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Kelton (Stanley M.) radio collection
PA Mss 120  
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Collection Details
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  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Stanley M. Kelton radio collection
    Identifier/Call Number: PA Mss 120
    Language of Material: English.
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
    Physical Description: 34.93 Linear Feet (11 document boxes, 8 half-size document boxes, 1 carton, 1 flat box, 13 flat oversize boxes, 1 record disc)
    Creator: Kelton, Stanley M., 1952-2015
    Creator: Weisenberger, Newcomb
    Date (inclusive): 1922-2003
    Abstract: This collection consists of materials generated in the course of operations of the Southern California AM radio stations KFI 640kHz (1938-1950) and KFON 1280kHz (1924-1941) -- later to become KFOX Long Beach (1941-1977) -- amassed by attorney and educator Stanley M. Kelton (1952-2015).
    Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Use Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Research Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Stanley M. Kelton radio collection, PA Mss 120. Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mary Kelton Lopes, 2016.

    Historical Note

    In 1922, Earle C. Anthony was the founder and owner of what eventually became KFI, a radio station he controlled until his death in 1961. Significant materials relating to Anthony are included in the Stanley M. Kelton radio collection. Aside from being the founder of KFI, Anthony was also a composer, philanthropist, and Southern California entrepreneur who had ties and affiliations to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Packard Automobile Corporation. Anthony was also the founder of the Los Angeles Auto Show, and was responsible for introducing neon signs to California. He personally built the first automobile in Los Angeles, which is now housed in the Peterson Automotive Museum. KFI engineer and stalwart Newcomb B. Weisenberger began working for Anthony in 1947. He is credited with being the studio engineer for the sign-on broadcast of the first regularly scheduled program on KFI-FM (105.9), and for shooting camera during the early days of KFI-TV (Channel 9). After the advent of the internet, he wrote prolifically about his radio career, focusing on his many years at KFI. Included in this collection are his personal voice recordings to his parents in 1938, as well as the training manuals, handbooks, and radio and television operating instructions (many of which he authored).
    KFON first broadcast from the Jergins Trust Building in Long Beach in 1924 on 1290 kHz. It moved to 1240 kHz in 1927. The 1928 frequency reallocation resulted in a move to 1250 kHz. It moved to its current 1280 kHz frequency as a result of the NARBA agreement in 1941.
    KFON broadcasted from Long Beach beginning in 1924, serving the Los Angeles area. In 1941 KFON changed its call letters to KFOX, intending to be acquired by 20th Century Fox, until the deal evaporated. Hal Nichols operated the station until his death in 1952. As KFOX, it was one of the first stations in the Los Angeles area to feature country music programming. Sonderling Broadcasting later bought the station from the Nichols estate and adopted a full-time country format. The station moved from its long-time facilities at 220 East Anaheim to the International Tower during this period, and in 1974 was featured in the film Gone in 60 Seconds. In 1977 the station was then sold to Family Stations Inc., and became KFRN, offering Christian programming.

    Scope and Content

    The Stanley M. Kelton Radio Collection consists of mixed materials pertaining to Southern California AM radio stations KFI 640kHz (1938-1950) and KFON 1280kHz (1924-1941), which later became KFOX Long Beach (1941-1977).
    Materials include correspondence with the FCC, local advertisers, and various governmental agencies and organizations. Also featured in the collection are station records, invoices, station equipment, broadcasting logs, notebooks, promotional materials, advertisements, scrapbooks, inter office memos, training manuals, photographs of employees and equipment, as well as diagrams and schematics of various equipment. The collection also contains items and memorabilia pertaining to station owner and California entrepreneur Earl C. Anthony as well as esteemed radio engineer Newcomb B. Weisenberger. The collection was amassed by Huntington Beach lawyer, educator, and radio enthusiast Stanley M. Kelton, and is unique in its content and scope.
    Detailing the chronological history of Southern California radio stations KFI, KFON, and KFOX, the Stanley M. Kelton collection offers insight into the perception, scheduling, and daily operations of early to late 20th century AM stations in California. This is accomplished by the comprehensive collection of contemporary newspaper clippings displayed in the Scrapbooks series, the bulk of which date from 1927 to 1941. Inside of the General files series are the bulk of daily operations materials for KFI, the bulk of which date from 1938 to 1950, although some promotional materials and inter office memos pertaining to the 1970s era are also represented here. Log books, advertising correspondence, FCC communications and licenses, and files pertaining to profit and personnel from KFI are also contained here.


    The collection has been divided into the following series: 1. Scrapbooks (KFON), 2. General files (KFI), 3. Photographs and memorabilia (KFI), 4. Audio (KFI), 5. Artifacts (KFI).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Radio stations -- California, Southern -- Archives
    Administrative records
    Commercial correspondence
    Printed ephemera
    Anthony, Earle C.