KOMA Deane Johnson Air Check - 3/30/1965

KOMA Program Director Deane Johnson.

Many people remember the sound of KOMA during the nighttime hours when the signal traveled for hundreds of miles, and even around the world. During the daytime hours, KOMA was much more "laid back" than it was at night, as reflected by this air check made after the station had gone "live" following the dropping of the infamous automation.

Several promos on the air check are voiced by Paul Miller, KOMA morning personality, who later became Irv Harrigan of Charlie and Harrigan fame (KLIF, WKYC, WRKO, KFMB). The promo is for the contest "One For The Money and Double Your Dough", and the brief newscast is voiced by Don McGregor, who later became program director of KOMA, and still later, program director of WTIX.

There are many cuts on this air check of the famous PAMS jingles from the early sixties used extensively by KOMA. They create the famous KOMA sound. It was Storz policy not to record new jingle packages until the PAMS singers had sung them for a few other stations first so that they were more familiar and comfortable with them. The wisdom of this approach is demonstrated by the fact that KOMA jingles were frequently among the best versions of the jingles that PAMS ever made. The KOMA jingles from this era were believed lost for all time, and this air check may be the only place they still exist.

The microphone in use is the Altec 633A "birdcage", which had no equal until the ElectroVoice RE20 came along. It sounded almost like a carbon copy of the Altec, but didn't "mush up" when worked too closely. KOMA always had a small amount of reverb behind the programming which contributed to it's unique and powerful sound.

Deane Johnson
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