KFJC History Blog

Noisy Pipes & Relaxing Music: KFJC’s 1960 “Adolescent” Phase

Cynthia Lombard   10/19/2019  

Having launched in October 1959, KFJC was still a young station in January, 1960, when a Foothill Sentinel headline proclaimed, “FM station reaches adolescent stage.” The piece lists off a litany of challenges at KFJC, including noisy steam pipes in the studio. “KFJC has suffered every type of growing pain conceivable from delayed equipment to floods and who-knows-what-else in the first months of its life,” according to the article.

KFJC studio in 1960. Photo: Foothill-DeAnza Historic Archives

Bob Ballou stepped down as KFJC’s Station Manager in the spring, 1960 semester, replaced by new “basement boss” Bruce Wentler. Ballou was still very active at Foothill College, even meeting Vice-President Richard Nixon and Governor Edmund Brown as part of his work as city editor of the Foothill Sentinel.

Foothill Sentinel, Feb. 26, 1960 from Foothill-DeAnza Historic Archives

Broadcasting over 88.5 FM on Mondays through Thursdays for two hours a night (from 5 to 7pm) in March 1960, KFJC’s schedule included the programs “Symphonia,” “Washington Reports,” “Musicomania,” “Traditional Jazz,” “Foothill in Review,” “Evening Opera” and more. By April, 1960, KFJC expanded programming to Friday nights, for a total of 10 hours of weekly programming. New shows included “Music for Dining,” “Songs of our Land,” and “A World of Music.” By, September, 1960, “Music for Relaxation” kicked off each night’s schedule at 5pm and KFJC was up to 11 hours of weekly programming.

Christmas-themed programming included holiday greetings in 22 languages as well as a Los Altos Youth Symphony concert and a broadcast of Handel’s Messiah in December, 1960.

KFJC’s 2nd annual Open House was held in December, 1960, with the station hosting 100 guests. “A microphone placed outside of the main broadcast booth was set up to catch the sound of the visitors chatting, strolling about and munching their cake and cookies provided by the station staff,” wrote the Foothill Sentinel.

Foothill Sentinel, December 16, 1960 in Foothill-DeAnza Historic Archives

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