KDAB Then      KDAB Now
Johnny Williams remembers:

KDAB was 10,000 watts daytime only. The station was way up at 1550 AM. We gave KIMN fits for a few months back in 1963.

I remember doing 'Johnny's Luncheon Party at Poolside' (or something like that). I talked over poolside sounds (on a reel-to-reel tape) during the breaks. It was during one of these shows that the word came that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. We had no patriotic music at the station. Had to run around like crazy to find some.

click for larger view
left to right:
Johnny Williams, Jack Diamond, Ted Atkins
c.1963 (click for larger view)

John Erickson adds: KDAB, a Denver-area station in the sixties. It was a 10KW daytimer at 1550 with studios in the suburb of Arvada, and the transmitter along the Platte River in Denver -- which flooded in 1965, knocking out the transmitter. When the station resurfaced some weeks later, it was as KQXI, with formats that revolved from MOR to country gospel. But in its pre-65 heyday, KDAB was great -- really solid jocks like Ted Atkins and Marty Sullivan. And of course, they played the KDA-Beatles. They certainly did give KIMN a run for the money, and if they hadn't been a daytimer, they would have been a lot more successful.

KDAB occupies a special place in my memory..it was the first radio station I ever saw. All of my young life I'd dreamed of being a radio guy, and when I was 12, a week after the JFK assassination, my family moved from Illinois to Arvada, Colorado. I was thrilled to discover the existence of a radio station right there in town! As you may recall it was in the "Ann Jackson Building" at the corner of Ralston and Wadsworth. I would pedal down there and put nose on glass and watch in amazement as you guys did your thing. Adding to my vicarious thrill was the fact that our family's phone # was 421-1150...just one digit off from 421-1550. Whenever KDAB did a platter-poll thing, our phone would ring, and sometimes I'd pretend that I was the jock!

After the flood, KDAB moved to the Arvada Plaza Shopping Center on Ralston and became KQXI. Frances C. Gaguin and Bernice Schwartz still owned it, but the new call letters and the rotating formats sucked the magic right out of the place. However, I was 15 by then and KQXI is where I got my first radio job ... as the cleanup boy, sometimes board-op, and house pest. After I was justifiably cut, I went to KBTR as a board-op when the station went all-news, and later to KIMN as a news guy before I wandered around some and ended up here in the Northwest where I'm still a news guy, my lifelong dream. The old KDAB location is now an Arbie's.

Anyway, knowing you're a former KDAB Good Guy, I had to share. Thanks for a fabulous web site.

John Erickson

Clarke Ingram update (6/03): I thought you might be interested to know that the old KDAB and KQXI (among others), has gone dark and is returning its license to the FCC. They are operating a new expanded-band facility on 1690.

For the past few years, 1550 and 1690 have been simulcasting Radio Disney.

Clarke Ingram


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