Scope and Contents
Title: KSFO Collection
Collection number: ARS.0063
KSFO (Radio station : San Francisco, Calif.)
Archive of Recorded Sound
The KSFO collection consists of audiovisual material and ephemera from this San Francisco radio station's years owned by Golden
West Broadcasting, 1956-1983. KSFO was known for their news and sports coverage, as well as the voice talents of such personalities
as Don Sherwood, Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons, and Al "Jazzbo" Collins. The majority of this collection involves station marketing,
promotions, and fundraisers, although there are airchecks and other broadcast recordings. Production library material includes
jingles, themes, music beds, promotional spots, and advertising.
Language of Material: English
Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for
Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.
KSFO Collection, ARS-0063. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
The KSFO Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by KSFO in June, 1998.
This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Scope and Contents
Though it originally went on the air in 1925, the era of radio station KSFO covered in this collection is largely from 1956-1983,
when the station was owned by Gene Autry's Golden West Broadcasters. Besides airing popular music, jazz, and nostalgia, KSFO
provided the San Francisco Bay Area with news, sports, and other programming with cosmopolitan flair. Notable broadcast personalities
at the station included Don Sherwood, Jim Lange, John Gilliland, Gene Nelson, Al "Jazzbo" Collins, Wally King, Herb Kennedy,
Jack Carney, Del Courtney, Dan Sorkin, Terry McGovern, and Carter B. Smith. Legendary sportscasters Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons
spent much of the 1960's on KSFO, announcing games for the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers as well as Oakland
Athletics baseball and Stanford University football. A few airchecks of these broadcasts are part of the collection. However,
the majority of the audio found here is from KSFO's production library. This library, maintained on open reel tape, consists
of jingles, IDs, music beds, advertising, and featured programming (such as the Mike Powell 5:30 Report) in various forms
and versions, although airchecks and related recordings (often marked "Save") are present. KSFO's famous theme song "Sound
of the City" exists in multiple iterations, as do recordings of "Bye Bye Baby," the opening music for San Francisco Giants
baseball broadcasts, inspired by Russ Hodges' catch-phrase. Singer Mel Tormé lent his signature "velvet fog" croon for station
identification, and there are several reels featuring his voice here. The Commercial Vault was KSFO's own name for a series
of tapes documenting notable ads as originally broadcast on the station. Although incomplete, it remains a fascinating record
of local music-related advertising in the 1960s and 70s. There is also a series titled Promo Vault, which archives the station's
promotional campaign spots during the same period. KSFO jingles and other advertising and marketing were produced both in-house
and by other companies. There is some content pertaining to management, but very little documentation regarding the internal
workings of the station. Almost all printed matter in this collection was originally distributed to the public in one form
or another. The collection also contains material from other stations, particularly KYA. In 1983, KSFO was sold to King Radio
Broadcasting, which had already owned KYA. It appears that with all the changes in ownership, material from different stations
has been intermingled. It would also appear that, due to the overwhelming volume of promotional material, it is likely that
much of this collection is derived from KSFO's promotions department. One way for the station to promote itself was through
fundraising campaigns. Among the several events KSFO organized, the United Crusades and Police Athletic League games are generously
represented in a variety of media. Other contemporary events covered in recordings include news of the John F. Kennedy assassination,
Dan White on KRON in 1979, and commentary from S.I. Hayakawa during the student strike at San Francisco State University in
1968. Physical media in the KSFO collection is primarily audio on tape (around 650 objects), with some video (largely U-Matic
cassettes), 16mm film (four reels), photographs, slides, and ephemera (eight scrapbooks of printed matter).
Original order has been retained.
KSFO (Radio station : San Francisco, Calif.).
Oakland Athletics (Baseball team).
San Francisco 49ers (Football team).
San Francisco Giants (Baseball team).
Sherwood, Don, 1925-1983
Tormé, Mel, 1925-1999
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)