August 13, 2015 at 12:25 am #13008Craig_AdamsParticipant
Today August 13, 1926 Blaine Thompson Hanks was born in Twin Falls, Idaho to Theresa aka Terese Eli (Pfeifauf) and Blaine Addison Hanks. Blaine had a younger sister Roseanne aka Rose N. “Rose Anne” Hanks Pfeifauf. By 1930 the family was living in Elmore, County, Idaho. In 1933 Blaine, Rose and their mother, moved to West Salem, Oregon to live with their grandparents, Rosina M. “Rosa” (Bogner) and Simon F. Pfeifauf. On January 7, 1935 Blaine’s grandfather Simon Pfeifauf died at age 66 in West Salem. By 1940 Blaine and family was living at: 1391 Elm St. in West Salem.
On September 9, 1946 Blaine began attending “Sacred Heart Academy” in Salem when it opened and later graduated. While in school, Blaine worked part-time in an electrical repair shop. Part of his job was to drive the “sound car” through the streets of Salem with a large speaker on top, announcing news flashes and special events. Glenn McCormick KSLM Salem, General Manager, heard Blaine’s “sound car”, liked his voice and offered him a job in late 1946. Blaine worked at KSLM as an announcer and newscaster for about four years. Hanks (6.3) then attended Willamette University for a year and a half, where he met his future wife.
On July 19, 1947 Blaine Thompson Hanks, 20, married 19 year old Wilma Margaret “Willie” Gorton in Salem. The couple lived in West Salem. On November 4, 1949 Blaine moved to KMCM McMinnville when the station began extending its hours into nights. In 1950 Blaine & Wilma welcomed their first daughter: Nancy Rose Hanks. By December 1951 Blaine Hanks was KMCM Program Director.
On March 17, 1952 it was announced Blaine Hanks was the new announcer on KOIN AM/FM. The Hanks moved into their home at: 4320 S.W. Primrose St. in Portland. On September 19, 1952 Blaine & Wilma welcomed their first son: Stephen Blaine “Steve” Hanks. In 1953 Blaine began teaching radio broadcasting and public speaking at “Multnomah College.” On October 15, 1953 Blaine Hanks became “KOIN-TV News” first weatherman at 6:00pm until Bob Lynott joined the staff in December 1953. On December 12, 1953 Blaine’s grandmother Rose Hanks died at age 78 in Salem.
On February 3, 1954 Blaine & Wilma welcomed their second daughter: Carol E. Hanks. On January 16, 1956 Blaine Hanks began as the weekday announcer for the “Koin Klock” morning show at 6:15am. Then newscaster for “Headline News” at 7:15am and the announcer for Glenn “Shelley Serenade” at 8:30am.
On September 2, 1957 Blaine took over the “The Noon News” weekdays & Saturdays on KOIN AM/FM which was the lead into the “Come And Get it” show with Red Dunning & The KOIN Orchestra at 12:20pm. Blaine would serve as the host for the variety show. By November 1957 the Hanks family was living at: 3041 S.W. Flower Terrace. On August 31, 1958 Blaine & Wilma welcomed their second son: David Michael Hanks.
On January 3, 1961 Hanks began hosting the return of “The Little Show” on KOIN AM/FM at 3:05pm weekdays. On December 19, 1961 KOIN AM/FM debuted “Around Town with Blaine Hanks.” This program would alternate with “Stories of Pacific Powerland” weekdays at 5:35pm.
On May 18, 1964 KOIN AM/FM made a shift away from older style programs. Glenn “Shelley Serenade” was canceled and “Koin Klock” expanded to 9:40am. Also axed were “Come And Get It” replaced by “The Blaine Hanks Show” 12:20 to 3:00pm and “The Little Show” was canceled. Blaine also began was the announcer for the new “Koin Concert Hall” weeknights 8:00pm to 10:00pm. On June 8, 1964 KOIN AM/FM brought back “Come And Get It” after a flood of negative response. “Koin Klock” now ended at 9:00am and “The Blaine Hanks Show” was on 1:15 to 2:55pm.
On June 5, 1965 KOIN AM/FM presented the Rose Festival “Merrykhana Parade” with Blaine Hanks broadcasting descriptions of the fun-filled, zany parade live from the Memorial Coliseum at 8:00pm. October 26, 1965 KOIN ad: “One of the outstanding radio personalities in Portland, popular Blaine Hanks is star of “Come And Get It” with a cast of jovial wits.” On December 6, 1965 Blaine Hanks took over as host of “Koin Klock” 6:00 to 10:00am when Clint Gruber resigned from KOIN. Blaine continued to be host of “Come And Get It” as well.
On August 31, 1968 Blaine Hanks broadcast his last shows on KOIN AM/FM. He was recruited by Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton to start a two-year radio broadcasting program. In September 1968 The family moved to Pendleton and Blaine developed the curriculum, starting the arduous task of setting up an on-campus radio station. On February 12, 1969 Blaine’s father Blaine Addison Hanks died at age 86 in Walla Walla, Wash.
On April 18, 1970 KRBM (FM) signed on the air with broadcast students operating the station and Blaine Hanks as General Manager. In addition to teaching the classes and managing the station, Blaine also taught speech at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, worked with the inmates recording “books on tape”, and did commercials and narrations for various agencies and businesses. In February 1976 Blaine’s mother Theresa Eli Hanks died at age 76. On March 17, 1981 KRBM began carrying some OPB programming as well.
In June 1987 OPB moved the KRBM transmitter from the college to Warren Hill and increased power from 1kw to 25kw, covering a large portion of Eastern Oregon. OPB programs also took over most of the schedule. The power increase led to a merger with OPB. On November 29, 1987 Blaine’s son David Michael Hanks died at age 29 in Pendleton. In 1992 Blaine retired from teaching at the college and the broadcast program ended. Blaine’s special enjoyment after retirement was co-hosting the “Big Band Show” with Butch Thurman every Sunday morning on KUMA Pendleton, for the past thirty-three years.
On June 16, 2013 Blaine Hanks passed away at age 86 in Pendleton. On July 14, 2013 An informal “Celebration of Life” in memory of Blaine was held from 1:00 to 4:00pm at the Great Pacific Wine and Coffee Company in Pendleton.
Special Thanks to Joel Miller who helped make this biography more complete.
References: Broadcasting Yearbook, The Oregon Statesman, The Oregonian.
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