Lorenzo W Milam's Page
Featuring the voice, wit and wisdom of the one that started it all. Lorenzo reads from the Washington Teamster and plays music on Saturday morning; he interviews ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias, a psychologist, the guy that lives in his car, Captain Crunch, and others; he speaks to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters before they got their name; introduces the Reverend James Bevel; and is interviewed for Mike Wallace at Large.
The KRAB archive, of course, also has many examples of Lorenzo Milam's written work: articles in Puget Soundings 1964); program guide essays from 1963 to 1968 (Feb?); correspondence; FCC filings; Sex and Broadcasting (1975); and links to articles in RALPH.
Mike Wallace at Large - Mike sends KIRO's Dick Harris to find out about An Unusual Radio Station in Seattle - Rec 1967; KIRO 1967; KRAB 1971;
This is sort of a novelty, alternately hilarious and infuriating. It reveals as much about the character and opinions of another broadcaster as it does about KRAB. Or maybe, with innocent benevolence looking out from KRAB's oasis in the vast wasteland, we just had no idea how judgmental and narrow minded the anti-intellectual flying squad could be.
Recorded sometime in 1967 before October, it was brought out occasionally for marathons, and was probably taped off the air by Dave Ingebright during the 1971 marathon. Below is how it is described in KRAB program guide nbr 124, Oct 1967:
KRAB ON NATION-WIDE RADIO.
KRAB will be the subject of a 6 - 8 minute interview on the CBS radio program "The Mike Wallace Show." We have been advised by Dick Harris of KIRO, who did the interview, that the program will be heard on all CBS radio stations sometime in October, on a Sunday. It will most probably be heard October 15th (Seattle time, 7:30 PM.) However, it may appear either before or after. The program was prompted by a scandalous article in "The Insiders' Newsletter," which giggled and snorted over KRAB's more sensational programs, and ignored the classical, ethnic, or Hopi music. Rumor has it that the magazine went out of business shortly after, which would serve them right, we think. KRAB was also mentioned in a recent Broadcasting Magazine, which called the station "the flower-power station," and described the operation as "the splotch of red wine on the white tie of an otherwise respectable community." Which is a pretty nice phrase, since we made it up. The articles resulted in a few puzzled letters from the wilds of North Dakota, Missouri, and Arkansas, asking for a further explanation, or offering some surrogate Hippy presentations which show a definite lack of contact with the reality we like to call Urban Life.
Our attitude towards the magazine newspapers could be described as supreme indifference, if it were not for the fact that we were livid with rage, and jumped up and down, and wrote tart letters--which we later threw away. KRAB has been so free of criticism from without that we tend to get pristine about the whole thing.
"The Insider's Newsletter" was published by Cowles Communications, Inc, which also owned Look, Family Circle and a number of other print publications, as well as TV in Des Moines (KRNT) and Memphis (WREC). So far, no examples of "TIN" have been located. Lorenzo may deny it, but he sometimes invents stories and exaggerates a bit. Not so here. Everything he says is true. Even more so today.
Recording courtesy Dave Ingebright
Mr Tremendous Interviewed by Gene Johnston and Lorenzo Milam - KRAB Apr 10, 1967
"JUST CALL ME MR. TREMENDOUS!" And he was: Charles E Jones travels about the country, giving salesmen belief in themselves - interviewed a bit sardonically by Gene Johnston.
Found in an aircheck from KFAT - formerly a Jeremy Lansman station in Gilroy, CA, just a little north of San Juan Bautista (famous for El Teatro Campesino and Vertigo).
This recording is incomplete, ending abruptly in mid-sentence. Someday we hope to get the full version digitized.
Recording courtesy of KFAT aircheck posted online
Reverend James Bevel, and the Movement Against Political Suspensions - KRAB Dec 9, 1967, Jan 24, 1968
Note Oct 2015: Last year, believing that the original "Bevel Tape" as broadcast on KRAB to be lost, I asked the Pacifica Radio Archives to digitize the copy in their collection, so it could be shared here. They complied and gave permission*. Now, one year later, a copy of the Original Bevel Tape has surfaced and we are excited to present it here. This is the Jan 24, 1968 version that begins with the introduction by Lorenzo Milam. This tape was rebroadcast during a marathon on Oct 10, 1971 with the following guide description:
THE BEVEL TAPE: Reverend James Bevel, Movement Against Political Suspensions - So titled for interesting reasons: this tape was first broadcast by KPFA in November of 1967, in a slightly edited version. It was sent to KRAB, where it was broadcast twice, late in 1967 and early in 1968. Reverend Bevel's language inspired a listener to complain to the F.C.C. Thus, when KRAB went before F.C.C. Hearing Examiner Ernest Nash in November of 1970 in a hearing concerning suitability of material for broadcast, THE Bevel Tape was one of the most important programs at issue. Eventually, the entire program was played during the hearing, in response to KRAB's contention that Reverend Bevel's remarks had to be heard as delivered, not just read.
We include this program in the Marathon not for sensationalism, or publicity value, but for the reason it was originally aired: Bevel is an incredibly fine speaker, and in this speech, his anger, frustration, and dedication are overpowering. As in 1968, the speech is preceded by an introduction by Lorenzo Milam. Those easily offended by language, or ideas, should try KBIQ for a while.
In 1967 student activists at both the University of California and San Francisco State University were finding themselves subject to suspension for participation in protest demonstrations on campuses. The students called these "political suspensions" and attempted to mobilize an organized "Movement Against Political Suspensions". In the Fall of 1967 students and faculty at Berkeley held a "teach-in" to discuss the issues and strategize actions. During the first half of the 1960's Reverend James Bevel served as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (SCLC) Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education. In 1966 he spoke at Berkeley during a symposium about black power. Starting in 1967 he was an organizer of numerous demonstrations protesting the continuing war in Vietnam. Because of his background in both the struggle for civil rights and against the war, and his reputation as an articulate, rousing, speaker, he was invited to participate in the November 1967 teach-in.
Now that you have listened to the Reverend, read the full story of the FCC's reaction to this broadcast: FCC vs KRAB: The Adventure of the Short-term License Renewal - Part 3 - Reverend James Bevel and the Movement Against Political Suspensions
*Since an actual off-the-air recording of the Bevel Tape as broadcast on KRAB is now available, the recently digitized Pacifica version has been retired.
Recording courtesy Will Estill and Mark Apland, and the originator of the program, KPFA and the Pacifica Radio Archives, www.pacificaradioarchives.org
SIX YEARS OF KRAB, OR "STOP STANDING ON MY TIE, I THINK I AM GOING TO BE SICK" - Mar 15, 1968
5:30 PM - L W Milam, manager emeritus of KRAB, plays a hundred samples of talk, and music, and wonder that have been broadcast by the station since the wet, flapping days of Dec 1962, when the rattlebang, the whole mess went public. Sort of a sound montage with the voices of doom, despair, joy, angst; the musics of a world turned grey and old long before its time. Somewhere in all this, sandwiched between the sounds of Sunda, the 16th Century, and explications on Rock gardening in the Ukraine*, will be some sort of attempt at stating where the whole mess has been going. The juggernaut of time, racing down silver tracks, with slots of purple seal's fur, pushing eyes of white wonder into the fog spinning in inks turn from day to night, and back to day again. If, if, there is a day again. (until midnight)
Repeated May 11, 1968, 10:00 AM: 6 YEARS AT KRAB OR WHOOPS I'M STILL HERE, "Lorenzo Milam takes over the Saturday morning show and oh yea bark"
As he prepared to leave gray Seattle for the sunny South, KRAB founder Lorenzo Milam assembled this bittersweet farewell to KRAB. A kind of swan song, in this seven hour montage he shared sounds unique to KRAB, and gave us a reminder of what he had in mind when he started the whole thing. All we have are tapes 6 and 7 - the last two-and-a-half hours from 9:30 pm to midnight. The rest is in the aether.
In response to pleas from reader/listeners, here are some clues as to what is included in this episode: All That Fall, the play by Samuel Beckett (69'); Scarlatti?; Touch poem; At the Gallery; Reverend JM Gates; Pete Steele; LWM interviewing the man with a vestigial twin; Rich Amerson; James Joyce reading from Finnegan's Wake; Vivaldi ; Richard Rabbit Brown; ?; Central Park Cleanup; Joseph Spence; Bob Fass; Leonid meteor shower; ?; Robert Wilkins?; Henry Townsend?; ?; Walk, Believer Walk; It's Alright; O'Death; I'll Go With You; Blind Gary Davis; Signoff; Louis Armstrong (What did I do to be so Black and Blue?)
Or, maybe you have the answers? Corrections welcome.
*I have searched unsuccessfully high and low, well, mostly low, for Rock Gardening in the Ukraine by Ignacio Schwartz. Can anyone suggest where a copy might be found? The Crimean unrest would seem to make it particularly poignant.
Recording courtesy WYSO, and the KRAB Nebula
Being Mike Page - Lorenzo Milam speaks with the ex-psychotherapist - KRAB May 30, 1968
Conversation between Mike Page and Lorenzo Milam. "Mike is an ex-psychotherapist, with a lot of ideas his excollegues are uncomfortable with, while many others clamor to hear him. It looks as though radio has discovered a new, exciting personality right here in Seattle." so speaks Mike Page
Two days after this interview-conversation was broadcast KRAB aired its first (only) live group therapy marathon, described in the guide as follows:
Jun 1, 1968 (Saturday) 3:00pm - 20 HOUR GROUP THERAPY MARATHON - six people will be sitting across the street for twenty hours, alone & together. With nothing to talk about but themselves. Mike Page, who is an experienced, if disallusioned, psychotherapist will be coming out of retirement to conduct the session. An open time for all people to cry & learn & smile. Broadcast live....the session will end Sunday morning at 11:00
The guide editor probably meant "disillusioned", as the allusions flew fast during the session. "Across the street" was a house that the Jack Straw Memorial Foundation had recently purchased with the intent of eventually (when the transmitter moved to Cougar Mountain) remodeling and turning into KRAB studios and offices. (A couple of photographs of the scale model of Herb Hannum's design for the new facility can be found on the front and back covers of the Oct 10 to 17, 1971 Marathon program guide.) For the therapy session the wiring was precariously strung across Roosevelt to the control room where a tape delay of something like two seconds had been set up. Somehow I let myself be volunteered for the midnight to 6AM engineering shift, making station ID's on the hour while keeping my finger on the switch to cut the signal should the language drift into the forbidden zone.
Whatever became of Mike Page? About all I have been able to find, so far, are the Aug 26, 1991 minutes of the Island County Commissioners, in which Mike Page is appointed County Designated Mental Health Professional.
Recording courtesy the Pacifica Radio Archives
Saturday Morning with Lorenzo Milam - KRAB Nov or Dec 1968
Rather than have multiple posts of this, please allow us to direct you to the page devoted to Readings, where you will find "Saturday Morning with Lorenzo".
Saving the Old Seattle Armory - Lorenzo Milam talks with a couple of protesters - KRAB May 24, 1970 (rebroadcast)
Tonto and Lop-Lop protest the tearing down of the old armory, and Lorenzo W. Milam eggs them on.
This was probably recorded some time in mid-1968, as that is when the "controversy" unfolded: "The City of Seattle agreed today to stopping demolition of the old National Guard Armory, Fred Bassetti, an architect, said." (Seattle Times Mar 11, 1968)
"The Armory is as remarkable an example of 19th Century Americana as the cannery or any of the buildings in the Ghiradelli development in San Francisco", wrote protesting architects in a letter to the Seattle City Council. The letter went on to say "Buildings like this have a unique character which could never be recreated and must be considered an environmental resource."
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv PA0541
Let Sleeping Kaisers Lie - KRAB Oct 11, 1971
Lorenzo Milam interviews John Daugert, who has lived in either a Kaiser or a Fraser for -the past 8 years. He talks about his fleet of Kaisers (he's owned fifteen) and why they were the best car made. the difficulties of sleeping in a car (he is also six foot three and weighs 220) and the various hassles, especially with the police, he has encountered living in his car.
This was probably recorded at KTAO in Los Gatos, but, like Lorenzo's Captain Crunch and dog catcher interviews, became pretty popular on KRAB. This excerpt was found on an air check of KFAT (Gilroy), a station that Jeremy Lansman owned for a while. Someday, maybe, we will find a complete version.
Recording courtesy of KFAT aircheck posted online
Professor Robert Garfias in Rhodesia - KRAB Dec 8, 1971
INTERVIEW: ROBERT GARFIAS - L W Milam talks with Mr Garfias about his recent trip to Africa (and several other places); about the political situation in Rhodesia and South Africa; and about the treatment of blacks in these countries as well as describing the music he was there to record. Robert Garfias is a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Washington; he does a Wednesday night music show on KRAB called "Ethnic Music", heard every week at 9:00 pm, and repeated Thursday at 11:30 am.
For those puzzled by the program guide description above, Zimbabwe was once called Rhodesia. The death of Nelson Mandela makes some of the comments in this program all the more poignant. In addition to being KRAB's first Music Director, Robert Garfias founded the Ethnomusicology program at the University of Washington. With his guidance, KRAB became one of the few radio stations in the world to prominently feature the traditional and classical music of non-western cultures.
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv PA1070
For those unfamiliar with Mbira, here is a very short sample taken from Robert Garfias's field recordings made during the 1971 trip discussed in the above program. Mbira.org has released two CD's (numbers 1200 and 3020) of his recordings, as well as many other styles of Mbira. This excerpt is from "Njari 1971", recorded in Harare and performed by Alvoro Shiwoto and Enoch Kaute:
Captain Crunch interviewed by Lorenzo Milam - KTAO Sep 13, 1971, KRAB Apr 29, 1972
You never know who is going to come through the door, or over the phone line, and what will fascinate the listener. This was one of those programs that KRAB listeners couldn't get enough of, even if portions were almost unlistenable The audio does improve after the first minute.
Over-the-air recording courtesy Bob Gudgel
Milam Exposed – Keynote Address to 1976 NFCB Conference - KRAB Jun 1976
Lorenzo Milam delivering the keynote address at the first National Federation of Community Broadcasters conference in Telluride, Colorado, June 17, 1976.
Recording courtesy Robert Weppner
Photos from video by Thomas Lofstrom, from Telluride conference. The inspiration for David Byrne and Stop Making Sense?
If you possess any souvenirs (program guides, tapes, or photos) or have a story about your experience with KRAB you are willing to share, please email email@example.com