bill Doubleday (BARHOF ’11), Chuck “Buggs” Scruggs, Jumpin’ George Oxford (BARHOF ’06), Bob Jones, Johnny Morris, Sly Stone, John Hardy, Bill Hall, Bob White, Rosko (William Roscoe Mercer), Roland Porter, Wally Ray, Brother Louis Freeman, Sam Skinner, Marlon Scott (Alonzo Miller), Barry Pope, Alvin John Waples, Lady P.J. Ballard, Doug Cass and Al Moreland, to name but a few.

Alvin John Waples and P.J. Ballard (Photo)
Alvin John Waples and P.J. Ballard at KDIA
KDIA Building (1976 Photo)
The KDIA studio building at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, circa 1976



  1. I was a toll collector, on the Bay Bridge, 1962 to 1968. I had to pleasure of meeting Chuck Scruggs, during a break. I just missed Muhammad ALI , when he visited the radio studio. Known as the “Twister”, I won dance contests, at Don Barksdale’s Sportsman Club, in Oakland,Ca. And the Time Out Club, on Telegraph Ave, Oakland, Ca..

  2. My mom, Sylvia Davis was one of the host of Black Montage in the late 60’s. I remember her taking me and my sister to tour the radio station.

  3. Took a History of Broadcasting class at College of San Mateo in the Fall of 1994. One of our projects was to interview a Station Manager somewhere in the Bay Area and I choose KDIA (Since I was listening to it due to having AM only and a 8 track in my car). They were incredibly hospitable when asked to interview them about radio questions, plus they offered me some cake to eat.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame: The Class of 2018 – Bay Area Radio Museum
  2. Legends To Celebrate Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 - Broadcast Legends

Leave a Reply to Troy Tannyhill Cancel reply