Country Music · Cowpoke Radio

Sacramento’s KRAK Country Radio

KRAK 1140 Logo (Image)
KRAK 1140 Logo (Circa 1962)

In Northern California back in the 1950s and 1960s, listeners had their choice of numerous radio stations playing both kinds of music — Country and Western.

Among those stations were KEEN in San Jose; KVSM in San Mateo; KSAY in San Francisco; Lou Ripa’s little KNBA in Vallejo; KTRB in Modesto; KCEY in Turlock; and mighty KRAK in Sacramento.

KRAK began its life down Highway 99 in Stockton, operating as KGDM. It moved to Sacramento in 1962, with a boost of power to 50,000 watts, allowing it to blanket much of the upstate area with its huge signal.

The station incorporated its 1140 spot on the AM dial into its catchy jingles, singing out “Crack Radio, Eleven-Four-Oh!” every chance they could.

KRAK changed formats in the mid-1990s and became Hot Talk KHTK. It is currently running a Sports format and is the flagship station of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Sonny James, known around the world as “The Southern Gentleman,” recorded a special “Salute To KRAK” back in 1967 as a tribute to the Country Music powerhouse and the capitol of California. According to legend, the record was handed out as a promotional item by the station and received substantial airplay on KRAK.

The flipside of the 45 RPM disc – which was released through Capitol Records’ Custom Services Department – included a collection of greetings from the station’s on-air personalities, credited as “The KRAKer Jacks.”

KRAKer Jacks Record Label (Image)

On The Air Sign (Image)

Here’s a solid half-hour of Jerry Lang on Country KRAK from June 5, 1964, rolling into the three o’clock hour:


KRAK Country Radio Music Survey (Image)
The KRAK Corral of Country Hits Survey (May 25, 1963)


11 thoughts on “Sacramento’s KRAK Country Radio

  1. Much obliged for the KRAK radio history. I remember going back and forth from Livermore to Reno, riding in my dads 1958 Cadillac Coupe with the auto slide bar asking my dad if i could change the station, instead of KRAK!!! But I remember the songs

  2. As a kid, in the late 60s and early 70s, I learned about KRAK Radio, while visiting relatives in the San Juaquin Delta area.

    I discovered that, at night, while their power was boosted to the full 50,000 watts, I could hear KRAK all the way from my hometown, near Eureka, CA, o’n the far north coast of California. What a wonderful memory!

    Thank you for sharing the history of KRAK Radio. Eleven Four Oh.

    1. I used to ride with my dad from Redwood City to West Point and he always tuned in to KRAK… The KRAKER barrel!

    2. KRAK was 50,000 watts day and night. I was on air there, nights then morning drive, in the early 1970’s. A good gig, but I finally left and moved to Anchorage.

  3. Hi
    I worked for KRAK in 1968 as a Transmitter Engineer. The original transmitter location was located on Twin Cities Road (Hiway 104) next to the old Rancho Seco Nuclear Station. During the construction of the plant (starting 1966), there were lawsuits between KRAK and SMUD over the impact the plant construction had on KRAK and the impact on the giant construction cranes close to the high power RF from the KRAK antennas, which created RF arcs 18″ – 24″ long.

    Subsequently, SMUD paid for a new 50KW GE transmitter, antennas, building and property and 5 engineers (me included) to build, power-up, test, and maintain at a site east of Wilton south of Rising Road, currently KHTK transmitter site.

  4. In ,1976 I Moved To Roseville And Went To Work For My Dad Everyday We Listen To KRAK Radio In The Morning With JOEY MITCHELL Hope I Spelled That Right He Was So Funny Always Kept Us In A Good Mood Would Like To No What He Is Doing Now Days

  5. I lived in The Clearlake, Lake County area in the 60’s & 70’s and we could pick up KRAK radio loud and clear. I was driving in the SF Bay Area in the 90’s came across KRAK again, at least it was a group called the KRAK Radio singers if I remember correctly. They were singing an excellent Parody on the song, ‘Daddy’s Hands.’ It was called ‘Daddy’s Pants!’ The song was a hoot! I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find more of their recordings, but so far no luck. If anyone knows more about them I would appreciate you sharing any information with me and others.

  6. i loved KRAK so much that when I got transferred from McClellan AFB to England I’d get up early to catch Joey in the morning on RF skip

  7. “Yuba Duba, you have 65 KRAK radio degrees!”
    That’s what I used to hear in Oakland as a kid listening to KRAK radio. There was only one country station in the Bay, so finding KRAK was a big discovery for me. Given my folks and brothers didn’t like CW music, I was “closet” listener for a time. But when “Okie” by Merle went nationwide, even my father started to appreciate CW, and gave me a fiver to go buy the 45 single.

  8. I grew up in Sutter & Yuba Counties listening to KRAK 1140. Great memories!! I wish there were stations like that now, with real DJs and good music.

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