“Wonderful K-BOX” at 1480 On Your AM Dial

by Paula Bosse

kbox-djs“Wonderful K-BOX” jocks atop the Southland Life Bldg. (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

When I was a kid, it seems like KBOX was always on in the background. Always. My father was a huge country music fan, and it was one of the (if not THE) top country stations in town. This was in the ’70s. So it’s a bit of a shock to learn that KBOX had been a Top 40 station in the ’50s and ’60s — in fact, it was the major competitor of top-dog KLIF.

The photo above was shot atop the Southland Life Building in 1966 and appeared on an LP called “Dusty Discs.” On-air personalities shown are (top row) Terry Byrd, Ron Rice, Frank Jolle/Jolley, (bottom row) Dan Patrick, Bill Ward, and Bill Holley.

The competition between KBOX (owned by John Box — the “Box” in KBOX) and KLIF (owned by the legendary Gordon McLendon) was fierce. This explains the photo below in which John Box had his DJs hold a special banner during the same photo shoot. Box had this photo printed up and gleefully sent to McLendon as a Christmas card that year (during which KBOX had trounced KLIF in one of the crucial ratings periods). (I’m sure McLendon enjoyed seeing his name misspelled.) AM radio ain’t for the meek.

kbox-mclendon-banner

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Top photo/album cover from eBay.

Second photo from a Frank Jolley site, here. (Jolley’s name is spelled “Jolley” and “Jolle” almost interchangeably all over the internet, so I’m not sure which is correct.)

Absolutely everything you’d ever want to know about KBOX can be found here (and this is just part two of the history!).

BEST OF ALL is this aircheck from 1959, featuring Dan Ingram. It’s crazy. The energy level is exhausting to listen to. They were really pulling out all the stops. (And, hey, you could go see Johnny Cash at the Sportatorium for ONE DOLLAR!) This is great:

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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