KCEY (originally KTUR) studios on Quincy Ave. in Turlock in 1972.
Courtesy of Steve Pacheco
KCEY (formerly KTUR) control room 1986
(Courtesy of Tammy Lynn)
KCEY/KMIX production room 1986
(Courtesy of Tammy Lynn)
KCEY Production Room April 17, 1975
(Courtesy Eric Rench)
KCEY Control Room April 17, 1975
(Courtesy Eric Rench)
By Eric Rench
( Air Name Danny Knight)
(Note: Following are excerpts from the personal story of Eric Rench regarding his days at KCEY. Click here for his complete story.)
During the broadcast day, KCEY was live at all times, with a disc jockey spinning records, playing jingles, promos (promotional announcements) and commercials on tape and reading "rip and read" news, sports and weather.
KCEY's control room in 1975 was small, probably only about 10 by 18 feet or so. The walls featured that vertically-lined, off sound-absorbing tiles that were so popular with radio stations in the 1970's, and they were painted flat, dusty, light mustard yellow. The studio was shabby, out-of date, but fairly comfortable and fully functional.
KCEY operated at the power of 5000 watts day and night with a three-element antenna array arranged in the shape triangle located about 15 miles east of Turlock, near the small community of Montpelier. The antenna patterns were directional, both day and night, so to be an operator at KCEY required a valid F.C.C. First Class Radiotelephone License.
The night time signal was focused west and it wasn't unusual for us to receive cards from listeners in New Zealand, Australia and all over the South Pacific Ocean.
KCEY's studio equipment was old, and well-used, even by 1975 standards. When they moved to their new studios in 1978 on Geer Rd near Hughson, the station was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. About 75% percent of the music we played was on 45s, and the remainder, mostly "oldies" was on 33.
Every radio station that I ever worked at had a "program clock" to some degree. Naturally, the clock was a closely guarded secret and would be removed even during a visit of a casual visitor. However, to the trained ear, it wasn't difficult to figure out a station's clock after listening to the station for a few hours. Many radio stations, particularly those who played rock music, had a slightly different clock according to the time of day, as it was reasoned that the older audience was watching TV in the evening, therefore a lot of "Top-40" rock stations would slip in an album cut or two during evening and night time hours. KCEY's format was country, and the clock never changed.
Yes, I have some vivid memories of my days at KCEY, 1390, Turlock, CA.
Courtesy of Chet Jensen
Pick of the Pickin's
(Courtesy of Bob Neuztling)
Notes from Jack Hamilton who worked at KCEY in the 60's
KCEY in the 60's during the time the station was owned by KCEY, formerly KTUR, the Mighty Casey promotion was associated with a Fran Abel or Adel I think was his name. He had moved on to advertising in Stockton or somewhere before I got there. Mighty Casey was for the roll out of 5 KW power increase. I believe Abel got into a train engineer outfit and rode in the cab of a locomotive to Turlock. Photo op etc. Might be the true story in the archives of the Turlock Daily Journal if it still exists.
KCEY, when I arrived, was owned by Harrison Fuerst, an attorney from Cleveland Ohio. He would buy under performing stations, put in his troops and turn them around. His previous success was a station in Colorado Springs, CO. He brought in Jay (Jaybird) Drennan and a salesman, who's name I can't remember, from Colorado. Jay had his Jaybirds Jamboree on every morning. After he would hit the streets with spot sales and meet and greet listeners. A big guy from west Texas. In the 60's fresh fruit was a premium in Colorado. Jay would hit the fruit stands along hiway 99. Then 99 ran through town. Gene Bastion was program director. I understand he went on to become Jerry Lange on KFIV and rock band promoter. No idea where he is now.
Notes from John Chappell, who worked at KCEY in the late 60's.
I was working for KCEY in 1968 until the time that I went active duty to Vietnam aboard a Navy ship as a radioman in 1970. I remember them referring to the station as "The Mighty Casey" (KCEY) . I think I might be able to help you a bit with the information about the Hollywood connection. The Hen-Cal Corp. owned KCEY when I worked there. The president was Paul Henning, best know for creating the Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. The likes of Jed Clampett, Jethro, and Granny were known to come to Turlock on occasion to appear at the station with at least one of them serving as grand marshal of a Turlock parade. Rick Jerome, station manager at the time, would be a great source for this information - His wife Lynne was the traffic director and front office secretary. Last I heard he had moved to Tuolumne City.
My personal experience of socializing with Hollywood stardom was when I did my radio show as a remote broadcast from the Stanislaus County Fair. I never got to meet the Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction was more popular at the time. The star I got to ride with in the KCEY news wagon and interview on the air was "Betty Jo". You may remember she was one of the three gorgeous daughters of widowed Kate Bradley of the Shady Rest Hotel in Hooterville. On the TV show credits she was always portrayed as Linda Kaye. But as Paul Harvey would say "the rest of the story" is that her full name was Linda Kaye Henning. Yes, the daughter of Paul Henning, owner of KCEY.
Turlock's lone radio station, is undergoing a $300.000 reorganization, which owner Milt Hall says will guide the community out of its "small radio days." Among other things, the station is moving its studios from Quincy to Geer Road, and will begin FM broadcasting under a recently granted FCC license.
Turlock radio station KCEY, which features modern country western music, and its new sister stereo station, KMIX, have moved into a new $400,000 broadcasting facility at 4043 Geer Road, five miles north of Turlock. Owner Milt Hall operates the stations as Central California Broadcasters.
KMIX Tower Climbed
It was only a matter of time before someone scampered up radio station KMIX's new 400-foot transmission tower on Sante Fe Avenue and Geer Road south of Hughson. When station officials arrived for work Monday, they knew immediately the tower had "fallen" — the conquering climber had left Old Glory fluttering at the top of the "summit".