My friend and noted radio historian Jesse Walker e-mailed me the other day. “Just found out that there’s a ton of back issues of the WBAI and KPFK folios posted at archive.org,” Walker wrote. “Did you know this?”
He was referring to the Internet Archives, of course. I think I did know, but then I looked at the resource and thought . . . wow. Indeed, there really is a boatload of Pacifica radio related stuff going back to the earliest KPFA subscriber folios (KPFA was the first Pacifica listener supported station, launched in 1949; WBAI came next in 1959; KPFK in 1960).
Then I wondered how much material is available from other community radio stations. Looks like there is a considerable amount of recent content from WFMU in New Jersey, quite a bit from KAOS in Olympia, Washington, a bunch from WORT in Madison, and a not-too-shabby helping from Pirate Cat Radio in San Francisco.
Much of this is audio. I haven’t got the time to do a station-by-station search of all the pirate/college/community radio related content available on the site, but it would be fun to get a thread going that indicates what other searchers are finding.
Who is uploading all this neat stuff, anyway? Never mind. It’s great that it’s there.
“To think one once had to leave one’s home to track such things down,” Walker observed.
Update: In the case of the KPFA Folios, the uploader in question is Brian DeShazor of the Pacifica Radio Archives. He’s made every Folio from KPFA’s inception to the demise of the magazine in the mid-1990s available. “He had most of them,” notes former Folio editor Richard Wolinsky on the KPFA Listeners Facebook page, “contacted me, and I retrieved the rest from deep storage.”