20 Years is a Long Damn Time In Radio

Make sure you join Gary & Julie In The Morning from 6am-10am on Friday, for a stroll down Memory Lane. Some confirmed guests include: Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and many more.

Then, Friday at Shoreline Ampitheatre, join in the fun with Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, and Jerrod Niemann. Plus, DJ Julie Stevens arranged with Miranda to bring her friends The Pistol Annies for a special appearance that night. In addition to this, KRTY will showcase on the side stage three brand-new artists who might very well be a part of our 40th Anniversary show! They are JT Hodges, Kristen Kelly, and Frankie Ballard, and they are terrific.

It is funny to think about the difference in the sound of today’s country as compared to what we sounded like 20 years ago. Our music is not completely different, but certainly the mix of sounds is much more diverse. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be delving into the relationship between the difference of sound, and the perception of country as a whole.

I have said it before in this space, but I’ll say it again: today’s sound is much more of what we played when I was at rock station KSJO in the mid ’80s. Obviously, I’m not referring to the metal sound, but the mainstream ’80s rock sound. Our concerts are selling like mad, the music is great, and yet some people still ask me, “How is the Western station doing?” I simply drop into a Southern drawl and say, “We haven’t called it that since 1978.”

Some great stuff has happened to this station since 1992. Right before Bob Kieve and his investors bought the station, we had a giant Rolling Radio. (When I started here in 1994, we used that great vehicle at all of our remotes, up until about six years ago when it literally fell apart going down the freeway.) Anyway, late in 1990, the station was doing a remote broadcast at a retail store in San Jose when a tow truck showed up. The driver had registered for the contest and knew the location of the remote broadcast. He promptly went over to the Rolling Radio and hitched it up to repossess it for non-payment. The DJ had to chase him down the road to grab his personal stuff out of it. Like the old saying goes, we’ve come a long way from there!


Nate Deaton
San Jose