Monday, May 2, 2016

KKUA (Honolulu): Top 40, 1967 - c. 1986

Honolulu's Top 40 powerhouse KKUA ("double K-U-A"), residing at 690 AM, called itself "The Big 69" (and its DJs the "The Big 69 Men"). By the late seventies, the station had distinguished itself as a commercial airwave venue especially friendly to local talent. Ron Jacobs (d. March 8, 2016), who was the program director at Los Angeles station KHJ during its storied "Boss Radio" years and who also created the syndicated American Top 40 institution, joined KKUA as an on-air personality in 1976. With his "Whodaguy" nickname, he launched the station's series of annual Homegrown albums that featured nothing but regional up-and-comers. Sometime in the very early eighties, KKUA would simulcast with KQMQ (93.1 FM) before surrendering its call letters later in the decade (if I've sorted the timeframe correctly) to a public radio station.

What follows is a list of eight selected singles of local interest that racked up tons of airplay on KKUA between 1970 and 1974 (thanks to the year-end lists at the Hawaii Radio and Television Guide). Many of these sound like the music playing at a hotel supper club while Jack Lord's McGarrett pops in to ask the owner a few questions. The links take you to entries in this blog for a given song.

Liz Damon's Orient Express - "1900 Yesterday"
John Rowles - "Cheryl Moana Marie"
Sam Kapu - "Chatto Matte Kudasai (Never Say Goodbye)"
Honk - "Pipeline Sequence"
The Sweet Marie - "Stella's Candy Store"
Diamond Head - "If That's the Way You Want It"
Ohta-San - "Song for Anna"
Society of Seven - "99.8"

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