This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The day the music died for me in 1982, Tempe, Arizona


When I moved to Phoenix, at age 18, I didn't listen to the radio much. I had an old MG, and although it had a radio, it was only AM, and the car wasn't really built for listening to the radio (if you've ever been in an MG, you know what I mean). But at age 20 I bought a car that had an FM radio. And it was the era of progressive music, of long-playing albums and long-playing songs that were played uninterrupted by FM DJs. I remember it well.

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the radio station. And I've been talking to people about this for at least a decade now, even on the internet. So, I'll describe it to you, because it went off the air in 1982, and that was probably because so few people were listening to it! But I was.

I was going to ASU at the time, and I was outraged that my favorite radio station was about to go away. Back in those days, people signed petitions, which was just about as useless as anything people do today to rescue a business that's failing financially.

My car had one of the push-buttons set to the station, and I was listening to the station as I drove to school in the morning. That afternoon, after class, when I turned my radio on, all I heard was a hiss. It was gone. I remember sitting in my car and just listening to the hiss, as if I had lost a friend, there in the student parking by the stadium. And the next day some "easy listening" music had taken its place, just like they said it would.

It must have been a very obscure little FM station, that didn't last very long, because no one I've ever talked to, who remembers back to 1982, remembers it. And maybe it was an early lesson for me - if no one listens, the radio station goes away.


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