1260 KYA, San Francisco
The Emperor Gene Nelson Show

April 1965

Gene Nelson (1990 Photo)
Gene Nelson at 560 KSFO/KYA-FM 93.3 (Circa 1990)

Emperor Gene Nelson, who came to KYA by way of WKBW in Buffalo, New York, was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006 as part of the first class to be inducted. The Emperor is heard here in two broadcasts about a week apart in April 1965. 

Brought in to replace Bill Drake as KYA’s morning man so that Drake could concentrate on programming, Nelson soon gave his station a nice surprise — he beat KSFO strongman Don Sherwood in the ratings.

KSFO took notice and, when Nelson’s contract at KYA came up for renewal, the Emperor headed up the dial to join The World’s Greatest Radio Station’s mighty air force.

Strangely enough, through the sale of KSFO by Golden West Broadcasting to Seattle’s King Broadcasting in 1983 — a deal in which King also sold 1260/KYA to Bonneville International but retained ownership of 93.3 KYA-FM — Nelson found himself working at both stations at the same time.

He retired to Hawaii in 1994, but later returned to California, residing in the Napa area.

On The Air Sign (Image)

Gene Nelson on 1260 KYA
April 6, 1965

Gene Nelson on 1260 KYA
April 14, 1965



Gene Nelson KYA Money (Image)

Emperor Nelson’s portrait on “beautiful money” issued to his loyal subjects.
(Click here for the full story)



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