It’s KISN Time: Murphy, Steele & Benny in Portland

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Recently I discovered a couple interesting audio artifacts of Pacific Northwest broadcasting history. I am collaborating with World Famous Tom Murphy, with valuable assistance from Gary Shannon, on a collection of reminiscences, stories and opinions of World Famous himself. In scouring Tom’s early 1960s airchecks from KISN in Portland, I recognized the voice of The Real Don Steele. He was on-air and the PD for just over a year, beginning in July ’63.

The spot was for a battle of the bands at Jantzen Beach Park. Steele and Frank Benny took turns hyping the event. Benny was another KISN jock who made a name for himself in various major markets. (If you want to read weird details, google the words “Frank Benny” and “bank robber.” I guess when you work in Buffalo, NY, you have to look for profitable diversions to fill your leisure hours.

World Famous is on the recording as well, after all the ad was played during his radio show. The photo below from January ’64 captures our three principals and two other jocks. It was taken in front of the KISN window on the world.

Back to front: Don Steele, Frank Benny, Tom Murphy & Addie Bobkins with his dog. Addie was a well-known Portland DJ and a kid’s entertainer. The guy behind the glass is DJ Jack Sunday.

Steele & Benny, Battle of the bands spot. Comments by World Famous Tom Murphy, August 1963 (Run time 1:36 )

Finally, lest anyone would ever forget that Steele had that something extra, the pizazz that made him a superstar, just listen to this supercharged on-air bit from his afternoon drive time show on KISN. You could tell this guy was going to be big.

The Real Don Steele, July 1964 (Run time 1:16)

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Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

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