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Some remembrances of my days in broadcasting.
By David Lawrence

Photo of
AM Board


This is what it looked like around Nov/Dec in 1954. In the orginal photo the calander on the wall can be read.

KTKT was, I think, without question "the" pop station in the city. It had personalities like Chuck Blower, Frank Kalil, Bill Kelso.

Photo of
AM Transmitter

AM Transmitter

A 250 watt Gates. Not a lot even then, but it covered the city with room to spare. Of course Tucson was a lot smaller then.

The station was a family operation in those days. Tom Wallace Sr. was the boss, Tom Jr. took care of the technical end and George handled everything else.

Photo of
FM Board & Transmitter

FM Board & Transmitter

This was a 3000 watt GE transmitter on 99.5 Mc. Tucson's first FM station, it's operation was on a shoe string. Not seen in this photo but added later in the empty rack on the left was a "Music-Cast" sub-carrier that carried background music that could be sold to stores and offices.

I started in 1954 as a volunteer in the FM station. Later on I was added to the regular pay roll at the smashing rate of $1.25/hr. I worked the evening shift 7 to sign off. On Sunday night I would put the station off the air about 11pm and then go over to the AM side and run the board for Frank Kalil so he could go into the other studio and study for his Monday classes at the University of Arizona.

The FM side of the station was pretty quiet as a rule, but we had one regular we all knew as "Mrs. Fisher". I guess she knew a lot about classical music (that's what we played on FM then) and if you made a mistake in pronouncing a title or someone's name she'd be on the phone and just chew you up one side and down the other. I got to know her a little bit because she caught me a lot and after a while she eased up on me and we'd chat about things other that my mistakes.

The station call sign you see above the clock in the picture, I made out of pieces of felt I scrounged from my mother's sewing basket.

WONDERFUL new KTKT tribute site by C.J. Brown, Chuck Simms & Ray Lindstrom. KTKT Tribute Site

You can reach me by e-mail at: burton_1@q.com

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Updated 10/22/2007