“Who Da Guy” Ron Jacobs Passed Away


It is sad to note the passing of legendary radio disc jockey KPOI, KHJ, KKUA, and KDEO radio disc jockey Ron Jacobs. Much has been written about Mr. Jacobs in recent days and over the years.

Jacobs passed away at his home of “natural causes” on Tuesday, March 8. He was 78.

Ron Jacobs was born in Hawaii in 1937 and made a name for himself in the 1950s as one of Hawaii’s original “Poi Boys” on the old KPOI radio at 1380 on the AM dial. He and Tom Moffatt and others were radio personalities that promoted rock n roll music in the islands when it was still in its infancy.

In the 1960s Jacobs lived and worked mostly in California and created the highly successful KHJ 93 AM “Boss Radio” in Los Angeles. In 1970, he along with Tom Rounds and Casey Kasem created “American Top 40” for the Watermark network. That program which featured Kasem counting down the weekly Top 40 Billboard magazine hits was on the air from 1970 to the late 1980s with Kasem at the helm.

By 1976 Ron Jacobs returned to Hawaii and did the morning drive show on KKUA Radio AM 690 in Honolulu. While at KKUA Jacobs produced three “Homegrown” albums for the station to benefit Habilitat. The “Homegrown” albums were showcases for up and coming local musicians. Among the talents originally found on the “Homegrown” albums included Noelani Cypriano, Bart Bascone, and Marvin Franklin. The album was modeled after a similar series Jacobs did while on the mainland.

By 1980 Jacobs left KKUA and started KDEO “Country Radio” (AM 940), which billed itself as the western most country station in the U.S.A. While at KDEO Radio, Jacobs compiled a 4th Homegrown album featuring Hawaii based artists.

Jacobs retired in Hawaii and authored several books and maintained an online presence. Most recently he was posting stuff to his Facebook page. Last year he asked me to “friend” him on Facebook and so I did. Must have been something I posted there for him to “friend” me since we never met.

Here’s a video slideshow tribute to Ron Jacobs from Bob Meadows as posted to YouTube.





Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.