J. Walter Beethoven Update Number Two

by Norm Gregory on October 18, 2013

in 1961, KJR, Radio Scrapbook

A month ago I heard from 1961 KJR mid day man J. Walter Beethoven. I later found out that former KJR afternoon guy Tom Murphy had worked with Wally and I got the two hooked up after all these years. Wally “cc” me on his response to Tom’s email.

Hi Tom,

I don’t know when we lost connection, but I am sure there were a lot of cities and stations in play after that time….

Starting with leaving KISN for KRAK in Sacramento as PD…..This is where J. Walter Beethoven was born……..Another story for another day if you are interested……

To KXLR in Little Rock as a working DJ, PD and Program Consultant.

To KJR Seattle as midday and “swing guy” along with Prod Mgr

To our station in Spokane as PD and air

To WISH/WIFE, Indianapolis [how I got there is still another story for another day]PD and air

To WDGY , Prod Mgr. PM Drive

Back to INDY at WIBC as Director on air operations, dj, prd mgr, etc

To WHB Kansas City as AM Drive, PD, Music Dir……


Arrived in KC Jan of ’66, been here ever since. [only serious thought about moving was in 68 or 69 to PM drive at KEX, Portland……..PD that was going to hire me was demoted and the job fell through………


Tell me about you!

Great hearing from one of the most naturally funny guys ever!!!


Tom responds . .

Hey Wally:

Thanks for your “Briefs”….Lots of moves from 60 to 66. During that time I only made two….

From KISN in Jan. ’65 to LA. Did some part time part time promo work and hanging out. I figured it might be a good idea do something that paid better than part time promo work and hanging out so in June ’65 I went to KNEW in Spokane and in September ’65 was transferred to KJR Seattle. Stayed at KJR until February ’71.

I remember the last time I saw you was when my friend and I had lunch with you in Sacramento in July ’60. We were on our way to LA and stopped in Sacramento to see you.

It was probably good you didn’t return to KEX in ’68 or ’69. They went through lots of upheaval back then. I had the same situation in ’68 with WMCA. Ruth Meyer was replaced as PD and that was that.

I left KJR in Feb. ’71 to do mornings at KRLA. Change in management and format cut that short and I returned to Seattle, this time at KOL.

On to Mornings @WCFL, Chicago in Jan. ’73

Afternoons @WMAQ, Chicago in July ’74

Mornings @WIXY, Cleveland in Sept. ’75 then “finally” back to LA and Mornings @KGIL in Sept.’76.

I have been here in LA ever since working in addition to KGIL at KIIS FM and AM and KFI.

In 1988 I basically left radio and started working in radio syndication hosting, writing and producing programs for ABC and CBS radio and a variety of independent radio syndication companies.

In 1997 I joined a music programming company, DMX Music Express, and programmed several channels of music and also wrote, hosted and programmed an “Oldies” show on satellite. Company cutbacks in 2002 included me.

My last two “efforts” included a return to Chicago’s WRLL Real Oldies via voice tracking from Burbank in ’03 to ’06 and currently, again with voice tracks, to a recreation of “our” Original KISN on the Internet at www.goodguyradio.com

I am basically retired now.

Well Wally, I guess that’s it except to thank you again for your mentoring and friendship at KISN that first year.

I thought I would send you this old KISN Fab Fifty. I hope you get a kick out of it.

TM in the PM

PS: Regarding J. Walter Beethoven…wasn’t it Bill Stewart and you that came up with that at KRAK?


Thanks guys!

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