How much can a radio station change in 50 years? Well, a lot. As we kick off Radio Week, a week-long celebration in conjunction with KEXP's 50th birthday focusing on what makes our station special – live human DJs, the artists who make the music we love, and you, our community!
The Afternoon Show's Larry Mizell Jr. hosts a panel alongside some of his daytime DJ colleagues – The Morning Show's John Richards, The Midday Show's Cheryl Waters, and Drive Time's Kevin Cole and Riz Rollins. Throughout their conversation, the DJs reminiscence about the station's early days as KCMU – naked DJs and all.
The DJs also talk about KEXP beginning to find its identity, bringing down the barrier between DJ and listener to build the strong community that the station is renowned for today. They get candid about trying to program radio around the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, and Aretha Franklin, the challenges the station has faced over the years, and how The Mom Show and Music Heals marked a turning point for KEXP and our listeners.
Watch the full discussion below. Special thanks to Wild Gravity for producing this video. Stay tuned for video artist testimonies about KEXP and more coming soon.
This week marks 50 years since the start of this station. KEXP’s Owen Murphy has more on the first year of what was then KCMU, a student run radio station at the University of Washington.
Emily Fox catches up with Leroy Skeers who goes by the name Leroy Henry on air. He DJed at KCMU from 1972-1975.
KEXP’s Midday Show host looks back at the station’s early days as KCMU, getting demo tapes from Ben Gibbard, and one of the biggest Seattle band’s earliest days.