From the Land of Band Box Records

The Denver Tiger – Remembering Jay Mack

August 4, 2019


The very popular Jay Mack – KIMN Boss Jock – made his debut at KIMN on July 17th, 1963 – He skyrocketed to the top of the Denver area DJ’s in popularity.  Then one day in August of 1964 – Jay was headed for a mini-vacation in the mountains of Colorado and everything changed.  Fellow Jock Jack Merker, who was about to switch stations, received a call at home from law enforcement officers calling from Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge – they had located a printed item at the scene of a horrendous automobile crash near Golden – just west of Denver – The item contained Jack’s name.

Jay Mack’s career would never return to the pinnacle he had reached in the summer of 1964.  Just one week later he was scheduled to introduce The Beatles on their first U.S. Tour – appearing at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Mack was severely injured – and remained on the critical list and in a coma for three weeks.  His traveling companion and KIMN receptionist, Judy Danknich. was not expected to survive the accident.  Mack attempted a comeback at KIMN but with his speech pattern damaged it was a real struggle.  He was transferred in 1965 to a sister station in the Northwest – working off microphone for Merker.  While there, Mack worked hard practicing his on-air jargon – off-air – working to get the magic back.

He eventually returned to Denver – working first for KIMN competitor KBTR – and then returning to an afternoon slot at KIMN – due primarily to the demands of KIMN listeners.  He didn’t stay long – departing to work in Miama – again for his friend Merker.  He then returned for a third shot at KIMN in 1969.

Then in April of 1971 – KIMN was sold – and the firings began.  Jay received his walking papers just hours ahead of his scheduled show – dismissed over the telephone.  Life then began a painful chain of disappointments in radio – first in Kansas City – then landing at a very tiny little station in Michigan where he was the only employee – working live on the air and doubling up as a custodian after his stint.

The station owner who hired Jay – had never heard of him.  He came back to Colorado eventually in 1984 where he played ‘oldies’ on KLSC in Aurora.  All in all – Jay’s life was a letdown from what could have been.

Judy Danknich did survive but suffered greatly and struggle the rest of her life as a result of the injuries – She was 18 years-old at the time of the accident.

Jay Mack – the quickest Boss Jock wit on Fabulous KIMN – passed away in March of 2002 at age 65.



Queen City Queens

July 28, 2019

Teen Queen of the Week on KIMN – (and more contests from the Nifty 950)

Image result for teen queen of the week


Beginning in January of 1962, spurred on by Freddy Cannon’s hit record from early in the year – KIMN Radio went to their ‘bread-and-butter’ – the “Baby Boomers” from around the Denver area – featuring a new “Teen Queen” each week for a good part of the year.  A few of my KIMN survey sheet images are very small and difficult to read – Let me know if you can fill in the info that is missing.

Back then the station obviously felt it was safe to publish these girls’ home addresses – Things have changed!

All of the “Teen Queens” are listed and shown below

The “Teen Queens” never were to return to “Nifty 950” – However in August of 1965 – KIMN did sponsor a “Miss Teenage Denver” contest.   The semi-finals were at “Howell’s Department Store”.  In September the contest was expanded to include a “Noxzema Cover Girl” contest as well.

Speaking of the Noxzema Cover Girl Contest…

My soon to be darling girlfriend Janet recalls entering the contest which required a poem as part of the entry process.  She submitted:

“I had a blind date
    with Grover Harrison
But the way he looked
    was so embarissin’!

We had a dalmation,
    His name was Rover
And when Daddy went to the door
    He thought Grover was Rover!

Ever since then
    He’s used Noxema
And now his skin
    Never ever looked cleaner!”

My Darling 1965 Noxema Girl Janet!

KIMN 1965 - 08-02-65 - FKIMN 1965 - 09-06-65 - F

KIMN 1965 - 09-13-65 - F

And the Winners Are!

Now doesn’t Kit Dougherty just look like a darling Noxzema Cover Girl???

KIMN 1965 - 10-11-65 - FKIMN 1965 - 10-25-65 - F

The Beatle Trip

KIMN introduced “The Beatle Trip” contest which would send some KIMN listeners to the August 9th performance of the Fab Four at the Hollywood Bowl – Note on that survey that the winners would be “chaperoned” by Boss Jocks Hal Moore and Bill Holley – but also – by “The Rev. and Mrs. David R. Young”.  Now I am thinking the “Beatle Trip” perhaps was being awarded to the “Miss Teenage Denver” winner – which would call for the Reverend and Misses to keep things above board – Maybe – maybe not.  Probably not since KIMN was calling this “The Name Game”.

Did anyone out there remember playing “The Name Game”?

KIMN 1965 - 08-16-65 - F

Were you a KIMN Reporter?

KIMN really ratcheted up the contests and promotions in 1965 (now remember what station manager Ken Palmer said about promotions doing nothing for ratings – hmmmmm?  Kenny??  Come on!

This summer promotion was a weird one!  Guess the number of gamblers attending Centennial Race Track and win a Shetland pony!!!  Now what was behind this one?  If you recall in mid June Centennial was devastated by the great flood of 1965 when the Platte River raged over it’s banks after a tremendous downpour which actually started just a bit north of Palmer, Colorado.  Dawson Butte received an unimaginable 14 inches of rain – and this was accompanied by a tornado and gigantic hail.  Scores of horses had to be rescued from the track stables and I believe some perished.

21 people died in the storm (143 died in the “Big Thompson Flood” in 1976 and an astounding estimated death toll in a 1926 Pueblo Flood was set around 1,500!  The water flood wall which roared through Littleton and Centennial was estimated by law enforcement to be nearly 20 feet high.

At any rate, KIMN was obviously rallying to Centennial’s plight with this promotion to get people back to the track.  Denver recovered and Centennial continued on until November 6, 1983 when it staged it’s final race.

Note that is promotion survey quietly congratulates “10 Winners” of the “Beatle Trip”.

KIMN 1965 - 08-30-65 - FThe 1965 Denver flood knocked out thirteen of the city’s bridges spanning the South Platte River but spared the Colfax viaduct.

Boss Jock Billboard

Not to be outdone by the Shetland Pony – KIMN’s deejays apparently got a crack at beautifying Denver’s bi-ways in late 1965.

The “Kimmies”

At the end of 1965 KIMN listeners were given the opportunity to vote for their favorites.  The penned in names below are from my own pen.  Oh my God – I voted for Patti Page for “Best Female Vocalist”.  And I scratched James Brown and replaced him with Elvis for “Best Male Vocalist”.  I guess I was trying to demonstrate some degree of sophistication by choosing Ramey Lewis for “Best Instrumentalist”.  At least I didn’t pick Henry Mancini.  Logic did prevail however with my selection of the Beatles.

KIMN 1965 - 12-13-65 - F

Onto Our 1962 Teen Queens

My favorite from this list is “Little Jo An”!

January 31st, 1962 – Pat Owens – Littleton High School – 15 Years Old

February 7th, 1962 – Jeanne Stephens – Mapleton High School – 15 Years Old

February 14th, 1962 – Pam Gallagher – Jefferson High School – 17 Years Old

February 21st, 1962 – Janet Baker – Littleton High School – 16 Years Old

February 28th, 1962 – Tina McCarthy – Thomas Jefferson High School – 13 Years Old

March 7th, 1962 – Sue Hines – Aurora High School – 17 Years Old

March 14th, 1962 – Lucille (?) – Westminster High School – 14 Years Old

March 21st, 1962 – (?) Coquette – School (?) – 14 Years Old?

March 28th, 1962 – Glenda Logan – Golden High School – 16 Years Old

April 4th, 1962 – Myra Woodruff – Air Academy High School CO Springs – 16 Years Old

April 11th, 1962 – Marjorie P(??) – Westminster High School – 18 Years Old

April 18th, 1962 – (?) Domeneco – Arvada (?) High School – 17 Years Old

April 25th, 1962 – Carol Greenmalon (?) – South High School – 16 Years Old

May 9th, 1962 – Elizabeth Frankel – North High School – 16 Years Old

May 16th, 1962 – Kathy Miller – College High School Greeley – 17 Years Old

May 23rd, 1962 – Arlene Roche – Arvada High School – 17 Years Old

June 6th, 1962 – Joyce Parsons – College High School – Greeley – 18 Years Old

June 13th, 1962 – Nancy Dunken – East High School – 16 Years Old

June 20th, 1962 – Kathy Hockett – Boulder High School – 16 Years Old

July 4th, 1962 – Nancy Russell – North Junior High School – 13 Years Old

July 11th, 1962 – Priscilla Kay Bikker – Aurora High School – 16 Years Old

July 18th, 1962 – Peggy Cairns – George Washington High School – 16 Years Old

August 1st, 1962 – Phyllis Milano – Mount Carmel High School – 15 Years Old

August 8th, 1962 – Mary Helton – South High School – 16 Years Old

August 15th, 1962 – Bonnie Schellhase – Thomas Jefferson High School – 14 Years Old

August 22nd, 1962 – Jo Ann Morse

(This was obviously a fill-in by the KIMN Jocks – She was “Little Jo Ann” who recorded “My Daddy Is President” in the Summer of 1962 – The song reached number 67 on the national record charts – She was 7 years old at the time of the recording.  Little Jo Ann was from New Jersey

August 29th, 1962 – Judy Doty – Ranum High School – 15 Years Old

Next Up – Onto KIMN in 1966

Tangling with the Tiger!

July 26, 2019

(Following are several tidbits gleaned from the music trade publications from the 1960’s relating to the Denver Tiger)

KIMN’s Ken Palmer on Top 40 Format

The Real Denver Tiger

KIMN DENVER TIGERIn the Spring of 1968, radio station KIMN president and general manager Kenneth Palmer authored an article in the April 6th, 1968 edition of Billboard Magazine titled “Top 40 Radio Is Gone”.

Starting off in typical Palmer style he states “In truth, “Top 40″ radio should never have existed.  But it proliferated because it was the lazy man’s substitute for hard work in creatively programming a radio station.”

And with that – Mr. Palmer to break down the myth of “Top 40”.  Among his proclamations:

“Top 40 radio stations were successful – not because they were good – but because most other stations were bad”

Mild compared to his overriding definition “”Top 40″ began and ended as a jukebox with 40 records, a clock, a thermometer and a slot machine.”  He continues “Frenetic deejays poured a sizzling burble of artificial enthusiasm through the mike while guttural newsmen rewrote dull wire copy into still duller Western Unionese that even the most intelligent listener could not understand.” (Wow)

Palmer knew his comments would create wonder in the minds of the Billboard readers when KIMN itself was probably considered the quintessential “Top 40” outlet in the Rocky Mountain Area.

“Name It And Claim It”

But according to Palmer, “We (KIMN) have never been and will never be a “Top 40″ station.  The fact that we are in our 10th year of dominating a major market is an indication that we do something different.”

He proceeds to talk about the diverse range of widely popular promotions that were undertaken by KIMN.  And to this he surprisingly exclaims “Frankly, we don’t know whether they are worth anything to us (other than to create some excitement within the context of our programming); and in any case, we never use a contest or promotion to hype ratings. It does not work.”

(Two full page ads from the Rocky Mountain News – promoting the promotions from July, 1970 and March of 1961 (courtesy of Bill O’Donnell)

Who is the Boss Here?

Regarding “Top 40” he continues “First: Please tell me who wrote the inviolable law that a radio station should play any specific number of records?  If there is such a law, what number of records did it specify?”

Ken challenges the number and in fact challenges that songs chosen should be limited to 45 rpm discs.  He boldly suggests including cuts from long plays with “… who was the god who decreed that the only hits recorded are on singles….. Shouldn’t we reject the concept that a contemporary station must play only singles?

“At KIMN we have always done so.  The words “single” or “album” are not a part of our vocabulary.  We talk about “hit performances”, and we don’t care where they come from.

I know that the FM stations were closing in on the market but I certainly don’t recall a time up into 1968 when KIMN ever featured any song on the air that didn’t come tidily wrapped in a 45 rpm sleeve.  I may have missed something.

Palmer’s Decision: Throwing Caution to the Wind with Johnny Sea

Ken Palmer taking a ‘profit be damned’ stance in the Summer of 1966, boasted that KIMN would continue to spin the Johnny Sea social commentary 45 in spite of it’s long playing time.  “A Day For Decision” was Johnny Sea’s 12 attempt at a charting hit record – coming in the Summer of 1966 – and peaking at number 36 in the nation.  Sea would enjoy some modest success on the Country Charts but would never enter the Hot 100 again.

Activist KIMN

I noted previously in a Post that the only time I recall KIMN to assume a position in a social cause was when they ran an advertisement calling for the banning of bull fights in Colorado!  I have no idea where these events took place but I vaguely recall – I think – that they may have even been broadcast live on Channel 2!

Below is a September, 1969 article announcing KIMN’s participation in a national radio-sponsored anti-drug campaign – KIMN was represented by Boss Jock Don West.

No Drugs for Don West

No Bull – 1965

Will the Real KIMN Stand Up?

This article ran in Billboard in 1966 – and seems to solidify KIMN as a true-blue “Top 40” leader during that time.

Palmer vs. Charles

One of the sad chapters in KIMN’s history – was this incident which occurred in the Fall of 1962 at the famed amphitheater in the foothills west of Denver.

Battles Along the Way

Back in 1963, KIMN competitor KDAB decided to flex some promotion muscle and announced a fund raiser featuring the Beach Boys in concert all funds from ticket sales going to charity.

KIMN countered – charity be damned – with a concert of it’s own on the exact same evening – featuring Bobby Vinton, The Cascades and The Astronauts.

KDAB quickly gave way changing the date from a Friday to a Wednesday night.  KIMN would not sit still and scheduled a second concert featuring the Four Seasons to be held  – yep!  On the same Wednesday night.  Some local program directors criticized the Tiger for it’s actions.

Then in the Spring of 1967 – after several years of putting up a good fight with KIMN – Denver radio KBTR gave up the goose – dropping their Hot 100 format in favor of ‘all-news’.  Another one bites the dust!

KIMN Competitors (Top 40 Formats)


Ran from the mid 1960’s to the late 1960’s


Ran from the late 1960’s running on into the 1970’s

KICN – Radio 71

KICN initially appeared to be the strongest challenge for KIMN – The two stations battled over the air – in the late 1950’s and it cost one KIMN boss jock his job when he “flushed KICN down the toilet” during a broadcast – using a chain as a sound effect.  KICN would reorganize and become KBTR continuing it’s battle of the airwaves with Boss Radio KIMN


This jocks on this Denver station were game for a tassel with the Tiger – It had been around since the late 1940’s and turned to Top 40 during the late 1950’s first featuring a “Top 30” format and then expanding in the early 1960’s to “Top 40”.  But KTLN most prominently left it’s mark in Denver radio by pioneering the “all-talk” format in 1965 – The station went nearly 100 percent talk but left jocks Ray Durkee and Tom Griffiths in place for ‘Top 40’ play.  The station broke the Denver police scandal in the 60’s and perfected ‘live-at-the-scene’ coverage especially on the night beat.

(NOTE:  Below Royce Johnson is shown as a member of the KTLN staff – the former KIMN Boss Jock who ‘flushed’ competitor KICN down the toilet.

The Death of Top 40

Next he states “In short, “Top 40″ began as a dynamic new programming concept for radio but has failed to progress beyond its initial superficial and unbelievable facade of providing an artificial form of excitement.”  I don’t think I ever met a KIMN contemporary listener who would ever have described good old KIMN in these terms.  Palmer may have totally been excluding the Denver Tiger from his comments – but difficult to imagine the station didn’t fit the mold.

The entire article was obviously composed with an eye for KIMN’s survival .  His final recommendations included:

  • Build a superb news department “before it is too late”
  • Locate newsmen who can compose on the fly and operate a turn table
  • Pick men who are less professional if they are able to communicate with listeners on a “me-to’you” basis (ummmm??? Talk radio perhaps on the way?)
  • Station programmers need to “throw away every rule you have embraced over the years”
  • Question every thing
  • Forget promotions – “forget them – at least until you have programming that will truly attract and hold a mass audience comprised of all age groups, income levels, educational and professional achievements” (sounds like the internet)

Palmer summed up with these words, “We departed from the mainstream of “Top 40″ many years ago.  But still have much to learn.  I hope we will learn part of it with you.”

Farewell Dear Friend

The Denver Tiger – a Colorado Music Hall of Fame Inductee – As well it should be

Ken Palmer sold KIMN in 1970 to an Atlanta concern.  All the familiar names on the broadcasting side and news side were gone.  KIMN was sold and sold again with little good result.  By 1976 the Denver Tiger placed 15th in the Arbitron ratings with a mere 2.7 audience share – down from 56 percent in it’s hey day.

There was a minor resurgence before the final demise – The “Boogeyman” comes to mind – Steve Kelley gave it a whirl as did Randy Jay – there were others.

KIMN’s final day came on April 24, 1988 when The Denver Tiger ceased it’s roar.  Ken Palmer passed away in the mid 1980’s

Early KIMN Jingle

“Class Come to Order – Little Violet

How many letters in the alphabet?

Well to my way of thinkin’ – there’s only four

K-I-M-N – No More!