Jock / Production
People 3-Other Stuff
& Elkettes 6-Format?
I had no
idea at the time how working at KQIV would impact my life. In 1972
it was nearly scandalous that a woman with a child would work all
night playing music! Most people at the station tolerated me because
I was covering shifts they didn’t want. I was welcomed with great
skepticism and rightfully so – I was a complete unknown. I would
listen as many hours a day as possible to learn from “The Masters”
about the music and to create my own sets and segues. Creating
segues brought new meaning to the “art of needlepoint”! There was
nothing worse than miscuing and missing the sweet spot.
KQIV was located in the Elks Lodge. It was a beautiful building and
certainly the only place I would ever work where there was a full
bar available during most working shifts! Often I would get to work
early so I could have a few cocktails!!! If I was working all night,
someone from the bar would give me a “last call” so I could get a
toddy to last me until the sun came up.
I survived the “second wave” of employee turnover. Out went Ben
Marsh, who had been very helpful to me. In came an incredible new
group: Norman Flint, Steve O’Shea and Joe Collins. (I think. The
comings and goings are hazy.) Things did move fast and furiously in
Here are a few memories of the cast of
characters I remember at KQIV:
Walter Kraus -- Walter was formidable and certainly unlike anyone
I had ever met – he was right out of a Tennessee Williams novel –
kind of “Big Daddy” in a fur coat. If I had seen Walter walking down
the street I don’t think I would have pegged him as a media mogul.
Walter mostly scared the hell out of me. He was a showman, an
eccentric, and he tore down his own house with his own hands – but –
he also created a very special and creative place that many remember
to this day. Kudos for that, Walter!
Jack Malone -- Jack was, and I imagine still is, one of the most
positive people I ever met – he saw the possibilities in new ideas
and was an excellent promoter. I got the “token” position that any
newbie, man or woman, got. The dregs, the bottom of the heap, the
“pay your dues, kid” shift – weekends from midnight to 6am and any
shift that needed to be covered. I was thrilled! Jack tried hard to
create function from dysfunction at KQIV.
Joel Miller -- Joel was the most patient person, for sure! He
taught me to use the equipment, which was no small feat since it
looked like a spacecraft. The quad stuff – real or not – was
certainly more complex than the old board with “pots.” Joel got me
up to speed quickly and I was able to do my own production and
on-air shift without a chaperone! Joel was great at trouble-shooting
the insanity of day-to-day life at KQIV. Joel reminded me of Opie
from Mayberry – he just rolled with the punches and stayed above the
fray. We laughed a lot in that production room! Joel was also
patient when Jeff Clarke and I tried very hard to record a 36 track
PSA about forest animals. It never aired, I am sure, for good
I was very happy when Joel married my wonderful neighbor, Marty.
Ed Hepp -- Ed was an enigma. We all held Ed in high esteem; he had
been hugely instrumental, along with Tom Donahue – the Patron Saint
of free-form radio – in creating the format at KSAN and KMPX in San
Francisco. I used to listen to Ed Mitchell, his KFRC personality
when I was a kid in the Bay Area. He was a legend in the business,
but things had taken a sharp turn for Ed somewhere along the way. It
was several weeks before Ed spoke to me, even longer before making
eye contact. But once he did start to talk, he became a great mentor
and shared stories and ideas about music that I treasure to this
Steve O’Shea -- Steve was not at KQIV for a long time (who was?),
but to this day thinking of him brings a smile to my face. I don’t
think anyone has ever made me laugh so hard. I am not sure what a
“knave” is, but I think he was one! He was from the “old school”
radio in San Francisco – the jock on one side and the engineer on
the other side of a glass window. The engineer would cue the jock to
read news and be a “personality.” He always wanted to start your
copy on fire or moon you to try to make you lose it on the air.
Steve left KQIV, I believe, for KSFO where I heard his love of
practical jokes ended with unhappy results. I hope he is still out
there making people laugh.
Jeff Clarke -- Jeff Clarke – “The Great One”! Anyone who worked
the shift before Jeff always wondered if Jeff would actually make it
on-air…but with seconds to spare, Jeff would swing that door back
two minutes before his shift, walk in and take control of the
studio. Jeff found humor where others would never dare to tread. He
would cue up his first cut and pop in an opening cart featuring the
“Acme Recycled Cream Corn Kazoo Orchestra” and it was “Mr. Toad’s
Wild Ride” for the next four hours.
It wasn’t just Jeff’s big booming voice and sassy attitude that made
him the iconic figure of KQIV. Jeff challenged the creative forces
in everyone. It would be like a rap thing today – he was able to do
something that raised the bar and made everyone around him want to
take it up a notch. Great friend!
Larry Scott -- To me Larry was the “guru” of music. Larry always
blew me away with his incredible knowledge of the music and the
musicians. He was the gatekeeper of what became an extensive
library, and we made him crazy when we did not clean the albums or
hold them at the edges. Larry enlightened me to “The Word” – liner
notes. He did his best, with mixed results, to keep us from playing
forbidden-word cuts and getting busted by the FCC.
Mike Sakellarides -- Mike called himself the “Crazy Greek.” But,
he was crazy like a fox!! Mike was a great friend and full of laughs
and kindness. He was the Production Manager for a while and tried to
keep ashes out of the equipment and carts labeled with real “extro”
information. Mike was very talented on the boards and a true
professional among “sloths”!
Norman Flint -- I think Norman was the real Sergeant Pepper –
Norman’s voice was unmistakable and his creative talent was
impeccable. I got to know Norman, Carolyn and their daughter Shya,
who was a little younger than my daughter Eve. I am sure I have
heard Norman over the years on television voice-overs.
Gloria -- Gloria came in to replace me and Jeff Clarke suggested
we all get together. That was a great suggestion! We became fast
friends at the time and had some very interesting adventures through
the years. Gloria had it all then and she has it all now – I love to
hear her on the air. She and Bill are two great people and it has
been a pleasure reconnecting!
KQIV really did deliver the album and concert audience. When artists
were in town they would arrange interviews, sometimes in person. I
remember looking up one day to see Taj Mahal and the Pointer Sisters
walking into our dinky studio. They were opening at the Paramount
for John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Who was booking
these shows? Taj Mahal is one of my favorite artists - we have the
same birthday - and the Pointer Sisters were from my hometown of
Oakland, California. They were dressed in campy thirties outfits
with platform heels, which made the room seem even smaller! They
performed “Little Red Rooster.” Mind-blowing!
I also had the opportunity to meet and work with Grover Washington,
Jr. I was Public Service Director and several artists provided
voice-overs for various PSA’s. Washington was playing at the
Paramount and came to the station to do a pre-show interview. He
also did a spot for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. He was a very
talented and classy individual.
Being the only woman on the air at KQIV, I did
get a little extra response from some listeners – at Oregon State
Prison! That is a real resume builder!!!
This was during the time that Johnny Cash was doing concerts at
Folsom Prison and it seemed like a good promotion. It was a
fantastic, and yet frightening, experience. We brought in a couple
of bands and had to go through a process that was pretty scary for a
bunch of hippies. Someone actually did come running back to the car
because they forgot to leave their “pipe” at home – tragedy averted!
We also took a concert featuring Upepo to the women’s prison. That
was more sad than frightening.
We had some great fans - I became good friends with one – Eric,
whose last name escapes me at the moment. He actually got married in
my back yard in Lake Oswego.
I remember driving to work one freezing night and for some reason I
looked at the right time and saw someone lying in the snow. It was a
kid that came to the station often and hung out. He was passed out
and heavy as hell – I managed to get him into my car and had to call
someone to help me get him inside our building. He was suffering
from hypothermia, so we wrapped him up and I would check on him all
through the night to make sure he was still breathing. In the
morning, he got up and stumbled home. Later he told me he was on
Walter had to get special permission for me to
work nights at KQIV since the Elks had “Men’s Night” on Tuesdays. I
think it was an updated version of the Little Rascals’ “He-Man Woman
Hating Club.” They didn’t want me downstairs when they had the
strippers. I had to get clearance to go to the restroom when they
had Men’s Night. Every Tuesday night I would hear some naked girls
tromping up the spiral staircase and some Elk would want me to give
them a tour of the station.
Every once in a while, the Elks would have a “formal.” I can’t
remember who helped me – but I remember cooking a bunch of turkeys
in the Elks Lodge kitchen and I had to run down throughout my shift
and check on the turkeys.
One evening, several of us were invited by the Elks to join them for
a drink. I think they just wanted to get a look at us. We stayed too
long and when the clock struck midnight all these partying folks
stopped for a solemn ceremony of prayer for Elks who had gone to the
“Happy Hunting Grounds.” I do not mean to besmirch all Elks and
Elkettes – but after watching many of these same people chasing
women, hangin’ with hookers and in general acting like pigs – the
irony was more than I could bear and I started to laugh. I tried to
stifle it but ended up snorting, which caused my fellow KQIV
brethren to laugh, too. At any rate, I was nearly attacked by a
drunk Elkette and we all made a beeline for the parking lot. It is
pretty ironic that the building is now a church.
I also recall a time that I needed some help getting something into
the station and I think it was Jeff who put on a long cut and came
out to my car to help me. As we headed back in, we realized we had
locked ourselves out of the building. As we all know, it is a mortal
sin to have “dead air.” But worse than that, a few months earlier a
popular Portland DJ had committed suicide on his shift. He played
“Softly As I Leave You” and then hanged himself in the booth. With
that still in mind, someone finally came up to the station and was
relieved that it was just a lock-out!
There was no real “format” for KQIV. Each
Program Director and Sales Manager tried to create a framework that
would encapsulate our product. I think the sad fact is that what
made KQIV successful and interesting was that it defied logic. It
was altruistically all about the music. The audience got it and many
advertisers got it. I don’t think we needed to define who we were, I
think we needed to understand more about our audience. We were
delivering audience. I felt we were losing the thing that made us
unique. One event was when a Polygram rep walked in with Pink
Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” It was lunchtime – but we cued it
up and played the entire album with a quick ID break to turn the
album over – and it was pure magic. That entire album was played
throughout the week.
The rep also brought a new release from Deutsche Grammophon
featuring Corky Siegel and the Siegel-Schwall Band with the San
Francisco Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa. We played that, too,
and our listeners were willing to try on both of those ideas because
they trusted the jocks’ judgment. It was a unique relationship with
the listeners based on a shared love of music.
We were a spontaneous group. Some of us decided to go Christmas
Caroling in Lake Oswego. We told people just to meet us on some
corner and were surprised when a bunch of folks showed up. We had a
My daughter, Eve Marie, was two years old when I was on the air. I
was certainly not the model of maturity, but I had responsibilities
that somewhat limited my capacity for complete insanity. I cooked a
lot of dinners and shared a lot of Annie Green Springs and Boone’s
Farm wines with my friends from KQIV.
There was a major shift at the station when Jim LaFawn arrived. He
tried to rein us in (with good reason) and I would not obey (with
good reason). We were heading into the formulaic world of “summer
fun hits” every half-hour or “It’s Bob Dylan’s Birthday – play a
Dylan tune every half-hour.” It was the old case of “he just had to”
and I just couldn’t. That was what other stations were doing, but in
my humble opinion it wasn’t right for KQIV.
There is an old saying “you haven’t been in
radio if you haven’t been fired.” I knew my days were numbered but
that didn’t make getting fired any less earth-shattering. I was in
the middle of a shift, started a song, and in walked Jim with my
check. I was unceremoniously “deleted” from all things KQIV. To add
insult to injury, I was in the middle of a divorce and when I got
home someone had burglarized my home and had stolen my prized stereo
equipment and a new color TV. That was one long, sad day. Later that
night, my friends from the station showed up to console me and I
have always been thankful for their kindness. The upside was it did
stop me from listening to KQIV at home! It was time for me to move
I went to work as Public Information Director for Marylhurst College
for a few years and then made my way to the University of Idaho
where I worked for KUID FM as Program Director and KUID Television
as a Producer and Director of Development. I have worked for several
universities and non-profit arts organizations.
Eve is 34 and is still the light of my life. She and her husband,
Bob, live in the Eugene area with our two beautiful granddaughters,
Caitlin and Allie. I have been married for 21 years to my wonderful
husband, Jan. We have lived throughout the West and recently moved
back to the Portland area.
This little trip down memory lane was a great reminder that no
working experience I’ve had since has compared to the crazy,
horrible, wonderful, mythological KQIV.
Where's Faith now?