My KPFA - A Historical Footnote




when Kpfa was new



On April 15th, 1974, twenty-five years after KPFA first went on the air, cantankerous WBAI programmer and station manager Larry Josephson put aside his Bah! Humbug! persona and hosted Pacifica is 25 [click to listen] a warm-hearted, dignified ninety-minute sound documentary celebrating the birth of listener-supported broadcasting in America. It would prove to be the last time the station’s founders were brought together in a single program. Included were the voices of:

Lewis Hill, the station’s founder and first manager

Joy Hill, his wife

Christopher Hill, his son

Eleanor McKinney, the first program director

Ed Meece, the first station engineer

Alan Rich, the second music director

William Triest, the first announcer

Virginia Maynard, the first drama producer

Norman Jorganson, the station’s first FCC attorney

Alexander Meiklejohn, KPFA’s patron saint of free speech

Josephine Gardener, the first children’s programmer 

If you seek a single program that embodies the essence of early KPFA’s ethos and aesthetics, then look no further. The calm, the intelligence, the generosity,  the scope, the intimacy, the inclusiveness, the unagressive laid-back delivery – they’re all here. In a world gone mad, these measured words are as reassuring and invigorating as a Bach fugue, a Gothic cathedral or a country hike.