The Might MET. KMET in 1970, as it was sliding into its second year and gathering up listeners by the thousands all over Southern California. Everything was still in a state of transition – FM was taking off, and AM was quickly fading from its former dominance. It was still around, but by 1970 the writing was on the wall. KMET was still in its formative stages – taking free-form radio on a journey and the audience along with it. But those days would be numbered, as the popularity of FM rose, the concept of the Underground station, where you could hear a wide range of music, all woven together in a sonic tapestry that made listening an adventure you didn’t want to have stop, eventually would give way to the dictates of the playlist. And after time, those dictates made the likes of Three Penny Opera and Miles Davis playing alongside Quicksilver Messenger Service a thing of the past as the choices became tighter and tighter.
But in 1970 it was still a mystery tour. And this 6-hour slice of a broadcast day from KMET gives you a more in-depth idea of where FM radio was at during the first year of the 70s. A lot of Blues and R&B, a good helping of Jazz and a LOT of Beatles, most notably The White Album which, from the sounds of it, is a little dog-eared.
A lot of familiar voices and still some crude automation as well as cutaways every hour for the news, which was supplied by sister station KLAC, which was an AM station sharing building space on Wilshire Boulevard at the time. But it was still a fun ride and it shaped the listening tastes of a whole generation of people who became addicted to music and gave L.A. it’s eclectic nature.
You may want to listen to this all in one sitting – pretend you’ve landed in 1970 and this is what’s on the radio. Or you may want to download it and listen to it later. Or you just might want to listen to this in doses. Just remember, this is what was being played and what you were listening to if you were somewhere in High School or heading into College or just getting on with your life. This was L.A. radio in its transition.
And if you are familiar with my earlier October 1965 glimpse of L.A. radio, listening to this snapshot will give you a better idea of just how much things changed in less than 4 years. We grew up – and we grew up fast.