Saturday, January 28, 2012

K-A-A-Y One-Oh-Nine-Oh‏

Folks, Paul Kirby was one of the biggest contributors to the San Antonio Radio Memories book, mentioned before on this blog...funny, how great personalities are influenced into their profession!  He worked at several stations in the San Antonio, TX market over the years...I enjoyed reading his stories in Vicki's book.  Vicki contacted him and told him I'd like to hear his story about listening to KAAY, so, without further ado, here's paul!

"K-A-A-Y One-Oh-Nine-Oh!

As a thirteen-year-old living in rural western Minnesota, we didn’t have television and radio (to our family) meant listening to clear-channel 50-thousand watt WCCO in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Because WCCO was the only radio station we could receive both day and night, the tuning knob on the radio rarely got moved.

For me, most of the time, I spent nights reading, rather than listening to WCCO. Each week after my piano lesson in town, we would visit the local library where I would check out a new stack of books for the coming week.

There was a radio show that I regularly enjoyed on WCCO called "Honest To Goodness" hosted by Dick Chapman and Randy Merriman. I remember to this day one of their questions: Who is Leonard Slye?

My cousin Ted was very excited about a Disk Jockey on WLS from 9 to midnight. A slight move of the radio dial from 830 to 890 brought in the completely different Dick Biondi each weeknight for an hour, after finishing my homework and before retiring for the night. I still read regularly each evening, but it was just a little bit less than before.

I was shocked one evening to no longer hear Dick on the radio, but Art Roberts instead. It wasn’t that Art wasn’t good. It was that Art didn’t seem have the excitement, edge and fun that Dick had every night. I went back to reading.

One night, on a whim, after "Honest To Goodness," I decided to tune “up the band” on the radio to see what I could hear. I stopped on 1090 when I heard something completely different on the radio.

That something completely different turned out to be KAAY Comex News. I had never heard news delivered with such urgency.

With such urgency, I had to keep listening to see what would happen next. What happened next was Rob Robbins who seemed to be having fun on the radio just like Dick Biondi.

However, what really surprised me was that any time Rob spoke you could here a jingle in the background repeating over and over again:

K-A-A-Y One-Oh-Nine-Oh

Over the years, I have asked a number of people about how the repeating jingle was implemented, but to this day, I have not encountered anyone (including George Jennings) who could provide actual implementation information.

I once again enjoyed regular nightly listening to the radio. However, like most good things, it didn’t last long. We moved and I was no longer able to pick up KAAY.

Paul Kirby"

Thank you, Paul- and thank you, Vicki!  Isn't it interesting how the radio world intertwines?

Bud S. (


  1. Great read, Bud. Thanks for sharing. I believe the background Paul mentioned (K-A-A-Y-1-0-9-0) was achieved by 'looping' the sounder on a cart and, essentially, disconecting the cue head, so it would run continuously. Someone else may have a different recollection. But, I think that's what A.J. told me several years ago.

    Jim Harvill

    1. Jim

      Thanks for the information on the "K-A-A-Y 1-0-9-0" background. It's more than I have been able to find out anywhere else.

      Paul Kirby