Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rush and the Spirit of Radio

A buddy and I went to see Rush at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Sunday night. I saw them about 15 years ago at Riverbend in Cincinnati but was really looking forward to seeing them again because they'd be playing their best album in its entirety. Moving Pictures came out in 1981 right about the time I started paying attention to music (I was 10.) It contains their best known song, "Tom Sawyer," heavy use of synthesizer as well as Neil Peart's impeccable drumming. When it was released, Moving Pictures was all over the radio where I lived in western New York--probably because of its proximity to the band's hometown of Toronto. The show was fantastic and the band played for about three hours. No pictures because I forgot the camera in my car...what an idiot.

A Rush sticker from KSHE, a Rock station licensed to Crestwood, Missouri. This was to promote the band's 1996 Halloween-night show on the Test for Echo Tour in St. Louis. The piled rocks are the Inukshuk from the Test for Echo album cover but also features Sweet Meat, the pig which has been KSHE's mascot for decades.

The first song played Sunday night was "Spirit of Radio" which was written about Toronto's CFNY and uses their former slogan as the song's title. Here are the lyrics:

Begin the day
With a friendly voice,
A companion unobtrusive
Plays the song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood.

Off on your way
Hit the open road,
There's magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers,
Undemanding contact
In your happy solitude.

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antenna bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback
On a timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price
Almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted,
It's really just a question
Of your honesty

One likes to believe
in the freedom of music,
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity.

For the words of the profits
Are written on the studio wall,
Concert hall --
Echoes with the sounds...
Of salesmen.

CFNY was a Progressive/Alternative/Freeform/New Wave station in Toronto starting in the late 1970s. The above "sticker" is actually a three foot long car sunshield. I had to take a picture of it because it's too large to scan.

Today, CFNY is a much less adventurous Modern Rock station known as "102.1 The Edge."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shirts and Stix - WDHA

WDHA (W Drexel Hill Associates-the original owners) is a Rock station licensed to Dover, New Jersey.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shirts and Stix - CFOX

My son modelling a vintage early-80s(?) jersey shirt from 99.3 FM CFOX.

CFOX is an Active Rock station from Vancouver, British Columbia. They became Canada's first full-time FM Rock station in 1968 when their call letters were CKLG. They've been CFOX since 1979.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shirts and Stix - KPFA

Berkeley, California's KPFA (K PaciFicA) is a left-leaning Talk station and the first listener supported radio station in the United States. They were founded by pacifist Lewis Hill in 1946 and went on the air in 1949. KPFA is the flagship of the Pacifica Network which oversees 5 stations and provides programming to over 100 affiliates. Pacifica's mission is "to promote peace and justice through communication between all races, nationalities and cultures."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Shirts and Stix - KNOT

KNOT AM on the front.

KNOT FM on the back.

1450 AM KNOT is a Classic Country station from Prescott, Arizona. KNOT FM was an Adult Contemporary station at 99.1 FM which is now AC KTMG. The FM side of the shirt shows KNOT was once located at 98.3. This sticker resembles the style of license plate Arizona used from 1980 until 1996.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shirts and Stix - WLIR

A paper-thin shirt--you can even see the duplicate logo on the back bleeding through--from WLIR (W Long Island Radio) licensed to Garden City, New York.

This sticker resembles New York's license plate design used between 1973 and 1985.

WLIR switched from Beautiful Music to a freeform Rock format in 1970. By the late 1970s they were mixing music from traditional album rock acts along with early "new wave" artists like Blondie, Television and the Talking Heads. In 1982 WLIR fully embraced this new era of music becoming one of the first Modern Rock stations in the country. They switched call letters to WDRE in 1987 but regained the WLIR calls in 1996 while shifting to an Adult Album Alternative format. In 2004 the station was sold and currently carries a Regional Mexican format as "La Que Buena 92.7" WQBU.
Click here for an excellent WLIR tribute site with lots of photos, playlists and a brief history of the station.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shirts and Stix - WZXL

WZXL has been "South Jersey's Rock Station" since 1987. They cover the Atlantic City area as well as parts of Delaware and Maryland and are licensed to Wildwood, NJ.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shirts and Stix - KFOG

During a recent move I rediscovered a few boxes of old radio t-shirts that I had forgotten about. I have two dressers full of radio tees that I wear on a regular basis but all of these boxed ones are too small or ragged to actually wear (and I don't have it in me to actually throw them away.) For the next few days and occasionally afterward I'll post a picture of one of these vintage radio shirts along with accompanying sticker(s). We'll begin with northern California's KFOG.

KFOG (named for the Bay area's famous sea fog) is an Adult Album Alternative station from San Francisco, California. They also broadcast on KFFG at 97.7 FM licensed to Los Altos, CA. KFOG switched from Easy Listening to AOR in 1982 and has carried a rock-based format for over 27 years. At one point in the early 1980s the Bay area had six Rock stations, none of which survived until now except KFOG.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Actual Sticker Sighting #6 - WXKB

I went to the Cincinnati Bengals practice yesterday which was held at Welcome Stadium here in Dayton. Afterwards I saw this sticker on the back window of a car in the parking lot.

"B103.9" WXKB is a Top-40 station licensed to Cape Coral, Florida.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


1380 AM WFSR was on the air in Bath, New York from about 1962 until 1973. Various Broadcasting Yearbooks listed their format as either MOR or Variety until they went Country in 1974 as WGHT. 1380 AM is currently "The Sports Giant" WABH, an ESPN Radio affiliate.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


KUYI is a Native American public radio station licensed to Hotevilla, Arizona. Their programming is aimed primarily at the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona. KUYI (pronounced "KUU-yi" or "goo-yee") means water in the Hopi language.

Friday, August 20, 2010


WAAF is a Rock station in Boston, Massachusetts. Except for a brief fling with Top-40 in 1974 and a shift towards new wave/pop in 1983, WAAF has been a Rock station continuously since 1970. Their signal is now simulcast on WKAF 97.7 FM licensed to Brockton, MA while WAAF itself is licensed to Westborough, MA. All of their stickers have used the distinctive "paint strokes" logo since 1981.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


KSTA "K-Star 107.1" was a Country station from Coleman, Texas. The FM seems to be defunct but KSTA 1000 AM, also with a Country format and licensed to Coleman, has been on the air since 1951.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


"The Point 94.1" KKPT is a Classic Rock station from Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The End of the World

KEBR is a Religious Teaching station licensed to Rocklin, California near Sacramento. They are one of about 160 stations and translators in the Oakland-based Family Radio network.

Last month, an unemployed Family Radio listener from Colorado Springs spent $1,200 on bus bench advertisments proclaiming THE END OF THE WORLD!!! These Armageddon ads read: "Save the date! Return of Christ May 21, 2011 wecanknow.com" along with a picture of someone writing it down in a daily planner (as if he would have otherwise forgotten that THE WORLD IS GOING TO END!!!) Read all about it here. Harold Camping, the president of Family Radio, previously predicted the return of Christ and subsequent Judgment Day to take place on September 6, 1994.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yukon Discovery Day

The third Monday in August is Yukon Discovery Day which commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of gold in 1896 which started the Klondike Gold Rush.

The only item in my collection from Yukon is this foil anniversary sticker from CKRW in Whitehorse. CKRW AM & FM simulcasts a Hot AC format known as "The Rush," a nod to the Klondike Gold Rush.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


1490 AM KBRO is a Spanish-language Sports station licensed to Bremerton, Washington. They are one of about 30 stations in the ESPN Deportes radio network.

This sticker is from 1986 when it's unclear to me what their format was. A 1988 Broadcasting Yearbook lists them as Adult Contemporary while a Seattle radio board claims "1490 kept the country music throughout the 80s and early 90s." Anybody know for sure?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


"K99" KAAK is a Hot AC station from Great Falls, Montana.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Radio 88.6

Radio 88.6 has been broadcasting from Vienna, Austria since 1998. Starting in 2008 the station began using the motto "Wir Spielen Was Wir Wollen" ("We Play What We Want") which was inspired by the plethora of Variety Hits stations known as "JACK FM." Listening live while making this post I heard:

Hootie & the Blowfish "Only Wanna Be With You"
Bon Jovi "We Weren't Born to Follow"
Fiction Factory "Feels Like Heaven"
Deep Purple "Smoke on the Water"
OMC "How Bizarre"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vinyl Record Day

Today is Vinyl Record Day which is dedicated to "the preservation of the cultural influence, the recordings and the cover art of vinyl records." It also coincides with the day Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877.

WFMU is a Freeform station licensed to East Orange, New Jersey. They also run a fantastic blog and sell their supercool stickers at their online store. Another WFMU decal can be seen here.