Gastronomy and L.A. in 1966. With the population continuing to grow unchecked, so did the number of eateries gracing most busy streets and neighborhoods in the 60s. The influx of new restaurants, all with some angle or specialty, were springing up daily. Tastes were changing, even in food. Our culture of Gastronomy went from TV Dinners and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee to seafood spectaculars and delicacies – the cult of the Paris-trained chef was starting to become a common sight around L.A. nightspots and people wanted to feel informed.
And so, adding to the already popular feature of most daily radio programs, came the Cooking shows and Gastronomy shows. Programs like Mike Roy’s Weekend Cooking Thing on KNX gave you the low-down on the latest new restaurant openings – he also added various recipes and what was popular around markets and what was in season.
Mike Roy was a regular fixture in L.A. Pop-culture for decades – from hosting weekly cooking shows to weekend discussions and interviews, sometimes remote broadcasts from restaurant openings, usually always featuring his side-kick Denny Bracken who always accompanied him on these openings, or became straight-man on some of the interviews.
This was the makeup of Informed Radio in the 1960s. Not particularly about Music or even focusing on it – not Top 40 like KRLA, KFWB or KHJ. This was radio targeted to the homemaker and the young professional Adult, or the newly married couple just relocating from Kansas City. The ones who wanted to be informed and who went out most Weekends and tried out eateries. This was L.A. during its mobile heyday, where communities were still being developed and promoted in the Weekend sections of The Times and The Examiner – where tract homes in the outer recesses of the San Fernando Valley were being eyed with thoughts of commutes and freeways and smog. Where L.A. was far from maxed-out in population but was still the place you could find brochures about vacations to Palm Springs or The Salton Sea.
So, to give you some idea of what L.A. Adult culture was like in 1966, here is Mike Roy’s Weekend Cooking Thing for Saturday, September 24, 1966 co-hosted by Denny Bracken, as it was broadcast over KNX “Curious Radio” in Los Angeles.