The Friday 5×2: KYA, San Francisco, 9/14/59

KYA (1260 kHz) is now KSFB, a station broadcasting Relevant Radio, a Roman Catholic radio format, to the San Francisco Bay Area. Starting in the mid-’50’s, they were “the Boss of the Bay” annd remained so until KFRC switched to Top 40 in 1966 with a much-stronger signal. Anyway, here’s what their Top 10 looked like on this day in 1959.

  1. Jerry Wallace, “Primrose Lane” Jerry’s highest-ranking single, which made it to #8 on the Hot 100. It was used as the theme song for the 1971 TV series The Smith Family, which starred Henry Fonda.
  2. The Browns, “The Three Bells (Little Jimmy Brown)” The Browns were a country and folk music trio consisting of Jim Edward Brown (who I guess is the “Little Jimmy Brown” in the song) and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie. This was a #1 hit on both the Country and Pop charts for them.
  3. The Coasters, “Poison Ivy” Like many of their songs, this combined tight vocal harmonies with a humor. This went to #1 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Hot 100.
  4. Sarah Vaughan, “Broken Hearted Melody” Sarah, who kicked everyone’s backside whenever she competed in one of my Battles of the Bands, had a #7 hit with this in both the US and the UK.
  5. Lloyd Price, “I’m Gonna Get Married” A follow-up to his #2 hit “Personality” (which earned him the moniker “Mr. Personality”), this reached #3. Both songs reached #1 on the R&B chart in ’59.
  6. Johnny and the Hurricanes, “Red River Rock” The pride of Toledo, Ohio, this was their one Top 10 US hit, though they had a few more in the UK and Germany. In 1962 they played an engagement at The Star Club in Hamburg, where the opening act was an unknown band called The Beatles. Shades of Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees…
  7. Everly Brothers, “(Til) I Kissed You” Written by Don Everly, this was a Top 10 hit in the US (pop and country charts), Australia, and the UK.
  8. Bobby Darin, “Mack The Knife” I always like to point out that Lotte Lenya, one of the names calld out by Bobby at the end of the song, was the wife of Kurt Weill, who composed the melody as “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” for Bertolt Brecht’s “play with music” The Threepenny Opera. It went to #1 in the US and UK.
  9. Phil Phillips, “Sea Of Love” Written by Phillips, it was his only hit. It’s been covered many times, in particular by The Honeydrippers, whose lead singer was Robert Plant.
  10. Santo & Johnny, “Sleep Walk” Santo (steel guitar) and Johnny (electric guitar) Farina wrote this classic instrumental after they got home from a gig and couldn’t sleep. It has since become a rock & roll classic.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for September 14, 2018.

11 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: KYA, San Francisco, 9/14/59

      1. Yes, people switched. I tend to like the oldies so whoever was playing more of that is what I listened to. The announcers from KYA came to our high school to play a basketball game against our PE teachers so I always had a soft spot for them.


        1. Wikipedia mentions the basketball games: “In the mid-1960s, a group of KYA DJs, led by Holliday, formed a basketball team known as the KYA Oneders (pronounced “Wonders”). The team played many Bay Area high school faculties, helping the schools raise funds for a variety of programs. Perhaps the most famous of the Oneders was Rick Barry, who played for the team during the 1967-68 campaign before jumping from the NBA’s San Francisco Warriors to the ABA’s Oakland Oaks.” That’s when radio stations were members of the community and actually cared about their listeners. They weren’t just DJ’s, they were your friends.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I remember most of these songs. The first time Johnny and the Hurricanes caught my attention was in the mid-60’s when my family was doing our juggling act at Beech Bend Amusement Park in Bowling Green, KY. We were on a bill where Minnie Pearl was the headliner. I distinctly remember seeing the posters for the following week that featured Johnny and the Hurricanes. I didn’t know who they were, but they interested me more at the time than Minnie Pearl although she was a very nice lady. We ended up playing a few more dates with her over the years to follow.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. How-deeeee! She used to show up on “Hee Haw” a lot. In one show she said “Whenever I’m down in the dumps I get me a new hat,” and one of the other cast members said “so THAT’s where she gets ’em!”


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