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Truly “old skool” college radio.

On September 8th, Harvard University turns 380! So it is rather fitting that such a venerable institution would also have 8 decades of broadcasting under its belt. In 1940, the Harvard Crimson Network, WHCN, was one of America’s first college radio stations. In 1943 there was a change of call letters to, WHRV (Harvard Radio Voice). Then, on February 1st of 1951, WHRB was born. But it was not until 1957 that the Harvard Radio Broadcasting Company Incorporated acquired a commercial FM license at 107.1 (which was moved over to 95.3 a few years later).

With such a long history, it is no surprise that WHRB has some historic programs. Hillbilly at Harvard is a country music show that started all the way back in 1948!

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Then there is, Sunday Night at the Opera, which has been on the airwaves for over 50 years now. And it sure shows when you see the size of the station’s classical music collection; truly extensive and probably one of the largest of its kind among college radio stations.

Since 1994 WHRB has been in the basement of Pennypacker Hall, just a minute walk from the heart of Harvard Square. The hall was built in 1927 and Harvard acquired it in 1958. My guess is that the station has one of the most unusual lay outs in all of college radio. There is a small maze of corners to turn and short hallways to walk down, leading to unlabeled doorways. Behind most of these doors are rooms containing the separate parts of WHRB’s music library.

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WHRB publishes its schedule three times a year, and it has to be the most densely packed and well detailed program guide of any college radio station in the nation. We are talking the really fine print. Plus, each Winter and Spring feature “orgies” in which concentrated blocks of air time are devoted to a whole host of composers, artists, genres, subjects, concepts etc. It’s a tradition that is the stuff of legend. Back in 1943, as the story goes, an undergrad was so happy to have passed some rather difficult exams, he went ahead and played all 9 of Beethoven’s symphonies in a row. So, as a nod to this legend, the “orgy periods” are timed to coincide with major exams because the station actually gets short staffed with all the students out taking tests. Because, I have to guess, that graduating from Harvard is even harder than getting into Harvard.

Many thanks to Robby Erikson for showing me around the station.

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12th Annual Cesar Chavez

May 13 Special Broadcast: Nane Alejándrez

KZSC is excited to broadcast the 12th Annual Cesar Chavez Convocation at UCSC, featuring local community activist Daniel “Nane” Alejándrez. Tune in to KZSC on Wednesday May 13, from 7 to 8:30 pm to catch the talk.

Alejándrez founded Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos to address the root causes of crime and to offer concrete alternatives to young people surrounded by violence, crime and social breakdown in their own neighborhoods. A Viet Nam vet and former Chicano gang member, Alejándrez has since emerged as an international leader–described by writer Luis J. Rodríguez, the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, as “one of the most self-sacrificing, dedicated, consistent, and humble peacemakers we have ever seen in the United States, if not the world.”

This year’s Cesar Chavez Convocation, which will be held Tuesday May 12 in the UCSC College 9/10 multipurpose room,  honors the memory of Cesar Chavez–his achievements, commitment to social justice/civil rights, unrelenting efforts to cultivate grassroots leadership, and his organizing of the United Farm Workers Union.

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Dag Weiser Painting For KZSC’s Top Donor

Local artist Dag Weiser has donated this amazing painting for KZSC to give to its top donor in the Spring Pledge Drive! The drive wraps up on Thursday April 30th.

Your generous donation during the drive bring you live, local radio all year long. But if you can beat $1000 (thanks Steve!), then you can have this one-of-a-kind Thank You Gift. We can even deliver it–in the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay area.

The “Two Henrys” painting is designed in such a way that–depending on your viewing angle–you see either local literary legend Henry Miller, or you see punk rock legend and TV host Henry Rollins. The piece hung at The Rio Theatre and is signed by Henry Rollins! The dimensions are 45 inches tall by 32 inches wide.

You can view more of Dag’s art at cardboardart.org

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Vote KZSC!

In case you missed it, we’d like to point out that it’s time to vote for the Best of Santa Cruz awards, run by the Good Times Weekly.

We’ve been grateful to all of our fans that named us the Best Radio Station in Santa Cruz again and again. We hope we can count on your vote in this year’s poll. Be sure to spread the word!

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Pledge Drive!

Hello loud rock listeners!

Starting this week, until Thursday the 13th, is our annual pledge drive. Help KZSC continue to spin awesome tracks for our listeners by donating. Any little bit helps fund all the new music, interviews, and general maintenence of our equipment!

Thank you for supporting over 40 years of great commercial free radio!

KZSC 2014 Summer Program Guide Cover

Summer Program Guide

We’re happy to introduce the toothsome–and toothy–cover star of the KZSC 2014 Summer Program Guide. Jaws is jammin’! Look for your own copy at local businesses that support community radio (contact our station manager if that describes you).

You can also download a .pdf right now on the KZSC schedule page.

Our full summer lineup of music, talk, and news appears inside, along with all the ways you can get in touch with us as you sail through the summer months with KZSC.