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Radio dial: Web site is a blast from the past

You never know what you'll find on the Internet, and one of my latest radio discoveries is, which offers a history of AM stations in the Salt Lake market.

By no means a complete history, but still a great resource, this site was compiled by Paul Wilson last May, who worked in this radio market for many years.

The site illustrates that change is indeed the keyword for radio. Of the 19 AM stations Wilson examines, there are only two — KANN and KSOP — that haven't changed over the years in either call letters, format or owners.

Discussed in brief are the massive shift of listeners to FM radio in the 1970s, some legendary Utah DJs ("Skinny" Johnny Mitchell, Lynn Lehmann, etc.), how Social Hall Avenue was once the central gathering place for Utah radio and TV, and more.

In another section of the Web site, Wilson lists the seven AM stations that existed in the Salt Lake area in 1946 — 58 years ago: KUTA, KALL, KSL, KOVO, KDYL, KNAK and KLO.

How many AM stations are there today in Salt Lake? Almost four times as many — 27. And FM doubles that number.

This is one of those stroll-down-memory-lane sites. It is maintained by Barry Mishkind, "The Eclectic Engineer," in Tucson, Ariz.

KKAT CALLS RETURN — OK, so I may be biased in thinking that Citadel Broadcasting made a mistake dumping the "Dream Doctor" show (see last week's column). However, Citadel made a smart move recently by picking up the KKAT call letters for its AM-860 country station. These are historic call letters that once belonged to FM-101.9.

Having KKAT on AM-860 also means that sister station KBEE (FM-98.7) can simply be known as KBEE now, without any direct reference to AM or FM.

LDS GENERAL CONFERENCE — If you're going to be on the move Saturday or Sunday but still want to hear the LDS Church's General Conference, the best way to listen is on KSL (AM-1160). You can hear all the sessions live (except General Priesthood), and KSL will re-broadcast Saturday's sessions starting at midnight Sunday, and Sunday's sessions at midnight Monday.

The four general sessions will also be live on KBYU radio (FM-89.1, or FM-89.5 in Utah County).

SOFT SUNDAY SOUNDS EXPANDS — KSFI ("FM-100") has expanded its Sunday inspirational program, so that it now airs from 6 a.m. to midnight each week. In fact, because of General Conference, this weekend's show will also run from 6 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. (The show has a 13.4 percent market share, according to the spring Arbitron for age 12-plus listeners.)

"'Soft Sunday Sounds' offers music the family can enjoy while spending quality time together, it's special music for a special day," said Steven Kapp Perry, one of the program's hosts. The show also features the music of Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Janice Kapp Perry, Kurt Bestor and many others.

RADIO HAPPENINGS — KBYU (FM-89.1) will air "Leonard Bernstein: An American Life," an 11-part radio series illuminating the life and work of this musical titan, Fridays at 9 p.m. starting tonight and continuing through Dec. 10.

KBYU is also broadcasting talks given by LDS General Authorities and church officers during Devotional Assemblies at Brigham Young University from the 1950s through the 1980s. This weekly series, "BYU Devotional Archives," airs on Sundays at 12:30 p.m.

— Oct. 3, "George Q. Morris: The Foundation of Truth" (originally given Feb. 19, 1957).

— On Oct. 10, "Matthew Cowley: Great Leaders are First Great Followers" (June 1, 1952).

Also, "Reid Nibley: Musical Musings of an Unassuming Muse," which examines the career of the Utah pianist, educator and composer, will air at noon on Saturday.

In addition, KBYU will broadcast "Gifts of the Lord: The Life of Crawford Gates" on Sunday at noon; Gates wrote the music to "Promised Valley" and the "Hill Cumorah" pageant.

On Sunday at 1 p.m., KBYU will air "Harmonies of Heaven: The LDS Organs."