Thursday, September 6, 2007

There's an accident...GET ON THE TELEPHONE!

I was checking to see if either T.J. Simers or Tracy Simers had done any radio before their weekend show on KLAC (they hadn't), but I ran across a couple of other interesting entries in the S category.

Scott, Dr. Gene: KHOF. The flamboyant tv preacher owned KHOF (99.5fm). Gene died February 21, 2005. He was 75.

I didn't know that Scott owned 99.5. But he did, for a time.

In the late 1970’s, Dr. Scott was on KHOF, 99.5 FM, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. With the strange shifts that I [Lindell] worked at LAX, his teachings were my constant companion. I listened to him all the time. When KHOF was sold, Doc moved to short wave, broadcasting on WWCR-5935 from Nashville, Tennessee and KAIJ-9815 from Dallas, Texas. I have worn out three short-wave radios listening to Dr. Scott.

But the following entry will be of more interest to my El-Lay audience:

Sigmon, Loyd: KMPC. Loyd devised a system to make it easy for the police to alert radio stations. The system gave each radio station a special receiver tuned to a specific frequency and attached to a tape recorder. A dispatcher at LAPD headquarters could press one button to activate all the machines and announce the nature of the problem. "What I had in mind was to get more listeners for KMPC, to be honest with you," said Sigmon. When the LAPD broadcast the first SigAlert on Sept. 5, 1955, the announcement caused even more trouble than the accident that had precipitated it. A train en route from Union Station to Long Beach had derailed downtown, rolling onto its side. When the LAPD sent out a plea for doctors and nurses in the area through the new system, so many responded that they created a traffic jam themselves. Born in Stigler, Oklahoma in 1910, Loyd was the son of a cattle rancher, educated at Wentworth Military Academy and got a ham radio license at age 14. He started his radio career at WEEI-Boston and KCMO-Kansas City. Loyd spent three years in Europe during World War II where he was officer in charge of radio communications for the European Theater where Colonel Sigmon directed building of the world's largest mobile transmitter, 60,000 watts. Prior to selling his interest in Golden West, Loyd was it’s corporation's executive vp, with Gene Autry ran a number of radio stations and KTLA/Channel 5, was vp of operations at KMPC and was part of the acquisitions of the California Angels. The California Highway Patrol took over responsibility for the freeways in 1969, and with that the SigAlert system as well. And though most radio stations now get information about SigAlerts from the CHP Web site, the name has remained - striking terror and dread in the hearts of L.A. drivers. Loyd died June 2, 2004, at the age of 95.

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