Hal Lifson Salutes Beverly Hills’ Own AM Radio Station
Did you know Beverly Hills has its own radio station?
It’s a really cool throwback mix which features Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and legendary crooners. I am referring of course, to the newly launched, “Unforgettable 1260AM” which just switched formats from classical music to The Great American Songbook.
This is old timey radio at its best and love the B.H. reference on station ID’s. Station owner Saul Levine, who has been an advertiser in the Courier, is going back to the “standards” format for the first time since 2011. Years ago, 1260AM was known as KGIL a San Fernando Valley-based radio station playing big bands and talk shows.
It lasted until 1993, when Levine bought the station and began a news format. During the last 23 years, the station has been everything from ’60s oldies, all Beatles, country, and Broadway show tunes. It’s so great to hear songs of my parents’ vinyl album era (and my youth) on AM radio reminding me of summer nights driving in my dad’s 1968 powder blue Chevy Caprice, with black vinyl roof and radio speaker on front dash and above back seat.
KGIL was where I first heard Come Fly With Me, a Sinatra anthem, the harpsichord melody of Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat and Fool On The Hill done by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. These are all present on the 1260 playlist which has an added bonus–no commercials!
I tune in 1260AM at bedtime as a soothing lullabye and antidote to the Trump/Clinton furor. For some reason, hearing the music on the AM dial makes it that much more authentic. I remember hearing those legendary deejays like Gary Owens, Wink Martindale, and Bill Ballance on stations like KMPC, KFI and KGIL when I wasn’t listening to my own ’60s AM radio fave KHJ93 which all ’60s kids tuned in on their pocket transistors.
Now where’s my Groom N’ Clean?