KFAT and #western106

Just completed that long overdue migration of #ds106radio this week from Canadian Web Hosting (props for a solid 5 years of hosting) to ReclaimHosting.  Broadcasting studio is now setup in a shed on the top of ReclaimHQ and the new antenna is broadcasting stronger than ever with an upgrade to Airtime 2.5.1

Given that the radio schedule is long overdue for a revamp + the fact that #western106 is in need of a country station, I started looking for some syndication candidates for the schedule.

It has been my great fortune to find “the only dead radio station you can listen to on your computer.” KFAT left the airwaves in 1984, but in its short 7 years on the air gathered devoted fans.  It appears the fans and the station recorded hundreds of hours of broadcasts – all of these broadcasts are streamed 24/7 at www.kfat.com.

Here’s a bit about KFAT from Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America that illustrates why I think these recordings are a perfect fit for and listeners for the next few months:

It may have been the only commercial station, a listener later declared, where you could hear Slim Pickens introduce a Dead Kennedys record.  There was a joke a lot of the DJs like: “It’s all country music. It just depends on what country you come from.”

KFAT was a country music station, but it wasn’t like any other commercial country operation.  It was a freeform country station run by hippies and hip rednecks … there were those weird promos it ran, like the station identification announcements that featured “famous people sneezing.” …

If the Summer of Love had taken place in a garlic-growing country town, if Berkely’s longhaired rebels had preferred George Jones to the Jefferson Airplane, if Jerry Garcia had joined Bill Monroe’s bluegrass band – well, then it would have been a very different world, and KFAT would have been a commercial triumph.  Instead, it was a financial failure, a strange tributary of ‘70s radio that didn’t lead anywhere in particular but sure took an interesting route.

“You know what?” he said. “We could create a radio station that, masquerading as a country station, is like a twenty-four-hour-a-day lampoon of country music.  But in the process, it’s playing folk music, it’s playing music with a living-in-the-country feel, whether it’s the Grateful Dead or George Jones.  And mixed in is inventive production, and mixed in is satire and engaging, interesting characters who have funny names.”  He loved the call letters Lorenzo had come up with, but ge figured they could take the idea further. “Not only do we want to call it KFAT – we want to call it The Fat One. We want to give it that image, to have a big fat cowboy logo.” KFAT, Yurdin suggested, should feel like something vaguely forbidden – like an old Mexican border blaster or a distant black station in the 1950’s South.  It should unusual, eclectic, and exciting.

I have been listening to this stream syndicated over ds106rad.io/listen for the last 2 days and loving it.  Looking forward to digging further into KFAT and #western106 over the next few months.  Also … I think & may be just the platform needed to launch that freaker country band …




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