Who Was J. Farley Knight?

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It was 1963. Longtime Spokane pop music leader KNEW was fending off the competition with the brash Larry Lujack and a mostly veteran deejay crew that included guys like Bob Adkins, J. Walter Beethoven and Ollie Schell. The highly regarded Ross Woodward was News Director.

Farley, as Lujack called him, was the mild-mannered Chuck Bolland, whose name would later become a Seattle household word faster than you could cue up a 45 rpm record.

Under the J. Farley Knight moniker, Bolland was doing KNEW’s all-night shift directly after Lujack’s 7 to midnight slot. But one day -– unlike anything that hardly ever happens in radio -– that abruptly changed when Farley …. “was called  back from my vacation,” as he recalls it, ….”to take Lujack’s 7 to midnight spot.” Uncle Lar left under forced removal circumstances, according to Bolland, who to this day hates the on-air name they hung on him. “I always regretted allowing them to give me that name, but I was just a fresh kid up from the Tri-Cities.”

Here’s J. Farley Knight on an April 8, 1963 KNEW music survey, before Lujack’s departure.

In typical fashion, Lujack frequently poked at “Farley” on the air, as heard in this quick clip — Audio running time :18

I’m sorry to say J. Farley Knight airchecks seem totally lost or unavailable. Bolland later made his mark as a newsman/commentator (1964-1970) at Seattle’s KJR, followed by a stint in the midwest, and later Tacoma’s KTAC.

As of this posting, it’s good to report Chuck Bolland is still busy with his video production business.

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Ronald DeHart

Author: Ronald DeHart

Ron DeHart is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist and a retired Public Affairs Officer from both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve. His historical accounts of Pacific Northwest broadcasting are published by Puget Sound Media.  

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