John Gilliland

Last updated
John Gilliland
"John Gilliland at KSFO, c. 1971" Courtesy of The John Gilliland Collection.
John Sanford Gilliland, Jr.

(1935-10-18)October 18, 1935
DiedJuly 27, 1998(1998-07-27) (aged 62)
Show The Pop Chronicles
Station(s) KRLA 1110
Show The Credibility Gap
Station(s) KSFO
Website John Gilliland's Pop Chronicles

John Sanford Gilliland, Jr. (October 18, 1935 July 27, 1998) was an American radio broadcaster and documentarian best known for the Pop Chronicles music documentaries and as one of the original members of The Credibility Gap. He was born and died in his hometown of Quanah, Texas. He worked for a number of radio stations in Texas and California including KOGO in San Diego (1961–1965), KRLA 1110 in Los Angeles (1965–1970), and KSFO (AM) in San Francisco (1971–1978).



Texas radio

His radio career began in 1952 with KOLJ in his native Quanah, Texas. [1] While attending Texas Christian University, he worked as a disc jockey at KCUL in Fort Worth. His shows were The House of Wax and The Man on the Beat. From 1959-1961 he worked for KLIF in Dallas. [2] He also worked at KILT in Houston. [3]

California radio

At the news department of KOGO in San Diego, Gilliland used the pseudonyms of John Land and Johnny Land. [2]

In 1965, Gilliland came to the news department of KRLA radio in Los Angeles County, [4] where he became one of the original members of The Credibility Gap which mixed topical humor along with their news broadcasts. [5] Fellow founding member Richard Beebe said of him that

Even though John was an integral part of the "Gap," working on the Pop Chronicles was always number one for him. It seemed like he was always working on it. John was a very talented guy and a lot of fun. [6]

Gilliland researched this radio documentary, The Pop Chronicles, for over two years prior to its broadcast. [4] It covered popular music of the 1950s and 1960s, was originally broadcast on KRLA 1110, later broadcast on many other stations, [7] [8] and now can be heard online. [9]

Starting in 1971, at KSFO in San Francisco, he hosted weeknights 7pm-midnight. [10] His shows included rebroadcasts of his Pop Chronicles, an old-time radio hour, Mystery Theater , The Comedy Hour, and The Great LPs . While working there he also produced and broadcast, beginning in 1972, [7] The Pop Chronicles 40s, about the popular music of the 1940s. [11] He was succeeded in his on-air time slot at KSFO by Jerry Gordon. [12]


Gilland left KSFO in 1978 and returned to his native Texas. [2] He edited and in 1994 published Pop Chronicles: the 40s as a four-cassette audiobook, [13] [14] which was rereleased later as The Big Band Chronicles. [15] [16] During his retirement he did some work for KREB in Houston and KXIC in Quanah. He died in 1998. In 2003, Gilliland's sister donated the Pop Chronicles tapes to the University of North Texas Music Library where they form The John Gilliland Collection. [3] [17]


Related Research Articles

American pop

American pop is pop music in the United States. American folk singer Pete Seeger defined pop music as "professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music".

The Credibility Gap satirical comedy team

The Credibility Gap was a satirical comedy team active from 1968 through 1979. They emerged in the late 1960s delivering comedic commentary on the news for the Los Angeles AM rock radio station KRLA 1110, and proceeded to develop more elaborate and ambitious satirical routines on the "underground" station KPPC-FM in Pasadena, California.

KRDC (AM) family-targeted country music radio station in Pasadena, California, United States

KRDC is a family-targeted country-formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Pasadena, California, serving the Greater Los Angeles Area. The station is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. The KRDC broadcast license is held by ABC Radio Los Angeles Assets, LLC.

Richard Beebe American radio personality & founding member of The Credibility Gap

Richard Paul Beebe was an American radio personality who was on the air for five decades in Los Angeles and won two Golden Mic Awards. A journalist at KRLA 1110, he became a founding member of The Credibility Gap. His experience and wit were key to most versions of the group. He was an original beatnik still working and being creative in the late 1960s when he discovered Harry Shearer, David L. Lander, and Michael McKean, all much younger than he. He left the Gap in 1975. Some of their early work can be heard at The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles and New York City.

KSFO radio station

KSFO is a commercial AM radio station in San Francisco, California. It is owned by Cumulus Media and it airs a talk radio format. The station's studios and offices are in the city's SoMa district. The transmitter is located off Amidor Street at the end of Islais Creek where it meets the San Francisco Bay. KSFO operates with 5,000 watts around the clock. However, at night, to avoid interference with other stations on AM 560, it uses a directional antenna.

<i>Pop Chronicles</i> two radio documentary series on 1940s-1960s popular music

The Pop Chronicles are two radio documentary series which together "may constitute the most complete audio history of 1940s–60s popular music." Both were produced by John Gilliland.

"Only Forever" is a song popularized in 1940 by Bing Crosby. It reached number one on the Billboard charts on October 19, 1940 and spent nine weeks in that position during a 20-week stay in the charts. "Only Forever" was written by James V. Monaco and Johnny Burke for the 1940 film Rhythm on the River and the song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

"Sunday, Monday or Always" is a 1943 popular song with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke.

"All or Nothing at All" is a song composed in 1939 by Arthur Altman, with lyrics by Jack Lawrence.

Lew Irwin has been a Los Angeles-based journalist for more than 50 years. He was the original anchor/reporter at KABC-TV from 1957–1962 and the news director of Los Angeles radio stations KPOL, KRLA, KDAY, and KNX-FM. While at KRLA in the late 1960s, he created The Credibility Gap, a 15-minute news program, broadcast every three hours, that integrated topical satire and music with the news. He also has interviewed Presidents Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan, as well as such show business personalities as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, Peter Sellers, Jack Nicholson, Dick Clark and Elvis Presley. He is the author of Sinatra, a Life Remembered, a coffee table book about Frank Sinatra and since 1992 has been the publisher/editor of the daily entertainment industry digest Studio Briefing.

"Oh! Look at Me Now" is a 1941 song composed by Joe Bushkin, with lyrics by John DeVries. It is strongly associated with Frank Sinatra, who first recorded it with Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra, in an arrangement by Sy Oliver. Sinatra re-recorded the song for his 1957 A Swingin' Affair!, this time arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle.

Sie Holliday Los Angeles radio personality, one of the narrators of the Pop Chronicles.

Sie Holliday was the radio name of Shirley Schneider. She was a Los Angeles radio personality at KRLA 1962–76 and KMPC 1976–78. She had been reading promos for KRLA 1110, when in 1962 they put her on the air from 6-10 p.m. Sundays, making her the first female disk jockey in Los Angeles.

"Shoo Shoo Baby" is a popular song made famous by The Andrews Sisters. They sang it in the 1943 film Three Cheers for the Boys and it became a big hit for them in 1944, reaching No. 6 in the chart. Their version features a jazzy vocal pop arrangement typical of the time, with a key hook provided by the horns. It was written by Phil Moore and has appeared on many albums of 1940s music.

"G.I. Jive" is a 1944 song written and originally performed by Johnny Mercer. The single was a hit twice in 1944 by two different performers: Johnny Mercer hit number one on the Harlem Hit Parade for one week and peaked at number thirteen on the pop charts. Three months later, Louis Jordan, also made it to number one on both the Harlem Hit Parade and the pop chart with "G.I. Jive". The B-side to Jordan's version, "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby", was also a successful release.

"The Last Time I Saw Paris" is a song composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, published in 1940. It was sung in the 1941 film Lady Be Good by Ann Sothern.

Thom Beck American radio personality, founding member of the Credibility Gap, announcer on the Pop Chronicles

Thom Beck was a founding member of The Credibility Gap while at KRLA 1110 radio, where he also narrated part of the Pop Chronicles. He was kept on as a journalist at KRLA 1110 when Lew Irwin was brought in create the new news program that became the Credibility Gap. He worked as a disc jockey at KIIS, 1970-1972 in between stints at KRLA, which he left in 1976. He is deceased.

Yes, Indeed! is an album by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, released in 1990 by Bluebird RCA. This album contains recordings of Tommy Dorsey from 1939 to 1945.

"Personality" is a popular song with lyrics by Johnny Burke and music by Jimmy Van Heusen. It was written for the 1946 film Road to Utopia, and Dorothy Lamour performed it in the movie. The lyrics are humorous, employing the word "personality" as an obvious euphemism for a woman's voluptuous figure.

The ASCAP boycott was a boycott of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) by radio broadcasters, due to license fees. From another perspective, it was a boycott of radio broadcasters by ASCAP, "concerned about the unlicensed radio broadcast of its members' material ..."

Jukebox Saturday Night is a song written by Al Stillman and Paul McGrane, recorded by Glenn Miller in 1942 and later covered by Nino and the Ebb Tides whose version charted at #57, September 4, 1961 on Billboard's Top 100.



  1. "Music plays on for longtime broadcaster". 1988-07-14. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  2. 1 2 3 "Biography — University of North Texas Libraries". Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  3. 1 2 "ARSC Conference 2008 - Session Abstracts" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  4. 1 2 Hopkins, Jerry (October 4, 1969). "'Pop Chronicles' Chronicle Pop". Rolling Stone (43). p. 34.
  6. "~Los Angeles Radio People, Archives". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  7. 1 2 MacKenzie, Bob (1972-10-29). "Radio Returns to the '40s" (PDF). Oakland Tribune. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-09.
  8. "Pop chronicles. 36 (RU 11-1 [Sept. 1970]) []". []<!. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  9. Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 1" (audio). Pop Chronicles . University of North Texas Libraries.
  10. "2008 ARSC Conference Recordings (Association for Recorded Sound Collections)". Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  11. "John Gilliland - Pop Chronicles: The Forties". Bay Area Radio Museum. November 5, 1972. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
  12. "Where was 'Radio Waves'?". Archived from the original on 2016. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  13. 1 2 Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN   978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC   31611854.
  14. "Pop chronicles []". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  15. Ruhlmann, William. The Big Band Chronicles at AllMusic . Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  16. "The big band chronicles (Audiobook on tape, 1997)". []. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  17. "John Gilliland Collection, 1955-1991 | Music Library". Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  18. "Magic of JuJu: Political Porno". 2006-12-21. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2009-11-16.


Online sources
Print sources
  • Gilliland, John (1997). "On Chronicling Pop". In Barrett, Don (ed.). Los Angeles radio people: Volume 2, 1957-1997. Valencia, CA: Db Marketing. ISBN   978-0-9658907-0-0. OCLC   38994418. (The pages in this book are not numbered, but Gilliland's essay is located between the E and F entries.)
  • Vernon, Sondra Stewart. "Music plays on for longtime broadcaster: Semiretired disc jockey boasts collection that documents the history of popular records." The Dallas Morning News. July 14, 1988.
    "Music plays on for longtime broadcaster". 1988-07-14. Retrieved 2010-02-17.