A gun radio show? In Southern California? And Los Angeles, nothing less?
Yes, it’s “The Gunslinger Hour” and was heard on KABC (790 AM) Saturdays at 8 p.m. Effective immediately, the show goes to KRLA (870 AM) Sundays at 8 p.m. Currently, the program, which debuted in 2019, is airing separate editions for both stations, but KABC’s final show will air on July 30. After that, she will be heard exclusively on KRLA.
The program is hosted by Jeff Taverner, owner of Gunslingers Gun Shop and Gunslinger Auctions in Glendora; co-host Mark Romano is a university professor of political science. Both are expert shooters; in fact, both are Cowboy Action shooting champions.
The shop opened nearly 25 years ago to allow Taverner to make money by selling some of his personal collection. He is very proud to have made a sale on his first day of operation, June 1, 1998. “Unfortunately, the sale was declined” based on background checks, he says. “But it was a sale!”
The program evolved from its own advertising. He created a commercial to air on KEIB (1150 AM) which he deliberately made a bit quirky and different to stand out, voiced by himself. It worked, both as a commercial and as a side career as a talk show host: the ad was heard by someone from KABC, who suggested he start his own show.
For the first month, they had him pre-record the program, but he wanted to go live and convinced KABC to let him. Since that time he has been able to take phone calls with listeners while presenting information and interviews to help people learn about things such as gun history, safety, collecting, purchase and paperwork.
“I try to make the show as lively and fun as possible,” says Taverner. “I hope to reach people on the fence and help them realize that they don’t need to be scared, that it’s really fun to go shooting at shooting ranges and competitions.”
No politics allowed, though. “This is in no way a political show,” he insists. “That would take away the fun.”
Tavern is more than guns. As well as being what Brian Tominaga – one of his listeners who told me about the show – described as “a walking encyclopedia of gun history”, he is also a car collector. , a guitar collector and touring musician. with his band around the world, later booking numbers for some of Hollywood’s clubs.
It’s only an hour, but it’s a fun little show. I was told the reason for changing stations was the new time slot. Earlier recordings of it can be found on the KRLA and KABC websites (870theanswer.com and abc.com, respectively), as well as gunslingerradio.com.
High fidelity broadcast
Ask almost anyone under 50 if AM radio sounds good—if they even know what AM is—and the likely answer will be “no.” Indeed, even one of the inventors of AM radio – Amplitude Modulation – Edwin Howard Armstrong hated the AM sound so much that he went out and invented an entirely new method of broadcasting: frequency modulation, or FM.
But what most people don’t understand is that it wasn’t fidelity per se that drove Armstrong back to the lab. It was interference. Lightning, for example, cracks AM broadcasts. The problem of fidelity is entirely different, though closely related: in an effort to reduce interference from the atmosphere, man-made sources and adjacent stations, radio manufacturers decided long ago to limit the fidelity of the most AM receivers by reducing the audio bandwidth, or the range of sounds heard, to little better than the sound from a telephone.
It has not always been so. In 1959, WLW/New York installed a new transmitter and built new studios, the combination of which allowed them to broadcast from as low as 17 Hz to as high as 21,500 Hz – better than typical adult human hearing. For comparison, analog stereo FM broadcasts from 20 to 15,000 Hz.
Station management began calling WLW “the most loyal station in the country” when the station launched its new facility in January 1959. RJ Rockwell, vice president of WLW engineering at the time, told Broadcasting Magazine: “There seems to be a prevailing misconception that AM stations are limited in their allowable bandwidth…(we have proven that) high fidelity transmission can be achieved in the AM band.
Unfortunately, Rockwell and his associates couldn’t do anything about the interference, which is the kryptonite of the AM group. Modern technology can solve some problems, but crackling and static will always be a problem. So what is the future of AM? Opinions vary and I have my own ideas. Stay tuned …