The Jive 95
An Oral History of America’s Greatest Underground Rock Radio Station, KSAN San Francisco
By Hank Rosenfeld
The Jive 95: An Oral History of America’s Greatest Underground Rock Radio Station, KSAN San Francisco is an oral history of America’s first hippie underground FM station which broadcasted the countercultural consciousness of the ‘60s and ‘70s to a new generation. A communal radio band of intrepid hellraisers, pranksters, and drug-enlightened geniuses defined this psychedelic era, from the Summer of Love in Golden Gate Park, to the rebellion and bitter end of the late 1970s, which launched the Reagan Revolution.
Founded in San Francisco by Tom Donahue, a 1996 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an entire generation of Americans discovered a new musical universe among dance clubs, light shows and street fests––the original pop-ups. Almost overnight, KSAN became an audio clubhouse, where anyone could belong with friends and the cool cats and hipsters they just met.
Rock gods, political stars, and literary celebrities, including Jerry Garcia, Ken Kesey, Sly Stone, and John Lennon were all interviewed by founder Tom Donahue and his cohorts, whose listeners “tuned in and turned on” to bands like Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Quicksilver, Country Joe and the Fish, Hot Tuna, The Beatles and Santana, among others.
Folk journalist Hank Rosenfeld was there during those final years––writing, producing, and announcing. His warm, funny voice presents a behind-the-mic experience at KSAN, the beloved, “Jive 95,” whose delicious dose of enlightened sunshine and 33 rpm LP dreamscapes ignited a radio explosion from coast to coast.
So, how did KSAN go from a liberating voice to a corporate cliché? It’s all here in Rosenfeld’s insightful, hilarious account, which includes countless exclusive interviews with iconic performers and never before available in print or audio form.