KRAB Primary References and Links
There are not a lot of places, but some authoritative ones, where you can get an understanding of what, in the early years of public radio, Listener-supported radio was like. Here you will find a few of the obvious ones, beginning with the beginning of listener-supported radio, Lewis Hill and KPFA.
The first generation: Pacifica: KPFA, KPFK, WBAI
The Exacting Ear, edited by Eleanor McKinney is an anthology of mostly transcriptions of programs aired on Pacifica's first three stations, KPFA, KPFK, and WBAI. It also contains an essay by Lewis Hill, in which he articulates The Theory of Listener-Sponsored Radio.
For more about KPFA, see the web site of John Whiting, a KPFA Production Manager and program producer in the 1960's. It contains audio of programs and Whiting's first-hand account: My KPFA - A Historical Footnote.
See also his beginning of a history of KPFA, The Lengthening Shadow, Lewis Hill and the Origins of Listener-Sponsored Broadcasting in America, and his 1996 article about Pacifica in which one can find many parallel's with KRAB's second 11 years: PACIFICA IN VINCULA - The Life and Death of Great American Radio
Some of the programs on Whiting's site were also broadcast on KRAB: Erik Bauersfeld's radio drama series Black Mass, Compendium Cliché Productions, Dale Minor's "Freedom Now!", and others.
The Exacting Ear is available used.
Click on cover to see Contents.
More History of Pacifica
For a comprehensive history of Pacifica, Matthew Lasar has it covered in his two books:
Pacifica Radio, The Rise of an Alternative Network, Matthew Lasar (Temple University Press, 1999), reviewed by Lorenzo Milam in RALPH.
Uneasy Listening, Pacifica Radio's Civil War, Matthew Lasar (Black Apollo Press, 2006), also reviewed by Milam in RALPH.
Here is Matthew Lasar writing in RALPH about record stores as they once existed: Sam Goody Then...
And, Matthew Lasar's newsletter and blog about what is going on in radio: Radio Survivor
See if you can find Steve Post's entertaining stories of WBAI in better times: Playing in the FM Band, A Personal Account of Free Radio, (Viking Press, 1974)
Recommended with some reservation, Active Radio, Pacifica's Brash Experiment, Jeff Land (University of Minnesota Press, 1999)
For the story of KRAB, the writings of Lorenzo Milam, in the program guide essays, in three books, and many articles, is the place to go. You will find many of the guides posted here, but many from 1963 through 1966 are still missing. Some of the missing guide essays can be found in The Myrkin Papers and The Radio Papers, both of which are available used. If you are satisfied with reading online, click on the book cover(s) below.
Mho & Mho Works may still have new copies of The Radio Papers, The Petition Against God, and others of Lorenzo's "litter of pigs".
The 4th edition of Sex and Broadcasting was revised and released by Mho & Mho in 1988, and in 2017 was re-released by Dover.
The first edition of Sex and Broadcasting (above) is courtesy Linda and Leonard Good; the other books come from the library of c reinsch.
Lorenzo has written about radio and KRAB in Ralph (The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities):
HistoryLink and Seattle Now & Then
Walt Crowley, a friend of KRAB and occasional program participant, seems to have gotten the idea to create an encyclopedia of Seattle and King County history in 1997. It was Mary McCaffrey, Walt's wife, who suggested putting it on the internet. Another friend of KRAB, Paul Dorpat, incorporated HistoryLink in Nov 1997, and a prototype of the site was launched the following year. HistoryLink now features articles documenting the history of Washington State.
In 2014 John Caldbick wrote a comprehensive, but thorough, article about KRAB. In addition to extensive research, John interviewed Paul Dorpat and Chuck Reinsch, and questioned Jon Gallant by email.
Speaking of Paul Dorpat, Seattle's Historian Without Portfolio, KRAB appears on several occasions in his "Seattle Now & Then" articles that appeared in the Seattle Times and are archived (with additional material) on his web site. Two examples are linked below. Be sure and read the comments.
More About KRAB and Listener-Supported Radio
Phil Munger (former KRAB morning show producer, Music Director and in some guides News Director) occasionally writes about his experiences and the people associated with KRAB (including Jeremy Lansman and George Shangrow) in his Progressive Alaska blog. Phil was there 1970 to 1973, and I can almost hear the transmitter hum in his reminiscences.
Rebels on the AIR, an Alternative History of Radio in America, Jesse Walker (New York University Press, 2001) - I liked what Jesse Walker wrote about "The First Broadcasters" (chapter 2), but those parts of the book dealing with KRAB post-Milam needed more knowledgeable informants. This may be attributable to the reluctance of those that were there during a traumatic time to talk about it.
"Reverend A W Allworthy" (author of The Petition Against God) reviews "Rebels..... at ralphmag.org. (You will need to scroll down).
For the history of a couple of other alternative radio stations,
See these articles by engineer Don Mussell:
The History Of KAZU radio in Pacific Grove, California
The History Of KUSP radio in Santa Cruz, California
Radio Archives on the Internet
There are large collections of magnetic recording tape in major and minor universities in the US, and while there is currently an effort to preserve some of the audio through digitization, it has become clear that much of it will disintegrate well before the project can be completed.
Attached is a list of sources for examples of radio programs from the later half of the 20th century that can be streamed or downloaded via the internet. The list is incomplete, so I am hoping that you will let me know of other sites that should be added to it.
And more about KRAB.....
What? Recently it was pointed out to me that I had been derelict in sharing some the earliest, and most admirable (or is it admiring?), articles written about KRAB. Wishing to correct that, here is an article from the June 1964 Seattle Magazine, fifteen months after KRAB went on the air. (Click on the photo to read the article.)
New to me was the organization, "CLAW" or "Committee to Enlighten the Airwaves", "run" by Bud and Sylvia Havlisch. Or is it Committee to Light (up) the Air Waves? See page 6 of Building Bridges to learn about Bud Havlisch.
Lorenzo Milam and Charles Howlett in doughnut shop control:
Should you have a loose copy of the June 1964 Seattle Mag, I would very much like to scan it. The bound edition at the library presented problems.
Here is another article. (Click on title or image to read)
This one written by Lorenzo himself.
Published in Puget Soundings the magazine of the Junior League of Seattle.
Note the sub-title: "In the pursuit of silence, let there be a great deal of noise". It echoes Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale, and will become a recurrent theme in Lorenzo's other endeavors.
For at least five years past I have pined for an FM radio. In an instant last Christmas, this creature craving was twice satisfied, once by three friends, and once by my wife, who is sometimes also friend.
I own two FM radios and am pretty much master of all I survey, as well as becoming an odious radio, FM please, snob.
It is in my own personal discovery that I exult, and hasten to share with you a new knowledge, a knowledge I feel sure I am the last to have acquired.
There are FM stations, and there are FM stations. After having heard the local lot, I am prepared to pass judgement. It's my discovery and I'm stuck with it.
Station KRAB, 107.7 mc, seems to me to be pretty much everything that we could ask for in a contemporary communication device. It is appropriate for our time.
(Click on title above, or image on right to read the rest)
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 email@example.com