In late August 1969, our site advisor Bill Earl was about to start his regular freshman year at Pasadena City College.
(He actually started the "year" earlier in June 1969 with one Telecommunications course.)
He tells us that he visited the KRLA studios in Pasadena, picked up THIS exact survey folder (displayed above), and then visited the campus of PCC to get his books etc for the upcoming term beginning in September, and information on the classes he would be taking.
One of the courses Bill would be in was "Telcom 11" taught by Dr. John Gregory.
This course was a 3 unit transferable credit "history of radio" course that required a term paper to be written dealing with radio history.
Bill, not a fan of term papers, dreaded that requirement, and had no idea WHAT to write on.
But one day that fall, a light bulb went off over his head and he got a brainstorm...why not write the term paper on the history of his favorite radio station KRLA right there in Pasadena?
After approval by Dr. Gregory, the paper was written between September 1969 and December 1969, and submitted at the end of the semester in January of 1970.
In those days before word processors, Bill hired a typist to type it and to make two carbon copies.
The original would go to Dr. Gregory to be kept in his college office.
The second carbon would go to Bill for his files, and the first carbon was given to then-KRLA Program Director Johnnie Darin.
When Bill turned in the term paper called KRLA, A FOUR LETTER WORD (after lyrics to a KRLA Doug Cox-era jingle from early in 1969) in January 1970, it was given an "A+" by Dr. Gregory.
Bill lost his copy of the term paper during his moving from Arcadia to Long Beach when he changed colleges in 1973.
In the late 1970s, Bill had tried to get a copy of his original typed paper from Dr. Gregory, but the office in which Dr. Gregory had (behind the DJ booth) at PCC, had been taken over by another professor, and the term paper could not be found.
The first carbon given to Johnnie Darin was left in the offices of KRLA when Johnnie Darin had left the station in 1971, and by the time Bill had asked KRLA if they still had the copy, they remembered it, but it had been long pilfered away, after being passed around over and over.
In 1989, Bill Earl wrote DREAM-HOUSE, the history of KRLA up to the spring of 1989 as a picture-filled trade paperback which hit the streets June 1, 1989 in time for KRLA's Anniversary that summer to be given away on KRLA as a promotion.
Bill was unsatisfied with the rushed out, rough cut nature of that first edition (mistakenly, the rough draft got used as the published text) and so in 1991 did it RIGHT, by revising the 1989 book page-by-page, and even expanding it to 1991, hitting the streets with a fresh RED cover in December 1991.
During the writing of DREAM-HOUSE, Bill did NOT have the original term paper to use as a reference...he started over from scratch.
One day in 1992, a former radio engineer of KRLA contacted Bill telling him that HE had come across the first carbon of Bill's original term paper.
Apparently, it had been passed around from Johnnie Darin's office at the KRLA studios in Pasadena, to the then-transmitter site of KRLA in South El Monte, finally ending up with this former KRLA engineer.
Bill immediately asked him for a PHOTOCOPY of it, which was mailed to Bill promptly.
When Bill got the term paper back and read it, over twenty years from when it was written, Bill immediately noticed a few errors here and there (time schedules etc.) that had slipped by him in 1969 when it was typed.
However, other PARTS of this "footnoted" term paper never made it into DREAM-HOUSE as those parts were pulled from library sources to be used as required footnotes etc, dry and dull to regular readers, but the kind of stuff college professors like to see. Also, original quotes from those who were there appear in the term paper.
Bill's A+ term paper has never been published publically before.
Most radiophiles had HEARD of it, but never saw it.
It became kind of "legendary" as the "80-page KRLA thesis" that radio scholars had long heard about.
We asked Bill if we could publish that 1969 term paper HERE.
He said as long as the readers keep in mind that any factual errors (there are a few) or omissions were INDEED CORRECTED for DREAM-HOUSE, and to keep in mind that this was a college term paper written by a growing-up teenager... an18 year old (turning 19 during the writing) ... and that the 1991 DREAM-HOUSE (the trade paperback with the RED cover) stands as Bill's FINAL written history of KRLA work.
(Some sections of DREAM-HOUSE are reprinted elsewhere in this blogsite.)
With that, we will be reprinting the entire 80 page thesis here on this blogsite page by page until it is all here.
With the internet, and all the PC printers out there, this 1969 term paper will never again be lost.
The exact photocopied typed pages will be reprinted NEXT here on this blogsite....40 years after it was written...until the entire term paper...and footnotes...are all displayed in full.
You'll see it just the way it was written by a teenager, and typed by a hired typist using carbon paper on an IBM Selectric in 1969.
Because that's the way it was originally created.
And you can't change history.