KBOO STORIES PROJECT
The KBOO Stories Project is part of KBOO Radio’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The Project aims to collect interviews with people who have been important to KBOO’s history, including staff and board members and on-air and off-air volunteers. We want to collect stories about KBOO and the various individuals involved at the station, particularly in the station’s early years. If possible we would also like to collect information about the history of various communities or genres of programming at KBOO, for example, African American programming, Folk Programming, Jazz, etc. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in participating in an interview.
People who arrived at KBOO in the 1960's - 70's
Barbara Bernstein first volunteered at KBOO for a brief time in 1971, working on a news program. She left and then returned in 1978, hosting mainly music programs, including New Ears, which focused on contemporary classical music. In the 1980's and 90's she hosted many public affairs shows and specials, including a teach-in on the Gulf War. She co-hosted KBOO's award-winning live broadcast of the 1993 National Forest Conference which was held in Portland. She has hosted the public affairs program Locus Focus since 1991. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Karen Burdick became a KBOO volunteer in the early 1970's. She hosted a number of programs including Jazz in the Night, After Hours, and Jazz in the Afternoon. She was the Program Director from 1973-1977. Interviewers Kathleen Stephenson and Rick Mitchell.
Ralph Coulson was a KBOO listener starting in 1970 and came to the station in 1978 in response to on-air volunteer solicitations. He soon became the "volunteer" Volunteer Coordinator after the paid position was eliminated. He later helped with the formation of KBOO's News Department and served as the Interim Public Affairs Director. He helped start the Environments East West program in the early 1980's, serving as technical support. He hosted numerous public affairs interviews on the Radiozine. He says he considered himself a "utility infielder" at KBOO. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Benjamin dawson III
Benjamin (Ben) Dawson III is a broadcast engineer by profession. In the mid-1960s he helped Portland classical music fans who were looking to establish a community radio station. They had contacted Lorenzo Milam at KRAB in Seattle for assistance in applying for a new station. When Ben was called by a representative of the group, probably Lloyd Livingstone, he recommended that the frequency of their new station should be 90.7FM and that the location of their transmitter should be on an amateur radio tower in the backyard of Harold Singleton’s home in the Council Crest neighborhood. Later he helped build the KBOO Studio on Belmont Street from “spare parts and junk from various other people.”
Charles de Greef
Charles de Greef came to KBOO in 1969. Over the years he hosted a variety of classical and jazz programs including Jazz Here and Abroad, Dawn Concert, A Little Night Music and more. He hosted The Dutch Hour, which focused on music from Holland and information for the local Dutch community, until his death in 2016. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Susan Dobroff came to KBOO in 1976. She quickly became involved in programming. In 1977 she founded Bread and Roses, a program of feminist music and public affairs, which is still on the air. She was there at the beginning of KBOO’s Women Collective, and she was one of the alternating hosts of Womansoul in the late 1970s.
Per Fagereng first came to KBOO in 1977 or 1978. He produced commentaries for the Radiozine program for many years. He also interviewed authors and activists and hosted talk radio programs. He has hosted the bi-monthly public affairs show Fight the Empire since 2009. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Dale Farr is one of the hosts of The Roots of Rock and Roll, currently airing on KBOO on Fridays at 3PM. He became a KBOO volunteer in 1978 and since then has hosted The Roots of Rock and Roll at various days and times, as it changed over the years.
Barbara Gundle was part of the first news team at KBOO in 1971. She and other members of the Portland Revolutionary Youth Movement were dedicated to political work and sharing information about social justice issues. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Wade Hockett, the Mighty Hawk, started the first KBOO country music show, Boo Country, in the early 1970's. He left the station in 1977, but returned in the early-to-mid 1990's to host Hillbilly Hunh? He currently hosts The Noontime Jamboree. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Brooke Jacobson, founder of the Northwest Film Studies Center, hosted Talking Pictures on KBOO in 1971. Two decades later she returned to KBOO as part of the Old Mole Variety Hour. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Gordon Keane hosted "Blues in the Night," from 1970 until mid-1973. It was probably KBOO's first blues program. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
J. Michael Kearsey
J. Michael Kearsey started the show "Sounds for Sore Ears" in 1973 and hosted it until 1984. Michael wrote for the "Scribe" newspaper at the time and was a musician with the jazz-based group Upepo. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Maureen Key was on the KBOO Board of Directors from 1978 to 1981 during the time that KBOO decided to buy a building. For part of that time she was Board President. She also chaired the Personnel Committee and produced an award-winning panel discussion about women and politics. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Steve Law started volunteering at KBOO in 1979 and became the Volunteer Coordinator in early 1980, serving until 1983, when he left Portland. He returned a few years later and served on the Board of Directors for six and a half years. He also chaired the Program Committee for a year. He left KBOO in 1994. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Carol Mazer came to KBOO in the mid 1970's and became the Director of Publicity and Promotion in 1976. Soon after that, she became the Program Director. She hosted and produced many programs including Hot Lunch Special and The Gadfly's Lament. She left KBOO in the late 1970's to travel. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Rick Mitchell was a volunteer programmer at KBOO from 1974 to 1987. Over that time he hosted many different types of programs. Before he left Portland in 1987 his weekly show was called Saturday Night Jam: Interboogie-ology. He was Development Director for a brief period in the late 1970's. He served on various committees and as chair of the Programming Committee. He returned to Portland and KBOO in the summer of 2017. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Michael O'Rourke and Mary Orr
Michael O'Rourke and Mary Orr met at KBOO in the 1970's, fell in love and became life partners. Michael had begun volunteering at KBOO in the late 1960's as a board engineer who played tapes of pre-recorded programs. In the early 1970's he took over the bluegrass program, renaming it "Music from the True Vine." He hosted it for several years. He later served two non-consecutive terms on the Board of Directors. Mary Orr came to KBOO in 1977 and soon became Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. She also co-hosted several shows, including "Mundo Latino" and "Bread and Roses." Michael and Mary produced a documentary called "The Lives and Music of Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl." Michael later produced several documentaries on nuclear proliferation with KBOO sponsorship, including "Boomtown," a history of the Hanford Nuclear reservation, and "Dr. Strangelove's Children." Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Stephen Parsons came to KBOO in 1974. He was the creator, producer and host of the Pathways program, which began in 1975. He left the program in 1983, but the program is still on the air with longtime host Paul O'Brien. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson
Jonathan Potkin came to KBOO in 1973. He was an active volunteer, hosting classical music programs and working on pledge drives. He became the Program Director in 1977 and held that position until late 1980. He currently serves on KBOO's 50th Anniversary Committee. Interviewers Kathleen Stephenson and Rick Mitchell.
Bill Reinhardt began volunteering at KBOO in late 1969. He was the Program Director from 1970 to 1975. He began hosting the late-night, free-form-radio program The Radio Lab, when Mike Palmer left the station in 1970 and continued hosting the show until he left the station in 1985. Interviewers Kathleen Stephenson and Rick Mitchell.
Sheila Rubin became KBOO’s Production Coordinator in 1979, training numerous volunteers in all aspects of radio production. She later served as Program Director from 1980 to 1982. As Program Director Shelia was instrumental in initiating and designing the controverial program changes in April 1982 that introduced Black programming to evening drive time. The new programming aired from 6-8pm on weekday evenings, replacing eveing classical music, which had been a favorite of the primary listener base. The changes were made in response to community needs.
She hosted many public affairs programs including Tuesday Magazine and Bread and Roses. She continued to volunteer at the station until 1992, when she moved to the Bay Area. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Jim Seafeldt originated the first bluegrass program on KBOO in 1971. It was called Back Porch Music. He hosted it for about a year. When Jim left Michael O’Rourke took over the show and changed the name to Music from the True Vine. In the late 70’s Jim returned to host the show once a month and to substitute. He left KBOO in the early 90’s. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Evan Shlaes came to KBOO in 1978 and became a late-night programmer from midnight to 6AM on Thursday nights, hosting The Insomnia Hour. He also served as one of the hosts of the KBOO trivia show. He left in 1983. Interviewers Kathleen Stephenson and Rick Mitchell.
Norman Solomon began volunteering at KBOO in 1971. He hosted both a music show and a public affairs show. Names for his shows during the 1970's included New Capsule Breakthroughs (public affairs), Meromorphic Melodies, Heliotropic Melodies, and As the World Churns. He served on the KBOO Board of Directors for five years beginning in 1975. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Laurie Sonnenfeld started volunteering in KBOO's news department in 1979. She served on the Development Committee and on several hiring committees. Later she served two and a half nonconsecutive terms on the KBOO Board of Directors. She was also the art director and editor of the KBOO Program Guide for two years. In the 1990's she hosted the monthly public affairs program Speaking of Animals. She started the activist folk-music show Movin On in the 1980's and still hosts it once a month. You can hear her every third Friday at noon. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Anthony Stoppiello has been involved in KBOO since the mid-1970's. He was the Construction Coordinator/Manager during the building of the KBOO studios at 20 SE 8th Avenue. He served on various committees and hosted his own program, which featured interviews with people from the community involved in architecture. He has also been a guest on KBOO's public affairs programs, talking about energy and related issues. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
Victoria Stoppiello, (formerly Vicki Tempey), began volunteering at KBOO in 1977. She became President of the Board of Directors in 1978. She became Station Manager for the first time in the early 1980's and oversaw KBOO's buying and remodeling of the new studios at 20 SE 8th Avenue. She served as KBOO's Station Manager two more times. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Joe Uris hosted a number of KBOO news and/or public affairs programs in the 1970's and 80's. He helped start the KBOO Morning Talk Radio programming in the early 90's. He currently co-hosts The Abe and Joe Talk Radio Show with Abe Proctor on Tuesday mornings. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
Michael Vance came to KBOO in 1977 or 1978 at the invitation of George Page. He hosted a late-night R&B program that featured love songs and slow jams until the mid-1980's. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
In 1971 Tom Wendt visited KBOO and was recruited to play some blues selections on the air at that time. He became an actual volunteer in late 1973 or early 1974 and began hosting a regular blues program. He has interviewed many blues musicians over the years. He currently hosts Blues Junction on Saturday nights. Interviewer Rick Mitchell.
People who arrived at KBOO in the 1980's
Bob Bailey was on the KBOO Board of Directors from 1980 to 1983, during the time that KBOO bought and rebuilt the current building at 20 SE 8th Avenue. He was on a Board Subcommittee to search for a new location and raise funds for the purchase and the rebuilding. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Celeste Carey began volunteering at KBOO in 1989. She has done a wide variety of volunteer tasks including acting as receptionist, helping with mailings, handling ticket-giveaways and serving on committees. She served on the KBOO Board for ten years and was Board President for three consecutive years. She is the host of An Evening of Afrotainment on Saturdays from 7-10PM. She also co-hosts More Talk Radio with Cecil Prescod on Mondays from 8-9AM. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
Shaheed Haamid came to KBOO in 1980 to help put the Islamic Point of View program on the air. It was then called Imam W.D. Muhammad Speaks. He served as the producer of that program for many years. He became a host of both music and public affairs programs. He served on the KBOO Board of Directors and as Board President, and he chaired the Programming Committee. He currently produces Islamic Point of View and is a member of the current Board of Directors. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
Ani Haines has been KBOO's Volunteer Coordinator since 2000. She interned in the KBOO News Department while she was a high school student at the Metropolitan Learning Center in the early 1980's. She returned to KBOO as a volunteer in the late 1980's and later became part of the Morning News crew and hosted a late night music show focused on Riot Grrrls, Punk and English Rebel music. In 1994 Ani began co-hosting Positively Revolting Talk Radio with Melodie Silverwolf. She has served on the Personnel Committee since 1994 and was a member of the Board of Directors for several years. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
Carol Matsuyoshi came to KBOO in the early 1980's. She worked on the program Environments East West for twenty years, hosting the monthly installment of the show which focused on the Japanese-American community. She was also a contributor to Between the Covers, interviewing Asian-American poets and writers. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Yugen Rashad, "Gene the Jazz Machine," first came to KBOO in 1982 to meet George Page, after calling in during George's "Jazz Rap" Show. Yugen became a substitute jazz host and then got his own late night show called "Jazz Interlude." Later he became the host of "Home Cookin" on Saturday afternoons. He now calls that show "The Motif." In the early 1990's Yugen became the News Director and created the KBOO Morning News program. He also helped create the Saturday night program that later became "An Evening of Afrotainment." Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Bill Resnick is co-founder of the Old Mole Variety Hour, which debuted on KBOO in 1988. Prior to that time he produced commentaries for the Radiozine program. He continues to co-host and do interviews for the Old Mole Variety Hour. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
Robyn Shanti hosted the Dharma Wheel for twenty-three years on KBOO. She also started the Grateful Dead Marathons and the Grateful Dead and Friends program. She co-hosted Bread and Roses and Womansoul for many years. She did numerous interviews for public affairs programs. She was on the Board of Directors twice, and she served as the Development Director in the 1990’s. She still occasionally substitutes on music shows. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson. (*Please note: large audio file takes a moment to load.)
Henry Weeks began volunteering at KBOO in 1980. He started helping out Swing "n" Country hosts John Andrews and Sam Doney on Saturday mornings. Later he became a co-host of Swing "n" Country with his wife Moggy Vanderkin. He and Moggy also co-hosted Dawnbreaker's Breakdown, which ended in 2016. Interviewer Gene Bradley.
People who arrived at KBOO in the 1990's
Reggae Bob first participated with KBOO by introducing a reggae band during the 1999 Boo Ball. In 2001, he began programming and hosting his first reggae show, Good Times, which was part of KBOO's popular Soul Strip of musical programming. He followed up his Good Times program with the show Jamaica Nice and his current show Reggae World, which airs every Wednesday morning, from 3:00 am - 5:30 am. Interviewer Lanita Duke.
Emma Jackson Ford, O.B. Hill and Patricia Welch
Emma Jackson Ford, O.B. Hill and Patricia Welch came together to host a program about books by black authors in 1997. In 1998 they settled on Black Book Talk as the name of the show. It now airs on the first Thursday of the month at 11:30AM. Emma became known as "Book Woman" when she hosted a segment of the Proverbial Perspectives program in the mid-1990's. Patricia Welch was the administrator at the North Portland branch of the Multnomah County Library. And O.B. Hill co-owned and ran Reflections Bookstore in Northeast Portland. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.
Cecil Charles Prescod
Cecil Prescod first came to KBOO in the early 1990's. He has co-hosted the More Talk Radio program with Celeste Carey on Mondays at 8AM since 1993. He also served on a variety of KBOO Committees, including quite a few hiring committees. Interviewer Kathleen Stephenson.