Tuesday, May 30, 2017

R.I.P.: Former KCBS Music Host Ken Ackerman

Ken Ackerman
Ken Ackerman, whose classic, stentorian radio announcer’s voice graced Bay Area airwaves for more than five decades, has died.

He was 95 and died early Sunday of natural causes, according to SFgate.com.

Ackerman is best remembered as the soothing announcer on the overnight music program, “Music ’Til Dawn,” on KCBS. He joined the station in 1942, at age 20, when it was still KQW. He retired in 1982 but continued to work on KCBS on a part-time basis until 1995.

Stan Bunger, co-anchor of KCBS’ morning news, noted, “When I joined KCBS in 1982, Ken Ackerman had already been there for 40 years! He was truly a link to a completely different era of radio.”

Ackerman, who was born in 1922 and raised in Sacramento, got into radio announcing a student program that aired on KROY. Graduating in 1940, he landed a part-time announcing job on KFBK there after a brief audition. He decided to give San Francisco a shot in 1942 and, after a brief audition for KQW, “they hired me on the spot.” He seemed to have been born with a radio voice.

KQW became KCBS in 1949, and in 1953, the CBS network began “Music ’Til Dawn,” offering “beautiful music” and light classics, and featuring a local announcer for each of its owned and operated stations.

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