FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GRATEFUL DEAD HOUR RETURNS TO BAY AREA AIRWAVES
14-Hour Marathon to Cap KPFA-FM Fundraising Drive
Berkeley, CA . . . February 2, 1990. The Grateful Dead Hour, a weekly radio program dedicated to exploring the musical world of the beloved San Francisco band, returns to the Bay Area airwaves on Saturday February 17th, with a 14-hour marathon of back-to-back episodes from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Berkeley's listener-sponsored KPFA-FM (94.1).
David Gans, producer and host of the Grateful Dead Hour since 1985, will entertain guests in the KPFA studio between segments. The marathon will feature highlights from the last six months' episodes including a jam with Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello and friends at Mill Valley's Sweetwater from the spring of 1989; various live Grateful Dead performances from 1969 to 1989 --including recent appearances at the Greek Theatre and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center; and a taped interview with members of the band discussing the making of their recent album Built to Last.
According to Gans, the KPFA marathon serves a dual purpose: it will give devoted listeners a chance to catch up on the episodes they missed since the show was pulled from the air last September by its former host station, San Francisco's KFOG-FM (104.5), and it will introduce the show's intensely committed local audience to the wealth of programming on listener-sponsored KPFA-FM, which will become the show's new official host station later this spring.
The Grateful Dead Hour has been described by Audio magazine as "an audio kaleidoscope of sorts, featuring a mixture of high-quality concert tapes, interviews with band members and associated figures, an eclectic sampling of the Dead's source music, up-to-date concert information and other news, and [host David] Gans's offbeat sound montages."
The Grateful Dead Hour (formerly the Deadhead Hour), started on KFOG in November 1984. Author/musician Gans, a fan of the Dead's since 1972, appeared on the program to promote Playing in the Band: An Oral and Visual Portrait of the Grateful Dead, which he co-authored with photographer Peter Simon. "I had a great time putting together the music for the program," Gans recalls, "and I asked [host M. Dung] if I could come back and do it some more. It was fine with him, and before long, I was hooked!" Gans's intimate knowledge of the music, and his impressive collection of concert tapes and interviews made him an ideal host for the program.
With the Grateful Dead's growing popularity and commercial success, Gans saw an opportunity to widen the scope and reach of the show. He approached the band for permission to distribute it nationally and they agreed. By early 1989 the Grateful Dead Hour was heard regularly on over 60 radio stations across the United States, including most major markets.
When the demands of commercial radio began to interfere with his vision for the show, Gans decided to syndicate it himself through his company Truth and Fun Inc. The show is still heard weekly in several major markets including New York (WNEW-FM), Philadelphia (WMMR-FM), Chicago (WXRT-FM) and Los Angeles (KLSX-FM).
The February marathon will cap off a two week fundraising drive for KPFA-FM. Once the station begins airing regular broadcasts, Gans plans to make the show available to all interested public radio outlets via satellite uplink.
KPFA is a 59,000 watt listener-sponsored community radio station broadcasting to most of Northern California. KPFA's signal is simulcast on KFCF (88.1) in Fresno and in parts of Berkeley on KPFB (89.3).
Copyright 1990 Truth & Fun Inc.