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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Signal Hill in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Broadcasting and Music on the Hill

Part of the “Memory Necklace”

 

—A Series of Historical Panels Located in the Hilltop Loop Trail —

 
Broadcasting and Music on the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
1. Broadcasting and Music on the Hill Marker
Inscription. The Hilltop Star Room, also known as the Hilltop Cafe, was once an entertainment icon on “The Hill.” The building, located just in front of this panel, was the old carriage house from the Denni Mansion property, hauled across the street by the Richfield Oil Company (ca. 1921). The structure was modified and expanded to suit its new use, surviving the oil boom and intervening years. The Hilltop Star Room was considered a swank restaurant, featuring live music, a dance floor and the great view across Long Beach to San Pedro. Eventually the club went out of business and the building was demolished.

The Hilltop Cafe site, now a pocket park called “Sunset View Park,” is part of a system of parks and walkways found on the hill. The vista point below features the “Suncatcher” art piece, comprising four black columns and a glass mosaic set in concrete pacing that depicts a portion of the solar system. The three outside columns catch the sun to mark the solar equinox and solstice, producing a shadow that strikes the central obelisk.

Signal Hill was once home to “The Jazz Knob”, FM 97.9, the first all jazz radio station in the world. Broadcasting from a small two-room outpost at the top of “The Hill” began in 1956 and continued until 1968. Station founder, Al “Sleepy”
Broadcasting and Music on the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 19, 2016
2. Broadcasting and Music on the Hill Marker
Stein, a Ph.D. in linguistics, pioneered live radio performances from local jazz clubs “The Lighthouse” and “The Strollers Club.” Upgraded from its original 100 to 79,000 watts, “The Knob” could be heard from San Diego to San Francisco. DJ hosts included famed jazz personalities Johnny Otis, Pat Henry, Howard Lucraft, and Chuck Niles. “The Hill” is still identified with the jazz scene. The transmitter for KKJZ, one of the nation’s premier jazz stations, broadcasting from Cal State Long Beach, is located here on “The Hill” near where KNOB once broadcast. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Location. 33° 47.926′ N, 118° 9.817′ W. Marker is in Signal Hill, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is on Hill Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. This marker is located in Sunset View Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 Hill Street, Signal Hill CA 90755, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “Tribute to the Roughnecks” (within shouting distance of this marker); Hilltop Park (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oil Fires on the Hill (about 700 feet away); Japanese Farming on the Hill
"Sun Catcher" and KKJZ Transmitter image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 19, 2016
3. "Sun Catcher" and KKJZ Transmitter
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Early Aviation on the Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Car Climbs on the Hill (approx. ¼ mile away); "Unity Monument" (approx. 0.3 miles away); Discovery of Oil on the Hill (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Signal Hill.
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicIndustry & Commerce
 
Sunset View Park image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
4. Sunset View Park
Sunset View Park image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
5. Sunset View Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 15, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 15, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   2. submitted on December 19, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   3, 4, 5. submitted on December 15, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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