David Ferrell Jackson began collecting Bay Area radio memorabilia while growing up in Fremont, Calif., and wrote his first article about radio about when he was a sixth-grader at Blacow Elementary School in 1970.

His subject: KYA morning disc jockey Bwana Johnny, who visited the school to promote “Banana Day.”

In 1979, his lifelong interest in local radio led him to begin publishing an occasional newsletter about Bay Area stations that included schedules, news and gossip.

Within a few years, the newsletter evolved into a quarterly magazine called the Bay Area Radio Digest, which at the height of its popularity had a circulation of 10,000 copies, including distribution through major record stores.

During its run, dozens of radio personalities — running the gamut from Bill King and Frank Dill to Jim Eason and Gene Nelson — were profiled in the pages of “The BARD.”

In 1995, the magazine ventured onto the Internet for the first time as “The Wireless Webpage.”

Eventually, through the efforts of his cousin and business partner, Jason Jackson, RadioDigest.com (with the tagline “Radio You Can Read!™”) expanded to include major radio markets across the country and became the most-visited radio news website in existence.

In 1999, David Jackson left the company and moved to New York. (RadioDigest.com ceased publication in December 2000).

Upon his return from New York to the Bay Area in 2002, David was confronted by a dozen cartons of radio memorabilia, including broadcast recordings, photographs, schedules and press releases.

His wife thought it would be best to have the cartons hauled off to the garbage dump.

David thought that it would be best to utilize the memorabilia as the basis for a museum dedicated to Bay Area radio.

(At this time, Mrs. Jackson only knows that the boxes are no longer cluttering up the garage...)

In the brief time that the Bay Area Radio Museum has been up and running, it has grown to include more than 500 online exhibits, with rare and noteworthy broadcasts from Don Sherwood, “Doc” Herrold, Tom Donahue, Dr. Don Rose, Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons, plus historic documents, photographs and articles tracing the growth and development of radio by the Bay.


Ed note: Jackson also has anchored the news in Deming, New Mexico television under the air name "Jack Davidson," and jocked as "The Real Deal Bobby Steele" last August and September (2008) on Manteca's KXOK630.com.