KOFM transitioned over to a top 40 format sometime soon after KATT came on the air in 1976, if I recall correctly. Was KOFM the first AOR in OKC, or was KWHP there first? I remember being there in 75 or so and both were playing rock (not sure if anyone else was in the format).
KOCY-FM (now KXXY) could claim rights as the first AOR station in OKC, though at the time it was considered free form underground or progressive rock. The Bonebrakes started that format locally, c. 1968, with the late Sam Beck as PD using the air name Sam Stone. He was the son of longtime KOCY-AM personality Carlton Beck who had also been successful at the Mutual Broadcasting System, a once worthy competitor of NBC, CBS and ABC. KOCY-FM played anything in the rock genre that was emerging from hippiedom such as Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, It’s A Beautiful Day, and Grateful Dead plus many totally unknown artists. Partially automated with some live jock shows, it was a refuge from the establishment for the counter culture. I especially remember a promo with birds and tropical music and a soft voice saying, “Paradise found at KOCY-FM.” Another said, “KOCY-FM…under Oklahoma City.” The music was at times a bit “out there” but usually awesome, and the presentation was way laid back – almost a whispering jock approach like KSAN in San Francisco and in some respects similar to very early KATT which would come some seven years later. KWHP, which I loved as a ‘70s AOR station, was still pretty Top 40 at that time. John Hendrix, who would later work at KWHP and KOFM Fresh Air, was an integral part of KOCY-FM with Sam. There was also a very talented lady named Sharon Holt who I once heard had later married Charlie Kendall, host the nationally syndicated ‘80s show Metal Shop "The Only Show With Teeth." Charlie was then PD of the legendary WNEW-FM in New York and had previously been on KZEW The Zoo in Dallas (from which The Katt was initially stylized), WMMS The Buzzard in Cleveland, and other major AOR outlets. I worked at KOCY-FM briefly in ’72 along with Andy Lockridge which six years later led to our starting 96X on KXXY (the former KOCY-FM) when the Bonebrakes wanted a chunk of the huge audience KATT had attained in only eighteen months! By that time, its fully automated TM Century “Adult Stereo Rock” programming, which had replaced KOCY-FM’s album rock format in 1972, had plummeted. 96X’s eventual success though Andy’s superb programming skills lead to KATT consultant Jeff Pollack bringing Andy over as PD. Andy’s wife and promotions director Kelley, his morning show partner Dan Stroud, Blue Walrus mascot Alan Lombard and receptionist Laurie Cheek went there as well. Shortly after Andy became PD of Pollack consulted KZEW, 96X’s Charlie Parker and Chad Chad Derouin also wound up at KATT.
Put more simply: Despite little ratings success, KOCY-FM was the pioneer album rock station in this town leading the way for KWHP, KOFM, KATT, 96X and KRXO. And in a way, that spirit continued on 95X and The Buzz.