May 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm #19847
On March 16, 1959 it was announced Rock & Roll station KVAN 910 k.c., Vancouver, Wash., was purchased by Star Broadcasting, Inc. KVAN’s R & R format began in January 1958. The sale was negotiated by Don W. Burden of Omaha, President of The Star Stations, with KVAN, Inc. President, Sheldon F. Sackett of San Francisco. The price was reported to be over $580,000. New ownership was: Don W. Burden 65%, James P. “Joe” Wilkerson 25%, Gerald E. “Jerry” Weist 5%, John F. Davis 5%.
It was also announced Star Stations would move KVAN studios to downtown Portland before the end of the year. At the time studios were located in Vancouver, at: 707 Main St. with transmitter studio on a gravel road 1/4 mile west of North Portland Rd., South shore of Smith Lake in North Portland, Oregon. Transmitter was a Raytheon RA-1000. KVAN broadcast with 1,000 watts power, non-directional day and directional nights. 51 percent of the broadcast day was mandated to originate from the transmitter site.
In April 1959 the FCC granted the KVAN sale. On April 29, 1959 Don Burden prepared to give Portland the biggest radio station promotional launching The Rose City had ever witnessed or heard on radio. On this day handbills were distributed everywhere in downtown Portland, on windshields, utility poles, department store show windows, on buildings as well as public buildings, announcing “A Revolution Tomorrow.”
On April 30, 1959 at 6:00am KVAN began playing the Rock & Roll song “Teenage Bill of Rights, Part 1. The Revolution” by Robby John & The Seven-Teens, continuously for 24 hours, only interrupted for commercials and brief newscasts. At 12:00 Midnight, May 1, 1959 control of KVAN was transferred to Star Broadcasting, Inc. and call letters changing to KISN.
The revolution continued to 6:00am, when “The Swingin’ 91 Deejays” began with “The Morning Mayor.” Hal Raymond became the first live voice heard on “The Mighty 91-derful”, although the voice introducing KISN and “The Morning Mayor” was recorded by Pat Pattee, who at the time was working at KISN’s sister station KWIK Pocatello, Idaho.
“Kisn Radio, 91-derful” began its first contest, giving away $5,000 by telephone. Officials at Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. reported 1,200 calls an hour crammed into KISN’s three Oregon phone lines at: 285-4508 into Vancouver, Wash. studios, jamming the BUtler telephone exchange serving North Portland and some Vancouver numbers. KISN’s Portland address was: P.O. Box 1902, Portland 11, Oregon.
Don W. Burden held an afternoon press conference in Sheldon Sackett’s suite on the 11th floor of the Benson Hotel and talked about his plans for Kisn, as well as about the KISN call letters. “I always wanted those letters,” Burden said, “I wanted them so badly we went ahead and cut our tapes and were right down to the day before opening, before we discovered them on a retired tug boat (The Lake Fagundus) in California, negotiated and brought them here.”
On May 1, 1959 The Swingin’ 91 Deejays Monday thru Saturday were: “The Hal Raymond The Morning Mayor Show” 6-9am, Chris Lane 9-Noon, Dick Drury noon-3, “Jim Tate Fractures The Fabulous 50” 3-7pm, “Steve Brown Around Town” 7-9pm, Dick Drury (returned to fill in) 9-midnight, “Nightwatching with Bill Jackson” 12-6am. Sunday was called: “The Sunday Parade of Stars.” Charles J. “Charlie” Vais was KISN Station Manager; Chris Lane, Program Director; Ted Carson, Sales Manager; Gerald E. “Jerry” Weist, Chief Engineer & Myra DeLaunay, Traffic Director.
As fate would have it May 1, 1959 was also the date of what would become KISN’s most fierce rival, applying to the FCC for a radio station on 1550 k.c., in Vancouver. This station would become KGAR and would ultimately be responsible for beginning the process in courts on taking KISN off the air. On June 13, 1959 “Tom Murphy’s Musical Madness” (TM In The PM, “Tiger” Tom Murphy) began Saturday 7-midnight and weeknights 9-Midnight.
In June 1959 it was reported KISN Radio had become the number one station in the Portland area within 30 days. By mid July 1959 Dennis James was on 9-Noon, Wally Thornton “Wally’s Musical Folly” Noon-3. On July 17, 1959 Kisn Radio 91 was issuing music lists called “Portland’s Official Fabulous Fifty Good Music Survey.” On July 18, 1959 it was announced Mike Western was on 3-7pm.
On July 21, 1959 it was announced Jim Tate & Steve Brown became KISN co-Program Directors with Jim Tate also Operations Manager. On July 23, 1959 it was announced Jon Doe was Director of News on “KISN Action Central News.” On July 31, 1959 it was announced Wally Thornton was Production Manager. On August 3, 1959 Jim Tate began hanging some 40 feet in the air above the Oregon Centennial Exposition grounds. He wouldn’t come down until the millionth visitor passed thru the gates. Tate continued to air his show daily from the “Kisn Cage” attached to a crane, for 3 weeks, ending on the 23rd.
On August 17, 1959 Kisn Radio 91 began issuing music lists called “Portland’s official Fabulous Fifty Silver Dollar Survey.” Listeners who could predict the top 10 songs mailed to KISN were given a silver dollar, or the top 50 songs won a new record player. In August 1959 KISN began its “Goldbrick” contest where listeners wrote 25 words or less with the best reason for a day off with pay.
On September 1, 1959 Hal Raymond became KISN Operations Manager with Steve Brown as Program Director, Loren Hassett, News Director and evening newsman, plus Don Hedges, account executive. Kisn listeners were playing the game “Name It and Claim It.” On September 14, 1959 Kisn Radio 91 changed its music list name back to: “Portland’s official Fabulous Fifty Good Music Survey.”
On October 31, 1959 “Trick or Treat for Transistors” was launched at KISN. Trick or Treater’s were told to ask “Is this a “Kisn” trick or treat house?” There were over 100 transistor radios to be given away and Kisn logo Trick or Treat bags at area stores as well. On November 2, 1959 Rich Osborn began 9-noon. On November 7, 1959 Richard E. “Dick” Shireman became KISN General Manager with Hal Raymond as Program Director & Publicity Director.
On November 9, 1959 “Tom Murphy’s Musical Madness” (TM In The PM, “Tiger” Tom Murphy) evenings expanded from 9-midnight to 7-midnight. In November 1959 Wally Thornton moved from noon-3 to 9-noon, Bill Jackson moved from midnight-6 to noon-3 and Russ Ripley became Chief Engineer and on the “Nightwatch” 1-6am. On November 27, 1959 “Tiger” Tom Murphy was the last to broadcast from the Vancouver studios, filling in noon-3 besides his newly expanded night shift 7-1am.
On November 28, 1959 KISN moved its main studios at: 707 Main St. in Vancouver, to: 10 N.W. 10th Ave. in Portland, corner of 10th & Burnside, in the old “Montclair Hotel” built in 1929. (The building owned since 11-58 by Pygmalion Enterprises, business name for Julius S. Zell, one of the Zell Bros., remodeled it for $300,000.) Hal Raymond was the first to broadcast from the new “The Kisn Corner.” It was also known as “The Window On The World.” KISN contest line 224-5290 and business line 226-7191. In December 1959 Rich Osborn 9-noon and Jack McCoy as “The Noon Whistler” noon-3pm.
On January 15, 1960 KISN held an open house, to show off its new modern studios. On February 22, 1960 The Mighty 91 began its 1st annual “George Washington I Cannot Tell A Lie” giveaway. You could win a Cherry Pie if you caught one of the Swingin’ 91 DJ’s telling a lie. This giveaway ran one day and ran for one more year, maybe two. On February 24, 1960 Bill Jackson became Music Director with Mike Western as Production Manager.
On March 6, 1960 it was announced Bob Stevens would be on 9-Noon and Ed Leahy (Mr. Moon) was on Saturdays Noon-3pm & Sundays 7pm-1am. By March 1960 Forrest W. Ogan was KISN Chief Engineer. On March 10, 1960 it was announced Nat W. Jackson was KISN Continuity Director. In April 1960 Bob Stevens became Music Director. On June 11, 1960 it was announced Howard McAnulty (brother of Bob McAnulty) was KISN Regional Sales Manager.
On June 20, 1960 it was announced Ed Leahy (Mr. Moon) was now full time on KISN, heard 1-6am with Russ Ripley moved to noon-3, M.J. Phillips (Mike Phillips) began vacation fill-in’s and Clarence Duke fill-in. By June 25, 1960 Jack Par was on 3-7pm. In July 1960 Mike Phillips (M.J. Phillips) was on noon-3, Ben Dawson new Chief Engineer began on the “Nightwatch” 1-6am and Bill Howlett became a KISN newscaster. In August 1960 Gerald J. “Jerry” Flesey became General Manager & Station Manager.
By November 1960 Les Parsons was Production Manager; Hal Raymond “Wonderful Weekend” Sunday’s Noon-2pm continuing weekdays 6-9am, “Tiger” Tom Murphy “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 2-3pm continuing weeknights 7-1am, Ben Dawson “Wonderful Weekend” Sunday 3-6pm, Jack Par “Wonderful Weekend” Sunday 6-10pm continuing weekdays 3-7pm and Bob Stevens “Wonderful Weekend” 10-1am continuing weekdays 9-noon. In December 1960 KISN began its “Mystery Santa Claus” contest in connection with “Kodak At Sandy’s.”
In March 1961 Byron K. Swanson became Chief Engineer and one of the Swingin’ 91 Deejays as Johnny Dark on the “Nightwatch” 1-6am. In March 1961 “Tiger” Tom Murphy (TM In The PM) began his World’s largest ball of string promotion called “String Into Spring” with listeners donations of twine, which resulted in a large crowd of teenagers outside KISN studios Saturday morning.
On April 1, 1961 The Mighty 91 presented its first annual KISN Easter Egg Hunt at Mt. Tabor Park at 9am. Others would be at Portland Meadows, West Delta Park, etc. On April 17, 1961 Radio 91-derful began its biggest contest yet “Your Number’s Up” and KISN Has It! You Could Win $16,000.00 in Cash and Prizes including a 1961 Dodge Lancer, a mink stole, RCA Color TV and over 1,000 other valuable prizes, by dialing Kisn Radio. Save “Your Numbers Up” card delivered to your mailbox.
On April 30, 1961 KISN Radio began “Operation Airwatch” traffic reports weekday mornings and afternoons from the “Spirit of Portland” Cessna Skylark, piloted by Bud Tauscher who announced reports, sponsored by Ron Tonkin Chevrolet. By May 1961 Johnny Dark (Byron Swanson) “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 3-6pm continuing weeknights 1-6am and Jack Par “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays moved from 3-6pm to 6-10pm continuing weekdays 3-7pm. KISN slogans were: This Is Kisn, The Sound of Portland. Big Sounds For Big Portland on Radio 91. Yours Truly Kisn Radio. KISN Action Central News Live at 55.
On June 12, 1961 the FCC warned KISN it “Willfully or repeatedly failed to observe the requirements for proper station identification.” By 1961 KISN had erected a billboard sign on N.E. 82nd Ave., leaving Portland International Airport: “Welcome Home… We’ve Been KISN Your Wife. She’s 91-derful.” That phrase changed when the logo changed. In mid 1961 KISN released the 45 rpm “91-derful Presents” The Song of The City by The KISN Sisters (recorded by Pams Production, Dallas, Texas) backed with the same song in an instrumental version by The KISN Orchestra. Rite Custom Pressing 574, Cincinnati, Ohio.
By August 1961 Mike Phillips (M.J. Phillips) “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays noon-2 continuing weekdays noon-3, Johnny Dark (Byron Swanson) “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays moved from 3-6pm to 3-4pm continuing weeknights 1-6am, Les Parsons “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 4-6pm & 8-10pm, Jack Par “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays moved from 6-10pm to 6-8pm continuing weekdays 3-7pm, Hal Raymond “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 10-1am continuing weekdays 6-9am
By August 1961 91-derful had changed the name of its music survey to “KISN Presents The Fabulous Fifty Hit Parade.” On September 9, 1961 Kisn owner Don Burden began “The KISN Contemporary Communications Scholarship.” The first $1,000 scholarship went to the Univ. of Portland.
In September 1961 Timothy F. Moore was KISN General Manager; Donald W. “Don” Hedges, Station Manager & Sales Manager and Bill Howlett, News Director of “KISN Action Central News” Slogan now heard: “This Is KISN, Number 1 In The West.” Ratings were now through the roof. In October 1961 Les Parsons became KISN Program Director and Jack Par moved form 3-7 to 6-9am as “The Morning Mayor”, Ken Chase was on noon-3 “Luncheon Munchin'” and Johnny Williams “Fabulous 50 Hit Parade” 3-7pm as “The Car Tune Kid”
By November 1961 Les Parsons was “The Morning Mayor” on 6-9am, Jack Par moved from 6-9am back to 3-7, Ken Chase, Sundays noon-2 continuing weekdays noon-3; Johnny Dark (Byron Swanson), Sundays 3-4pm continuing weeknights 1-6am, Russ Ripley returned Sundays 4-6pm & 8-1am. In late November 1961 The Preacher, Pat Pattee joined the Swingin’ 91 Deejays 1-6am on the “Nightwatch.”
On November 24,1961 KISN debuted the new “The Kisn Carol Tree” at the U-Save Membership Department Store – 700 S.E. 122nd Ave. & Stark, utilizing 4,000 dancing lights and viewed as an “electronic marvel” becoming a market sensation and a seasonal tradition. On November 28, 1961 “Hi-School gals! You have a date” with Tom Murphy, hosting “Seventeen” Magazine’s Party Princess Style Show at Bedell’s Hi-Circle (dept. store), 6th & Alder, 7pm.
In December 1961 Johnny Williams became Music Director and on 3-7pm. Also in December 1961 the FCC warned KISN that it had made improper station I.D.’s, not pausing two different times between Vancouver and radar, in announcing “KISN Vancouver radar weather scope.”
In mid January 1962 Johnny Williams came up with the contest gag “Win Tom Murphy” to promote both deejay’s shows. In 91 words, why would you like to Win Tom Murphy? Thousands of letters poured in from listeners as Murphy & Williams built up an on air feud over the stunt. Meanwhile the FCC again warned KISN it had made improper station I.D., not pausing three different times between Vancouver and radar, in announcing “KISN Vancouver radar weather scope.”
On January 27, 1962 Tom Murphy was given away on the Fox Theater stage. The winner Sally Nunn was presented Tom Murphy which turned out to be Thomas K. Murphy III, an Irish Setter! On January 29, 1962 Bill Western began 9-noon as the “Housewife’s Helper.” On March 1, 1962 Radio 91 began broadcasting “This is Radio Moscow” hourly to March 5th for listeners to hear the communist propagandists beaming their distorted news to North America. This caused a Portland media sensation.
Also on March 1, 1962 KISN first used its new star logo with its call letters but also continued using the original heart logo. On April 1, 1962 Bill Western moved from 9-noon to 6-9am as “The Morning Mayor” and Roger Hart joined the “KISN Swingin’ Gentlemen”, 9-Noon, as the “Housewife’s Helper.” KISN promoted Roger’s arrival with the slogan “You’ve Got To Have Hart and Kisn’s Got Him!” In late April 1962 “Tiger” Tom Murphy (TM In The PM) 7-1am left KISN for the Oregon Air National Guard. Heard his place was a deejay called “Tom Murphy’s Buddy” (Tom Michaels).
By May 1962 all Saturday & Sunday Kisn deejay shifts were known as “Wonderful Weekend” only. On May 11, 1962 Radio 91 unveiled the KISN Aerocar, a combination land and air craft, on “Operation Air Watch” with Scotty Wright, heard weekday mornings and afternoons, sponsored by Ron Tonkin Chevrolet. In May 1962 KISN began “Operation Water Watch.” On June 3, 1962 the KISN Aerocar appeared in the Rose Festival, Merrykhana Parade.
On June 8, 1962 TV’s Sky King (Kirby Grant) who was Grand Marshal of “Damascus Little World’s Fair” parade, reported traffic conditions from the KISN Aerocar. Broadcast equipment almost filled the 14 cubic foot baggage compartment. In July 1962 KISN’s main studio at: 10 N.W. 10th Ave. was moved to the corner window studio. By August 1962 Mike Phillips (M.J. Phillips) returned noon-3. KISN began using the slogan: “The Kisn Good Guy Station” as well as “Radio 91 Plays More Music, More Often” and “This Is Kisn, 91 Where The Good Guys Fly.”
On August 19, 1962 BAZA’R stores began featuring its “KISN Fabulous Top 50 Hit 45 rpm Records” for just 64 cents. You could also pick up the latest “KISN Presents The Fabulous Fifty Hit Parade” survey. In August 1962 “Tiger” Tom Murphy (TM In The PM) returned to KISN 7-1am and “Tom Murphy Buddy” (Tom Michaels) was switched to weekends with his new name “Wonderful Weekend.” Also Bill Western completed 264 consecutive orbits in 13 hours and 35 minutes strapped in his own personal roller coaster car at Jantzen Beach Amusement Park without getting off.
By October 1962 Les Parsons was KISN Sales Manager as well as Program Director. On September 6, 1962 KISN was fined by the FCC $2,000 for apparent wilful and repeated improper I.D., not a long enough pause between Vancouver and radar in announcing “KISN Vancouver radar weather scope.” On October 3, 1962 KISN owner Star Broadcasting, Inc. became a division of new parent corporation, Star Stations, Inc. with Don W. Burden as President, along with James P. “Joe” Wilkerson, Gerald E. “Jerry” Weist & John F. Davis.
On October 12, 1962 KISN lost one of its two towers in North Portland, during the Columbus Day Storm. By November 1962 Paul Oscar Anderson (P.O.A.) was on 6-10am weekdays as “Waker Upper” & “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays 6-10am, Jack Meyers 10-noon weekdays and “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays 10-3pm, Bill Western moved from 6-9 to 3-7pm and “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 10-1pm, Tom Michaels “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays 3-6pm & Sundays 1-6pm.
On December 5, 1962 Just In Time For Christmas, the “OFFICIAL K-I-S-N 6-TRANSISTOR RADIO With 3-inch Speaker! Made especially for KISN by famous American Manufacturer! The portable with the big sound!…super sensitive with special diode circuit, …while quantities last!” $14.91 Exclusively At Newberrys Downtown! [Admiral radio with Kisn logo on the dial].
On January 5, 1963 it was announced Timothy F. Moore was now Vice-President of Star Broadcasting, Inc. and would continue as KISN General Manager. On January 10, 1963 it was announced Frank Benny would become a Kisn Good Guy on 3-7pm “Hit Parade” show. On January 21, 1963 KISN began “THE $50,000.00 THANK YOU For Making 91-derful NUMBER 1, Year In and Year Out!” The prizes were a $6,500 Jaguar XKE Coupe; Luxurious-furs; An Apollo Swimming Pool with Jacuzzi, fully equipped and many other prizes.
On January 21, 1963 Addie Bobkins & Feather began on The Mighty 91-derful, 10-Noon. Between January 21 & 25, 1963 KISN was fined by the FCC $2,000 for misleading the public into believing KISN was licensed to Portland. By March 1963 Richard E. “Dick” Shireman had returned, this time as KISN Sales Manager. On March 3, 1963 George Sanders became Director of News Operations and Bill Howlett was now Night News Editor.
In March 1963 “Tiger” Tom Murphy (TM In The PM) 7-1am was now on 7-midnight and “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 4-7pm, Pat Pattee was now on the “Nightwatch” midnight-6 weeknights, Jack Meyers “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays moved from 10-3pm to 10-noon continuing weekdays 10-noon, Johnny Dark (Byron Swanson) “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays noon-3, Tom Michaels “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays 3-6pm & Sundays moved from 1-6pm to 1-4pm, Frank Benny “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 10-1pm continuing weekdays 3-7pm.
In May 1963 Harold Meeks became News Director of “Action Central News.” By August 1963 Paul Oscar Anderson (POA) “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays moved from 6-10am to 6-noon continuing weekdays 6-10am, “Tiger” Tom Murphy “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays moved from 4-7pm to Saturdays 3-6pm continuing weeknights 7-midnight. In August 1963 the KISN Aerocar was pictured on page 78 of “Flying” magazine.
On August 8, 1963 it was announced Don Steele (The Real Don Steele) had been named KISN Program Director and on 3-7pm, Frank Benny moved from 3-7pm to Noon-3 & “Wonderful Weekend” Sundays 10-2pm. On August 9, 1963 Kisn Good Guys, “The Real” Don Steele & Frank Benny hosted the “Battle of The Bands” at Jantzen Beach Park. In August 1963 Bill Weaver or John Sandifer became News Director. By November 1963 KISN begun distribution of “Kisn Good Guy” sweatshirts with the signature star call letters and face logos.
By January 1964 Les Parsons “Wonderful Weekend” Saturday: noon-3. On February 1, 1964 Kisn began “KISN Total Information, The Standard of American Radio News” 5:30am to 8:30am Monday thru Friday. Added newscasters in 1964 were Bill Weaver, Herm Cleaver & John Sandifer. On February 3, 1964 Frank Benny moved from Noon-3 to 6-10am and Roger Hart returned Noon-3 (now Manager of Paul Revere & The Raiders).
On February 8, 1964 about 400 Beatles Fans swarmed “Lipman’s Beatle Party” hosted by “Tiger” Tom Murphy, who gave away free Kisn Good Guy Sweatshirts, Records, Beatle Buttons and Beatle Wigs. In late March 1964 “The Real” Don Steele began his run for President of The United States. “For a New Real Deal, Wheel with Steele in 64.” Don even did one of his shows from the “Steel” bridge, proclaiming it as his own, dressed as Uncle Sam, snarling up traffic and shouting to passersby “Remember Our War Cry: Tina Delgalo Is Alive, ALIVE!”
By April 1964 Jack Sunday was on Noon-3pm, Roger Hart moved to “Wonderful Weekend” Saturdays 3-7pm (needing more time as Manager of Paul Revere & The Raiders). Weekdays: “Action Central News” aired two ten minute broadcasts, 6:55am & 7:55am and 72 spots aired daily on KISN. On May 1, 1964 Tom Murphy (El Tigre) moved from 7-midnight to 6-10am, Peter Huntington May began 7-midnight and Frank Benny moved from 6-10am to Noon-3. Kisn 91 also commemorated its 5th birthday with a contest “The 91,000.00 KISN Birthday Celebration” And you could Win part of it!
On May 23, 1964 the kisn Good Guys presented “The Beach Boys” at the Coliseum. Tom Murphy & Pat Pattee introduced the boys. On May 28, 1964 Lipman’s began selling the new Kisn Good Guy Beach Bag’s for $1.00. On June 2, 1964 the Portland Exposition Recreation Commission said No to a KISN permit to hold a Rock & Roll dance at Memorial Coliseum. The Commission worried if thousands of kids got worked up by the music, possible riots could break out.
In June 1964 Dick Saint was on 10-Noon and Roger Hart returned full time noon-3. By July 1964 KISN music charts switched to the new group photos with a new name “Super Hit Survey”s. In July 1964 Frank Benny became KISN Program Director, Jon Steele, brother of “The Real” Don Steele, filled his slot 3-7pm. and Les Parsons “Wonderful Weekend” noon-3. On July 15, 1964 Steve Shepard became KISN Vice-President & General Manager.
In September 1964 Sam Holman began 6-9am, “Tiger” Tom Murphy was moved back 7-midnight to stop KISN evening rating decline. On September 19, 1964 it was announced Julius S. Zell had sold the 10th Avenue building (housing KISN studios) to Donald M. Drake Co. for approximately $375,000.
On September 23, 1964 91-derful began the “KISN Sportscar Spectacular.” The Good Guys gave away $35,000.00 in sports cars: ’65 Ford Mustang Fastbacks and ’65 Chevy Impala Super Sports. On November 25, 1964 Kisn 91 presented “The Dave Clark Five” at the Auditorium. A KISN-Celebrity Presentation. On December 24, 1964 KISN’s transmitter studio flooded with several feet of Smith Lake water, dubbed the 64 Christmas flood.
On February 1, 1965 Jim Meeker took over 3-7pm becoming Music Director and Reb Sherman 7-midnight. In March 1965 Dick Saint moved from 10-noon to noon to 3. Roger Hart had left, moving to Hollywood, preparing filming Dick Clark’s “Where The Action Is” ABC-TV weekday series with Paul Revere & The Raiders, debuting 6-27-65. On March 14, 1965 The Mighty 91 brought “The Righteous Brothers Show” to the Auditorium with the stars of ABC-TV’s “Shindig!” Donna Loren, Bobby Goldsboro, The Beau Brummels & The Fugitives. A Paramount-KISN Presentation.
By April 1965 Frank Benny moved from noon-3 to 9-noon, Gene Leader on 7-midnight and Englishman, James Bond deejayed weekends, or whenever he felt like it! Craig Edwards, KISN newscaster. On April 1, 1965 “The Kisn Good Guys” quit on April Fools Day, turning their microphone over to some of their top sponsors. This became an annual event. On April 24, 1965 Jim Meeker hosted the “Channel Master KISN Radio Dance Contest” in the S.E. 82nd & Division BAZA’R Parking lot. You could win a valuable prize! Do The Swim, Watusi, The Frug, The Monkey, etc.
On June 1, 1965 KISN became a “UPI Audio” affiliate for national news stories. On June 12, 1965 Kisn 91 sponsored the first float ever entered by a Radio-TV station in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. Float titled “Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughters” aka “Music Man.” The float won first prize in the Special Commercial division. In July 1965 Frank Benny 9-noon moved back to Noon-3, Buddy Van Cleave took over 9-noon and Don Kennedy weekends.
On August 22, 1965 The Kisn Good Guys presented The Beatles at the Coliseum for two shows. The afternoon concert attracted 9,936 fans. Jim Meeker introduced The Fab Four. Girls were restrained by ushers when they plunged toward the stage skrieking and crying. Also on the bill were: Sounds Incorporated, Brenda Holloway, Cannibal & The Headhunters, King Curtis and The Discotheque Dancers.
In September 1965 Joe Light was on 7-midnight as “Teen Leader” and Craig Edwards became News Director of KISN Total Information. Four man news department with five minute newscasts heard at :55 past the hour. Headlines on the half hour and one ten minute newscast at 6:55am. Kisn 91 was presented a teen talk show “Pepsi Party” Tuesday thru Saturday nights at 8pm, for 30 minutes. On September 29, 1965 KISN was fined $2,000 by the FCC for creating the impression that KISN was licensed to Portland.
On October 9, 1965 Sonny & Cher were interviewed by Good Guy, Jim Meeker at “The Kisn Corner” studios. On November 1, 1965 Frank Benny 12-3pm returned to 6-9am and Don Kennedy took over Noon-3. By December 1965 you could call in your Kisn requests or play contests from your mobile car phone through the “Kisn Radio Mobile Telephone” by first dialing the operator and asking for Mobile Service and then ask for: JL3-4764. A message charge applied.
In December 1965 Don Kneass became a newscaster. On December 23, 1965 KISN News Director, Whitey Coker became one of the first U.S. Independent News Correspondents to report from Vietnam. Whitey reported form Saigon, Da Nang, Pleiku and An Cu, staying in Vietnam over a month.
On January 1, 1966 The Mighty 91 debuted KISN “20/20 News” 6-9am & 4-6pm twice an hour at 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after the hour. Newscasters: Don Kneass, Bill Howlett & others. For on the scene reports Jim Francis in the KISN Mobile News Wagon, with additional personnel in car units, Walkie-talkies used, Scotty Wright “Operation Air Watch” from a Cessna 150 airplane based at Eagle Flightways, Hillsboro Airport; Tom Michaels, Portland Police reports & Pat Pattee, Vancouver Police reports. “This Is KISN, Serving The Great Oregon Territory From Vancouver.”
In January 1966 Kangaroo (Rod Muir) was on 5:30-9am, Tom Michaels, Interim Program Director & 9-noon, Jim Hunter (Roger W. Morgan) 3-7pm. On January 17, 1966 work began on KISN’s new $400,000 high power transmitter site with ground broken in February 1966. In February 1966 Buzz Barr became KISN Program Director and on 9-noon as the “Housewives Helper.” Whitey Coker was now Managing Editor of KISN.
On February 14, 1966 (Valentines Day) Kisn presented “Turn Your Wife On” thru Feb 20th featuring Romantic Tips. KISN may call you. If you correctly repeat the latest romantic tip, you could have a change to Win a Fabulous round trip for two to the City of Love, Paris, France. This became an annual contest. On February 19, 1966 The Good Guys began the “KISN Colorampage!” You could Win one of 91 Color TV’s. Just listen to Kisn for the secret word.
By March 1966 Kisn Radio’s Portland request or contest line was changed from: 224-5290 to 224-KISN. In March 1966 Sam Holman returned 6-9am and Bobby Simon 7-midnight. By April 1966 Jim Hunter (Roger W. Morgan) was Music Director. On April 3, 1966 You could win one of America’s 13 Most Wanted Cars from KISN. The Good Guys could be dialing you between 7am to 7pm. If you know the correct secret word recently broadcast on Kisn you’ll receive a Golden Key in the mail becoming a finalist in the Fantastic KISN Grand Drawing April 30th.
On April 10, 1966 the new smaller KISN “Good Guy/50” survey’s began. On April 18, 1966 Paul Oscar Anderson returned 6-9am. By May 1966 Tom Michaels was Production Manager and on the air weekends. On May 3, 1966 Star Broadcasting, Inc. filed an FCC application for a new Portland FM broadcast station for KISN on 103.3 MHz., with transmitter at intersection of Burnside and Skyline Blvd. Antenna would be 973 feet above average terrain.
On May 10, 1966 KISN’s Top 40 competitor “Boss Radio” 1550 KGAR moved it studios to 949 S.W. Oak St., directly across from the “Kisn Corner” and the Radio War was on. In the end KISN won the studio battle but not the war. In May 1966 Kisn participated in the “Camper Contest” sponsored by “Marv Tonkin Camper Town.” Pat Pattee was locked in a camper where he broadcast his show. A lucky Kisn listener would be able to reach inside the fish bowl for a key to unlock him and Win!
In June 1966 KISN issued its newspaper “The Bugle” for 10 cents a copy. All the news about the KISN Good Guys of course. On June 11, 1966 KISN carried the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade from remote locations. The KISN-U.S. Air Force float was Flying Saucers with pretty space-girls on board. The float won 2nd place in the Special Section category. By July 1966 Buddy MacGregor was KISN Promotions Manager and Frank Tyrer (Frank Lindsay) newscaster. In July 1966 Ted Thomas (Tom Cauthers, Scotty Wright) began weekends midnight-6.
On July 21, 1966 The Kisn Good Guys presented The Rolling Stones at the Coliseum. Also on the bill were: The Standells, The Trade Winds, The McCoys & locals The Live Five. Buzz Barr, Don Kennedy, Pat Pattee & Whitey Coker were on hand introducing the groups. On August 20, 1966 KISN presented The Beach Boys, The Live Five (wearing Kisn Good Guy sweatshirts), Jeff Thomas, The Tweedy Brothers and The Tempests at the Coliseum. 5,500 attended the show.
On September 22, 1966 KISN owner Don Burden, told the staff in a meeting, he planned “to put Mark Hatfield in the U.S. Senate.” KISN News reports on rival Bob Duncan were to “show Duncan in a bad light.” On September 24, 1966 “The Big Kahuna” arrived at Import Plaza and met KISN listeners. Later he began knocking on doors of Portland homes, asking for the “Kisn Magic Phrase” heard hourly on The Mighty 91. If you knew, You won a second car for your family!
On October 1, 1966 KISN raised power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts, directional (two pattern day & night) from its new transmitter site at 4617 N.E. 158th Ave. New transmitter was a Bauer FB-5000. Towers 270 feet. In October 1966 Tom Michaels was on 6-9am for the Sam Holman “Happening” and Dick Saint returned 9-noon.
On October 18, 1966 the KISN slanted news charge was “not substantiated by the preponderance of evidence” in Circuit Court. The charge was made by former Kisn Good Guy, Paul Oscar Anderson, now a “Boss Radio” deejay at KGAR. Once again KISN won the battle but the war would continue.
In November 1966 KISN began their annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway. The Good Guys read several phone numbers an hour. If you heard your phone number and called KISN within 60 seconds, you won a turkey. On November 18, 1966 The Good Guys brought Sonny & Cher back to Portland and The Coliseum with Northwest groups The Impacts, The Galaxies & Bob Lowry. A Paramount KISN Presentation. In December 1966 Gary Mack was on 3-7pm.
In January 1967 Dick Saint moved from 9-noon to 3-7pm and Bryan Roberts (Buzz Hill), Chris Kelly & John Drury were added newscasters during the year. By February 1967 Roger W. Morgan (Christopher Kane) was on 7-midnight. In February 1967 Tom Michaels became Program Director and Kisn Good Guy sweatshirts were available at J.K. Gill.
On February 10, 1967 KISN’s first annual “Kisn Bridal Fair” took place in the Grand Ballroom of the “Portland Hilton Hotel.” It was a big hit, 5,500 attended. By March 1967 Sam Holman returned 9-noon and “Kisn Good Guy” stickers were issued on a sheet with different sticker shapes. On March 17, 1967 Michael O’Brien (Mike O’Brien) began 5:30-9am on St. Patrick’s Day. On April 13, 1967 KISN presented Al Hirt at the Coliseum.
By June 1967 Tom Michaels moved from 6-9am to 9-noon, Whitey Coker back to News Director title and KISN had begun honoring the “Business Man of The Day.” On June 30, 1967 KISN presented The Lovin’ Spoonful. By July 1967 Roger W. Morgan (Christopher Kane) moved from 7-midnight to 3-7pm and “Operation Traffic Watch” with Scotty Wright & Sherm “Man On The Move” Meyer. “Mobile 91 Clear.”
On August 18, 1967 KISN began another $50,000.00 Thank You for making Kisn #1 Year in and Year out. Fantastic prizes awaited you. A Pontiac Firebird, Magnavox Home Theaters, Mink Stoles, Motor Bikes, Suzuki’s, Car Stereo’s, plus hundreds of other wonderful prizes. We’ve got your (phone) number. Just listen to Kisn.
On August 26, 1967 KISN presented The Monkees. Between 8,600 & 9,000 concert goers were at the Coliseum. 30 Police Officers formed a semi-circle around the stage making sure screaming teens didn’t get carried away. On September 23, 1967 The Kisn Good Guys presented The Turtles & The Seeds, plus locals The New Yorkers (Hudson Brothers) at the Coliseum. On October 28, 1967 KISN presented Diana Ross & The Supremes with Hugh Masekela & comedian, Sandy Baron at the Coliseum.
By November 1967 Bobby Noonan was on noon-3 and Judge Ramsey 7-midnight. KISN slogans: “Yours Truly Kisn Radio” as well as “Home of The Good Guys” and “The Mighty 91” plus “Good Guy Territory” additionally “This Is KISN, The Station With A Corner On News.” In December 1967 Judge Ramsey 7-midnight moved to another shift and Dex Allen took over 7-midnight. On December 15, 1967 KISN presented The Young Rascals at The Coliseum. On December 31, 1967 The Kisn Good Guys presented Tommy James & The Shondells.
On February 4, 1968 KISN presented The Beach Boys & Buffalo Springfield at the Coliseum. On March 29, 1968 it was announced Don W. Burden (76.36%) was now Star Stations, Chairman of The Board. Taking Don’s old position was Star Station investor James P. “Joe” Wilkerson (16.34%) President. The remainder (7.29%) by four other investors. By April 1968 Judge Ramsay returned 7-midnight. In May 1968 Tom Cauthers (Ted Thomas, Scotty Wright) returned weekends midnight-6 and Operation Water Watch now sponsored by Dolphin Marina.
On May 31, 1968 The Mighty 91 during “Rose Festival” presented “The Kisn Fun Festival” which ran 10 days at the Coliseum Exhibition Hall and included “The Kisn Fun Factory” youth nightclub with dancing and live entertainment. On stage were: Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Dino, Desi & Billy, The Grass Roots, Sly & The Family Stone, The Mob. Plus locals: Gentlemen Wild & The Morning Reign.
On June 15, 1968 KISN altered its format to include Country and Rhythm & Blues, referred to as the All-The-Way format. KISN slogans: “Kisn Radio Goes All The Way” as well as “Kisn Radio Plays It All.” The format move was a disaster and was later dropped. By August 1968 Frank Lindsay (Frank Tyrer) newscaster and Kisn Receptionist, Kathy Swaja. In August 1968 “Kisn Is Everywhere” stickers were issued and stuck everywhere in Portland.
On October 16, 1968 Two .22 caliber shots hit “The Window On The World” at “The Kisn Corner” studios, in a drive by shooting. Roger W. Morgan (Christopher Kane) was on the air at the time. On October 18, 1968 The Kisn Good Guys presented: Simon & Garfunkel at the Coliseum. On October 26, 1968 The Kisn Good Guys presented: The Turtles. Special guest stars Canned Heat & The Grass Roots. Direct from England, Deep Purple & Professor Morrison’s Lollipop at the Coliseum.
In late 1968 William R. Hatch became Associate News Director of KISN 20/20 News. By December 1968 Burton M. Richardson (B.M.R.) was on weekends. On December 29, 1968 the Kisn Good Guys presented in concert Vanilla Fudge at the Auditorium. Plus special guests Led Zeppelin featuring Jimmy Page.
By February 1969 Tom Michaels 5:30-9am filling in “The Roger W. Show.” On February 22, 1969 Kisn Good Guys dramatic presentation of General Judge George Washington Ramsey crossing the Delaware Columbia in a dingy. See this historic event from the 43rd Street boat ramp at 2pm and register for valuable prizes. Drawing at the launch site.
In March 1969 Roger W. Morgan (?Dave O’Donnell?) 5:30-9am. By April 1969 Judge Ramsey moved from 7-midnight to 5:30-9am, Buddy Scott (Mother Bear) began 7-midnight, Steve Glass was on 9-Noon and Tom Cauthers (Ted Thomas, Scotty Wright) midday newscaster. By May 1969 Donald W. “Don” Hedges had returned as KISN Sales Manager.
On May 1, 1969 KISN was 10 years old and The Mighty 91 kicked off its second decade with presents for its listeners in “Kisn’s Birthday Bonanza.” Given away were 4 new 1969 cars: Corvair, Dodge Dart, Olds Cutlass & Opel Kadett, 8 trips to Hawaii & 910 Transistor Radios. All during the month of May listeners heard The Great Hits from Kisn’s first ten years.
On June 6, 1969 The Mighty 91 and the “Rose Festival” presented “The Kisn Good Guys Fun Festival.” On the Coliseum Exhibition Hall stage were: The Spiral Staircase, Strawberry Alarm Clock & Ray Stevens. By July 1969 Kisn Radio Vancouver request or contest line was: 696-1082. Portland number continued as: 224-KISN. “The Mighty 91, Playin’ What You’re Sayin'”
On July 1, 1969 The Good Guys presented “The Kisn Fun Factory” at “Hillsboro Happy Days” Washington County Fairgrounds, featuring The L.A. Experiment and Al Film Festival, etc. On stage were: Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Elephant, 1910 Fruitgum Co. & The Mob. Additional dates. On July 13, 1969 KISN & Concerts West presented Creedence Clearwater Revival & The Grass Roots at the Coliseum. 6,000 estimated attendance. By September 1969 Dave Stone (????) was on 3-7pm.
On September 7, 1969 KISN presented Steppenwolf at the Coliseum. On September 28, 1969 Kisn presented Iron Butterfly & Blues Image at the Coliseum. Kisn slogan: The Best Radio On Radio Is KISN, The Music People. On November 4, 1969 the FCC, had a special behind closed doors meeting about missing documents in a file of KISN’s sister station WIFE Indianapolis. This would eventually open the door to a re-examination of KISN’s 1966 circuit court ruling on the slanted news charge.
On January 5, 1970 Mike O’Brien (Michael O’Brien) returned 5:30-9am. On February 8, 1970 KISN began the public service program “Community Action Forum” Sundays at 9:30am. By March 1970 Lincoln Smith, newscaster. Kisn slogans: “KISN, The Mighty 91” and “KISN Just Doin’ Are Thing.” On March 23, 1970 KISN & Star Concerts presented An Evening with Led Zeppelin at the Coliseum. 7,000 estimated attendance. By April 1970 Jimmy Cassidy (Gary Stevens) was on 7-midnight and Scotty Wright (Ted Thomas, Tom Cauthers) on Operation Air Watch.
In May 1970 Doyle A. Peterson became KISN Sales Manager. By June 1970 Charlie Bronson was on 9-noon, Bob Noonan (Bobby Noonan) “The Pool Party” Noon-3 and Johnny Clark 3-7pm. On June 5, 1970 Kisn presented “Sensory 70” for the Rose Festival, at the Coliseum featuring: The Grass Roots, Shocking Blue, Frigid Pink & Petula Clark with additional dates. In June 1970 the “Have A Happy Day” jingle package began on KISN until February 1971.
By July 1970 Chris Alexander (Alan Lawson) was on 7-midnight and KISN had opened a sales office in Vancouver at: 1001 1/2 Main St. On July 18, 1970 Kisn & AC Productions presented Blood Sweat & Tears at the Coliseum. In August 1970 The Mighty 91 issued for young adults back to school, the official “Kisn Rap Wrap” pee-chee style portfolio. In September 1970 Tom Michaels was on noon-3 and Fearless Freddy, sports heard 3 times a day, weekdays. On September 13, 1970 KISN presented Three Dog Night at the Coliseum.
On November 2, 1970 “The Kisn Happy Cash Girl” began making calls around the Portland area. If you knew The Happy Word of The Hour, announced by The Good Guys, she awarded you The Happy Cash Jackpot. On November 11, 1970 KISN welcomed Elvis Presley live in concert at the Coliseum. 11,664 attended. The largest audience to see a concert at the Coliseum at the time. On November 19, 1970 Kisn presented the Kinks & Gypsy at the Paramount. As reported: “KISN had more than its share of problems, occasional unruliness by the audience comprised mainly of longhairs.” Around 2,000 attended.
On December 3, 1970 the FCC refused to renew KISN and other Star Stations licenses, pending a hearing on charges of political favoritism and slanting of the news in 1966, plus misrepresentation of facts to the FCC. KISN and its sister stations continued doing business during the hearings. These “Star Station” hearings took place over a 26 month period which included KOIL AM/FM Omaha & WIFE AM/FM Indianapolis. In December 1970 Wes Ryan was on 3-7pm.
On January 5, 1971 The “Good Guys Tanglefoot Five” basketball team took on St. Helens High School. In January 1971 Kisn issued its first LP album “KISN 22 Golden Hits” on Post-7104. In January 1971 Kisn changed the name of its music survey to “KISN Good Guys/Hitline.” In February 1971 Bobby Noonan returned to Kisn, now on 3-7pm. Todd Randall (Todd Clarke aka Tom Phelan) newscaster. On February 21, 1971 Kisn presented The Bee Gees & The Staples Singers at the Paramount.
On February 22, 1971 The Kisn Good Guys dramatic presentation of George Washington O’Brien Crossing The Columbia. “Be At Both Shores!” On March 27, 1971 The Mighty 91 presented the “Kisn March For SOLV” (Stop Oregon Litter And Vandalism). Began at Civic Stadium and end at Cedar Hills Shopping Center, walking 12 hours. Pick up fund raising pledge cards at KISN studios and March With Us!
On April 18, 1971 KISN debuted in Portland the syndicated Casey Kasem “American Top 40” Sundays 7-10pm. By May 1971 Jonathan Christy (Bill Stevens) was on 9-noon, Ron “Ugly” Thompson 7-midnight and Tom Cauthers (Ted Thomas, Scotty Wright) became KISN Public Service Director. In June 1971 G. Michael McKay (Tom Brooks) on weekends. On July 21, 1971 Kisn presented Burt Bacharach in concert at the Coliseum.
On August 22, 1971 KISN presented Three Dog Night with High Voltage. 12,262 attended the sellout. The largest audience ever to see a rock concert at the Coliseum at the time. On September 26, 1971 Kisn presented The Moody Blues at the Coliseum. Another sellout. On October 11, 1971 KISN & Mt. Hood Community College presented The James Gang in concert, at the college. On October 21, 1971 Kisn presented the “Evel Knievel Motorcycle Spectacular.” Evil jumped 13 cars, plus rock music from High Voltage, all at the Coliseum.
In January 1972 J.J. Jordan became KISN Program Director and on noon-3, Bobby Noonan, Music Director. Plus, Sherm Meyer became News Director and Sam Lee weekends. Slogan: “The BIG 91.” By February 1972 Mike O’Brien (Michael O’Brien) 6-10am, Tom Michaels moved 10-noon, Chuck Martin 7-midnight, Pat Pattee 12-6am. In February 1972 Kisn 91 renamed its music survey “KISN BIG 30” and issued its second LP “An Album of KISN – Solid Gold.”
By April 1972 KISN schedule realignment: Mike O’Brien 6-10am, Tom Michaels 10-1pm, J.J. Jordan 1-4pm, Bobby Noonan 4-8pm, Chuck Martin 8-midnight, Pat Pattee 12-6am. “The Kisn Good Guys” were now called “The Big 91 Jocks.” On May 1, 1972 Doyle A. Peterson KISN Sales Manager became Vice-President of Sales. By May 1972 Charlie Stevens (Jeff Clarke) was on weekends and KISN slogan: “The Super 1 in 72.”
On June 3, 1972 Dave Stone (Dave “Records” Stone) began weekends and two weeks of weeknight fill-ins 10-midnight. In July 1972 Bob Noonan (Bobby Noonan) 4-8pm became KISN Program Director, moved 1-4pm; Chuck Martin 8-midnight now Music Director, moved 4-8pm; Mother Bear (Buddy Scott) returned 8-midnight and Roger W. Morgan formerly Dave Stone (Dave “Records” Stone) on weekends.
On July 23, 1972 Rainier Beer & Kisn presented a free concert at Delta Park featuring Charlie Musselwhite with locals Brown Sugar, The Moondogs, in cooperation with Portland Park Bureau. On July 27, 1972 KISN in cooperation with Concerts West presented Chicago in concert at the Coliseum.
On August 1, 1972 Doyle A. Peterson, KISN Vice-President of Sales became General Manager and Roger W. Morgan (Christopher Kane) returned 6-10am, Mother Bear (Buddy Scott) 8-midnight moved 4-7pm and Dave Stone formerly Roger W. Morgan (Dave “Records” Stone) was on 7-midnight. On August 13, 1972 Rainier Beer & Kisn presented a free concert at Delta Park featuring locals Sand with Wesak, Everything Is Everything, Knurd, in cooperation with Portland Park Bureau.
On August 25, 1972 KISN in cooperation with Concerts West presented Three Dog Night with special guest John Kay at the Coliseum. On August 27, 1972 Rainier Beer & Kisn presented a free concert at Delta Park featuring locals Notary Sojac, Sheiks of Shuffle, Kobolden Keep, Willow, in cooperation with Portland Park Bureau. By September 1972 Kisn slogans were: “The Big 91” as well as “The Rock of The Northwest” with “KISN Plays More Solid Rock” and I.D. “KISN Vancouver, The Rock Rolls On.”
In September 1972 KISN schedule realignment: Roger W. Morgan (Jim Hunter) returned 6-10am, Tom Michaels 10-noon, Bob Noonan (Bobby Noonan) noon-3, Mother Bear (Buddy Scott) 3-7pm, David Stone (Dave “Records” Stone) Music Director and on 7-midnight, Pat Pattee 12-6am. Weekenders: Jim Fox and Mike Rivers. By October 1972 William L. “Bill” Failing, Jr. was KISN Sales Manager, Steve Randall was on weekends. Grant Jackson (Gary McKenzie) newscaster. By December 1972 Dick Jenkins was on noon-3 and “Shotgun” Buzz Kelly on weekends.
On February 14, 1973 The FCC cleared the way for license renewal of KISN and sister KOIL AM/FM but turned down the renewal of sister WIFE AM/FM. This was eventually granted. By March 1973 Pat Riley was on 3-7pm. By June 1973 Brother Stone (Dave “Records” Stone) was on 7-midnight. In June 1973 “Shotgun” Buzz Kelly was midnight-6. On June 25, 1973 Sol S. Rosinsky became KISN General Manager.
In July 1973 Chuck Martin became KISN Program Director & Jim Rose, Music Director. On August 5, 1973 KISN announced a format move away from the younger listeners and now targeted young adults. “We know we’ve had the bubblegum image and we’re leaving it behind. We’ll play more album product now” said Chuck Martin. In August 1973 L.A. Marsh was on midnight-6.
By September 1973 new slogan: “Keep On Kisn.” Stickers & t-shirts “Keep On Kisn 91.” By October 1973 G. Michael McKay (Tom Brooks) midnight-6. On October 5, 1973 KISN & Concerts West presented John Denver at the Coliseum. On November 2, 1973 KISN & Concerts West presented Rare Earth, plus ZZ Top at the Coliseum.
On March 4, 1974 KISN & Concerts West presented The Doobie Brothers at the Coliseum in festival seating. On March 8, 1974 a alleged group of college students took off their clothes and stood naked in front of the “Kisn Corner” studios at 11:30pm for a period of time and then streaked away. On April 8, 1974 KISN & Concerts West presented Three Dog Night at the Coliseum. By May 1974 Donald W. “Don” Hedges returned as KISN Station Manager and added Promotional Manager as well, Jim Rose was now Program Director and on air 1-4pm.
In May 1974 “Pick up your free Keep On Kisn 91 bumper sticker at all Arco stations, Plaid Pantry Markets, Herfy’s & Shell stations. Put one on the rear of your vehicle for a chance to win your share of the $91,000.00 in cold hard cash KISN is giving away to celebrate our 15 Fabulous years in The Great Northwest. A KISN mobile unit will patrol the streets. When you hear your license number, pull over safely and stop. The driver will notify you what you’ve won $91. or $910. or $9,100. You’ll receive a check in the mail in two weeks.”
On May 12, 1974 KISN & Concerts West presented The Guess Who with special guest Lighthouse at the Coliseum. On June 22, 1974 KISN & Concerts West presented Grand Funk with special guest Wet Willie at the Coliseum. By July 1974 Bill Stevens (Jonathan Christy) had returned to Kisn. On July 1, 1974 KISN & Double Tee presented Tower of Power with special guest stars Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Coliseum.
On July 8, 1974 KISN & Rainier Beer presented Johnny Nash, Dave Loggins, Michael Murphy, King Biscuit Boy, The Meters, Jeffrey Comanor, Michael Fennelly at West Delta Park. On October 15, 1974 the FCC held a hearing on whether to deny a license renewal to KISN and other Star Stations. Earlier allegations dug up once again. By November 1974 Barry Cannon was on 7 to midnight. On November 1, 1974 Chuck Weber began midnight-6.
On January 31, 1975 the FCC denied license renewal of KISN and other Star Stations. It found serious misconduct had occurred in the operation. KISN and sister stations would continue business as usual while the FCC denial was appealed through the courts. On March 22, 1975 The Big 91 Jocks left “The Kisn Corner” for one day to broadcast from The Lipman’s corner window at 5th & Washington.
On April 14, 1975 “Uncle” Don Wright began 6-10am. On May 10, 1975 KISN & Concerts West presented David Gates at Paramount Northwest. On May 17, 1975 KISN & Concerts West presented The Doobie Brothers with special guest Henry Gross at the Coliseum. On June 1, 1975 The Big 91 presented the “KISN Do It Yourself Fair.” Door prices. Free admission at the Expo Center. This became an annual event.
On June 8, 1975 KISN & The Youth Justice Clinic presented Rare Earth with special guest stars Ramm at Paramount Northwest. By July 1975 Bill Stevens (Jonathan Christy) was KISN Program Director and on 10-noon. By July 1975 Kisn music survey’s were called “KISN 91 Top 30.” By August 1975 Jerry Rohnert was on 7-midnight. On August 22, 1975 KISN presented HAIR – The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical at Paramount Northwest, with additional dates.
In September 1975 Dave Stone (Dave “Records” Stone) returned 7-midnight. On September 13, 1975 KISN presented Black Sabbath, Montrose & Mahogany Rush at the Coliseum. Sellout, 11,000 attended. By December 1975 Sam Lee was KISN Music Director and on 10-3pm, “Crazy” Dick Simms (Bwana Johnny) 3-7pm, Chuck Weber 12-6pm, Michael Damon on weekends, Susie Borgeson, Kisn receptionist and Jackie Matheson, traffic. On December 6, 1975 KISN debuted in Portland the syndicated Wolfman Jack, Saturdays 10-1am.
On December 11, 1975 the U.S. Appeals Court upheld the FCC license denial of KISN and other Star Stations. An appeal was filed and KISN and sister stations continued to operate. In February 1976 Sam Lee moved 3-7pm. On May 24, 1976 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the FCC decision on KISN and other Star Stations. KISN had 90 days to wind up operations. Star Stations owner Don Burden said: “This is the greatest injustice ever perpetrated against a broadcast company in the history of the FCC.”
On June 7, 1976 the FCC ordered KISN and other Star Stations to halt operation on September 2, 1976. The commission said the stations’ call signs would be deleted when operations halt. On June 9, 1976 KISN President & G.M. Sol Rosinsky said “I’d say the mood of our 34 employees is hopeful that the FCC will permit an interim operator to keep the station on the air until the commission chooses a permanent new owner from a list of applicants.” In July 1976 The Stoner (Dave “Records” Stone) 7-midnight.
In Summer 1976 Dick Simms (Bwana Johnny) became KISN Music Director and moved back to 3-7pm. On August 4, 1976 it was announced last week that the FCC had refused to allow KISN and Star Stations to stay on the air until an interim operator could take over.
On August 26, 1976 it was reported the FCC was considering a petition by owner Don Burden to delay for another 30 days the silencing of KISN and other Star Stations, to ease the way for new owners to take over. Three groups applied for interim and permanent authority of KISN. They were: Rose Broadcasting Co., headed by KISN G.M, Sol S. Rosinsky (56%) with 7 others. Dudley Communications Ltd., headed by KYAC AM/FM Seattle, President, Donald T. “Don” Dudley & Viking of Vancouver, Inc., comprised of lawyers and businessmen. KGAR intended to file in opposition.
On September 1, 1976 KISN and other Star Stations appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals, was rejected. The FCC forced KISN’s last hours to be at Kisn’s transmitter site. They didn’t want a crowd of listeners and TV news cameras witnessing this from “The Kisn Corner” studios, making the FCC officials nervous as the bad guys.
Dave Stone told his listeners near the end “At this time KISN leaves the air for an indefinite period of time. Good night from the Kisn Good Guys.” Then a recorded ID “K-I-S-N Vancouver.” Playing for a few seconds was “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & The Supremes, then static at 12:02am September 2, 1976. KISN had 32 employees.
Special Thanks to: Tom Cauthers, Bob Gallucci, Roger Hart, G. Michael McKay, Robin Mitchell Associates, Roger W. Morgan, Tom Murphy, Michael O’Brien, Dave “Records” Stone all helped make this biography more complete.
References: Billboard magazine, Broadcasting magazine, Broadcasting Yearbook, The Bugle, C.E. Hooper, Inc., Kisn Survey’s, The Oregon Journal, The Oregonian, Portland Telephone Directory, The Pulse, Inc., Radio Annual, U.S. Radio magazine.May 11, 2016 at 1:59 am #19850
“On May 1, 1969 KISN was 10 years old. All during the month of May listeners heard The Great Hits from Kisn’s first ten years.” This was perhaps the most fun I ever had listening to the radio. For the first three days of May, they wound back the clock to 1959 and aired only songs, jingles and news reports from that year. Starting on May 4th, they did the same with 1960 for three days and so forth, until returning to the present, at the end of the month. I didn’t notice anything about KISN’s final contest, where you were to answer the phone by saying “Keep on Kisn” instead of “hello”. If you did so and it was KISN, you would win $9100 I once dated a girl who did just that!May 11, 2016 at 5:30 am #19853
The “Keep on Kisn” contest information came from a promotional brochure. That’s why there was so much written about it but the brochure didn’t mention “Keep on Kisn” phone calls.May 25, 2016 at 1:24 am #20121
“On June 15, 1968 KISN altered its format to include Country and Rhythm & Blues, referred to as the All-The-Way format. KISN slogans: “Kisn Radio Goes All The Way” as well as “Kisn Radio Plays It All.” The format move was a disaster and was later dropped.” How was this a disaster? They must’ve still been #1 because they were the only game in town!May 25, 2016 at 5:22 am #20122
What about KGAR, KPAM & KPFM?May 25, 2016 at 9:55 am #20128
KPAM-KPFM switched in 1969. KGAR was a daytimer, barely audible in much of the market and didn’t have a competitive sound. I once listened to them on my car radio, close to sunset in downtown Portland and they were completely wiped out by KKHI San Francisco!May 25, 2016 at 1:31 pm #20134
“making the FCC officials nervous as the bad guys.”
KISN self destructed. Poor management via an owner who wouldn’t play by the rules. That is their history. The local boomers can try and retell and repaint the story as many times as they like, but the outside world doesn’t give a hoot. The FCC was never the “bad guys” in this story. Had Burden not continually piss off the regulators, none of it would have ended the way it did. Instead it would have just faded out like the other big top 40 machines of the 60’s and 70’s, most of which were just copies of what was going on in New York City, L.A. and Chicago. Truth is, and I know it’s hard for those that grew up around here, there was absolutely nothing unique about what KISN did. The programming, the jocks, the promotions . . . all of it . . . was going on in many places around the country when that business model was successful. KISN died in 1976 because it committed suicide, not because of a big bad FCC.May 26, 2016 at 1:13 am #20153
Great job, Craig. IMO (biased, of course) the ’69 to ’71 era had the best combination of jocks, songs and “fun”. The last 3 months on the air was cool as well, everything seemed tight, jingles and station promotions quite good although the somewhat better music was on KPAM-FM.
Reflecting back, maybe it was better KISN crashed when it did, some top 40 music was becoming too awful to listen to (maybe just part of growing up) and the writing was on the wall. By coming to a dramatic end, we’ve good stories we’re still telling 40 years later.
In short, Burden didn’t like Bob Duncan and killed his station(s) in the process of slanting news coverage against him in his Senate race in the ’60s. In 1974, Duncan was elected to Congress and by 1976, KISN was gone. Coincidence? 🙂
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