FULL SPECTRUM ROCK
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Known for many years as R&B station KUTE 102 (and for a time calling itself "The Quiet Storm"), this free form radio station oddly enough wasn't the first Los Angeles FM outlet to bear the call letters KMPC. Golden West Broadcasting, owned by film star and country musician Gene Autry (who also owned KMPC AM 710, KTLA channel 5 and the California Angels), had owned KUTE for many years. In the 1950s, they owned KMPC-FM at 100.3.
In 1987, "KMPC" returned to the FM lineup as "Full Service Rock" (later Full Spectrum Rock), playing a wide range of alternative acts mixed in with a bit of mainstream. Some veteran L. A. jocks made appearances on the station: Jeff Gonzer, Pat "Paraquat" Kelley, even perennial L.A. host Jim Ladd. There were also several female DJs, among them Anita Fajita, Randi Thomas, Cynthia Fox, and morning personality Raechel Donahue.
A fellow named Rick Scarry delivered "Scarry News" in the morning, with interesting trivia tidbits. Alison King gave a morning science quiz. John Logic had a nighttime show. Jim Ladd hosted two shows: Headsets, a one-hour show of "music best listened to through headphones" on Wednesday nights, and A Feast Of Friends on Sunday nights, right after Fox's show A Cut Above.
Sam Bellamy, former KMET programmer (during their successful days) was the first programmer of KMPC-FM, with only a live morning show at first and satellite the rest of the day; her idea was to slowly take it 100% live/local, which she did in a relatively short time. J. J. Jackson, one of the original five video jockeys at Music Television, was her first music director. Another MTV vet, Mark Goodman, also worked at KMPC.
At first, the station sounded almost like KMET with a progressive edge. The Smithereens and The Rolling Stones. Depeche Mode and Bob Seger. Stray Cats and Genesis. (Well, you get the idea.) They also featured several new and upcoming acts passed over by mainstream AOR, as well as an occasional older tune. In an interview for L.A. Radio Guide, Jackson stated that he didn't want to play music that sounded too much like KROQ. This philosophy helped KMPC carve their own niche musically. Julian Lennon's album Mr. Jordan received heavy airplay. The group Glamour Camp, fronted by Ric Ocasek's son Chris, got exposure on the station. Among the lesser-known groups and artists featured were Guadalcanal Diary, House Of Freaks, Concrete Blonde, Lions And Ghosts, Cruel Story Of Youth, Michelle Shocked, Sam Phillips, Caterwaul, and many others. The station also spun established artists like Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Graham Parker and Jim Capaldi, who were ignored by many commercial stations even though they had sizable followings. The station even played a NEW tune by fifties duo The Everly Brothers.
In March 1989, KMPC began referring to itself as "The Edge", and soon changed its calls to KEDG. The music format stayed the same.
On May 9, 1989, KEDG's Bill Ward made a startling announcement: the management had decided to ditch the unique cutting-edge format in favor of lite rock. This would take effect the morning of May 13. People began dropping by the station to show their sympathy; some brought flowers. Maria McKee of the group Lone Justice was reported to have stopped by as well. Jim Ladd mentioned on the air that he had never seen such support before, not even when legend KMET went off the air in 1987.
During the last edition of the Midnight Legal ID, John Logic thanked the many people around him for their support. The last name mentioned in his list of people was Harlan Winslow. Harlan did the over-night shift, mid-night to 6am and Saturdays from 10pm-2am. He was sitting across the board from Logic when he read the list of staff members and was also on hand for the final minutes of the EDGE along with many of the on-air staff.
The afternoon of May 11, with just one day left on the air, J.J. Jackson came into the studio with a new record.
The station signed off at midnight on May 12 with Jackson at the mike. Several key personnel were in the studio with him. The last song played was a brand new single by The Call, Let The Day Begin. (Semisonic's first album wouldn't be released for another nine years.)
The next morning, KLIT 101.9 signed on with soft sounds. The announcer said, "If you tuned in expecting to find your friends at The Edge, 'The Edge' is no more. For the cutting edge of rock 'n' roll, we invite you to tune to Pirate Radio at 100.3."
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: KLIT stayed on until July 1, 1994. The station that replaced it was KSCA. Their format was Triple-A (Adult Album Alternative), with such acts as Tom Waits, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, and many others. Many artists featured on KSCA were not heard on other stations, making the station almost like a refined version of The Edge. The Triple-A format, however, was short-lived on radio; playlists on AAA stations in San Diego and Phoenix gradually assimilated into the mainstream, becoming a hodgepodge of three other stations' music. KSCA held its integrity the longest, probably right up until February 4, 1997, when the new owners made it a Spanish-language station. Headsets can now be heard on the Station2000 Website, which you can link to from this page.
The KEDG calls surfaced at 103.5 in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1992, with a modern rock format. One of the jocks was KROQ's Freddie Snakeskin. The format lasted until June 1998 when they switched to "Jammin' Oldies" KISF after being constantly bested in the ratings by KXTE "X-Treme 107.5". Sadly, J.J. Jackson left us suddenly one night after a dinner.
KEDG was assigned to an upstart Modern Rocker at 106.9 (New Rock Edge 107) in Alexandria, LA in late 1998.
POSTSCRIPT: After stints at three other stations (including KMPC
AM), Raechel Donahue retired from commercial radio in 1992 and is now a
noted speaker and author with four books to her credit and a regular newspaper
column. Her last Edge show featured novelty artist Kip Addotta, who did
a rap song he wrote; and a fellow named Dennis from a racing team in Newport
Beach, who thanked both her and The Edge for the "brief breath of fresh air"
they provided to Los Angeles, and commented that "The Edge will
always be with us somehow."
Thanks, Dennis, I'll make sure it is.
John Logic's midnight thank yous on his last show
May 11-12, 1989
Encoded in Real Audio, this segment is 8:30 in length. Includes commercial for a radar scanner, and a funny ad for 7-Eleven's new Breakfast Bite. Then, John Logic thanks everyone at The Edge for their support. (Great roster of station personnel!) Concludes with call-in "Midnight Legal ID" segment.
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