Tom Donahue conceived the idea of the Jive 95 while he was sitting around one night in the late sixties with Raechel and some friends, listening to a Doors album. "Why isn't there a radio station that plays this kind of music?" he asked. A light bulb went on inside his head. The next day he started calling FM stations in San Francisco and when he found one that had recently had its phone disconnected, he told Raechel, "This is it!"
The station was KMPX and before long, Tom and a crew of zany, stoned-out radio freaks had taken over. It was the first time any station featured long sets of music and album tracks that weren't necessarily hits. Disc Jockeys were encouraged to do weird and outrageous things on the air. They were given the freedom to play and say nearly anything they wanted to and the idea caught on like free candy. Soon KMPX had the youth of San Francisco tuned in and paying close attention. After a few months, the KMPX owners and Tom disagreed over the format and when they tried to institute some "controls" over program content, Tom and the staff went on strike.
The strike was
resolved when Tom convinced Metromedia Broadcasting, a multiple station owner
headquartered in New York, to let him and his crew of outcasts take over what had been
classical station KEAR. The new call letters were KSAN, once owned by an am station that
catered to African-Americans, and for the next ten years, the lead station in a radio revolution that
changed the way America thought and lived.
"I recall on meeting Tom for the first time that it was much better than the first time I got laid." Howard Hesseman
Tom's bio by Bob McClay
Joel Selvin's tribute
John Wasserman's report on Tom's wake
Stories of Tom (audio)
Postle recalls meeting Tom