Before achieving Supreme-Leader Status on TV's Shindig, was finger popping on the airwaves as Disc Jockey.

Before achieving Supreme-Leader Status on TV's Shindig, was finger popping on the airwaves as Disc Jockey.
Before achieving Supreme-Leader Status on TV‘s Shindig, was finger popping on the airwaves as Disc Jockey extraordinaire.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – KRLA – Jimmy O’Neill – October 9, 1961 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

Top 40 AM radio in the early 1960s this weekend. Jimmy O’Neill is probably best known as the MC for the popular Music TV show Shindig, which was a staple in the diet of most American teenagers in the mid-1960s. But just prior to that, Jimmy O’Neill was a very popular disc jockey, holding court on the top-40 powerhouse station KRLA, one of the premier rock stations in Southern California. For a time, there were two radio stations vying for the youth market in Los AngelesKFWB, which broadcast out of Hollywood, and KRLA which broadcast out of the L.A suburb of Pasadena. When AM radio was the most popular form of listening to Rock, these were it. And their numbers of listeners were legion almost any day of the week.

FM was relegated to the high-end stereo enthusiast, who was a fan of Jazz, Folk or Classical – Television, in the early 1960s had very few programs devoted to Pop music, unless you watched the variety shows such as Ed Sullivan, where a popular act of the day would be tucked in among the high-wire performers and accordion players. AM radio was pretty much the only thing you could turn to, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And the Disc-Jockey’s spinning discs were all-powerful. Sometimes too powerful – but that’s another story.

So if you’ve never heard of Top-40 radio – or heard an example of what that radio sounded like – here is an excellent hours worth, just to give you an idea.

Fans need no introduction – all you have to do is hit the player and jump into it. It’s all there, including commercials for things you probably didn’t realize were advertised at the time.


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2 thoughts on “Jimmy O’Neill Show – KRLA – 1961 – Past Daily Pop Chronicles

  1. This is great! My favorite era of KRLA was the early ’60’s. Very few airchecks exist of KRLA or
    KFWB from this time . Love the News intro and Electronic Countdown at the top of the hour!

  2. Jimmy, going as Jim O’Neill at this time, always a pleasure to listen to. 1961 was a great T40 year, easily my favorite from pre-1965. Keep ’em comin’ We love them! Thanks again for the post.

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