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    Bill Ballance, Sic Transit

    (Sept. 24, 2004) -- Bill Ballance, a long-time radio personality heard by three decades of LB and southland listeners, has died.

    Ballance gained fame on KFWB, Los Angeles in the station's halcyon days as "Color Radio, Channel 98" spinning "Top 40" hits (everything from Pat Boone to Little Richard) from 1958-1965. His distinctive, devilish voice was heard on countless LA-LB-OC teenage transistor radios, mixing erudite wisecracks with some double entendres (tame by today's standards).

    Ballance went on to reinvent himself by creating a then-pioneering talk radio format on personal relationships he dubbed the "Feminine Forum" on KGBS, Los Angeles, followed by stints on KABC, Los Angeles and KFMB, San Diego (heard clearly in Long Beach). His program was a forerunner of relationship-style programs that proliferated thereafter.

    His air work often sent listeners to dictionaries to decipher his sophisticated vocabulary wielded for comedic effect. His "Feminine Forum" references to his "stallion ganglia" (look it up) typified his imaginative word-pictures.

    He flashed his dry, quick wit a few years ago while interviewed on an L.A. based talk show. When a much younger host remarked (our paraphrase from memory) that Ballance once hosted similar talk shows himself, Ballance wisecracked, "Hopefully I did it more professionally."

    He was 85.

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