Women On-the-air in the 1960's

Jaynie contributed her views of what it was like to be a female on-the-air personality in the 1960's and 1970's. Her interesting account are presented here without editing. -editor-

"Back in the '60s when there were almost no females on-the-air anywhere, women or "girls" as we were called, were so trivialized by our gender that we typically were only allowed to use a first name on-the-air. (What brazen hussies we would be to actually dare to have a first and last name!)

"Another area where there was this type of sexism was the rule of law and continued to be so up through the '80s is that it was quite clear that the world would come to an end instanteously, if one were to play -- Heaven help us -- two female artists back-to-back. Absolutely no greater sin (from a programming standpoint) than if that were to ever happen. Not only that, but if there was a female announcer on a commercial you absolutely could not play a second commercial adjacent to it with a female voice on it and Heaven help us, if you should go out of a stop set with a female voice on a commercial into a song by a female recording artist. Absolutely forbidden. Nothing in programming was more important than to make sure that there were never two female voices back-to-back in spots or going into a song by a female vocalist. Programmers could just hear those radio dials being instantly tuned away to another station; the listening public would just not tolerate or accept two female voices back-to-back in ANY configuration. That was their (the programmer's) biggest fear.

"Just as at KPEG where all the announcers were completely homogenized into not only ONLY having a first name, but that they ALL had to use the name Peg; well, such was my story, too.

"In Spokane, as in the Tri-Cities, I was only allowed to use a first name: Jaynie.

"It wasn't until the late '70s in Seattle and Tacoma that I finally was allowed to use a first and last name. I decided to use my legal name: Prozora (my married name at the time) and the program director went ballistic. "It's too ethnic!!!"

"At that I picked up a stack of 45 RPM records and randomly tried various last names of artists with my first name Jaynie. One of the records was by Billy Joe Royal. I liked the sound of Jaynie Jo Royal, so I used that -- at least at that station. Many of my friends still affectionately call me "Jaynie Jo."

"Later a PD at a Seattle country station wanted me to "sound more country" so he named me "Jaynie Dylan" -- briefly -- then it occurred to him that "Dylan" would be more associated with folk music, so he changed the spelling of it to Jaynie Dillon to have more of a connection to Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke.

"I used Jaynie Dillon ever after with only one exception: while working in Tacoma at KTAC-AM & KBRD-FM, I was Jaynie Dillon on the Top-40 AM station and Jane Robbins on the FM, a beautiful music station where the station's mantra was, "As beautiful as a bird in flight. K-Bird. K-B-R-D." (the beautiful bird concept was where the 'robin' or Robbins tie-in came in)."


  • Jones, Jaynie Dillon. Email correspondence to Bill Harms. 15 August 2007.