In 1947, an AM radio station signed on to the frequency of 1240, broadcasting popular music and transmitting from a tower in National City where Interstate 5 and 15 now merge.
In 1962, along with his brother Mike, local businessman and U.S. Navy veteran Dan McKinnon purchased KSON AM Radio. In 1963, KSON AM began broadcasting Country and Western Music from studios situated on the mezzanine level of the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.
In 1964, McKinnon put an FM station on the air at 97.3 with the call letters KSEA, broadcasting, as the station slogan put it, "Tunes, News, Time." At first, the station was automated, with equipment located inside a picture window in the lowel level of College Grove Center, at College Avenue and Highway 94. Throughout the remainder of the 1960's and early 1970's, KSON-AM 1240 was the premiere Country Music station serving San Diego County, and broadcast live from local concerts, sports events, rodeos and store grand openings.
Listeners to the station in these early days may remember names such as Mike Larsen, Boots Rabell, Jerry Peterson, Chuck Owen, Chuck Cooper and Jimmy Mack.
In the early 1970's, KSON AM moved its studios into the picture window at College Grove and KSEA-FM went live from studios downstairs adjacent to the Post Office at College Grove.
After simulcasting KSON AM for a time, plus stints with a Rock music format and Gospel, KSEA changed its call letters and switched to its own Country Music format in the mid-1970's, first calling itself "Sun 97 FM," then simply "KSON-FM." Ed Chandler, Rod Hunter, newsman Richard Mock, Jim Knight, Ron West, and a host of other names played Country Music on both KSON AM & FM throughout the 1970's, including Nick Upton who started full-time with KSON-FM in 1978. 2013 marks Nick's 35th year with KSON.