I was born in 1952, the year television (if not many television sets to watch it on) arrived in my home town of Portland, Oregon. We got a set in 1955 or 1956; I am told I preferred the commercials to the shows. My mother apparently listened to radio while it was still radio, with comedies and dramas and quiz shows, and even Stan Freberg. I have no distinct memory of that era (which ended on Nov. 25, 1960, when CBS radio killed off its last soap operas and entertainment shows). "Real" radio stumbled on for a while in Portland; KOIN didn't kill off its 41-year-old morning KOIN Klock show and fire its orchestra until August 25, 1972--after I had gone off to college.
But although I had watched two broadcasts of KOIN Klock as an eager high-school radio engineer in the late 60s, my heart lay with KEX 1190, the 50,000-watt "Call of the Northwest." Like many people, I woke up to Barney Keep's "Keep Time" because I went to sleep the night before listening to the Portland Beavers. Barney used to read the Oregonian's daily chuckle every morning and then add, "Chuckle, Chuckle, Sob." He held down the morning slot from 1944 to 1979 (people used to LAST in the old days...), and he woke me up until 1968.
That's when I stopped listening to the Beavers (too much homework) and Barney (I had to get up before his show started) and switched to the new-fangled FM dial. I loved KINK (sister station of KGW), which introduced Album Oriented Rock to Portland. I was hooked on the semi-automated station and its laid-back chief announcer, Jeff Douglas. And, of course, the "wow" factor of a clock radio with FM on it (it was a tube radio, of course, so it had to warm up each morning). In my junior and senior years, I had to be up around 5:30 in the morning. I distinctly recall listening to Russ Ward anchoring the NBC World News Roundup every morning at 5:37 (what an odd time!) The NBC World News Roundup was not as well known as its CBS counterpart, but I was a KINK guy, and that was the schedule.
Something put me in mind of those mornings so long ago this week, and I spent hours down the Google hole trying to confirm the time of day that Russ was on in Portland back then. I couldn't, but it was such a warm bath of nostalgia to look back on the long-gone radio of my youth, that I thought I'd share a few memories. And if Russ or Jeff are out there, and know when the show was on, let me know. Maybe I slept in later than I recall...