HOUSTON – (By Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report) – A new FM radio station signed onto the Houston airwaves in 1970.
A public station affiliated with the Pacifica Foundation, Texas listeners dialed into 90.1 KPFT and heard new things. Psychedelic music, of course, was played. But new ideas about social change and politics were discussed on the air while the U.S. engaged in that unpopular war in Asia.
After broadcasting fresh thoughts and sounds for a only few months, someone tried to silence KPFT. The radio station’s transmitter, located in Houston’s southwestern suburbs, was destroyed by a bomb in May of 1970. After weeks of silence and repairs, the station began broadcasting again only to be blown up again a few months later in October.
People with reported ties to the Ku Klux Klan were arrested and one was sent to prison, according to the Houston Chronicle.
KPFT finally settled into the Montrose area and its studio became a fixture in an old home in the 400 block of Lovett Boulevard.
Now, in an era that’s been relatively peaceful except for a pandemic, the station is on the move. KPFT recently acquired a two-story, 2,642-SF house at 4504 Caroline in the Museum Park neighborhood. So long Lovett Boulevard.
The new KPFT studio is just a couple blocks south of The Ion innovation district that was recently launched by Rice University. It all adds to the momentum in the Midtown area between downtown and the Texas Medical Center.
Above all, KPFT is to be respected for its tenacity. To be knocked off the air by dynamite – twice – and to rebound with enthusiasm shows deep commitment to freedom of speech and artistic expression.
Beyond the bombings, years ago a bullet was fired into the KPFT building from Lovett Boulevard. It went through a big plate glass window, passed right over the disc jockey’s head and lodged into the studio door. The window was boarded up with 2×12 lumber to prevent any more close calls.
But KPFT never backed down and it’s highly likely this unique station will Keep On Truckin’ for decades to come.
May 23, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022
Photo: Courtesy KPFT
File: New Offices for KPFT
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File: New Offices for KPFT at 4504 Caroline. Midtown. The Ion