[JPL] clear channels stations, border stations

Arturo arturo893 at qwest.net
Mon Dec 6 15:54:36 EST 2004

No, not those clear channel stations but the AM radio stations that
broadcasted on frequencies no other station used for thousands of miles if
used at all. In the 60's I grew up in the City of Roses, Pasadena and So Cal
had KFI, 640 a clear channel station heard throughout the West and also the
Civil Defense station, remember their symbols on the dial at 640 and 1240?

Driving into the desert at nites or on vacations to points east,  I recall
scaning the dial and hearing stations from Cincy, St Looey and even the
legendary WLAC in Memphis. As die hard baseball fans, my Dad and I would
often search out broadcasts of games on our travels at night in the summer
as my Dad was a traveling salesman in the 60's and I would accompany him
during school vacations.

We also heard border stations from Baja California where 100,000 watts
stations operated since they were not under the jurisdiction of the FCC. My
favorite was XERB out of Tijuana, home to the original, uncut, raw Wolfman
Jack, pre-American Graffitti days before he polished up his act and went
mainstream. :<(
Wolfman would make prank calls on the air before the Jerky Boys were even
born, sing and howl along to the records, pound the board with the mic open
& say outrageous things all the while be playing the best soul, RnB and

Then in the late 60's Tom Donahue's 2nd free form FM station came to town,
KPPC, broadcasting out of the cellar of a church on Colorado Blvd in
Pasadena, that's how I fell in love with FM radio and since then was an
ardent listener to public radio, Pacifica's KPFK was also very radical with
its music mix as well as its politics. Then the 80's came and FM radio's
free forms were forever destroyed and became ordinary counterparts to AM and
corporate buying began ruining a most imaginative medium.

Jazz public radio is the closest thing left to those "good ole days", I
never imagined I would earn a living in radio and in the late 80's my life
changed forever and for better unlike John Lennon sang. It's a change I
cherish to this day.

Arturo Gómez

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