Sorry to report that the man who brought back the pop hits of the 40's and 50's to Northwest Radio, and then kept the Adult Standards format going for years on KIXI, passed away Wednesday Feb. 15 at age 92.
KIXI AM880 has posted the following on its Facebook page:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nelskog family today. Wally Nelskog was a Seattle Radio innovator and pioneer back in the day. He owned many radio stations throughout his lengthy career. Wally owned KIXI Radio from the 1960's through the 1980's. Many of us had an opportunity to work for Wally over the years. Wally was one of a kind, and was most definitely his own man. Wally Nelskog died February 15, 2012. He was 92.
OBITUARY Walter N. "Wally" Nelskog.. courtesy the Everett Herald
Wally Nelskog, 92, passed away February 15, 2012 after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Nels and Emma Nelsskog; son, Scott; and two sisters, Noreen Perrault and Dagny Campbell. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Anne; his daughter, Carol (Bill) Arkell; grandsons, Mark and Jeff Arkell; his sister, Judy Dockendorff; and numerous nieces and nephews. Born in Everett, WA on November 8, 1919, he graduated from Everett High School in 1939, where he was their PA announcer and President of the Radio Guild. During school, he also worked at KRKO, Everett. He later attended Cornish School on a scholarship. While at Cornish, he worked the graveyard shift at KRSC, Seattle, WA. During WWII, he enlisted in Signal Corps, Alaska Communications System, and transferred to the Army Air Corps Cadet program. He graduated from Yale University in New Haven, CT as an Air Force Communications Officer and was Honorably discharged as USAF Captain in 1945. While in Conneticut, he met his loving and devoted wife, Anne. At 15, his W7FDQ Ham Radio hobby began and he has held his FCC 1st Class operator's license since 1939. His broadcast career was rather extensive. In the late 40's and early 50's, his "Wally's Music Makers" was the top-rated radio DJ show in town, first on KRSC then KJR. His successful teen dance format on channel 13 TV, predated Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" by two years. He also promoted record artists at shows and teen dances at Eagles Auditorium, enabling him seed money to start his own radio station. He then built his first radio station from scratch in his garage in West Seattle by purchasing a used transmitter and spare parts; he moved it to Yakima, WA in 1954 on a rented truck. Two years later, KUTI became #1. Over time, he was able to successfully build, operate and sell more stations: KORD, Pasco, WA; KQDY, Minot, ND; KQTY, Everett; KUDI, Great Falls, MT; KUDE, Oceanside, CA; KYNG, Coos Bay, OR; KYXY, San Diego, CA; and KZZK, Tri Cities, WA. Wally then went into ownership of Edmonds & Everett Cablevision. He also built and sold WNA Audio Video Production's "Bright and Beautiful" music syndication. In 1959 he finally built the station of his dreams: KIXI, Seattle; formerly KLAN, Renton, WA and completed his goal by moving it from 910- on the AM dial to 880 with 50,000 watts of power. He was former Director of the National Association of Broadcaster's (NAB) for two terms. He also served eight years as Director of the Washington State Association of Broadcaster's (WSAB) and finally as Chairman of the Board. In 1986, he was named WSAB "Broadcaster of the Year". That same year sold KIXI AM/FM and retired. Since then, he enjoyed many boating and fishing trips, especially his yearly one to Alaska. A few years ago he moved to Mill Creek, WA to be closer to his daughter, son-in-law and grandsons, Mark and Jeff. He still enjoyed his computer and talking weekly to his ham radio friends. A Rosary will be said at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 20, 2012 at Beck's Funeral Home, 405 5th Ave. S, Edmonds. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 630 – 7th Ave. N in Edmonds, Wa. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Holy Rosary School or Archbishop Murphy High School; Terry Ennis Endowment Fund, 12911 – 39th Ave. SE, Everett, WA 98208; in Wally Nelskog's memory. Please share memories at http://www.becksfuneralhome.com.