Thursday, April 02, 2009


88.1 KFCF petered out fast while driving south. I was really surprised how much area 103.3 KZPO-LP covered with it's 800 watt signal. HAAT is everything. it's audible from the city limits of Fresno south all the way past Delano. "Kings Radio" runs a wide mix of oldies, nostalgia and 1970s schlock. They even play Herb Alpert. But it appears to be 100% automation. I heard no live airstaff at all.

In Visalia I caught 94.1 KFSC-LP which purports to play oldies but seemed to be off air. 101.5 KVLP-LP is supposed to be an oldies station but was running easy listening. In Tulare I managed to catch a little 98.1 KNFS-LP which was running an odd talk program about water usage. The station is owned by the Lorax Society and is the picture of the community station. I wish I caught more.

In Tulare I got off the highway to visit the infamous Tagus Ranch Theatre. In the 1920s this was a ranch that paid workers in "chits" rather than dollars.They forced workers to shop at the company store, and live in company housing. It was a step removed from indentured servitude, and two steps from slavery. Steinbeck set his book, Grapes of Wrath here.

In WWII there was a POW on the ranch grounds. The Theatre was a big country music tour stop in the 1960s and 7os. George Jones, Merle Haggard and other big names all played here. It's abandoned now and is partly collapsed and fully grafittied.

In Bakersfield 88.7 KBLV rocks AAA, and 89.1 KPRX carries Valley Public Radio but the city lacks either a proper community station or a college station. The big heritage station here is 550 KUZZ-AM also on 107.9 FM. They've been playing country music in one form or another since 1958. 1560 KPMC-AM and 1490 KSMR-AM went on air in earlier in 1933 and1928, respectively. But while significantly earlier, both have changed forms, brands and formats repeatedly. KUZZ has remained a steadfast.

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