In the late ‘60s, the legendary Tom Donohue envisioned a type of radio that was as far a cry from the top 40 AM radio at the time as anything could ever be. Together with his funky crew of rock and roll radio visionaries he set up KPMX and then KSAN in the San Francisco Bay area as one of the first and arguably best free form rock radio stations ever. You can explore this history in words, pictures and yes audio at the wonderful Jive 95 site. It is almost depressing to read what kind of radio once emanated from the commercial FM band but at least the multitude of non-commercial and Internet radio stations carry on the free form torch proudly. Anyhow, the Jive 95 site certainly is a fun read and listen but the interesting thing is that the spirit as well as some of the personalities that made KSAN great are getting ready for another stab at the rock and roll radio golden ring. That’s right, starting this December (2004) Raechel Donahue and Dusty Street will be participating in a new radio show called Moonlight Groove Highway. Moonlight Groove Highway will be broadcasting live from the Alan Freed Studio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from midnight – 6:00 AM, 7 days a week with a radio production set to deliver “a wide range of music and commentary on the cultural, social and personal impact of rock and roll music.” With the added participation of Ben Fong-Torres, David Spero and Billy Bass, Moonlight Groove Highway could be the next best thing to hit commercial radio since Little Steven’s Underground Garage.
"The Moonlight Groove Highway concept emerged from a passion for rock and roll," said Raechel Donahue. "This program has been designed to serve the needs of stations, listeners and the music community. In today’s environment of consolidation, quality syndicated programming is in increasing demand. Research indicates very strong listener preferences for broader music and features amidst the current array of homogenized programming, and we can supply stations with compelling diversity that listeners seek."
Set to be syndicated nationally, Moonlight Groove Highway should be an extremely welcome addition to real rock and roll radio and proof positive that there is such thing as good radio that is commercially viable. I am really looking forward to this.
UPDATE! Broadcasting is now scheduled to begin in January 2005.