This is a Major find for Portland Radio & Oregon Radio as well. We've heard from people on pdxradio who remember Dick Novak on KPOJ 1330kc & KGON 1230kc. His KPOJ program began April 11, 1955 and was on nightly 9:30 to 2am from "Scotty's Hamburgers". "Dick Novak's Rhythm Room" played Rhythm & Blues music but what percentage was R&B? There has also been no evidence to show Dick had experimented with R&B on KGON. Since then I've learned he was a DJ at KGON back to at least March 1948. Nothing was ever written in The Oregonian or Oregon Journal about Dick playing R&B music. Now for the first time we learn from Billboard magazine what Dick Novak was doing. In his own words:
Aug 14, 1954 (Vox Jox column, page 39) Dick Novak KGON, Oregon City, Ore. is celebrating the first anniversary of his R&B show. He reports "Man, have I got the tiger by the tail. The mail and telephone response was immediate and supersonic. And it shows no signs of dissipating. It has opened an entirely new field for me while evidently supplying satisfaction for a sizable segment of an overlooked and music hungry listenership. It's been a real pleasure for me to meet and interview many of the artists whose meat and potatoes are directly tied to this medium of beat and blues Americana. Anyway, it's been an enjoyable and lucrative year with R&B and let's hope that other stations will get the call and heed the frantic word. They'll dig this the most."
If he was explaining this to fellow broadcasters across America in 1954, was Dick Novak the first to bring Rhythm & Blues to mainstream Radio?