From 1945 to 1989, KFAC brought classical music to Southern California. During its glory years, its announcing staff was second to none. Most of its program hosts, like chief announcer Carl Princi, were sought-after narrators for television, documentary and industrial films. Among the station’s best was Tom Dixon, who passed away last Saturday at age 95.
Tom Dixon was also present when political history was made. In the early campaigns of Richard Nixon (the “pink right down to her underwear” campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas, for instance), he was Nixon’s announcer.
It wasn’t that he had a political affinity for Nixon (unlike Adolphe Menjou and others), he was chosen by the man who would later become the 37th president because he liked the sound of, “I’m Tom Dixon for Richard Nixon.”
I had the pleasure to talk with Mr. Dixon on the phone several years ago about that period. He shared that he came to dislike Nixon because of the way Nixon treated his wife, Pat. One time in a radio studio after a broadcast speech, he launched into a tirade humiliating her for no reason. Dixon traveled California with the campaign. He told me many stories with great wit and charm.
We’ve lost not only an important man in LA radio history, but a part of political history as well.