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About the KRAB Archive

The mission of the KRAB Archive is fourfold:

First, in several essays KRAB founder Lorenzo Milam wrote, and occasionally on the air spoke, of radio frequency transmissions carrying the voices of people speaking their minds, or the sounds of music that consoled or uplifted, beyond the confines of gravity and time. He seemed to relish the idea that, although the signal may gradually fade through distance, there was a timelessness to it. In the spirit of that timelessness, the sharing of the material of the archive is to remind the creators of the programs broadcast by KRAB that, although radio station KRAB, Seattle no longer exists, their programs are still relevant and meaningful, and that if contemporary tastes, and attention spans, make them a novelty, they are still a testament to possibilities.

Second, though much is made of the failure of KRAB to be economically successful, in reviewing the programs broadcast over twenty-two years one finds a remarkable consistency in producing programs that challenged conventional publicly held political, social, and scientific beliefs, and, with respect, introduced people to ideas not popularly entertained. Many of the issues taken up in these programs fifty years ago continue to be unresolved problems today.

Third, despite the continuing existence of some form of public broadcasting, the consolidation of media ownership into a few corporate empires, and the effective elimination of a public interest requirement from the criteria for licensing, has resulted in blander, and even less educational and inspiring radio and television than existed fifty years ago. The archive is a reminder to the general public of what media could do for them if the government body that oversees the radio frequency spectrum actually represented their best interests.

And fourth, the last bastion of public, "community", radio is low power FM. With no "protection" from adjacent higher powered stations and extremely limited fundraising potential, it is difficult to say with any certainty how, or if, LPFM will survive. The archive contains numerous examples of quality programs that were produced, by volunteers, with little or no funding. It is hoped that other noncommercial stations and their volunteers will find inspiration and encouragement in these programs.

 


The KRAB Archive has been noticed by a couple of noncommercial radio stations, HistoryLink.org, and a web site dedicated to discussing issues and news of the FCC and public radio:

Shortly after we launched the Archive, manager of KSER, wrote about it in his blog: Memories of KRAB

In 2014 John Caldbick wrote an article for the internet-based encyclopedia of Washington State History, HistoryLink. We were interviewed and the Archive contributed material to the article.

In Mar 2016 we were interviewed by Mike McCormick at KEXP.

In Nov 2016, Paul Riismandel of Radio Survivor, wrote an article about An Online Archive of the Fourth Community Radio Station: KRAB

 


If you possess any souvenirs (program guides, tapes, or photos) or have a story about your experience with KRAB you are willing to share, please email archive@krabarchive.com

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