KFJC 89.7FM

History

Over 60 years of Radio Activity

1959

At 8:PM on October 20, KFJC station manager Bob Ballou spoke the first words ever to be heard on KFJC, broadcasting from a broom closet on frequency 88.5 MHz FM at the old Foothill Junior College campus in Mountain View, California. Ballou's actual remarks are lost in the great beyond. Broadcasts took place Mondays through Thursdays, between 5 and 7:PM only, with programming such as the popular "Background to Study By" and prerecorded educational materials.

1961

The new Foothill College campus in Los Altos Hills opened. KFJC changes frequency from 88.5 MHz FM to 89.7 MHz FM.

1965

First rock record played on KFJC: "Fear" by the Ventures. DJ Woody Muff was reprimanded afterwards.

1966

DJ Woody Muff was later shown to be prescient with his instincts, with the debut of his 3 hour rock show from 9:AM to noon on Saturday, April 2. A featured track was the Sonic's "Louie Louie", certainly not the last time that song would be heard on KFJC (see 1983!). Alas, rock programming was discontinued later that year, and Woody was forced out by more reserved staff members.

1968

Staffing at KFJC numbered over 100 volunteers, and the broadcast day was increased, running from noon to 9:30PM, Monday through Friday. Hard rock was showcased via shows such as "Yellow Unicorn".

1970

During the nationwide student strike about the war that spring, the entire Foothill campus was shut down, except for the fire station and KFJC, which offered a week-long open-mic for the community during the strike. This was KFJC's first big revolution, with staff spinning so-called "progressive" music and informing listeners of local anti-war protests. Enrollment in radio classes rose dramatically in response.

1974

KFJC started broadcasting in stereo.

1978

On October 4, five student managers at KFJC voted to overthrow the general manager in reaction to his aggressive emphasis on tight formatting, following mainstream radio industry practice. The mutineers take control of KFJC, waving high the banner of Punk. This was another defining moment in KFJC history.

1980

KFJC increased its power from 10 to 250 watts.

1981

KFJC held its first April Fool's day (tune in if you don't know) as well as the first Month of Mayhem specials

1983

Starting August 19th, KFJC captured the attention of the Wall Street Journal (and the rest of the world) with the definitive "Maximum Louie Louie" marathon that ran for over 63 hours and featured 823 versions, including "Louie" songwriter Richard Berry performing his song live on the air.

1984

The KFJC studios are enlarged and remodeled, finally adding a bathroom. Legend decrees that it's never been clean since then.

1993

The on-air fall fundraiser became an annual event starting this year. And in September, KFJC introduced its fundraising "Penny Pitch" remote broadcasts.

1994

KFJC issued its first CD release, "Summer Surf", as part of the 1994 fundraising effort.

1996

In January, KFJC had its first-ever international remote broadcasts, live from JTI Studio in Brixton, England, presenting four bands over two weekends. KFJC also started webcasting on the Internet later that spring.

1998

In April, KFJC broadcast live from "Terrastock II" in San Francisco.

2000

In October, KFJC traveled to Dunedin, New Zealand, for six nights of remote broadcasts, featuring 15 bands.

2002-2003

Two of the KFJC studios are once again remodeled and upgraded.

2004

KFJC celebrates 45 years on the air with the release of its first seven-inch 45 r.p.m. single, as well as scheduling an entire day of 45 r.p.m. single programming on Sunday, October 31.

2006

In April, KFJC broadcast live from "Terrastock 6" in Providence, RI (original location for the first Terrastock).

2007

KFJC begins video streaming "Live Mics" and other events. A digital splitter is added to the live broadcast equipment, improving the quality of off site broadcasts.

2008

In August, KFJC visits Tokyo, Japan for 2 nights of live broadcasts and our first four camera live video stream.

2009

KFJC celebrates 50 years in broadcasting with the historic return of Bob Ballou, KFJC designer. Signing-on 50 years later on Tuesday, October 20th at 8pm.

2012

IBS 2012: KFJC named Best Community College Radio Station

2013

Sometimes the best-laid plans don't come to fruition! KFJC had been invited to team up with WFMU for an ambitious live remote broadcast from the Alchemy at Zahar Festival in the Sahara desert; unfortunately arrangements for the festival fell apart at the last minute, so the broadcast never happened. On the plus side, the equipment we purchased to upgrade our live streaming video for this event has been put to good use for all our live mics and remote broadcasts ever since!

2014

24-hour specials are often a staple of KFJC's Month of Mayhem. During this year's “24-hour drone" a continuous drone performance took place, involving a long line-up of artists.

KFJC also traveled to Europe to broadcast from the Liverpool Psych Fest later this year.

2016

KFJC headed to Europe to broadcast from the Eindhoven Psych Lab in The Netherlands, and the Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno, Italy (documented on one of our fundraiser compilation releases).

2017

KFJC’s world travels are becoming a regular event, with live remote broadcasts from the Liverpool Psych Fest as well as an underground music festival in Iceland (learn the nitty gritty of these broadcasts!).

2018

Live remote broadcasts took place this year from festivals focused on primitive guitar, metal, and surf music. The KFJC crew traveled to Maryland for the Thousand Incarnations of the Rose festival, then across the pond to Berlin for the Never Surrender festival and Reverb Rampage to stream these performances live.

2019

KFJC celebrates its 60th anniversary! In honor of that milestone, DJs aim to play 60 straight hours of vinyl during College Radio Day’s Vinylthon in April. Being over-achievers, KFJC stuck with all-vinyl programming for an entire week: 168 hours total (60 years + 108 watts). College Radio Day named KFJC the “Vinylthon Station of the Year.”

KFJC

A great article from back in the day.

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12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
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