Imon Pilcher recalls station's early days

Unfortunately, radio station KLYC went silent this week. I have some very fond memories of the early years of that station, when it was called KMCM.

The station went on the air at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 1949. Opening ceremonies and the initial broadcast took place on the stage of the Mack Theater.

I had a front row seat, along with some other 11-year-olds. We were introduced to KMCM stars Lou Gillette, Ivan Smith and Glasco Branson.

After the opening event, I ran over to the West Coast Telephone Company on Davis Street to tell my mother what I had just witnessed, and she had even better news for me.

The telephone office had received two messages of congratulation for the Bladine brothers. If I delivered them to their office, located on Evans Street, I would be paid two dollars.

I flew over to the Telephone-Register building and broke the sound barrier getting back to get my two bucks.

One of the early evening shows was Phone In To Win. The host would ask a question and the first person to call in with the correct answer would win a prize.

I was a faithful listener, but could never seem to get through to the host. Finally, the question was asked one evening, “How many toes does an elephant have on each foot?”

This time I got through, and I gave the answer “four.” The host asked me if I’d like to try again, and I replied “five.” The next day, I rode my bike out to the station to pick up my prize.

As I started junior high that fall, there was nothing better than to wake up in the morning to Western music. The show was Melody Corral, hosted by Old Slim — Lou Gillette.

There’s nothing like hearing the Sons of the Pioneers singing “Drifting Along with the Tumbling Tumbleweeds” at 7 a.m. It doesn’t get better than that.


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