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The Pioneer

Chuy Gomez: Iconic voice of the Bay

Oscar Torres,
Contributor

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Longtime Bay Area radio host Jesus “Chuy” Gomez works the hardest on Sundays. He hosts a show called Sunday Night Oldies, which focuses mainly on Motown classics, cruising classics, oldies but goodies and runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

He pitched the idea to his bosses at HOT 105.7 FM in the summer of 2016 to keep the tradition alive that was once broadcasted on 98.1 KISS FM. Since the show began in July of 2016, people routinely call in to make requests and dedications. It reminds him of what radio was once like meaning that listeners would call in a lot more before all of the technology.

Gomez has worked almost 30 years in Bay Area radio. He started off interning at KSOL for four years before it became WILD, then he was on the street team for Mancow in the morning, that’s when KMEL came knocking on his door to offer him his first lead position. After more than 20 years as a regular on-air personality at KMEL 106.1 FM, he was released from his position in 2013 as the popular hip-hop and R&B radio station’s morning host, due to budget cuts. Now he can be heard every weekday on HOT 105.7 from 3 to 7 p.m.

On air, Gomez brings that spark and lots of energy to the table, as well as the connection with people. As his intern for almost a year now, it’s crazy to see how well known he is and how many people always stop him for a picture or just to chat. I knew he was a big name but never did I expect it to be that way. Gomez never hesitates to stop and take a picture with fans.

Gomez reminisces the days of being an eight-year-old boy and how he knew since then that a career in radio was what he wanted to pursue. It all started with making phone calls to KBRG making requests for his mom. One day the station invited him down to see the broadcasters in action.

Gomez says “I saw them pressing buttons and playing music… this is what I want to do.” His dream was not only to have a career in radio but as well as his own show.

Starting off back to his intern days when Marcos Gutierrez invited Gomez to KSOL. KSOL’s format of music was similar to what KMEL is today, it’s urban music. He interned there for four years, and then started to fill in and run the board, a big controller that sends out the broadcast and takes hosts on and off the air.

Gomez recalls the time when KSOL became WILD and took over as the new name for the FM dial of 107.7. While working for the street team with Mancow as the morning show host, Gomez recalls one of the craziest memories he has of that time.

“The craziest thing that happened was we stopped traffic on the bridge for a haircut,” Gomez says that situation boosted ratings for the new name of the station. The station actually faced a million dollar fine for the public stunt.

Shortly after that, there was an offer from KMEL for his first actual job as a lead host. He would work a series of different schedules on his 20 year run at KMEL. It was his last 10 years at KMEL that he was working mornings full time as the lead host.  

Chuy has done compilations such as Chuy Gomez Presents Best of the Bay: Chapter I and Chuy Gomez Presents On Hit Compilation which was a two disk. Compilations are basically mixtapes that he had put together with music from various Bay Area artist.

Gomez was then asked to fill in one day as a favor on CMC. CMC stands for California Music Channel, at first he was hesitant because he didn’t want to do television he wanted to do radio, and that was his main focus. He did the favor for his friend and 27 years later the show is still up and running with Gomez as the main host. You can watch it on any day of the week through their app and website, or on channel 26 KTSF every weekday.

Fulfilling the favor, Gomez now had the power to put videos out to the audience that MTV was not showing. One in particular had to be of Bay Area MC Andre “Mac Dre” Hicks.

“It all goes back to the fact that I started showing his videos on CMC, from there on he always showed me love,” Gomez said.

There are many references made to Gomez in some of Mac Dre’s music like the song “Thats Wassup”, and Mac Dre had Gomez host the album “Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game Vol. 3” where he did intros and interludes.

Gomez had his own song made by Mac Dre that he once played on KMEL as his intro. Even after the passing of Mac Dre, Nov. 1, 2004, Gomez still promotes for Mac Dre. Dre Day which is the celebration of Mac Dre’s birthday is always promoted by Gomez to his followers. He’s also featured as a host at the show and introduces artists as well as gives a brief story about his relationship with Andre “Mac Dre” Hicks. This is a factor to what keeps him relevant, making public appearances to some of his own audience.   

With the era of social media taking over he has a good 85 thousand followers on Instagram (@chuygomez) where he promotes himself and events that he will be hosting.

“You always have to promote yourself, everywhere you go,” he says. His promotion includes various stickers and shirts that can be seen on all of his social media.  

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Chuy Gomez: Iconic voice of the Bay