Bill Drake

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Bill Drake (born Philip T. Yarborough) was the most successful radio programmer of the late '60s and '70s. A disc jockey who had done shows in Atlanta, San Francisco, and Stockton, California, by 1961,…
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Bill Drake (born Philip T. Yarborough) was the most successful radio programmer of the late '60s and '70s. A disc jockey who had done shows in Atlanta, San Francisco, and Stockton, California, by 1961, he and his company, Drake-Chenault, went on to consult and produce shows for more than 300 radio stations in the United States. Their syndicated weekly shows included the Robert W. Morgan-hosted Top 100 of the Sixties and The Golden Years and The Golden Years of Country: 1956-1970, written and hosted by Bob Kingsley. Their special programming included a massive 35-hour radio documentary, The History of Rock & Roll, hosted by Drake in 1969, and an updated, 52-hour, version in the mid-'70s.

Launching his disc jockey career at Atlanta radio station WAKE in 1961, Drake continued to spin discs after moving to California soon afterwards; he was hired as a program consultant by Lester Chenault of RKO General's Los Angeles station, KHJ. Devising a format, in which they increased the number of records played each hour and cut down on announcers' chatter, he helped KHJ to become the dominant station in southern California. When he duplicated his success at KGB in San Diego, Drake-Chenault's future was cemented.

Originally based on the top floor of 8399 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA, Drake-Chenault was sold in 1986 to Wagontrain Enterprises, and relocated to Albuquerque, NM the following summer.