On July 7, 1946 the radio waves of the Quad Cities changed forever when KSTT went on the air for the first time with a one hour introductory program. No one knew this dawn to dusk operation would soon become one of the most popular radio stations in the area.
Originally produced from the sixth floor of the Hotel Davenport (right across from the Davenport Main Street Library) the original programs included on-the-hour news, music segments from big band leaders like Jimmy Dorsey and Perry Como, and a daily farm report. Local newspapers carried a daily program schedule, like today’s television show schedule, so listeners would not miss their favorite segments.
By the mid-1950s, KSTT 1170 AM had made the switch from Big Band to Top 40. From the 1950s into the 1970s, dance parties and music contests attracted large numbers of young adults to both events and radio programs. One dance party was the “Concert of Stars” on January 29, 1959 with performers such as Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson playing for the crowds at the Capital Theatre in Davenport. Only days later on February 3, 1959 Holly, Valens, Richardson and their pilot were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
In 1963, KSTT moved to its new building on 1111 E. River Drive in Davenport. Located right on a major thoroughfare, the studio had a large glass window were passing cars and pedestrians could see the DJ’s playing their favorite records. One former KSTT DJ known as “Spike at the Mike” would eventually leave the station and finish his career as “Spike” O’Dell on WGN-AM.
By the mid-1980’s, competition from other Top 40 and rock stations led management to begin to make changes in programming style. After a brief try as an Oldies station, KSTT moved to a sports theme by the early 1990s. On March 1, 1993 KSTT 1170 AM, the station that introduced thousands of Quad Citians to popular Top 40 music ended its run on the radio dial. The KSTT call letters were retired and replaced with KJOC. Today KJOC 1170 AM is a news/talk format.
For many years KSTT had a slogan “Someplace Special.” For many people, KSTT will always have a special place in their memories.
(Posted by Amy D.)