Friday, January 20, 2006

King Biscuit Flower Hour

King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Show has been on air without inturruption since February 18th 1973. Never has a single show run so long and done so much only to settle into such obscurity.

King Biscuit Flour was manufactured by the Interstate Grocery Company. their first forays into radio were through direct sporsoring of radio programs. These sporsorships were very effective. On 1360 KFFA-AM in Helena, Arkansas local musician Sonny Boy Williamson named his band for his sponsor becoming Sonny Boy Williamson and his King Biscuit Entertainers. Their broadcast stretched across the South reaching a generation of blues artists that would later inspire the rock & roll revolution.

KFFA is still on air today: In 1941, KFFA-AM became the first radio station to broadcast live Blues shows. Artists like Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton, Albert King, Robert Lockwood Jr, Pinetop Perkins , Honey Boy Edwards, and many others came through those doors. KFFA was the center of a small animated blues scence in Helena that fed the blues eastward directly into Memphis.

Side Note: 990 KWEM-AM Memphis picked up on this and for a time carried the syndicated program. these days KWEM is KWAM-AM and runs a fairly lame set of syndicate talk programs, spanish talk at night and old twilight zone radio drams on sunday evenings.

All along the Biscuit staff left the tape running. The King Biscuit Flower Hour continues to broadcast weekly over its syndicated national FM network. Now they use their time each week to connect new fans to classic concerts from the 20 years of Biscuit Archives.

The former King Biscuit Blues festival of Helena AR is going through some tough times> After 21 years I hear the man is trying to hold them down: