KFVD – CLiffie Stone’s Wakeup Ranch – April 29, 1949 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Subscribers can download Become a Patron!
You wouldn’t know it now – but L.A.’s sudden shift to gentrification and antiseptic atmosphere is a relatively new thing. The town prided itself on a certain degree of skewed character; a city of contradictions, a series of suburbs in search of a city. L.A. was (and still is) a lot of things to a lot of people. But in 1949, Los Angeles was Ground Zero in what was to be acknowledged as the Great Trek West. It had been going on for awhile, but World War 2 turbo-charged the exodus from the Eastern city, and Southern California became the mecca for everyone who got started somewhere else, but who landed here because “they heard stories”, and L.A. was, for the most part, pretty unsettled.
L.A., the center of it, was a city just like everywhere else. Even in 1949 there was a traffic problem, there was certainly a smog problem and things were starting to get crowded with this growing onslaught of disgruntled East Coasters. But outside of downtown L.A., just over the hills to the valley, there was a lot that was rural, unsettled and primarily agricultural. Lots of ranches, lots of farms and lots of Country-Western music.
You may not think Country-Western was a very big thing in L.A. but it was – nightclubs sprang up all over Southern California catering specifically to Country-Western music and many of the independent radio stations in L.A. pumped out Country-Western music programming on a regular basis.
Cliffie Stone, who hosts this morning program called Wake Up Ranch, was a notable figure around the L.A. Country-Western music and movie scene throughout the 1940s and 1950s. It was Cliffie Stone who was responsible for a number of things, including giving the world Tennessee Ernie Ford and did a lot to promote Country-Western Music throughout Southern California during that time. This program aired over KVFD which went through several changes of its own over the years, eventually becoming KTNQ which is now a Spanish language news-talk station.
So if you were curious about L.A. before it became what it is now, have a listen to this one-hour slice of Rural- Southern California from 70 years ago.