Sam Lawson’s Audio Vault: Jerry Kay, “Old Gold” KXA, Seattle, May, 1981

This brief recording captures Jerry Kay doing a Mother’s Day bit. There’s a loud whistle in the background and the tape runs out before the end of the break, but it’s still great to hear Jerry’s warm, familiar voice. Dave Dolacky (and Burt Reynolds) can also be heard on the spot for Channel 7.


Runtime: 1:25

Author: Sam Lawson

Student engineer at pioneer Nathan Hale radio station KNH 1210 in 1970 (prior to KNHC). Also attended North Seattle Community College and L.H. Bates in Tacoma. Sam’s career began as a KJR request line operator in 1970, with his first on air job at KRKO in 1972. In 1976 he segued to overnights at KTAC as Cory Landon, then weekends at KING. In 1978 he moved to Lewiston, Idaho for afternoons on KOZE and KRLC. Throughout the ‘80s he was an announcer and/or engineer at the best mix and biggest variety of Spokane radio stations; including KKER (The Sam & Pam Show), KZZU, KISC, PD of KJRB, and the voice of KAYU-TV. In 1989 he moved to Los Angeles as Assistant Chief Engineer and weekends at KZLA/KLAC. Also engineered for KBIG, KFI, Premiere Radio Networks, CBS Radio, and others. After avoiding any actual work for nearly 45 years, now happily retired and very appreciatively back in the great Pacific Northwest! --- View other articles by Sam Lawson --- Sam Lawson airchecks

11 thoughts on “Sam Lawson’s Audio Vault: Jerry Kay, “Old Gold” KXA, Seattle, May, 1981

  1. One thing that has bothered me over the years, the spelling of Jerry’s last name. In my youth, I thought it was K-A-Y-E. I sometimes saw it listed as KAY in the Stredicke columns and also as KAYE. This confusion continued later in online posts mentioning Jerry K…
    So, I checked other “radio” websites and see that they tag him as JERRY KAY. Except one site dedicated to Chicago radio, which lists him as JERRY KAYE.
    A niggling little issue, which shouldn’t be that big of deal, but it is the man’s name. GET IT RIGHT!
    I here, now, proclaim once and for all, K-A-Y-E is the correct spelling, based on my remembrances of KJR publications and certain dedicated radio sites.
    Everybody, please remember the E at the end of Jerry’s name. After all, he was kind of a big deal in radio.

    Upon further investigation, I see a KJR survey, with the spelling KAY. Good gracious, me! https://pugetsound.media/pictures/Jan-7-1963A.jpg

    Maybe it changed over the years, between stations— or maybe I am wrong!

    1. I have a few old KJR surveys. They spell it KAY. Yet I also have some newspaper articles of the day and they spell it KAYE when he was in Seattle. Maybe nobody cared. But I guess the surveys would be the way he spelled it. I cannot think they put out several surveys with his name spelled wrong….of course it was a made up name.

      1. From what I read, listeners/radio fans seemed to cling to the KAYE spelling after all these years (judging by radio websites online) and stations spelled it KAY. Strange how the brain works.

        1. I think that Danny Kaye was just so well known that we all assumed the same spelling. I just redid a video because of this. Did not realize I had it wrong….with the E since the nearby newspaper clipping had it wrong.

          1. Because Jerry was a Yakima boy I remember him first as Jerry King (his given name) at KLOQ with that Paul Berg guy. I also remember during his early days at KJR he often referred to himself as JFK … which he quickly dropped after November 22nd 1963. Beyond that I always presumed it was Kaye, but as it wasn’t Jerry’s real last name the only concern I have is that no one spells his last name Kinge!

  2. Here’s my thought, with Danny Kaye as co-owner of KJR, Jerry would not have used the same spelling. So it’s Jerry Kay, rhymes with Pat O’Day! (Also, I do see many listings from Chicago, both WLS and WCFL with the Kay spelling.)

  3. Since it was spelled “KAY” on the old KJR surveys, that’s what it must be. My apologies to Jerry for butchering his name on the post. 🙂

  4. Sam….I would not be too worried about it, I had it wrong on my KJR Golden Years video viewed by Pat O’Day, the O’Day kids, Dick Curtis, Tom Murphy, Chuck Bolland, Les Parsons and Gary Shannon. They all left comments or sent Emails to me and nobody mentioned the errant E…it has since been corrected. A photo of a news clipping of the era in the article still has it wrong.

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