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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Remembering Ron Jacobs

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Mar 9th 2016, 09:13, by radioinfo
Ron JacobsRemembering Ron Jacobs. No sooner had the radio industry mourned the loss of KHJ, Los Angeles "Boss Jock" Charlie Tuna than it does the same for Honolulu-born Ron Jacobs; the former PD of onetime powerhouse top 40 KHJ died yesterday (Tuesday, 3/8) in Pearl City, Hawaii at the age of 78. It was just last week (RadioInfo, Tuesday, 3/1) when we recounted the chilling story of how Jacobs literally saved Charlie Tuna's life. It was in 1967, when Tuna – then working in Boston at WMEX – was invited to Los Angeles to interview for an opening atRon Jacobs - Bill Drake KHJ, renowned for the Bill Drake format. Tuna and Jacobs had a great evening together. Plans called for Tuna to catch a redeye back to Boston, but Jacobs noticed that Tuna looked tired. Instead of leaving that night, Tuna slept on Jacobs' couch. Jacobs booked a flight for Tuna the next day. The flight Tuna was supposed to be on crashed in Cincinnati – 47 people died. "I don't know if it was fate, Tuna later recalled, "but that is what happened." In addition to programming KHJ from 1965 to 1969, Jacobs' numerous other credits include being vice president of Watermark, where he co-created "American Top 40," the enormously successful countdown program hosted by Casey Kasem. Jacobs also was the PD of KGB, the birthplace of the "San Diego Chicken." High school dropout Jacobs began his radio career in 1953 (at age 16) at Honolulu's KHON, where he did overnights. By the time he was 21, Jacobs was programming KPOA, Honolulu and, one year later (1959), he performed similar duties at KPOI, considered to be Hawaii's first Top 40 station. While at Watermark, Jacobs produced Wink Martindale-narrated "The Elvis Presley Story." In conjunction with stations he programmed over the years, Jacobs produced concerts at such Southern California venues as The Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles Sports Arena, and San Diego Stadium. Switching musical genres in 1980, Jacobs debuted Hawaii's only fulltime country facility – KDEO. His last regular terrestrial radio air-shift was as morning personality at Honolulu's KCCN-AM (1998 – 1999), but he would later do an on-line radio program from his home studio in Kaneohe. One of Hawaii's all-time best selling nonfiction books is Jacobs' November 2008 "Obamaland: Who is Barack Obama?" It ends with the man who would become President graduating from Punahou School in 1979. The Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts awarded Jacobs with "The Hawaiian Grammy in 1997 and just last year (May 2015), HARA bestowed upon him its "Lifetime Achievement" award. Jacobs spent seven years as a contributing editor to both Honolulu and Hawaii magazines and he published his first book ("Backdoor Waikiki") in 1986. The longtime, ardent Los Angeles Rams fan was unable to see his beloved team relocate to Los Angeles from St. Louis. There is no word yet regarding any memorial services for Jacobs, whose passing is reported to be owing to "natural causes."
The post Wednesday, March 9, 2016 appeared first on RadioInfo.