Tom Leykis, heard for years on KFI (640 AM) and KLSX (now KAMP, 97.1 FM) as well as the original KMPC (now KSPN, 710 AM) returns to the terrestrial airwaves this Friday, April 18. Not locally, but on KKSF/San Francisco ... the first time Leykis has been heard on traditional radio in over five years.
The evolution of Leykis is an interesting one. On KFI, he was positioned as the balance to conservative syndicated talker Rush Limbaugh, though his show didn’t necessarily always cover politics. Leykis was always at his best when he spoke on issues personal to him, and those things were not necessarily political. One of his best shows was on buying McDonalds french fries.
On KMPC he stayed with the issues-oriented talk as KMPC tries to make a dent in KFI’s success ... they didn’t. So he moved on to KLSX where he soon became the advice-giving “father figure” or experienced friend to (primarily) young men in how to deal with relationships, how to treat women (or was it keeping them in line?) and get more of things I can’t mention in a family newspaper.
Listeners responded to the show with rabid dedication, giving Leykis the power to set up a contract so solid that he was actually paid for two years to stay off the radio once KLSX dropped talk to become top-40 Amp Radio. And it showed how flexible Leykis was in radio ... he could do any format -- his style is akin to top-40 music radio, and he’s proven he can change with the times -- and stations -- as far as talk goes.
The last few years Leykis has been hosting a live internet show on The New Normal Network, which can be accessed via www.BlowMeUpTom.com or on the smartphone app called TuneIn. It’s another evolution in the life of Leykis, a show like it was on KLSX but in many ways better. More polished. More interesting.
Friday on KKSF, he’s filling in for Gil Gross from 3-7 PM; Leykis tells me that “it will be a combination of the show I do and the straight-ahead show done by Gil.” It will be simulcast on KKSF, the KKSF stream and the usual Leykis streams. Leykis also plans a half-hour before and after tailgate/postgame program to be heard on his New Normal streams. Uncensored, of course.
“Ive known Gil for over 20 years,” Leykis told me. “This came as a total surprise.” If I may be so bold as to predict... Leykis on KKSF will be, to local listeners, a total surprise too. It should be interesting.
April 12 was the two-year anniversary of The Mo’Kelly Show on KFI; Kelly celebrated with a low-key in-studio party at the Clear Channel complex in beautiful downtown Burbank. Morris O’Kelly’s show is a bright spot on weekends and can be heard on KFI Saturdays from 6-8 PM.
Quite a few letters came in regarding last week’s question on music of the Hawaiian Islands. George Schwenk of San Pedro told of the old days: “I remember every Saturday KHJ and the Mutual/Don Lee Broadcasting System broadcast a live musical program from Hawaii as a sustaining program. I also remember when KPAS (1110-kc) first came on the air in the early 1940s, they played Hawaiian music solidly for two weeks. And early in FM broadcasting, KCBH (Crawfords of Beverly Hills) broadcast Hawaiian records regularly once a week.”
John Hammell of Glendale probably remembers the same show heard on KHJ: “I think he is probably thinking of the "Hawaii Calls" Radio Show. It was on the air until 1975; I definitely remember listening to the show.”
But what to do about it now? Bill lodge of Redondo Beach has a suggestion: “There are quite a few on the tunein radio app. My favorite is KINE 105 in Honolulu.”
Added Herb Boone of Bloomington: “I don't know of any Hawaiian music played locally, but I have "DISH" cable, and their music channels carry Hawaiian music 24/7 on channel
981 CD 32.”
Likewise, says broadcast engineering consultant Joel Saxberg of Arcadia, “There is no need to wait for Sunday evenings. If you have a computer you can listen to an internet station called AlohaJoe.Com. The programs are produced in California, but you’d never guess it ... it screams of Hawaii.”