Conventional wisdom has it that the Grateful Dead couldn’t get arrested on radio (they saved that for real life)—at least not until their late-career single “Touch of Grey” improbably saturated the airwaves in 1987. But as is often the case with the Dead, this is hardly the whole story. Actually, the Boys have a long history with radio, going back to when Jerry Garcia played folk music live on KPFA in the fall of 1962. And once the Dead formed, area stations like KSAN, KMPX, and KPFA broadcast the band’s concerts and brought in members for interviews. In the 1980s, music journalist and Deadhead David Gans inherited a show which came to be known as the Grateful Dead Hour. Syndicated across the country, and featuring choice nuggets from the band’s audio vault, the program aided scene coherence and and brought the Dead’s counterculture spirit to a new generation. Gans, who also hosts The Golden Road on SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead Channel, joins us to talk about his history with the band, along with his own creative exploits as a performing songwriter. Casey and Eduardo examine the evolution of broadcast media in America with ears on the Dead. Feed Your Head profiles the father of progressive radio, Tom “Big Daddy” Donahue. Don’t change that dial!
- David Gans website
- Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia live on KMPX – April 4, 1967 (dig that playlist!)
- Grateful Dead historic FM broadcasts
- The Grateful Dead Hour
- SiriusXM Grateful Dead Channel 23
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