Most sources confirm it was 1961 when KJR reached the top of Seattle’s pop music ratings, a spot channel 95 held for many years. Here’s a 1-minute jock promo of the on-air lineup in late October, ’61.
With the addition of Lan Roberts (who, like Jerry Kay, moved over from KOL), KJR solidified the on-air crew that carried it through (and beyond) the critical World’s Fair run in ’62. Here’s rare promo of one of Roberts’ early morning voice friends Clyde, Clyde the Cow’s Outside — which aired in June, ’62.
When Roberts took over KJR morning drive (before the World’s Fair opened), Lee Perkins moved to the 9-to-noon slot and Wally Beethoven had shifted primarily to news. During the same months rival KOL saw a number of lineup changes which fueled a secondary battle to stay ahead of KAYO. The three-way struggle for top 40 music listeners continued until KAYO gave up the fight by changing to a country format in the spring of ’63, the same year KOL was sold.
KJR’s run to the top can be traced to Pat O’Day’s move from KAYO to KJR in early 1960. A year later O’Day’s KJR predecessor John Stone left for KOL where the swinging door issue continued for some time after the KOL sale/transfer to new owners, Goodson and Todman. There are various claims that at times KJR commanded over a third of the Seattle radio listenership. However, it should be noted there were just 14 or 15 AM and 5 FM stations operating in the Seattle market in the early years of the ’60s.
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