KAAY-AM 1090 Little Rock Arkansas Russell Jones 1982

I discovered KAAY at an early age.  When I was 6 years old (1970), I learned that I could hear radio stations from other cities and states after dark.  Stations that wouldn’t come in during the daytime hours.  KAAY is the first one I remember hearing and identifying.  I asked my mother where Little Rock was and she showed it to me on a Rand McNally road atlas.  I was amazed that I could pick up a station from so far away!  Taking a look at KAAY’s nighttime signal pattern, it’s easy to understand why: their “figure 8” is oriented NNE and SSW.  The main northern lobe points directly at Minnesota.  They actually made it into CANADA back in the day!  I spent many hours listening to Clyde Clifford’s Beaker Street when I was supposed to be sleeping.  On winter mornings, I could wake up with Sonny Martin and George G. Jennings until the sun came up at around 7:30.

This brief aircheck was recorded during the last days of KAAY as a contemporary music station.  FM had pretty much taken over by that time, and KAAY was soon to  become a religious station.  All I have is this one break which was recorded as part of a routine dial scan.  Beaker Street was long gone, but the rock crusher signal was still there.  Notice it’s strength and loudness.

Reception was made from my location in Apple Valley, MN, using a Pioneer SX-3900 receiver and horizontal longwire antenna.  For recording purposes, a Technics stereo cassette deck and Scotch Dynarange tape was used.


5 thoughts on “KAAY-AM 1090 Little Rock Arkansas Russell Jones 1982

  1. Bud Stacey

    Good on ya, Drew! Looking for more audio, where can I access it on your website?

    Please visit our blog and have fun!


  2. Drew

    Hi Bud,

    Great blog! I’ve found a few KAAY sites out there with information, audio, etc,

    As I wrote on my page, I grew up in Minnesota, but discovered KAAY at an early age. From shortly after the sun went down unitl just before it came up, they were as strong as any of our local Twin Cities stations. I’d fall asleep with Clyde and wake up with Sonny & George. Unfortunately, I don’t have any tape. I hadn’t yet become an aircheck geek. All I have is this short clip from 1982. But as you can hear, the signal is still as strong as it ever into Minnesota!

    Speaking of which, why has KAAY’s signal deteoriated so much in recent years? My parents live in Conway, AR. During the day, the signal is okay, but nothing like I’d expect from 50,000 watts only 40-some miles away. At night, there’s a noise floor underneath and it’s only moderate strength. The “figure 8” nighttime directional pattern points right at Conway, so I’d expect it to be much stronger. Bad transmitter? Rotted ground stystem? Combination of these two?

    To access all the airchecks, just mouse over “Radio Geek Heaven! – Airchecks” on the top menu. When you do, a drop down list of all the airchecks will appear. Currently 180 airchecks and growing. Have fun!


  3. Bill miller

    I was a jock at wape jacksonville fl. The names were Bill Miller and Rob Robbins. I listened to
    Rob Robbins at Kaay in about 1960.

  4. Dedicated server

    During the station’s heyday, KAAY featured a full-service Top-40 format, and was the dominant station for most of the state of Arkansas. North Central, and mid-south regions of the United States, leading to its sobriquet “The Mighty Ten Ninety.

  5. Drew Post author

    The KAAY nighttime signal was amazing. When I was 12 years old (1976), our family vacationed on a cruise ship sailing Canada’s Lake Winnipeg. Approximately 250 miles north of the city of Winnipeg, I scanned the AM dial with my Wards Airline 6 band portable radio. When I reached 1090, KAAY was there, loud and clear!

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