Norman Ellis-Flint is one of the original voices we heard on KWFM way back at the launch in 1970. He has had a brilliant career in radio, and his talents are not limited to his outstanding voice.
Our story starts in Hawaii, where Norman was working at Honolulu's KKUA as PD. It was in Hawaii that Norman met long-time friend Lou Waters, who brought Norman with him to the legendary KMPX-FM in San Francisco. That Summer of Love, Lou and Norman developed the format that made KMPX famous a format that would influence many FM stations acroos the country. The KMPX success brought Lou and Norman to the attention of CBS, who asked them to work the same magic for WCBS-FM in the Big Apple. Along with former KKUA staffer Gus Gossert, they developed CBS's first FM rock station. From WCBS, Norman joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Kharma Productions as their Director of Creative and Media Relations.
In late 1969, when Bill Thayer called Lou to help him start KWFM, Lou tapped Norman to be the station's first General Manager.
Norman was very much a part of the color, the attitude of KWFM. Bill Thayer still laughs about hearing Norman announcing "The retail price of dope is out of control! Somebody DO something about it!" As Bill puts it, it was all a part of the facade of "Underground Radio", but it was certainly refreshing compared to the canned, clean, market-driven nonsense of voice-tracked radio today.
After KWFM, Norman spent a few more years in Tucson working with KHYT, KTKT and KIKX before moving to Phoenix to help with the launch of KDKB, another pioneer Arizona rock station. In 1974, he took Seattle's KKOK midday ratings to the top. A year later, Norman was visiting San Diego to attend Lou's wedding when he decided it was time for another move. Norman's work for KGB, KyXy and Classic 103 have changed the radio landscape in San Diego.
Today, Norman runs his successful Voice Over Acting. You can visit the website at normanellisflint.com. Even if you were too young to have heard Norman on KW back in 1970, his website is definitely worth a visit, just to see who some of his clients are. Chances are good you'll recognize Norman's work and his voice, particularly if you're a Beatles fan.
Norman tells us he has a garage full of goodies, including the original print ad for KWFM's launch. He's a bit too busy just now to spend time rummaging thought the garage, but says he hopes to soon dig them out to share with all of us.
"I'm very proud of having been associated with KWFM's launch in 1970. Thanks again for bringing the history of one of my best radio experiences, KWFM, back to life."
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