Keely Smith at KLAC

During the spring of 1962, I was hired as a temporary engineer at radio station KLAC-AM and FM, which then had studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood about two blocks west of Vine Street. This structure was ultimately razed to make way for the RCA Records Building. 

KLAC occupied the three-story structure at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Stanley. The six-story building to the left of KLAC-AM on-air, news, and recording facilities were moved to the third floor rear while KLAC-FM, no longer simulating the AM programs and rechristened with the call letters KMET, was installed in the third floor front. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony pictured was held at the front entrance at 5828 Wilshire. This would have been circa the fall of 1962. General manager Robert Forwards is at the left, owner Mort Hall is on the right. Singer Keely Smith is cutting the ribbon. The three men on either side of her are unknown. One or more may have been Los Angeles politicians. 

My temporary job was to fill in for veteran staffers who were assigned to transform the former Arthur Murray dance studio at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Stanley Avenue across from the La Brea Tar Pits into new offices and studios for KLAC. The color picture was taken during the renovation process.

Following completion of this project my temporary status became permanent, and I remained with the station until 1969. Mort Hall, who I believe was married to actress Ruth Roman, sold the radio station to John Kluge's Intermedia circa 1965.

Fondly remembered are lunches at the Van de Kamp's restaurant several blocks east on Wilshire, shopping at the May Company at Wilshire and La Cienega, and having dinner on Restaurant Row at such places as Ollie Hammond's.