Yes, it’s true. Rock radio icons Larry Lujack and Don Steele cut some of their early chops in the same market during the summer of 1963. Not quite head-to-head on the broadcast clock, but close enough. Lujack, age 23 at the time, was pulling the 7 to midnight slot on KNEW. Steele, 27, was doing morning drive on KXLY. They had opposite styles, but were definitely on their way UP.
Here’s a quick aircheck sample of each, coincidentally recorded only days apart in July of ’63. Their skill sets were clearly evident — Uncle Lar already dry and ascerbic as hell, and the Real Don Steele belting out some of the most liquid, rapid fire talents to ever hit the mic.
> Audio track Total running time 4:54
These clips are from a time about three years before KNEW become KJRB, and KXLY was relatively new in the rock radio wars (after a rich history as Spokane’s oldest AM station). Knowing about their huge career successes to come, what fun to hear these superjocks all those years ago. From Spokane Lujack whistle-stopped a brief California stint before his highly successful time at KJR. Steele, making at least his fourth move in four years, grabbed stellar ratings at Portland’s KISN. Both were just getting warmed up — Lujack later a Chicago legend and Steele one of Southern California’s most iconic superstars. Lujack died at age 73 in 2013, Steele in 1997 at 61.