I’d like to wish a happy 25th Birthday to KFSR, 90.7 FM, the radio station at California State University, Fresno.
I know that if you check their website, it claims that they went on the air in the evening of October 31, 1982, but that’s dead wrong.
I can totally see how the mistake happened: in the early days, it always made total sense to combine the anniversaries with Halloween parties, and over the years, it just became accepted that the station was born on Halloween.
But it wasn’t: KFSR went on the air at noon on Saturday, October 30, 1982. I should know, I was there, having been looking forward to it since I got involved with the station in early 1981. And a quarter-century later, here’s what I remember for sure:
- It had been raining really hard.
- The first song played was Ramones “We Want The Airwaves.”
- Nothing was ever the same.
It was just a bit of serendipity that it even happened, actually. It was the day before the Super Bowl, and Rox was at the store, picking up supplies for our yearly way-too-much-food party. Normally, I’m conscripted to go to the grocery store with her, but since I’d been out of town of a couple of weeks, she felt pity on me.
Which is a short way of saying that I shouldn’t have even been there when the phone rang, and since I thought it was her calling from the store, asking about whether or not we had enough brown sugar or something, I actually answered the phone. Which never ever never happens.
But it wasn’t Roxanne at all, it was Arbitron, and they needed me. It was about fracking time.
Obviously, I’m thankful for family, friends, health, employment. But forget all of that, because here is my list of the Medialoper-y things for which I’m thankful right now:
I’m probably opening myself up for non-stopping ribbing by admitting to this, but I listen to country music radio. At least I did until KZLA — who have always called themselves “America’s most listened to country station” — abruptly became “Movin 93.9” last Thursday.
I listened to KZLA’s morning show on my way to work Thursday morning but when I got back in my car to head home that evening I was shocked to hear “Mambo #5” coming out of my speakers. My first thought was that it was on the wrong station, however a quick glance and the pretty purple LCD screen told me that I was still on 93.9. Something was wrong. Very wrong. I promptly turned the volume down and called my husband on my cellphone. When I got home, I checked the headlines online only to find that it was even a surprise to the station air staff.
So there I was, sitting in traffic, round about where the 110 meets the 5 and everybody seems to think polite merging involves cutting off other drivers, when I heard the opening riff of “Marquee Moon”. On the radio, because you know, it’s not so unusual for me to hear that song on a mix CD. But on the radio? During a radio show about money, markets, and business?
Anomaly, I thought. Until the Luna song. At least I’m pretty sure it was Luna. They definitely played Wilco, and I’m almost positive I heard a bit of Bob Mould. Alas, Marketplace from American Public Media isn’t a show about music. It’s a show that takes a daily look at the news of the world from the perspective of how it impacts business. The centerpiece of every show is “The Numbers”, a wrap-up of how the various markets did that day, though you can guess because they play happy or sad music as an intro, depending. Yesterday, by the way, was the sad music.