Sunday, October 28, 2007

KCAC Tape Update

Hi Folks -

After a long delay due to several factors (including a major computer crash and loss of software), I'm back working on the KCAC tapes provided by Jeff and Jennifer Crawford. Specifically, I've just digitized "Tape 5, Side 1", containing about 3 hours of audio recorded in late July 1971. The sound quality is rough to say the least, and the speed remains problematic. I tried synching up three different music tracks on the tape with modern CDs of the same recordings. Guess what - if I get one song matched up just right, the next one is noticeably off. My theory is that one of the turntables at KCAC ran slower than the other. I am not a technician, but using the software that I now have available (a shareware program called Audacity), I will do my best to clean up the audio, find an acceptable middle ground on the speed, and make it as listenable as possible.

Content-wise, the tape starts off with a half-hour of Bill Compton interviewing a guy from "Country Comfort Natural Foods" - does anybody remember anything about them? (I don't.) Hank Cookenboo and Eric Harris appear later on the tape, and Marty Manning makes a cameo as well. The music includes Jethro Tull, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, and Elton John - but most of the songs are just fragments, with the taper starting and stopping to concentrate on spoken-word material. Fortunately, this includes a number of staff-produced ads for the Valley Art Theater and various other local hippie-friendly businesses.

The tape also includes a number of "Life Line" segments; this was a right-wing syndicated radio show from Dallas that was broadcast locally on KPHO-AM. I'm editing out those segments as I encounter them, keeping only the KCAC material. (Editing in the digital domain, I mean. The tapes themselves are not being tampered with.) As much as half, but probably a third or less, of the tape is devoted to "Life Line" but that will still leave us with a lot of KCAC material.

Now: what about that KCAC reunion?



Anonymous said...

I was a regular listener to KCAC from it's beginnings until it went off the air. I would love to hear the tape. Are you going to post it on the Internet for folks to play or download?

Andrew (

Tom Wright said...

Hi Andrew -

Yes, I hope to do so, but right now the digitized version of the tape is in a "rough draft" form. The volume fluctuates all over the place, so when I did the transfer some of the louder portions came out heavily distorted. I can fix it with another pass through the software, but this probably won't happen for another week or two. In the meantime, please scroll down through the blog and watch on the left-hand side of the screen. You'll find several streaming and/or downloadable recordings of KCAC in its prime - including the 4th of July tape from 1970, and the station's final sign-off on August 14, 1971. Please keep in touch!