I was born and raised in Phoenix, left there in '72 and have hardly looked back since. Anyway, the other day the name "William Edward Compton" just popped up in my head and I wondered "whatever happened to that dude?" So I Googled the name, came up with your site and also found out that Bill died tragically in 1977. Sad!
Anyway, your blog has really brought back some memories. It's not really accurate that KCAC/KDKB was the first attempt at free-form radio in the Valley. I remember that KRIZ-AM in 1967, feeling the winds of change, loosened up its playlist considerably. It wasn't exactly "free-form radio" but they did play the Doors, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe & the Fish and others of that Ilk, even the odd Zappa track! Then in the summer of 1968 KNIX-FM got going and AM radio in Phoenix was done for as far I was concerned! The thing about KNIX was so few people were listening you could really make out on the call-in contests. I remember winning tickets to a Who concert (where I saw Pat McMahon wearing a Nehru jacket-ha!), and I won all kinds of albums and stuff over the station's short lifetime.
I was even at that infamous New Year's Eve 1968 concert at Memorial Stadium that got the station in so much hot water! The Fraternity of Man (mainly known for the tune "Don't Bogart That Joint" on the Easy Rider soundtrack) did a song about a guy who'd just gotten dumped by his girlfriend. The refrain was "FUCK HER!" Then there was the Crazy World of Arthur Brown with their songs making fun of Jesus. I remember seeing a couple of 12-year-old teenyboppers in their "mod" gear wandering around the place with dazed looks on their faces, probably thinking "what am I doing here?" I believe Three Dog Night also played. This was before anyone had heard of them.
Well, after that concert the shit hit the fan. The Arizona Republic and Ev Mecham's throwaway rag the Weekly American made a big stink and Rock 'n Roll was banned from Memorial Stadium for awhile. I believe it was March or April of '69 that the plug was pulled on KNIX without any warning.
Even before KNIX there were a couple of lights in the darkness. There was a guy named Rich Rogers who did a jazz-R&B show (on KXIV?) that all of us hipsters at South Mountain High School listened to in 1968. I had a cool student teacher in my English class who was friends with Rich and brought him down to talk to us.
Then in the Fall of 1969 KCAC (and later KDKB) saved the day! I remember the old place on Camelback Road, then the studio at Tower Plaza and finally the place in an old converted Safeway store in Mesa. I got involved in the antiwar movement (I was friends with Morris Starsky, the college professor who was railroaded out of ASU) and I remember Bill Compton & KDKB were always happy to help out with publicity or whatever. We were always welcome down at the station to talk about whatever we were up to. I never really got to know Bill but he seemed cool & didn't let his fame go to his head.
Remember getting stoned and listening to bands down at the Encanto Park bandshell? The concerts out by Pinnacle Peak? Or for that matter, Wallace and Ladmo? Those were kinder, gentler times.
So long, and thanks for the memories!