Radio Event No. 18: Radio Free Music Day

From the KPFA Archives

Radio Event No. 18: Radio Free Music Day (Original air date: November 7, 1971)

Independent, free form radio has always been an essential part of the Bay Area’s cultural landscape. As the first listener supported non-commercial radio station in the United States, established in 1946, KPFA has played an important role in shaping this history. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, under Music Director Charles Amirkhanian, KPFA hosted a number of “radio events” which were participatory radio programs created with the input of the station’s listeners. Wild and innovative, the programs involved everything from collectively brewing tea over the airwaves to joining listeners in a public jam session in a Berkeley park. For this program, a selection of KPFA’s Radio Events will air daily.

On November 7, 1971, between the hours of 2 PM and 4 PM, KPFA invited the public to play music live on the radio. The KPFA mobile bus was at a park in downtown Berkeley California where the listening public, and anybody else in the area, was asked to bring sound making devices of any sort and to play them in front of the KPFA mics. Foghorns, tympani, license plates, gongs, saxophones, guitars, and garbage cans were all welcome. Anything that could be used to produce sounds was fair game, the stranger the better. The resulting sounds were directly transmitted to Northern California, for all to hear.


This program is organized by Ceci Moss. All recordings available thanks to the Other Minds Archive and the Internet Archive. All recordings licensed under Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.