Radio Tower Permit Sought

April 14, 1962 An application for a conditional-use zoning permit to establish a radio station with a 60-foot tower was filed yesterday by KRAB, a recently formed, noncommercial broadcasting organization. Lorenzo W. Milam, president, asked the permit for the property at 9028 Roosevelt Way N.E. Milam said there are other radio towers in the district.

December 17, 1962 — One of the more novel broadcasting experiments began operation here Thursday when KRAB FM took the air on 107.7 megacycles. The new frequency modulation outlet is unusual on several counts. The station was built and is manned by volunteer help; it will specialize in offbeat programming not otherwise available and the entire operation will be strictly non-commercial, period. Listeners in short will be spared the blessing of a few thousand well-chosen words from the sponsor after every selection. Whether the 20-kilowatt station makes it without advertising revenue will be up to listeners. Those who appreciate its programming will be asked for contributions to sustain the operation. The station is on the air from 5 o’clock in the afternoon until 11 at night and expects to offer daytime programming beginning next month. The transmitter and studios are in the old donut shop at 9029 Roosevelt Way. Lorenzo W Milam, a former announcer with KPFA, a non-commercial outlet operated by the Pacifica Foundation in Berkeley California is the spark plug behind the venture. His volunteer staff includes Robert Garfias as music director, Gary Margason as program director and Jeremy Landsman in charge of poetry and drama. Milam reports the station’s purpose is to present as many viewpoints as possible on the air.”We have 8 volunteer commentators now,” he said, “and we will bank heavily on forums and interviews, with opinion ranging from the far left to the far right. We intend to KRAB about a lot of things.” Most of these programs will pursue an “open end” pattern, running an hour, two hours or more. “Time is unimportant to us,” Milam said. “Our roundtable discussions will continue to their natural conclusion as the issue warrants.” Other programming features will be classical music not ordinarily heard on other stations, readings from the classics, drama, and general commentary. This will include such way out fare as Chinese operas and readings from Cicero in Latin with a jazz background. Some pessimists may argue there is no compelling demand for Cicero in Latin with or without Jazz accompaniment but Milam and his volunteers rate a 21-gun salute for having the courage to try something different. (C.J. Skreen – Seattle Times)

60s Radio: New Year’s Eve

1961 – New Years Leave Dance Parties
Network pickups of dance-band music across the country: KING 8:05 PM; KIRO 8:30 p.m.; KOMO 11 PM.

1962 – Dance Time 10 PM on 1590 KETO “Your key to better listening.”
Music of the past 62 years is aired continuously until sign-off on KXA.

1963 – Guy Lombardo, Count Basie, Les Brown, Lionel Hampton and others are heard on KIRO AM and FM from 8-10 PM, and from 11 PM to 1 AM.
The Jerry Rowan Quintet ushers in 1964 with the program of dance music, beginning at 11:55 PM on KETO AM and FM.
Mori Simon’s orchestra, playing in The Olympic Grand Ballroom, is heard at 11:15 p.m., and music from San Francisco’s Gold Street is aired at 11:45 PM on KOMO.
Tomorrow — Orson Welles “War of the Worlds,” considered by many to be the most famous radio broadcast of the century, will be aired at 10 AM on KXA as a part of the stations “Sounds of the Century,” a musical – history marathon which will end at 5:30 p.m.
Cotton Bowl: Texas University will play Navy at 10:45 AM on KIRO AM and FM.
Orange Bowl: Auburn and Nebraska will meet at 10:45 AM on KOMO.
Rose Bowl: The University of Washington Huskies will face Illinois at 1:45 PM on KING-AM and FM.
Arthur Godfrey and Betty White narrate the Rose Bowl parade on NBC TV New Year’s Day.

1964 – While the rock stations counted down the top hits of the year, KING-FM presented an informal evening of music including jazz, folk music, show tunes and humor.
Lorne Greene and Betty White narrate the Rose Bowl parade on NBC-TV on New Year’s Day.

1965 – New Year’s resolutions for Seattle media offered by C. J. Skreen, Seattle Times TV editor: J. P. Patches-keep those mothers happy with more of those action-packed educational cartoons. Irving Clark-keeping blab-off handy for those unruly telephone callers. KAYO-maintain an ample supply of picketing signs the next time The Times’ John Hinterberger reviews a Country KAYO Western stage show. Pat O’Day and Jack Roberts-trading your worn-out toupees for 1966 models. KOL and KJR-shake hands and come out swinging with rock ‘n roll discs. Perry Allen-go berserk and break up every one of and boss Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” platters. (Goodbye, Perry, hate to see you go.). Bob Hardwick-more whales to conquer. KRAB FM and Lorenzo Milam-continue presenting such diversified programming (who cares about Big Daddy Nielsen?) As “Music of the Ituri Forest” (recorded in The Congo), “Research in Consciousness Expansion,” “Music Directors Sporadic Report on the State of the Musical Onion” and “Amharic and Somali Music of Ethiopia” (with titles that defy even the station manager).

1966 – 10 PM, Jim Wilke [KING FM] hosts a potpourri of dance music, humor, jazz, folk, and nonsense. Live-remote broadcasts of Cannonball Adderley live from Chicago, Count Basie from New York and Don Scaletta and Ray Charles from Seattle will last until 2 AM.

Stredicke 1967 – The party is in full swing, but somebody forgot to invite Jan Garber!
The CBS Radio Network will present its 40th annual coast-to-coast New Year’s eve Dancing Party– but it’s the only one. KIRO AM will open network lines for the event, including remote broadcasts of 12 big-name bands (Guy Lombardo, Count Basie and Russ Morgan) from eight o’clock Monday evening to midnight.
But right at the stroke of midnight, automation takes over and the regularly-scheduled soft, up-tempo music sponsored by Holiday Inn takes over just like any other night.
Neither ABC nor NBC features will be offered in Seattle. “We will present clusters of dance music of our own choosing,” KING-FM explains.
In pursuit of the young audience, neither KING or KOMO will dare permit a night of nostalgia for the older folk.
KERI FM in Bellingham will have the closest thing to it with a syndicated feature called “12 Hours of New Years.”
KJR continues “Flashback” Monday, including a segment beginning at 6 PM which will play, in reverse order, the top 100 of the stations all-time hits.
And if past performance is any guide, at the stroke of midnight, New Year’s Eve, the most likely song to be played will be – “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

1968 – 7 PM KVI, JJ Valley presents the “very best in dance music” and JJ’s “best one-liners of the year” steel you for facing the new year reasonably sober.
KOMO – Larry Nelson, KOMO Country’s newest announcer, and some of the worlds oldest pop standards.
KING-AM – Record Party, contemporary music for a contemporary New Year’s Eve party.
KBBX – Dance Party, up-tempo music to greet the new year.
Country Music KAYO, good old Dan Williams plays good old country music, right up to the new year.
Dance Party, KIXI-lots of up-tempo music in the KIXI fashion.
12:00 Auld Lang Syne – KING- Dick Roth will sing along with Carmen Lombardo if thousands of listeners request him to do so.
Tomorrow, 10 AM, KBIQ-Music to Recover By… Pop standards-just remember to keep it down when that jet station identification comes swooping through the room in stereo.

1969 – a live broadcast of Woody Herman and his band, performing in Seattle, will be aired over the NBC Radio Network, as part of an across-the-country New Year’s Eve celebration.
Jim Wilke, KING-FM program director, said NBC asked the FM station to feed the broadcast to the network as part of NBC’s All-Star Cavalcade of Bands. In 1966, Wilke supervised a similar New Year’s broadcast by Ray Charles.
Portions of the network program to be heard on KING-FM, will include tape-delays or live broadcasts of Lionel Hampton in New York, Duke Ellington in Las Vegas, Count Basie in Miami and Dizzy Gillespie in Chicago.
Wilke said the music would be included in the stations nightly jazz show, which begins at 11 PM. The program will conclude at 1 AM rather than at the normal midnight sign off time. The 25 min. Herman segment will be aired to the nation at 12:30 AM.
Herman and his 15-piece band are performing at the Westlake Room of the Washington Plaza.
“There is so little live music on the radio.” Wilke said. “This is the one time of the year when it is so important, so logical.
“And Herman is the ideal musician to offer radio listeners.
“He has a trunk load of standards, for which he is justly famous,” Wilke said. “But his musical tastes also include the most contemporary ‘college-age’ current tunes.”
Wilke said Herman has a young band, all good musicians.
The live broadcast clearly will be the highlight of the night on Seattle radio.
Meanwhile – the station which historically should be carrying the NBC band extravaganza, will give it short shrift – as it did last year.
Buzz Barr, program director, was still skimming the list of musical remotes, crossing them out as not fitting the “KING image.”
He crossed out guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk remotes immediately.
“Dizzy Gillespie? Barr said. “Our listeners don’t have any idea who that is.”
One or two of the more contemporary bands will be picked up on KING-AM, for 5 min. or so, said Barr, the fellow who introduced “Sugar, Sugar” to KING radio.
“Sugar, Sugar?” Who’s that?

5 PM Countdown, KOL AM-top hits of the year (or as KOL calls ‘em, 1969 grabbers, “the sounds that made it”) climaxing with KOL’s selection of the top song of the year just before midnight.
6 PM Countdown KJR-”Fabulous 50″ for the fading ’60s -top hits of 1969, climaxing just before midnight, with what KJR proclaims the top song of the year in Seattle.
New Year’s Eve Dance Party, KBBX-familiar dance music instrumentals to salute the years end.
8 PM New Year’s Eve Dance Party, KIXI-familiar dance music until 3 AM.
Midnight New Year Salute (just about every station): A hoot, a holler and best wishes from your favorite disc jockey – and from us, too.

MAGIC & KIXI sold

May 1988 Two Seattle radio stations, KMGI FM and KIXI-AM, have been sold for $16 million. Noble Broadcast Group, an aggressive chain based in San Diego, is the new owner, taking control from Sunbelt Communications.
The sale is subject to approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
In 1985 Sunbelt introduced the adult-contemporary KMGI, promoted as “Magic 108,” on the 107.7 spot previously held by KRAB. [Related: New KMGI Features Favorites of the Past] The operating board of KRAB had sold the commercial frequency, expecting to find an alternate dial setting in the noncommercial part of the FM band. Purchase price for the FM station, with little more than a tower site, was $4 million. It took a year to get KMGI on the air.
Sunbelt acquired KIXI in October for $4.8 million. Both KIXI, with a nostalgia format, and KMGI are consistently in the top dozen radio stations in Seattle.
Noble Broadcast Group is a new chain that, with this purchase, becomes the largest radio-only owner in the country with 17 stations.
In the past month alone, Noble has acquired five radio stations and a Muzak franchise. The next largest broadcast chain owns 15 radio stations. Noble’s stations are in such cities as San Diego, Boston, New Haven, Denver, Kansas City and Houston.
John Lynch, a founder of the group, expects to expand to the full complement of 24 stations, with future cities of license including San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Festival broadcast
Segments from the Folklife Festival will be broadcast each afternoon of the festival, on KUOW, 94.9 mHz.
Other radio stations sponsor some musical and stage events on the fairgrounds.

He’s up there
Bob B. Scott, afternoon disc jockey, plans to broadcast today from the top of Mount Rainier to listeners on KRPM-AM-FM, 770 and 106.1. Scott said he climbed the mountain last August as a personal challenge. This time he’s just like the big climbers – he has a sponsor, a sporting goods store – and in May expects to encounter more snow.
He is carrying a two-way radio, which the station will intercept. He was to be at Camp Muir level Saturday and the summit at noon Sunday.

Across the dial
— Another Sunday-morning mostly instrumental “environmental sound” program airs from 8-10 a.m. on KSEA, 100.7 mHz. Called “Over Easy,” it includes a modest amount of new-age music with the lighter jazz sounds already heard on the station.
— Famous names in Northwest rock will be on the KVI, 570 kHz, morning show beginning Monday. It’s part of a promotion culminating in “The History of Northwest Rock,” a marathon history lesson to be broadcast starting at 10 a.m. Memorial Day. “The History of Northwest Rock,” produced by Mike Webb and Peter Blecha, originally aired in 1987. Dick Curtis’ Monday program features Nancy Claire, singer with the Viceroys, Little Bill of the Bluenotes, and Jim Valley, who was Harpo with Paul Revere and the Raiders.
— A somewhat-public private-label ale was introduced this month, “Z Original Ale.” It is brewed by Hale’s Ale in Kirkland for Seattle’s KPLZ – “the Z.” The brew will be available only through the month at only a dozen outlets, including the Latona Tavern and FX McRory’s.
— KOMO is scouting sites for a series of remote broadcasts from the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London in June.
— Joe Abel, executive vice president and general manager of KIRO Newsradio 71, has added the duty of supervising Kansas City sister stations KMBZ and KMBR.
— “Sounds of Sinatra,” a two-hour weekly syndication program with Sid Mark, is now heard at 5 p.m. Sundays on KSEA. The series was heard only briefly in this area but has been presented in Philadelphia for 25 years or so. This Sunday’s program includes Columbia recordings from 1947 to 1953.
— “Music Weekends” begin running from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend on KLSY-AM-FM, 1540 and 92.5. The hours after 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays offer “highlights” (at least a song an hour) by different music groups.
— Susan Glass, formerly with KLTX, is the new weekend announcer at KLSY-AM-FM, 1540 and 92.5