The decade that would be later dubbed "the turbulent 60's" began in rather normal fashion with the election of a new president, John F. Kennedy. The top three songs of 1960 were Theme From "A Summer Place" by Percy Faith, Are You Lonesome Tonight by Elvis Presley, and Cathy's Clown by The Everly Brothers. Songs about love.
After a thousand days of his presidency, JFK was shot and killed by an assassin. Before the decade ended, his brother, Bobby Kennedy, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. would also be gunned down and killed.
The Beatles arrived in 1964 followed by the rest of the English invasion. The culture changed in the blinking of an eye. All of a sudden there were drugs, free love, "flower power," and anti-war marches and student demonstrations. And, much of the music on the radio turned "psychedelic" and the lyrics referred to previously forbidden topics.
The final year of this revolutionary decade, 1969, featured the top selling hits Aquarius by Fifth Dimension, Honky Tonk Woman by The Rolling Stones, and Get Back by The Beatles. Yes, things had certainly changed.
KTKT started the decade as Tucson's number one radio station, and ended it in the same position, at many times having more audience than all other stations combined. By 1969 there were 12 AM stations in town. The station continued its fast, friendly top forty format and played whatever was popular.
In 1967, Frank Kalil, the man who created the Color Radio format for KTKT left the station when he bought KAIR radio. His legacy was so strong that the station continued on as a winner despite his absence in the years to follow.
And, that same year, after ten years in the Lower Level at the Arizona Land Title Building at Stone and Alameda, downtown, the station moved to new, modern facilities near the transmitter and towers on Grant Rd.
KTKT Disc Jockey Ray Lindstrom recalls how the station handled the JFK assassination.
Lee Abrahams and his 68 Camaro from Miracle Car Wash that was sponsored by KTKT at Tucson Dragway
Here's a record the Tucson Broadcasters Assn. sold as a 7" 45 record in stores throughout the area in 1962. Title: Tucson, My Wonderful Town
It was not a boffo-socko success...give a listen.