John Gilliland

John Gilliland

"John Gilliland at KSFO, c. 1971" Courtesy of The John Gilliland Collection.
Birth name John Sanford Gilliland, Jr.
Born (1935-10-18)October 18, 1935
Quanah, Texas
Died July 27, 1998(1998-07-27) (aged 62)
Quanah, Texas
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. 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.[5]

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,[6][7] and now can be heard online.[8]

Starting in 1971, at KSFO in San Francisco, he hosted weeknights 7pm-midnight.[9] 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,[6] The Pop Chronicles 40’s, about the popular music of the 1940s.[10] He was succeeded in his on-air time slot at KSFO by Jerry Gordon.[11]


Gilland left KSFO in 1978 and returned to his native Texas.[2] He edited and in 1994 published Pop Chronicles: the 40's as a four-cassette audiobook,[12][13] which was rereleased later as The Big Band Chronicles.[14][15] 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]



Online sources

Print sources


  1. 1 2 "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.
  5. "~Los Angeles Radio People, Archives". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  6. 1 2 MacKenzie, Bob (1972-10-29). "Radio Returns to the '40s" (PDF). Oakland Tribune. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-09.
  7. "Pop chronicles. 36 (RU 11-1 [Sept. 1970]) []". []<!. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  8. Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 1" (audio). Pop Chronicles.
  9. "2008 ARSC Conference Recordings (Association for Recorded Sound Collections)". Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  10. "John Gilliland - Pop Chronicles: The Forties". Bay Area Radio Museum. November 5, 1972. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
  11. "Where was 'Radio Waves'?". Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  12. 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.
  13. "Pop chronicles []". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  14. Ruhlmann, William. "((( The Big Band Chronicles > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  15. "The big band chronicles (Audiobook on tape, 1997)". []. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  16. "Magic of JuJu: Political Porno". 2006-12-21. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
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