Welcome to this site about a station that was the best and coolest station on the west coast..Wounderful 91 KISN.. Now about the Legendary KISN 910!!! In March 1959 KVAN owner Sheldon F. Sackett entered talks to sell K-Van to 30 year old Don W. Burden of Omaha NE. Mr. Burden was President of Star Broadcasting, Inc. (KOIL Omaha, KYMR Denver & KWIK Pocatello).Hal Raymond and Tiger Tom Murphy in 1959 broadcasting above a furniture store in Vancouver while they were building the Kisn corner on 10th.By April 1959 the sale of K-Van to Star Broadcasting, Inc. gained FCC sanction. On April 29, 1959 handbills were placed on windshields, utility poles, public buildings & downtown show windows in Portland announcing "A Revolution Tomorrow". On April 30, 1959 at 6AM K-Van began playing the rock and roll song "Teen Age Bill of Rights" by Bobby John, for 24 hours, only interrupted for commercials and brief newscasts. At 12 Midnight May 1, 1959 control of KVAN was transferred to Star Broadcasting, Inc. The sale in effect for $580,000. Call letters were now KISN. Mr. Burden estimated the song was played 360 times. It was his brainchild. The station was also giving away $5,000 in a phone contest. Officals at Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. reported 1,200 calls an hour were crammed into the stations 3 lines in Vancouver. Calls jammed the BUtler telephone exchange serving North Portland & some Vancouver numbers. C.W. Simmons, Director of The Portland City Nuisance Division, ordered Portland Police to stop the spreading of indiscriminately plastered handbills. The KISN air staff included: Hal Raymond (The Morning Mayor) & P.D. 6-9AM, Steve Brown 9-noon, Mike West noon-3, Wally Thornton 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Bill Jackson 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news (he was Uncle Bill on K-Van). The Kisn jocks were called The Swingin' 91 D.J.'s. Charles J. Vais was G.M. Over the Thanksgiving Weekend (November 26-29, 1959), KISN moved main studios to 10 N.W. 10th Ave. in Portland. Corner of 10th & Burnside. "The Kisn Corner" is born. In early 1960 Richard Shireman becomes G.M. In an unpresidented move in 1960, the Vancouver licensed station joins The Oregon Association of Broadcasters. Also in 1960 Kisn erects a billboard sign on N.E. 82nd Ave. leaving Portland International Airport. "While you've been gone.... We have been Kisn your wife. The Mighty 91." In early 1961 Gerald J. Flesey becomes G.M. By May 22, 1961 Kisn slogans were: This is Kisn, the sound of Portland. Big Sounds for big Portland on radio 91. Your's truly Kisn radio. KISN action central news live at 55. On September 11, 1961 the Kisn air staff included: Hal Raymond 6-9AM, Bob Stevens 9-noon, Mike Phillips noon-3, Jack Par 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Johnny Dark 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic, Les Parsons P.D. On November 24, 1961 KISN lights up the first "Kisn Carol Tree" at 7:30PM at the U-Save Membership Department Store (S.E. 122nd & Stark). A mere 2 years after 91derful's move to the KISN Corner, the Burden crew unveiled another first for Portland: The KISN CAROL TREE!!! Heralded as an "electronic marvel," the KISN CAROL TREE's lights glimmered to the music and sounds of KISN. Red, Blue, and Green bulbs flashed in time with the music in specific frequency ranges. Utilizing Color TV technology it became a market sensation to "watch KISN." It also helped penetrate a new "harder to reach" cume with its sheer uniqueness. 4,000 lights change color and hue in rhythm to Kisn's broadcast music. (outfit: The Mobile Color Co.) During the off-season the lights were stored on the first floor at the Transmitter Building. in order to meet city of license demands, a portion of the broadcast day had to come from either Vancouver or the transmitter site. Pat Pattee and his successors ran out of there and occasionally morning drive. By January 1, 1962 the Kisn D.J.'s were now called The Swingin' Gentlemen. Also in 1962 Timothy F. Moore becomes G.M. On April 1, 1962 Roger Hart joins the Kisn air staff. Mr. Hart would later become Producer & Manager of Paul Revere & The Raiders. On April 30, 1962 the Kisn air staff included: Bill Western 6-9AM, Roger Hart 9-noon, Ken Chase noon-3, Johnny Williams 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Pat Pattee 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic. By August 11, 1962 Kisn slogans were: The Kisn good guy station (earliest good guy use). Radio 91 plays more music, more often. This is KISN, number 1 in the west. Mighty 91. The wide weird world of 91. This is Kisn. 91 where the good guys fly. On October 3, 1962 Star Broadcasting, Inc. becomes a division of a new parent corporation, Star Stations, Inc. Don W. Burden, Owner & President. ROGER Hart first heard on KEX prior to his arrival at kisn.known as Roger Ferrier then became Roger Hart at KISN. In July 1963 Don Steele (The Real Don Steele) joins the Kisn air staff as well as P.D. (from KXLY). In hindsight one of the greatest, if not thee greatest Top 40 D.J. of all time. On July 28, 1963 the kisn air staff included: Paul Oscar Anderson (P.O.A.) 6-10AM, Addie Bobkins 10-noon, Frank Benny noon-3 Don Steele 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Pat Pattee 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic. In early 1964 Steve Shepard (from KOIL) becomes Vice President & General Manager of KISN. On February 9, 1964 the Kisn air staff included: Frank Benny 6-10AM, Addie Bobkins 10-noon, Roger Hart noon-3, Don Steele 3-7PM, Tom Murphy 7-1AM, Pat Pattee 1-6AM, Bill Howlett news, Scotty Wright traffic. In June 1964 KISN retires the Kisn heart logo for the new Kisn star logo. By July &, 1964 Kisn slogans were: Spectacular KISN, the Portland powerhouse. More music, more often, that's the good guys guarantee. Kisn radio, 91-derful. KISN Total Information, the standard of American radio news. (ID) KISN Vancouver checks the weather word. Magnificent! In late July 1964 The Real Don Steele leaves for KEWB. The Day that JFK was shot KISN stopped all music and Commercials, taking a live feed from KLIF in Dallas, TX via voice coupler(phone). On January 17, 1965 the Kisn air staff included: Sam Holman, Jim Meeker, Dick Saint, Frank Benny, Tom Murphy, Pat Pattee, Bill Howlett. On January 30, 1965 Tiger Tom Murphy does is last show on Kisn. On June 12, 1965 KISN becomes the first media member to enter a float in the Rose Festival Parade. By August 13, 1965 Kisn slogans were: Kisn Radio, 91-derful, Be A Kisn Good Guy. Kisn country. Total Information, a leadership service of the star station. On September 29, 1965 KISN is fined $2,000 by the FCC for creating the impression that Kisn is licensed to Portland. KISN paid a similar fine 2 years earlier. Also in 1965 Whitey Coker becomes the first news correspondent to report from Vietnam. His reports are exclusive to The Star Stations. On January 16, 1966 the kisn air staff included: Don Kennedy, Tom Michaels, Joe Light, Don Kneass, Pat Pattee, Bill Howlett. On October 1, 1966 KISN raises power to 5kw. (2 pattern day & night), from it's new additional studio & transmitter site located at 4615 N.E. 158th Ave. in Portland. Towers are 270 feet. Original Transmitter/Towers site was transmitter site, 1/4 mile west of North Portland Rd.,south shore of Smith Lake in North Portland OR,first site/Studios were located at The Evergreen Hotel (504 Main St.) in Vancouver.Originally, there was a lake bed where KISN put their transmitter, as there was also where KWJJ moved to. Both are long since dried up. There used to be a motorcycle race track next to where KWJJ transmitter is (currently KOTK). There was an all night DJ at KWJJ in the mid 60's that was really prisoner at minimum security whom they let out to go work his shift from the transmitter building. He would routinely tape the first couple hours of his show and replay them around 3AM while his wife would show up and they would do the "familial" thing during the tape replay and then he would go live again when they finished and she left. He would go back to the jail at the end of his shift. I forgot his name. Unfortunatly Pat never airchecked at the transmitter....He never pulled a shift in the kisn window...Every all night show was done off site.....At the Kisn trannie there was no easy way to roll an aircheck....So what is out there was taped by fans...There is very little out there. Pat was the best all night jock ever. Airchecks of Pat Pattee are almost non-existant unless someone (maybe Pat himself?) has been holding out on us. the old KISN days over at 10th and Burnside studios and out at the xmtr at 158th and Marine Drive (considered to be Vancouver by the eyes of the FCC). The transmitter site never had to be within the city of license but the main studio did. For several decades, it's been almost a necessity to locate the transmitter some distance from the city of license. The transmitter site never had to be within the city of license but the main studio did." so, for KISN, the "main studio" was that music instrument store next door to that closet space they rented in Vancouver as their "city of license" office? For those of you wondering where it was, it is on the same block as the Kiggins Theatre, SE corner, ground floor of the "Rich Building" as it was called. Smith Lake is in North Portland, just west of Vancouver Way and south of Marine Drive. KISN, formerly KVAN, was just west of the current site of 1480. When KISN moved to the 10th & Burnside site, the licensed site was the transmitter site and hence they were required to broadcast a minimum percentage of the time from the transmitter. The overnite programming, the weekday evening news, and all weekends were done at the transmitter site. The city of license was Vancouver and it was served from the transmitter location. The Portland studio was a remote. The legal ID was 910 - KVAN - Vancouver. The only thing that changed was the call letters. The legal ID was 910 - KISN - Vancouver. In those days, Vancouver was a small bedroom of Portland. They wanted to be associated with Portland, for the obvious reasons of advertising. Who is going to buy advertising (National) in Vancouver (Where the hell is that?). Portland was the larger city and that was the identity they wanted. Making quick changes and filing with the FCC was much different in the 50's. The got around it, if you remember, by at the top and bottom of the hour during the newscast, they buried the legal ID in the weather. They would say...The 9-10 KISN Vancouver ...(short pause).... Portland weather is......... Both Bill Howlett and Whitey Coker were very good at doing that. The station did get into hot water with the FCC for not making it distinct enough......hence the pause. The station walked a fine line on many different things. That ultimately helped lead to its demise. Radio was a lot different in the late '50's and early 60's than today. What I remember so vividly, I can taste it is: "This is KISN, serving the great Oregon territory from Vancouver!" In 1969, with a rule change, they were forced to change it to: "This is KISN Vancouver, serving the great Oregon territory!" never forget the office Kisn had in downtown Vancouver....It had a desk...a chair and a photo of Burden with Gordon McLendon on the wall. That was it! The FCC demanded that they had an office where the license was held. Only legal mail was delivered there. Now take a look at the FCC. They are the radio giants best pals today. Office was above a furniture store if my memory serves me correctly. I will not expand on what the jocks used it for!!!!!!!!!! remember the slogan KISN Vancouver radar weather eye. I wonder why the station couldn't have applied for a city of license change to Portland. KKEY did it in the late 60's, even though it also was a Vancouver station. An additional studio was located at the transmitter site in Fruit Valley WA (2915 Fruit Valley Rd.) The tower was 250 feet. On November 21, 1967 the kisn air staff included: Michael O'Brien 6-10AM, Tom Michaels & P.D. 10-noon, Bobby Noonan noon-3, Roger W. Morgan 3-7PM, Judge Ramsey 7-midnight, Pat Pattee midnight-6, Whitey Coker news, Scotty Wright & Sherm "Man On The Move" Meyer traffic. Kisn slogans were: Good guy territory. The Mighty 91. (ID) This is KISN, serving the great Oregon territory from Vancouver. Yours truly Kisn radio. Home of the good guys. Radio 91. This is KISN, the station with a corner on news. KISN 20/20 news. KISN traffic condition "Yellow". Mobile 91 clear. By August 13, 1968 no air staff changes. Kisn slogans were: Kisn radio goes all the way. Your much more music station. Kisn radio plays it all. Kisn is everywhere. (also on stickers) By 1970 Kisn had opened a sales office in Vancouver at 1001 Main St. By March 1970 Kisn slogans were: KISN, the mighty 91. KISN just doin' are thing. By Summer 1970 J.J. Jordan was P.D. On December 3, 1970 the FCC refused to renew the license of KISN and other Star Stations, Inc. (WIFE-AM & FM Indianapolis & KOIL AM & FM Omaha). The KISN case centered on charges by Paul Oscar Anderson and other former KISN employes. (1) That KISN slanted the news in order to favor Mark Hatfield over his opponent Robert Duncan in the 1966 Senate Race. (2) That KISN ran "phony" contests involving the giving away of turkeys and a "lucky key" for unlocking a camper. (3) That KISN made campaign contributions to candidates in order to get a permit to construct high transmitter towers. Mr. Burden would fight this ruling. It would take years. In the 70's, if you had a main studio site and a remote studio site, you had to broadcast at least 50% of the time from your main studio. I think that is why the old KISN 910AM could not broadcast from their 10th and West Burnside studio all the time. In January 1972 Don Burden becomes Chairmen of The Board of Star Stations, Inc. Steve Shepard rises to President & General Manager of KISN. On September 13, 1972 the Kisn air staff included: Roger W. Morgan & P.D. 6-10AM, Tom Michaels 10-noon, Bobby Noonan P.D. a short time, noon-3, Mother Bear (aka Buddy Scott) 3-7PM, David Stone 7-midnight, Pat Pattee midnight-6. Kisn slogans were: The big 91. The rock of the Northwest. Kisn 91. The D.J.'s were "The 91 Jocks". On February 14, 1973 KISN is granted a license from the FCC. Kisn slogan: Keep on Kisn. (also a sticker) On January 31, 1975 the FCC denied license renewals for the 5 Star Stations owned by Don Burden (92.3%). Star Stations of Indiana, Inc. (WIFE-AM & FM), Central States Broadcasting, Inc. (KOIL-AM & FM), Star Broadcasting, Inc. (KISN-AM). Charges brought back to life from 12-3-70. Mr. Burden then took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 24, 1976 The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the FCC decision denying license renewals for Star Stations, Inc. The Star Stations including KISN had 90 days to wind up affairs. Star assets were estimated at 20 Million. Mr. Burden: "This is the greatest injustice ever perpetrated against a broadcast company in the history of the FCC". On September 1, 1976 the FCC denied KISN's request to stay on the air. The kisn air staff that day: Pat Pattee midnight-6, Dick Simms 6-10AM, Bill Stevens 10-3PM, Sam Lee 3-7PM, David Stone 7-midnight. With the FCC forcing the last show from the transmitter site, two dozen employes and well-wishers filled the transmitter studio. Dave "Record" Stone did the last air shift. At Midnight the song "Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & The Supremes begins. Dave announces: "At this time KISN leaves the air for an indefinite period of time. Goodnight from The Kisn Good Guys". In mid song KISN is silenced at 12:01AM September 2, 1976. KISN had 32 Employees. Don W. Burden was on the phone with me the last hour on the air....I had the record "We have to get out of this place By Eric Burden & Animals.... he had a SCREAMING fit on the phone from Omaha... We agreed on Someday we will be together again by The Supremes.....He wanted NO mention of no more Kisn....or making mentions of the history of the station....He really believed The Mighty 91 would return. 224-KISN was the main phone number, Pat Patee prefered to do his show form the Transmitter site because “it had more soul according to pat, with a 100 watt light bulb hanging by the wires, no windows,dark and with cobwebs. The Original Board used from 59-72 was a one of a kind...Designed and made by chief engineer Byron Swanson(a.k.a Johhny Dark), What made this board so unique was....It had ONE POT for both turntables with a fader button to fade the song out...The cart machines were built into the board. It was a real challenge to work. In the summer of 1972 it was replaced by a blue RCA board.As well three Turntables and various equipment. After all the talk of the jocks who were waiting anxiously for the new modern board....We all missed the Swanson original.Kisn had the first cart machines in Portland, before that stations were using transcription records(acetates),more about the board from Byron”We looked at all the boards that were available, but none would do what we needed. Remote starts for cart machines for example were simply not available on standard radio consoles. KISN had some of the very first cartridge machines in Portland. The came from Collins, but were built by ATC. Very crude machines by the way! A challenge to keep running. There was one capacitor that had a habit of exploding. (It was an electrolytic) Scare the hell out of the jock! The 'board' had three audio channels. Two of the channels were similar to a regular 2 channel board with one major exception. The program amplifiers were gain controlled. This produced the same level audio at the amplifiers output regardless of the input signal. In otherwords the jock didn't have to adjust levels from one input source to the next. So now we have constant levels from the turntables, cart machines, reel/reel and etc. There were input selectors on each program amplifier input, so the audio could be routed to either program channel. I believe there were 14 inputs. The two program amplifiers were summed together via two of those big black knobs. (Daven attenuators actually.) This did give the jock the ability to 'duck' the audio from the turntables, cart machines or what ever. This didn't have all that much effect because the microphone channel was injected at the output of the 'mixing pots'. The microphone also had it's own processor and was set 'hotter' that the mixer levels. Next in line was another gain controlling amplifier that would 'duck' the input source below the microphone because the mike was hotter than the other audio source. That, in a nut shell is how the audio was controlled and mixed. It worked very well and you couldn't overdrive the amplifiers or start something to low on the air. In fact, the way it was arranged, when a cart or record would start, it was HOT! Really punched. The turntable circuits were novel in that if the turntable was off, it was in cue. There use to be a problem with records being 'cued'on the air. That would happen if the jock forgot to click the 'pot' into cue and it was left open. A no-no! The PD and Mr. Burden would be very upset. So when the turntable was off the air, it was across the cue bus. The motor was also off. You placed the record and cued it and it was ready to go. You could listen to the record if you wanted to by operating the motor switch on the turntable. It would only go through the cue speaker. The actual buttons that controlled all the on air operations were in a row directly in front of the jock. They were color coded and all were mounted in a row about 12 inches long. This allowed either lefthanded or righthand operation. The buttons had a split display. The bottom half on all the buttons were red, indicating that source was on the air. The top half was color coded to the buttons operation. For instance the microphones were Blue, the carts were yellow and would only light if a cart was inserted and the turntables were green when they were off. The jock could glance down and see exactly what was on the air and it was very quick to operate. This resulted in very tight air work. It was almost impossible to make a mistake.There were only 3 cart machines in the beginning. This required fast recue on every cart because the jock was always loading the cart machines during the break. One comment on the rotary pots. It is much quicker to twist you wrist than operate a slide pot. Also a board with slide pots would place the copy stand and other visual material further from the jock. Not so important today maybe, but at KISN we had lots of live stuff to read and had to have quick access to the on air material and dropping something on the slide pots would have been a disaster!” We diddled with the turntable speed at KISN. We had some brass spindles turned at a machine shop, but never were satisfied with the results. If they were fast enough to make a difference, it sounded to 'Chipmunkish'. , the turntables were sped up at times on an experimental basis. “Kgar story...is when Paul Oscar Anderson walked at Kisn....He had a non-compete contract wirth Star Stations. Across the street from the famous Kisn studios was a pie shaped building (where Roccos Pizza is today) ....For weeks the building had a contruction tarp over it....One morning the tarp comes off & what's there?????? KGAR studios in a window just like a mirror of Kisn. Don W Burden (owner of Kisn) went after POA with the lawyers....He kept him off the air for a while.....Kgar was very much like Joey Bishop going up against Johnny Carson. The air-talent did not compare.. . A Tribute to Don Steele..from a newspaper article. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of the radio. Don Rickles is asking you to come see his latest motion picture. A woman is crooning that Franz Bread has flavor beyond compare. A traffic reporter warns of traffic congestion on the Interstate Bridge. Ron Tonkin Chevrolet suggests you check out its bargain prices, and Diana Ross starts singing about love. It could be 2001, but it's not. You realize that the minute the disc jockey shouts: "Remember our war cry: Tina Delgado is alive, alive!!!" And suddenly it's July 1964 and this audio time machine has transported you to a time, place and sound that foreshadowed what the rest of the U.S. would be dazzled by in less than a year. The disc jockey's name was The Real Don Steele. Well, actually, it wasn't. His real name was Don Revert, but even at birth his mother had big plans for little Don. She gave him the middle name "Steele" because she, a former vaudevillian, knew Don Steele would make a great stage name. Don grew into the name; he became a big man with huge ambition. By the time he hit KISN radio in Portland in 1963, at 27, he'd been a DJ at three Northwest radio stations; by the time he left for California a year later, he was just months away from being the hottest disc jockey in L.A., co-father of the sound of "Boss Radio." In a 1994 poll to select the 20th century's greatest disc jockeys, the Real Don Steele came in second out of 232. But the sound did not spring fully formed in L.A. in 1965, and there's proof: a Web site called reelradio.com that offers air checks of actual historic radio broadcasts. There in the midst of L.A., Chicago and New York greats are 1964 air checks of the Real Don Steele, broadcasting from "the booth on Burnside," KISN-AM's roadside radio station, across the street from where Powell's Books stands today. "Relax at the wheel with the Real Don Steele," urges a female announcer, and then Don Steele hits the microphone, pumping personality at the listeners, screaming, shouting, proclaiming himself "Emperor of Portland." Don Steele was outrageous from the moment he hit the airwaves at KISN, says Tom Murphy, whose evening show ("Tiger Tom Murphy!") followed Don Steele's afternoons. "I just loved him," says Tom, by phone from Los Angeles, where he still works in the radio business. "Everybody talks about how colorful Don was. Which, of course, he was. He was a real character, so unusual. It was his whole presentation, the energy and the volume, the excitement he engendered. And he was extremely intelligent." Later, L.A. radio great Robert W. Morgan would say of Don Steele "that he could do more with a grunt than most of the rest of us could do in five minutes," recalls Tom. "Which I took offense at. I could grunt, too. But Don did things so quickly. In two seconds he would slide in so much." You can hear it on the recordings at reelradio.com: Don Steele packing two laughs into an eight-second riff, over the intro to a cheesy girl group pop song. Don Steele with an attitude, oozing out a "hey, baby," Don Steele as "the Emperor," urging listeners to accept commissions as "The First Real Louie," and delivering an ironic tribute to KISN's businessman of the day: Mr. Bill Workman, manager of the downtown Newberry's. (This was 1963 -- Bill and his "lovely wife Marge and their three sons, Kim, Keith and Kevin," were praised, their home address read over the air. Marge was sent a dozen red roses.) "He became the Emperor after his failed presidential run," says Tom Murphy, who remembers Don Steele's 1964 presidential campaign well. "He declared that he had the strongest platform in the world: the Steel Bridge." So the Real Don Steele and Tom Murphy (who supplied the character voices of "voters and bystanders") broadcast Steele's KISN program from the bridge itself one fateful day. "We had traffic tied up for miles," says Tom. Don wore a colorful Uncle Sam suit over his long-limbed body; Tom wore Don's too-large overcoat. ("Years later he said I looked like a flasher," says Tom.) Roger Hart was on the bridge that day, too. Roger was holding down two jobs: managing the soon-to-be-famous Paul Revere and the Raiders, and doing the midday show at KISN. "We were all young and inventing Top 40 radio as we went along," says Roger. "We made $162.50 a week and all the records we could take home." That day the records were spun at the station, Roger recalls, and between tunes and commercials Don Steele would "call in reports on the air." Truck drivers, housewives, politicians drove by. "Kids would flip him off," says Tom, "and he would say, 'Red, white and blue to you too, baby.' " When police arrived, Don told Tom they should stay on the bridge until they were arrested. "I told him, 'Are you out of your mind?' and he said, 'It would be great publicity.' He wanted to throw all the equipment into the river to get rid of the evidence. There were kids standing there watching, and he was saying to them, 'Throw that stuff overboard.' I said, 'Don -- they actually will. They're only 12 years old.' He figured we'd get on the front page of The Oregonian. I said, 'Yeah, right.' " Tom and Roger convinced Don that the daily paper wouldn't pay much attention to their arrest. "So we ended up getting off the Real Don Steele Bridge," says Tom. "Don figured if he couldn't have the Steel Bridge as his platform to run for president, he'd declare himself emperor." Until time travel is perfected, listening to these rare air checks is as close as Portlanders may come to slipping back to those old days, when the commercials were quaint and cloying and the music just was starting to heat up. "We don't have much on tape from back then," says Tom Murphy. "We didn't have cassettes to pop in and hook up to the mike. In those days, to record a show, you had to patch in a reel-to-reel recorder and remember to turn it on." The KISN tapes last over an hour; place names haven't changed, but nobody on Portland radio today has the same spark. "He really was the emperor," says Roger, who lives in Portland. "He would do anything. He had no fear. He was the kind of guy who'd stand on a table if he couldn't get the waitress over soon enough." Tom Murphy recalls Don drag racing his Cadillac convertible on the Banfield freeway every Sunday night. "Drag racing on the world's worst freeway. I'm surprised both of us didn't end up in jail." Instead, Don Steele ended up in freeway heaven, a jock at L.A.'s top rock station, KHJ, for years. "It was a marriage made in heaven," says Tom Murphy. "The format was tight, and Don could do it perfectly. Some of us would go on the air and talk about what was on our mind. But the curtain would open up and Don was always doing a show. If you listen to these KISN tapes, he was already doing it." Portland native Mike Phillips, also a veteran of KISN radio, gave Don Steele his last radio job in Los Angeles in the 1990s. "It was incredible," says Mike, by phone from Los Angeles. "He was the consummate professional. He worked hard on the air; he never went through the motions." As Don Steele demonstrated even in his early days, "he could be very entertaining in a brief amount of time." Don Steele died of lung cancer in L.A. in 1997. Tom Murphy and others he'd known at KISN were hit hard. "That was my favorite year, the year I worked with him at KISN," says Tom. "We had a lot of good times." The emperor may be dead, but for those who still are tuning in at reelradio.com, the emperor will reign forever. Other KISN Notes Rumor was when Pat had to go to the transmitter site(when it flooded)he took a motor boat. KISN never had a good signal on 910 anywhere in Portland. At least, they had no quality. They had coverage, daytime, but they sounded terrible. But, having said that, as kids, we didn't care. Nightime, the signal level degraded. They used a Sta-Level in their audio chain, They modulated 110% on negatives, they didn't watch levels. They didn't care. They went for loudness. Whenever you went by KISN corner and looked at the VU meter on the console, it was most always pegged or pegging on that small RCA four channel console. They didn't control levels. Didn't need to....they had a Sta-level amp. Every split second of silence would raise the background noise level and hum level. Those old tube radios of the day and even the first transistors had IF of 455 kHz and the second harmonics of those circuits put a whistle at the center of the 910 frequency so we heard a whistle when slightly off tune (Radios were manual dials). But in 1959, most of our cars were pre '56 and the radios were tube models with vibrators to get the voltage up. So we had that buzz in addition to the other noise. Quality sound and signal wasn't there. It was just noise, but the kids loved it. It was reported that KISN USED A 5kw Bauer Transmitter. It was 1kw day and night with a night directional. I'm thinking it was 2 towers It wasn't four until they moved to 158th and Airport Way. I think they were the same power day and night but directional at night.....Probably protecting KEWB and possibly someone up north. Probably had good coverage in North Plains and points towards Seaside. They still covered all Portland/Vancouver but had some problems in outlying areas. Apparently Mr.Burden wanted his competitor KYMN(Sister station of KIMN 950 in Denver,Co.) There are unsubstantiated rumors that Don Burden paid KYMN to bail out of the format and financially suport KYMN as a religious station. KIMN Dj’s (some of them)came to KYMN 1520. When it was going to 50kw it was planning to take on KISN. January 1965 when KYMN made their Feb 1st format announcement. Kim wanted to bail out of top 40 as early as January 1st. I believe they said they were waiting for over due reel to reel machines to arrive. Kisn must of been killin'um! KYMN changed from top 40 to beatuiful music on Feb 1, 1965 Just before the change to KYXI, KYMN was scheduled to return to Top 40 and take on KISN. They were within days of the change, with a new airstaff ready to go when they got a call from the owners of KIXI asking how much they wanted for the station. KYMN was sold, it became KYXI and that was the end of that! This is significant. If it hadn't happened, KGW probably wouldn't have challenged KISN, KISN applied for 103.3FM in 1967 and before it could be acted on, their trouble began and the application was put on hold. Rumor was going to be Beautiful Music(KICN FM). KISN was without doubt, the most listened to and influential radio station in the history of this market and probably always will be. During one rating book in 1963, at night they had 86% of the audience listening. From 1964-1968, it was the only viable station aimed at younger people. If you liked rock-n-roll, that's what you listened to. If you wanted to be informed, that's where you heard about it first. When KISN signed off 91 am from the tower..Days before everyone was grabbing what they could take from the photo gallery, records, jingle packages (pams) pens, paper clips you name it. There was no payroll after that famous night. Just a few people to tie up acct payables etc etc. When Kisn went dark...it was LIGHTS OUT. Mr Kirby by the New Yorkers aka Hudson Bros. Hit #12 on the Kisn goodguy survey. They were really young...Brett was 11 yrs old.....Bill & Mark a few yrs older...They entered a contest sponsored by Chrysler who was promoting the NEW YORKER car. The band that would win would be named THE NEW YORKERS and would get a record contract & tour to be the opening act for various bands such as the Lovin Spoonful....They cut a record called Mr Kirby which was written about a Hobby Shop owner in Sellwood. It was a screamin rockin record...Really good! They went on as THE HUDSON BROS....Mark Hudson wrote tons of hits for major groups (Arrowsmiths Livin on the edge)....and many more...Brett writes music for Disney films, Bill married Goldie Hawn...then Cindy Williams... He is currently producing a record for his daughter.....His other daughter is Kate Hudson. At the Chase the Kingsmen were playing a old Richard Berry tune titled "Louie Louie"....The kids could not get enough of that dance song... The Kingsmen repeated it over & over...Ken Chase (Kisn goodguy & teen club owner) told them to cut the song on a 45 rpm...They did for UNDER $50 at Northwest Recording...The rest is history...Its a shame that the Singing Nuns "Dominique" kept the Kingsmen from reaching #1 on the Billboard hot 100. The Raiders also cut Louie Louie under the direction of Kisn Hall of Fame legend "Roger Hart"....The saying goes....Kingsmen had the smash hit....Raiders landed the career! One has to wonder what would have happened if Mitch Miller didn't hate rock & roll so much... Mitch Miller was the head A&R guy at Columbia until sometime in '63, so I suspect The Raiders didn't get signed until after Mitch was gone. In the early 50's the owner of D street turned down a Manager of a young artist that was on the road to sing for $225.00 The owner snapped $225 are you #*^%@! Nuts? The Manager was Col Tom Parker...and the artist was a young kid from the south...Elvis Presley. Many did appear there...Raiders-Kingsmen-Don & the Goodtimes, Ventures, Hudson Bros, High Voltage, Bobby Vee, Brenda Lee, and so many others. Saturday night at D-street was nothin but Boss. I think the original family owns it. (Now from R.W Morgan now about KGAR Being across the street, R.W Morgan and other jocks were merely joking about another station being across from KISN, well the window had been whitewashed and started to be a hole a size of a quarter and daily it would get biger and bigger until they jocks from KISN WOULD BARELY SEE THE INSIDE OF THE STUDIO OF KGAR…wow did it hit the roof and the jocks from KISNwere trained not to look across the street, they had a sign up for all to see..”LIKE THANK YOU FOR LISTENING to KISN..or somewhat like that, but apparently a jock had one"LIKE F@*#^ YOU!"…I HOPE I GOT THE STORIES RIGHT??..and yest the jocks were flashed at and shot at...and all the weird stuff..what a time to be a KISN jock(that was my dream)from the age 5 on.. Kisn 910 was a good memory for me and driving by with my mom..begging to see the 91 Kisn Corner which is now Powell’s Books.. "Jerry I read with interest your history of KISN. Much of it I lived, and there are some people and impartant parts of KISN history that you have missed. For one thing Frank Lindsey was a newsman at KISN during the late 60's and up until the the end. He and Whitey Coker and Pat Pattee worked together from the transmitter and partied hard a number of places. Frank had the distinction of working at both KISN and KOIL, and being fired and rehired 5 different times by Sol Rosinzky, the GM at KISN. Frank was also Don's fall guy in 1972. Frank and Don agreed that Frank would purger previous testimony to the 9th circuit court. Don would fire him, and we would take a year's PAID sabatical! Frank was instermental in Burden staying on the air for another four years. You should be able to research some of this, it was in Pasero's writing in the Oregonian. If you are interested in some of the behind the scenes from the transmitter, and lives of the Mighty 91ers during the late 60's and early 70's when I was part of that life as Frank LIndsey's wife. I'll b be happy to provide what I know from time to time. You have a good, site, and it was nice to walk down memory lane. Frank Lindsey died in 1990 from ALS. He was living in Gold Beach Oregon at the time. Diane Lindsey Hickok" Diane thank you!!!..or someone else was there at KISN..I would like to share it with the world...I built this site because no one else did or spend time to give KISN what it needs a true tribute!!I thank you..Gerald Gaule..E MAIL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO I THANK YOU.. More about pat... the "Nightwatch" theme...All the DJ themes were from a jingle company called CRC, which was Tom Merriman's company. Tom was a composer and bandleader who follow Pams' founder at KLIF-Dallas in creating jingles for Gordon McClendon's Top 40 Powerhouse in the early-mid 50's. CRC preceded Tom Merriman's much better know TM Productions. National PD Steve Brown preferred CRC, and Don Burden liked Pams, so they alternated purchases from the 2 vendors. In the early years (1959-61), KISN bought virtually every package available...many they never used on the air. The strategy was to block any other station from having a significant jingle package. ..Comments from a former KISN DJ.."FCC made it a rule back then due to Kisn being licensed in Vancouver that so many hours per month had to originate from the transmitter site. Never made any sense to me since the transmitter was in Portland!!!! It was also a major pain to do weekends from the transmitter. All the spots and records (later carts) were sent to the trannie at midnight on Friday....Pat did not have the complete library out there ....Plus he played lots of his own stuff.....Kisn was really one of a kind. We had great times in both studios. The transmitter was a break from being mooned, eggs thrown and bums taking a leak on the window!!!!!!" "I grew up listening to him with the transistor radio under the pillow...Hey it was after midnight on a school night!!! All the kids thought Pat was a black guy with that soul rap....I was shocked when I saw his picture! Years later when Tom Michaels hired me at 91 I went to my first jock meeting downtown in the Burden Suite....and there was Pat in a really cool midnight blue suit! For many years we worked together but rarely saw each other due to me going off at 12mid and Pat flipping on his nightwatch jingle from the transmitter. Pat never pulled a shift from 10th & Burnside. I would see him at appearances and once in a while I would watch him do his thing and hang out at the transmitter.....He was the BEST all night guy ever. I don't think any station including KHJ had a better all nighter....Because he LOVED all nights and Kisn gave him the freedom with the hits he loved. That came to a close when JJ Jordan became PD from WRKO...Because he was not from here and did not understand the LEGEND value of Pattee he fired him. I could not believe it! He must of done a great sell job on Burden because pat never caused a wave ever at the station and Don always liked his schtick on the air....It will be a blast to hear those pipes intro the Chantells.....Little Richard...little Eva and others!" I got a E MAIL..From Paul Oscar Anderson(KISN PERSONALITY) not long ago...I was given permission.."Hi Jerry, While I have never met yo, I feel I know you due to our connections with KISN. THANK YOU for the tribute. For a couple of hours, I was again in the KISN window on the world at 10th and Burnside. You may have read of LARP.com that I am in the research stage of a book "Of mikes and men." I spent over 35 years at 37 radio stations, so I have some kind of stories to tell--if I can avoid lawsuits. The purpose of this note is to ask your permission to use material from your sites in my book. I, of course, would give you full credit. Of all the Good Guys you mention, I worked with them all, with a couple of exceptions. I came from KOIL to KISN September 17th, 1962, and returned in 1966, following a year's gig at NBC in Chicago and New York. I was the very first all broadcaster to do the "Monitor Show" in 1966. At KOIL and KISN, I worked with Pat Pattee, Joe Light (what ever happened to him)?; The Real Don Steele (both stations); Tiger Tom (Now 'World Famous) Murphy; Frank Benny; Ken Chase; Addie Bobkins; Dick Saint(along with Tiger Tom, I worked with Saint at KRLA, and with Tom at KRLA; Tom Michaels (Now deceased, don't know how); Don Kennedy (also in Seattle when I was at KOL and also dead from what I don't know. We were really tight; Steve Brown at all three major stations:WIFE;KOIL;KISN. Steve hire me from Ft Dodge, Iowa, when he was 20 years old, and already vice president and national program director for Burden's properties. I was at KISN from September, 1962-1964 and again from April 16-Burden battle. I have lots more about Burden, Brown, Kennedy, Whitey Coker, Scotty Wright and on and on. If I can be of help with any material, please let me know, and feel free to use what you want from this email. God bless, Paul Oscar Anderson"
the newsman at the transmitter always held a 1st class ticket...they took the readings.... The Kisn Corner was live Mon-fri 5:30am until midnight...Weekends we would do our shows from the transmitter...Patttee always did the show from the transmitter....only when JFK was shot (the only time Pat sat in the Kisn window!)....Thats some trivia for ya! We had 2 turntables that never once gave out (quite remarkable huh?)....
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Jerry and Sandy Gaule"
> At KISN 910....did you ever take any transmitter readings there at the
> Burnside site...or was it done at the Smith Lake Transmitter
> Site....and have a engineer full time do it...and how often did KISN
> have to meet the Vancouver License requirement from broadcasting at
> the transmitter....and was there a off air monitor to listen to KISN
> at the studio....thanks Jerry....take care...was it true that you
> folks had 3 turntables????