Bob Elliott

a/k/a K.O. Beachin (KEWB)
a/k/a K.O. Bayley (KFRC)
a/k/a Bob Early (KXOA)

K.O. Beachin (Photo)
Bob Elliott as K.O. Beachin at KEWB, 1965

Bob Elliott was a big man, standing 6-foot-3, with a voice to match the physique that won him a Golden Gloves title and made him heavyweight boxing champion of the United States Marine Corps. With these qualifications, where else would he end up but in radio, and with what other name but “K.O.”?

A P.O.W. during the Korean War, after leaving the military Elliott began his radio career at flea-powered KTEE in Carmel as part of a two-man classical music program on the 500-watt station in 1959.

His partner on the show was none other than the legendary Robert W. Morgan, then just out of the Army and known simply as “Bob Morgan”; they would meet up again later along the radio road, at rival stations in Fresno and as teammates at Oakland’s KEWB.

In 1961, Elliott advanced to KYNO (“Channel 130”) in Fresno, owned by Gene Chenault and programmed by Bill Drake, during the station’s bitter battle with cross-town KMAK (“K-make 134”), with Morgan in the morning and Ron Jacobs pulling the programming strings. Drake and Jacobs would later work together and revolutionize Top 40 radio, with Elliott and Morgan playing key roles.

Bob Elliott (KYNO Photo)
Bob Elliott as Bob Elliott at KYNO/Fresno, 1962

He worked as Bob Early at Sacramento’s KXOA in 1964, then departed in January 1965 for a year at KEWB as K.O. Beachin. (His nom de radieux at KEWB is occasionally and incorrectly referenced as “Beecham.”)

He moved to Drake-programmed KGB/San Diego in 1966, then crossed the country in 1967 to New York City’s WOR-FM — yet another Drake station — once again as Bob Elliott at both stations.

In July 1968, he returned to the Bay Area at RKO’s KFRC/610 — also programmed by Drake — working for the first time as K.O. Bayley; the name would stay with him on the air for the rest of his radio career.

He departed KFRC for afternoons at Detroit’s WJBK in March 1969, then returned to San Diego at KCBQ in 1970 and KGB (programmed now by Ron Jacobs) in 1971, and moved on to KILT/Houston in 1972. In 1974, he appeared at KSEA/San Diego.

Bob Elliott was killed in an early-morning automobile accident near Mount Vernon, Illinois, in June 1978. He was 42 years old.

— Text by David Ferrell Jackson

Bob Elliott as K.O. Bayley) at KCBQ (Photo)
Bob Elliott as “K.O. Bayley” at San Diego’s KCBQ (1170 AM) in the early 1970s. Lee “Baby” Simms (top left) also later toiled on Bay Area airwaves.

Notes On A Man Named K.O.
By Marc Schoenitzer

Just a few comments on the late great K.O. Incidentally, he was a Korean War P.O.W., a Golden Gloves champ and was killed in Illinois by a drunk driver in 1978 where he worked for the railroad.

Here’s a loose timeline based on my recollections, surveys and airchecks:

Bob Elliott (?) — KTEE/Carmel (1958-?)
Bob Elliott (his real name) — KYNO/Fresno (1961-64)
Bob Early — KXOA/Sacramento (1964 – January 1965)
K.O. Beachin — KEWB/Oakland (January 1965 – 66)
Bob Elliott — KGB/San Diego (1966-67)
Bob Elliott — WOR-FM/NYC (1967, after Drake took over, until July 1968)
K.O. Bayley — KFRC/S.F. (Late July 1968, replacing Dale Dorman 9 PM – Midnight, until March 1969)
K.O. Bayley — WJBK/Detroit, following Mike Scott, also from KFRC (March 1969 -?)
K.O. Bayley — WCBS-FM/New York (October-December 1969)
K.O. Bayley — KCBQ/San Diego (Late December 1969?-1971)
K.O. Bayley — KGB again, with Ron Jacobs as P.D. (1971-72)
K.O. Bayley — KILT/Houston (Late 1972-?)

That’s where my trail ends. I understand he was supposed to do the KHJ thing in the early ’70s but it never happened for some reason.


Bob Elliott as Bob Early (noon to 4 PM) on Sacramento’s KXOA (1470 AM) in 1964. Sean O’Callaghan (9 AM to noon) would also later move to the Bay Area at KYA and KLOK.

I found him to be a nice guy who always had time for his fans. His Motown sound and style was similar to Harvey Miller’s.

P.S. — Tom Hanks (the actor) grew up on Bayley at KFRC and I believe he even had a K.O. Bayley fan club. He even used K.O. Bayley as the DJ’s name in his movie “That Thing You Do!”

On The Air Sign (Image)

Bob Elliott

K.O. Beachin on KEWB Channel 91 (July 1965):
K.O. Bayley on 610 KFRC (December 6, 1968):
K.O. Bayley on KILT/Houston (November 1973):

Special thanks to Ron Reynolds, Marc Schoenitzer,
Dave LeonardUncle Ricky Irwin &
and Cindy Elliott (Bob Elliott’s daughter)
for their assistance in preparing this exhibit.

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Rob Frankel
Rob Frankel
26 November 2020 4:32 PM

You left out one more station: he worked at WCBS-FM in New York as K.O. Bayley from October to late December in 1969 when the station launched its hybrid Top 40/Album Rock format.

Bob Paine
Bob Paine
10 November 2022 2:32 PM

Older brother of Beau Brummell Ronnie Elliot

Cindy Elliott
Cindy Elliott
Reply to  BARHOF
28 November 2023 8:24 PM

Yes he was Bob 🙂

Cindy Elliott
Cindy Elliott
Reply to  Bob Paine
28 November 2023 8:25 PM

No relationship to that person

Dave Felspar
Dave Felspar
22 May 2023 7:03 PM

You missed KO Bayley’s return to KGB 1971-1972 and KO Bayley KCBQ 1969-1971

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