The KRAB Archive
Go to KRAB music programming of the
Here you will find samples, some complete shows, many partial recordings, of music programs heard on KRAB, listed in rough chronological order. Where we have found multiple recordings of a series of programs, they have been placed in their own pages, which are accessible through the Audio Archives main menu.
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"Robert Kauffman did his fieldwork in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in 1960-1962. His dissertation is entitled 'Multi-Part Relationships in the Shona Music of Rhodesia' and he graduated UCLA in 1971. He was a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh." (Maureen Russell in the Etnomusicology Review, April 2013)
The tape label says this was recorded for air on Dec 30, 1970. We are missing 6 guides from 1970, including the one containing Dec 30th, so we cannot confirm the broadcast date. But Kauffman was scheduled in the previous guide for Dec 16th, so it would follow he would be on 2 weeks later (Dec 30th).
For those of you born after 1980, and for whom Cecil is known only as a magnificent lion killed in 2015 by a "recreational big game hunter", the country of Zimbabwe was formerly known as "Rhodesia" (or Southern Rhodesia), named for Cecil Rhodes, a British explorer.
Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation, PA0404
9:15 One of the originators of electronic music in this country, a man who co-founded the San Francisco Tape Library, who has been Musical Director of Lincoln Center, and who is now primarily interested in the theatrical uses of mixed media. He is presently on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Interviewed for KRAB by Nick (Baltic) Johnson.
10:00 The Wild Bull - a composition for electronic-music synthesizer by Morton Subotnick. (A Nonesuch Records Commission, 1967)
This was recorded when Morton Subotnick was in Seattle for two concerts sponsored by New Dimensions in Music and performed at A Contemporary Theatre on lower Queen Anne hill. When broadcast on KRAB, the interview was followed by an airing of Subnotick's composition "The Wild Bull", which was not included in the concert, but was in the KRAB library. There were three works performed at ACT:
Sidewinder - Electronic Music and modulated laser beams (the record was released later in 1971)
Circles - Electronic music and synthesizer, with computer film by Doris Totten Chase. (Doris Totten Chase also designed opera and dance stage sets, some of which ended up being stored at KRAB's Harvard and Union Ave Fire House.)
Windows - Controlled tape and synthesizer, with two films by Don Levy and two dancers
Announcing, and joining Nick with a question, sounds like Phil Bannon.
For more about Morton Subotnick see www.mortonsubotnick.com
Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation, PA0181; The Wild Bull courtesy Morton Subotnick
Browsing the archive, one will find a sizable presence of traditional American folk, blues and early jazz. Largely missing from the archive collection (so far), but found in the guides, are many examples of western classical, baroque, renaissance and "early" music. The paucity of examples of this music in the archive make it a significant event when we find something that brings them into the focus.
KRAB's first music director, Robert Garfias, scheduled a variety of programs featuring music of many genres in creative juxapositions; Jon Gallant, a KRAB founder, produced a program of Deleted Records featuring classics that were not generally heard on other stations; Ed Mignon did a series on opera; in 1971 Dick Palm started a program called Krumhorns and Kings featuring early and baroque music; Randy McCarty started Musica Rara in Sep 1971; in Dec 1971 George Shangrow, founder and director of Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers, took over Krumhorns for a month before passing it on to Randy McCarty; Randy did Krumhorns until Aug 1973 when he became the host of Morning Music, which was soon renamed Earlie Musick; Tom Berghan hosted it for awhile; then Dave Bennett; and then Stu Witmer took over in Mar 1975 and kept Early Music going until Jan 1984. Like many of the other music programs on KRAB, the producers were knowledgeable of less well known forms, some self-taught, but many musicians themselves.
This is all by way of introducing the producer of this program, Stephen Stubbs, who tells us it is his first KRAB program and he is sitting in for George Shangrow. Though the tape label says "circa 1970", I believe it is actually from early 1972 when Shangrow was doing a Thursday afternoon program named "Music from Anywhere". Stephen Stubbs' bio says he "was born in Seattle, Washington, where he studied composition, piano and harpsichord at the University of Washington. In 1974 he moved to England to study lute with Robert Spencer. . . . ."
Stubbs went on to a considerable career performing, conducting, and establishing organizations to provide and support education, training and performance of baroque music styles.
Stephen Stubbs is Senior Artist in Residence and member of the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Washington. Were KRAB still around I would hope he might consider producing a program. In this program he features music examples of John Dowland (Peter Pears and Julian Bream), Mississippi John Hurt, Donovan, Taj Mahal, and two of his own compositions.
Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv M1545
Phil Munger studied music composition at Oberlin and at the University of Washington and served as KRAB’s co-Music director, News Director, and producer of the morning program from 1970 until 1973, when he left Seattle for the wilds of Alaska. He describes this piece, one of his experimental programs, created for KRAB, as his “Goodbye!” to hosting the morning show and working at KRAB. The work is now in his catalog as Op. 10, No. 2.
Program guide description: "Echoes & silent sections from some colossal Romantic works, re-oriented through, tape, permutation (& other such tricks)"
Assisting in the production were the following:
Michael Wiater – voice
Leila Gorbman – voice
D.J. – voice
Pamela Jennings – production
Jerry Jensen and New Dimensions in Music – Buchla synthesizer
Since the over-the-air recording was made at the house of volunteer Leslie Mohrman, located on the south side of Queen Anne, KRAB’s signal had to traverse many obstacles and unfortunately seems to have suffered from multipath distortion which added some of the whooshing and swishing noises. At least that is what may be happening in some places.
These days Phil is still in Alaska, composing, conducting, teaching, and writing. There is an autobiographical sketch at firedoglake. More of his music can be found at Music of Philip Munger. And his writings about politics and the environment can be found on his blog Progressive Alaska.
Recording courtesy Phil Munger
This was probably one of the first live music broadcasts from firehouse 25. Since a lot of guides from 1973 are missing from the archive, we can't know exactly what was scheduled the night of Aug 12th, but the tape label says this:
The musicians are Jeff Johnson, guitar; Dean Johnson, bass; David Lewis, electric piano; Robert Harris, percussion; Rekovic (?), tenor sax and flute.
"Play various tunes including "Badia" by Weather Report, and various originals. Bad gaps in program caused by tech problems when recorded."
Roswell and the musicians may be annoyed as the levels change dramatically at the gaps, but I've left them in anyway. Bob Friede's (music director and general manager of that time) Sharpie scrawl is distinctive on the tape label.
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv M-1583
THE LABYRINTH comes creeping after 'im, creeping, crawling and confusing with the light. Pamela holds on to the ball of twine. (As described in Feb 1974 guide)
"The Labyrinth" is only found scheduled in a few guides between Feb and Apr 1974, for Tuesday nights, alternating with Gary Danzl, and Pamela's other late night program "Underwater Ballet". This recording starts with Tom Berghan playing lute; followed by Bob Gronenthal playing guitar; Tom Berghan again; Pamela reads a bit from John Donne while Tom plays; and then Bob Gronenthal returns and plays piano. Details are on the tape label, although the order of play is a little different.
Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation M0216
1974 was the year KRAB went wild with live remotes, from the Folklife Festival to Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill. In Oct or early Nov music director Jeff Follette auditioned several churches. And on Dec 25, 1974 KRAB broke all the old rules regarding holidays, with virtually the entire day devoted to some variety of holiday related programming. The day started at 7:30 with Harold Street, Theda Berkeley, David Strimpson, and others performing an adaption of A Christmas Carol, produced by Rita Rega. Then Randy McCarty's Earlie Musicke with carols, hymns and masses, and then, at 11:00am, the following:
Not a live broadcast, but a LIVE broadcast from the House of Refuge Church of God Pentecostal, complete with its remarkable congregation and choir, drums, piano, organ, trumpet, tambourine, and a special Christmas sermon by the Reverend Robert J. Causey.
Engineered by Tom Eckels and Jeff Follete, with Leila Gorbman on duty in the control room, and scheduled for two hours, the LIVE broadcast ran a bit longer, overflowing into Basil Rathbone's rendition of Peter and the Wolf. After the services, Leonie Groper took over with the amorous adventures of Santa. Hours later, Reinsch read "Christmas" from "House of the Dead", there were Christmas songs of Peter Cornelius, the Garfield High School Choir presented a program of holiday music, ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias had Puerto Rican Christmas Carols, Melissa Garman read her favorite poetry and played music for Christmas, and The Ham Radio Hours started a fire.
Recording courtesy the Bob West estate, BW0111
A walk through the KRAB rain forest, realized the day the roof leaked everywhere. An impromptu composition. ("Liquid" -- the Daily Rag.) With the KRAB Aqua-Infinity Arkestra, Including: Jeff Follette, ethereal space conduit; Leila Gorbman, Pepsi can: Lee Read, orange juice bottle and shovel; Chuck Reinsch, tape, jar, and vacuum cleaner hose; Johnny Walker, heating grate: Stu Witmer, conduit and soprano buckets; Greg Palmer, bass buckets; Shanti, styrofoam cup; Bob Weppner, sheet metal and acoustic bead curtain. Produced by Tom Eckels, with the assistance of Gravity.
A summer storm (mid-afternoon Aug 18, 1975) brought the KRAB staff together for a spontaneous collaboration that started with a rush to protect the Production Room equipment and a search for containers to catch the deluge. Do any of the perpetrators remember whose idea it was to broadcast this live?
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv M-1483
Home-Made Music on guitar and mandolin, with Melissa Gustafson and Candace Sieger. Poetry by Danae Lauran.
Recording courtesy Karen Berge, kb0027
P. K. Dwyer and Donna Beck; Barbara Bush, and Ron W. Bailey, some of Seattle's best pass-the-hat tavern musicians, bring you solos, duos, trios and quartets, from a LIVE-at-KRAB pub-jam session on March 22, 1976. Run-fetch-a-pitcher-and-get-the-baby-some-beer!
Produced and introduced by Judith Hadley, with a "semi-live audience".
Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation, M0218
A Marathon presentation of obnoxious, or loathsome, or simply inane recordings; either performer, material or both performer and performance reaching crud standards. Including notes for other obnoxicologists.
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv M-0552
A live concert from the Seattle Folklore Society Clubhouse. Chanteuse Marlene Fontenay plays piano, sings, and speaks with KRAB Music Director Bill Noll about her life and music. She performs classics as well as her own work of surprising authenticity. Click here for 1981 review in the New York Times.
In the mid-1970's KRAB went nuts with live broadcasts from around Seattle. This is from a series entitled "Tuesday Night live at KRAB". See also Blues and Hokum: Part I
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv 311
"A new show with Ethnomusicolgist Fred Lieberman. Professor Lieberman will make it possible for you to hear what you probably have never heard."
Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, M0964
First of a two part live radio concert of some of Seattle's finest; tonight Brian Butler, Baby Gramps, Mike Dumovitch, Art Messer, and Harry Basin. Jack Cook Hosts. The second part will be heard in two weeks, Feb 22nd. Live from the KRAB studios.
Tuesday night live at krab seeems to have started Oct 5, 1976, and the last one was May 5, 1981. Bill Noll, KRAB's music director in 1977 introduces the program. Another of the Tuesday Night Live series can be found at Marlene Fontenay, the only French Cabaret singer in town
Hosted by Jack Cook, the actual performers were a little different than those scheduled in the guide: In order, they were
Bill Noll (1:53)
Mike Dumovitch, Sr (20:45)
Brian Butler and Kim Thiel (18:21)
Art Messer (17:37)
Baby Gramps (15:43)
Larry Conklin (15:14)
Liza Dietrichson (9:50)
Keith Keller joined by Jack Cook (24:16)
Recording courtesy of the Bob West Collection, BW0156
Tuesday Night Live At KRAB - A Women's Day presentation tonight featuring peformers: Sandy Bradley and Jill Johnson with Balkan folk songs; Ellen Thorn, banjo; and Gwen Harrell, guitar. This is live from the KRAB studios.
These two recordings came from Karen Berge's collection of tapes from her Production Assistant days at KRAB. In 1977 she orgainzed the programming for International Women's Day.
Unfortunately, these tapes suffer from some distortion which may have been caused by overloading of the microphones, or clipping in either the microphone preamps or the tape deck. Record volumes could be set in either the board (mixer) or in the tape deck, and operators sometimes did not monitor both.
Recordings courtesy Karen Berge
If my program guide searches are working, it seems the "Earth Music" category/program title was first coined by Phil Munger way back in 1972: "In praise of the multiplicity of musical possibilities on this planet". A mid-morning program in 1973 sometimes named "Ethnic Melodies" and other times "Ethnic Music", with rotataing hosts, adopted "Earth Music" in May 1973, and it stuck.
Today its reggae and maybe some dub.
This cassette recording was shared by a former KRAB listener.
Recording courtesy Anne MacFadden
Blues and reggae with Karl Kotas, says the guide. There's a PSA mid-program for a Spring Equinox Celebration tonight at the Polish Home, with Dumi. Tickets are on sale at the Central Tavern. And be warned, there will be a marathon Apr 1 to 10, so Karl probably won't be back for awhile.
Recording courtesy Anne MacFadden, AM0003
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If Reggae were the Congo, then Dub would be its Heart of Darkness. With Karl Kotas and "Leech."
Thomas Lantz and Karl Kotas with Emphyrio dub. At 26 minutes Karl Kotas announces engineer Ralph Blumenthal will be substituting for Howard's and Cynthia's Earth Music program. So is it Ralph playing the blues, or is it the beginning of Saturday Afternoon Blues with Jack Cook?
Recording courtesy Anne MacFadden, AM0005-b
Leech and Karl fiddle while Babylon burns.
Recording courtesy Anne MacFadden, AM0005-a
Always on a Sunday night; the first scheduled show was Mar 22, 1970, described as "ROSWELL - mellow morning miscellanys in a jazz vein"; and a week later titled "Roswell's Rut - more syncopated ecstasy from the Jazz master". Four years later, in Oct 1974, the title changed to "Syncopated Ecstasy". Roswell always followed Robotnor, until 1981 when KRAB became Robotless.
Heard on this recording are the last few minutes of The Robotnor Hours, followed by about 37 minutes of Syncopated Ecstasy.
Roswell's last show was Feb 14, 1982, when the schedule was reorganized.
Recording courtesy Gregg Whitcomb, GW0034
Between 1974 and 1982 KRAB blues hosts seemed to be always moving. In the Sep 1976 program guide it was announced:
Starting in September, Baby Biscuit Blues goes away, to be replaced by Jack Cook and Karl Kotas, alternating, Saturdays, at 2:30PM
Here is another cassette recording made off the air by Anne MacFadden. Jack, is this you?
Recording courtesy Anne MacFadden, AM0002
Although the label on the cassette says, "Jack Cook", at the end of the tape, Phil Bannon says it was Dave White. And Phil should know. "True Blues" was the name of the show and it ran from Nov 1978 to Feb 1982, and was hosted, alternately, by Karl Kotas, Jeff Poskin, and Dave White.
Jack Cook, sometimes with Steve Patterson, hosted "Blue Shadows" for a while in 1974, then took over King Biscuit Time from Bob West, then Double Biscuit Blues in 1976, and then Saturday Afternoon Blues until 1978.
Recording courtesy Anne MacFadden
Patchwork - Chinas Comidas, Red Dress, 84 year old Arnold Grizzly, the Blackouts! & other local luminaries on vinyl, on tape, on mike & on drugs. Also stars Patchman, Bill Dempsey and you.
Patch was KRAB production manager for a time. He was sometimes mildly outrageous and always provocative. He was Cerberus standing at the entrance to the record library
Recording courtesy Robert Deardorf, RD0002
Go to KRAB music programming of the
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 firstname.lastname@example.org