Monday, December 01, 2008

Bill Drake Passes

Bill Drake, who set the tone at hundreds of pop stations with a radio format that placed music — rather than disc jockeys — at the center of the broadcast, has died. He was 71.

Drake died Saturday of cancer at West Hills Hospital in the San Fernando Valley, his domestic partner Carole Scott said. He was 71.

At the height of his career as a radio programming consultant in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Drake championed a streamlined format that came to be known as "Boss Radio," which made announcers' personalities secondary to the Top 40 hits they were spinning.

Under Drake's guidance, radio stations such as KGB in San Diego, KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco shot to the No. 1 slots in their markets by promising more music and less chatter.

Drake, whose given name was Philip Yarbrough, was born Jan. 14, 1937, in southwest Georgia and began his professional radio career as a disk jockey and later program director at WAKE in Atlanta.

His name was changed to Drake because the station wanted a name that rhymed with the call letters, according to a biography on Drake's Web site.
Obviously, KAAY was never a Drake station or even tried to imitate the very successful format.

Mike McCormick a/k/a Jim Hankins started the biggest lie KAAY ever told..."we play much more music" . Actually he had the turntables speeded up slightly but that did more to make the other stations sound slow. We never ever played more music. We had more promos, contests, commercials, intros, etc than anyone else in the market.

We finally gave up on saying we played more music, when a rating came back with us as number one while playing more than 18 commercial minutes per hour. Add to that the religious block, the farm block and the news, it's a wonder we had any music listeners at all.

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