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Al Anthony (born Almondo Antonio Vincenzo Fiori in Endicott, New York) is an American former Los Angeles radio personality and pioneer rock and roll DJ. Anthony was most well known as a disc jockey for KAFY 550 AM in Bakersfield, California during the 1950s and later at KFXM 590 AM(KDUO-FM) in San Bernardino, California during the 1960s, where he was also the station's Director of Operations. Later, he was Executive Vice President of the Tullis & Hearne California chain of broadcasting stations. In 1958 and 1959, Anthony was the top rated DJ in the United States.
Anthony served in the Korean War as an aircraft flight engineer in a B-29 heavy bomber in the United States Air Force. In 1949, he participated in the first ever non-stop, around-the-world flight, in a Boeing B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II. The flight took 96 hours and 4 minutes.
Early radio career
After his military service, Anthony graduated from college in Los Angeles, where he majored in television and radio broadcasting. He later attended Ogden's Radio Operational Engineering School and earned a First Class FCC Radiotelephone Operators License.
Anthony's first radio jobs were part-time work for KBLA 1490 am in Burbank, California, and KSPA 1400 am in Santa Paula, California. In 1956, Anthony was hired as a full-time personality at KSLR in Oceanside. He aided in setting up the first radio station ever, located between Los Angeles and Oceanside, providing local broadcast service between those two major cities. He also worked as Director of Operations of KDEO, San Diego, KFXM, San Bernardino, KDUO, Riverside and Director of Operations or sales manager for other stations: KWIZ, KQLH, KCAL, KEAP,and temp on air, KFWB, KRLA, Los Angeles.
Film and television
Al worked in 12 movies from 1950 to 1960. He hosted his own TV show, Al Anthony Dance Party, in the early sixties.
On October 25, 1968, Anthony was the Director of Operations at KFXM, Tiger Radio 590, when an AFTRA strike resulted in a walkout of the radio station's on-air staff, including Jim Conniff (son of big band leader Ray Conniff), Charlie Walters, Brad Edwards, Don McCoy (a.k.a. "The Magical Mystery Man"), Jonny Bruce, Sherman Mason, and Craig Denny—along with the announcing staff at sister station KDUO-FM. Anthony and other members of the station's management and sales staff immediately took over disc jockeying duties, adopting the mysterious personas of "The Jones Boys". Al Anthony went by the alias, Casey Jones, while the other fill-in DJs were similarly referred to as "John Paul Jones" (a.k.a. Dan Daly), "Davy Jones" (a.k.a. Danny Dare), "Lonesome Jones" (a.k.a. Gary Evans), "Tom Jones" (a.k.a. Dave McKay), "Unsinkable Jones" (a.k.a. Bob b. Blue), "Just Plain Jones" (a.k.a. Kim Terry) and "Anonymous Jones" (a.k.a. Al Barnett). There was also a "Pappy Jones", a KFXM/KDUO-FM station engineer. This strategy not only allowed the station to survive the walkout, but resulted in an increase in ratings due to the mystery surrounding the "new" DJs. The true air staff identities of "The Jones Boys" was finally publicly revealed in a Tiger Tune Sheet weekly survey format published on July 4, 1969. The certification of AFTRA as representing the union of KFXM/KDUO-FM announcers was never completed.
He implemented the first and only radio station that owned its own live Bengal tiger during the sixties when 'everything tiger' was the craze. He established "Tiger Radio as the logo/theme for KFXM, KAFY and KDEO, all top rated rock and roll outlets in Southern California.
Awards and honors
He was nominated to the Route 66 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He won best actor award in Dust, a short movie competing in the Knoxville 2014 Film Festival.
- Tiger Radio KFXM 590
- Archives of Tiger Mags, Tune Sheets, newspaper articles, interviews, diary notes, station documents, and personal knowledge/recollections by Ben E. McCoy.
- 440: Satisfaction