40 Years of SPR

The first ten years of Spokane Public Radio
The second ten years

2007 at SPR

Aug 3, 2020

January/February 

Jazz at Lincoln Center remembers Ed Bradley, journalist and host of the program. Bradley died on November 9, 2006, at age 65.

Performance Today moves to Minneapolis.

Harlan McKasato returns to host Native America Calling which airs on KSFC.

March/April 2007

Special community programs include “Celtic Traditions” Kids Concert, and a health forum on Autism.

2006 at SPR

Aug 3, 2020

January/February

KPBX Kids’ Concert features Mardi Gras with music by The Dixie Dandies and square dancing music by River City Ramblers.

Tori Piecuch joins the SPR family.

Performance Today pays tribute to Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.

JazzSet returns to KPBX with host Dee Dee Bridgewater.

R&V Sale features the Olinda Duo and Keeler, Melvin, and Morse.

 

March/April 

2005 for SPR

Jul 15, 2020

January 

New logo for SPR; lots of changes coming to the Guide (color, bi-monthly).

SPR celebrates 25 years of broadcasting.

February 

Men in Black: Percussion quartet for the next KPBX Kids’ Concert.

KPBX re-airs Jazz Masters, a 1987 series featuring local talent, and also re-airs The Pied Piper.

March/April

The Klezmer Band performs for a KPBX Kids’ Concert and Robert Munsch comes for SPR and Get Lit!

2004 at SPR

Jul 15, 2020

January 

Chinese music at the KPBX Kids’ Concert and SPR’s 24th anniversary at CenterStage.

February

Homeless Marathon to air from Cleveland, OH mid-month.

SPR joins the Northwest Public Affairs Network (N3).

March

Haran Irish Dancers perform at the next KPBX Kids’ Concert with Celtic Nots.

SPR forum addresses careers, housing, government programs and more for Baby Boomers.

April 

2003 at SPR

Jul 8, 2020

January

KPBX Kids’ Concert presents “A Day in the Life of Mrs. Bach,” featuring Darnelle Preston & the Spokane Children’s Chorus.

Michele Norris & Melissa Block join All Things Considered, along with Steve Inskeep.

February 

SPR and Spokane Regional Health present Growing Up Healthy with live forums.

Dawnelle Shaw joins the crew as Financial Assistant.

2002 at SPR

Jul 7, 2020

January 

Anniversary party at Cameo Catering.

Bill Roesch series, A Collector’s World of Opera,  airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Marty Demarest starts a 15-part series exploring the string quartets of Shostakovich.

SPR hosts NPR’s Murray Horwitz.

February 

The EWU percussion ensemble performs at a KPBX  Kids’ Concert.

March

Health Forum to discuss the “Dangers of Diabetes.”

2001 at SPR

Jul 1, 2020

January

Kids’ Concert exploring the sounds of animals and machines.

Nancy Roth reads the local memoir, Atomic Farmgirl: The Betrayal of Chief Qualchan, The Appaloosa, and Me by Teri Hein.

Fred Child becomes host of Performance Today.

February 

Keli Cunningham becomes SPR’s Volunteer Coordinator. 

All Things Considered spin-off All Songs Considered becomes NPR’s first online-only show.

2000 at SPR

Jun 10, 2020

January 

John Vlahovich & Rusty Nelson join the team.

New show: Beyond Computers.

March

Health forum on heart health.

Live performance for Nacho Celtic at the Civic Theater.

SPR website gets an overhaul and more accessibility.

Juan Williams becomes Talk of the Nation host.

April 

1999 at SPR

Jun 2, 2020

January 

Sounds of the century showcased on All Things Considered.

Marty Demarest features music of the 20th century, delving deep into the SPR music library.

Birthday open-house announced.

February 

Gospel Choir at the KPBX Kids’ Concert.

March 

Shoestring Quartet: classical meets jazz, folk & rap at a KPBX Kids’ Concert.

Health forum tackles cancer.

1998 at SPR

May 26, 2020

January

“Race at the Kitchen Table” panel headed by Doug Nadvornick.

February 

Gunther Schuller in Spokane and interviewed by Verne Windham.

Banjo Extravaganza Kids’ Concert.

March 

Health forum on menopause.

April 

Volunteer thank you event takes you around the world in 2 hours.

May 

1997 at SPR

May 19, 2020

February 

KSFC announced for the coming year! Inland Journal returns 4 times a week!

Volunteer Dan Treecraft saves KPBX antenna in wild storm.

March

KPBX health forum about environmental impact/hazards to health.

39 Heaven's Gates Cultists perish in suicide ritual in California.

April 

KPBX hosts Magic Flute at the Magic Lantern.

First 7-day membership drive announced.

1996 at SPR

May 12, 2020

January 

The Health Journal, a weekly call-in health series, begins and is hosted by Doug Nadvornick. 

 

February 

“African American Music Tree II” series runs  devoted to Black History Month.

Beginning of Piano Fund campaign to buy the grand piano.

Widespread flooding in Washington, Oregon and Idaho; causes 3 deaths and an estimate $800 million in damage.

 

March 

1995 at SPR

May 12, 2020

January

KPBX celebrates its 15th anniversary!

 

February

Radio series goes inside the Gingrich revolution: 13 week series.

Announcer profile on Lakshmi Singh (now an NPR newscaster).

 

March 

SPR Health Forun: Cures & Costs, an update on healthcare reform in WA.

Presented on-air Timber Summit by Doug Nadvornick.

 

April 

1994 for SPR

May 12, 2020

January

“Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Traditions” series with NPR & The Smithsonian

March 

“Cures & Costs: Healthcare Reform in America” public issues forum presented by SPR and the Spokane Public Library with Doug Nadvornick moderating and a huge panel.

April

“Breaking the Cycle: How Do We Stop Child Abuse” – four-part series from NPR with local series hosted by Doug Nadvornick with local experts and listener call-in.

1993 at SPR

Apr 22, 2020

February 

Recordings & Videos Sale at REI.

Feb 26 - Bombing of World Trade Center (North Tower) kills six.

Feb 28 - Waco Siege begins, ends 51 days later with many casualties including Branch Davidian leader Koresh.

 

March

Public Radio receives the duPont Golden Baton award for overall news excellence. First time that the duPont, Columbia’s highest honor, is given to news.  

 

June

1992 at SPR

Apr 21, 2020

February

Iowa Writers Workshop: Saturdays at 3.

 

March

The River City Chili Cook-off featuring: live blues, chili tasting, commemorative T’s, prizes benefiting SPR.

 

June

Beginning of 5 part series on fundamentalist religions called The Glory & The Power: Fundamentalisms Observed.

1991 at SPR

Apr 14, 2020

January  

First mention of Recordings and Video Sale – “The KPBX Record, Tape and CD Sale” at REI who hosted the event.

 

February 

The R&V sale included over 3,500 recordings. Special thanks to DJ’s Sound City, REI, Street Music, Frederick and Nelson and Waldenbooks.

 

Susan Laney, KPBX’s afternoon classical music host, performs with Michael Price and Margaret Berry at the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center and is later broadcast.

1990 at SPR

Apr 2, 2020

January

Car Talk begins on KPBX in January.

February 

South Africa legalizes ANC, frees Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison.

May

Marian McPartland comes to Spokane Public Radio.

 

June

First Hoopfest held in Spokane.

 

July

1989 for SPR

Mar 26, 2020

January

In 1989, Spokane’s Fox Theatre becomes a discount movie house.

 

Fabruary

Feb 14 - Iran offers reward for London writer Rushdie's death who lived to appear at Spokane’s Get Lit in 2005.

 

March

Mar 24 - Exxon Valdez oil spill fouls Alaskan Coast. 

 

June

1988 for SPR

Mar 18, 2020

February

Feb 5 - U.S. indicts Panamanian Military Leader Noriega on drug charges. 

 

May

May 15 - Soviets begin to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. 

May 27 - U.S. Senate ratifies Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

May 29 - Reagan, Gorbachev hold Moscow Summit.

 

July

July 3 - U.S. Navy shoots down Iranian airliner over Persian Gulf, killing 290.

1987 at SPR

Mar 13, 2020

January

KPBX celebrates 7 years.

March

Mar 4 – President Reagan accepts full responsibility for the Iran-Contra Affair in a nationally televised address.

Mar 20 – FDA approves AZT, an antiviral drug used in the treatment of AIDS.

October

KPBX sponsors the International Beer Tasting Festival at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds.

Oct 19 – The Dow plunges 508 points, the largest one-day percentage decline in history.

1986 for SPR

Mar 10, 2020

January

January 28 – Space shuttle challenger breaks apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven astronauts on board, including Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher who was selected from more than 11,000 applicants for nasa’s teacher in space project.

 

April

April 26 – In Ukraine, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explodes, releasing radioactive fallout across much of Europe – the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history.

 

1985 for SPR

Mar 10, 2020

January

From a project in George Cole’s Basement to its 5th year, a note from Susan Wallace, President of the Board, about the history of KPBX.

Inland Northwest Voices, produced by Phyllis Silver, is still going strong.

Sidran on Record is a 13 week series looking at new releases.

Six one-hour programs of Dixieland Jubilee, celebrate the world’s largest international jazz festival.

 

February

1984 for SPR

Feb 25, 2020

February

Radio Reader features Growing Up by Russell Baker, read by Garrison Keillor.

A four-part series on jazz on film is broadcast.

The Corporate Conscience, a new series examining trends in business social responsibility is played on KPBX.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the BBC.

“Going Places with KPBX” becomes the theme for the pledge drive.

January

Lord of the Rings is read in a 26 part series

KPBX airs a simulcast series with KSPS of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen

Inland Northwest Voices, produced by KPBX, features interviews with published authors living/working in the area.

NPR ends Communique, NPR Journal, and Options in Education.

KPBX airs a live call-in program to answer listener questions about the station.

 

KPBX Second Anniversary International Festivals at Moreland’s with Italian, German & Spanish cuisine.

February 18 - The Community Advisory Board is held at Gonzaga University.

May 16 - The Tin Ear presents KPBX’s Spring Jazz Festival featuring Art Lande.

Martha Shannon joins staff as Development Director. Bridget Piper is elected president of the board.

April 18 - Karl Haas of Adventures in Good Music comes to Spokane.

Marvin Granger resigns; Richard Malawista takes over as General Manager.

Staff List: Gen Manager/Prog. Dir: Marvin Granger; Devel Director: Jean Smith; Music Director: Richard Malawista; Producer/News/Public Affairs:  Lisa DeAmicis; Producer/Arts: Vernice Cohen; Op. Manager: Kathy Grabicki (Sackett); PR: Caroline Walen; Asst to Development: Judy Phelan; Asst for Finances: Carl O’Leary; Pied Piper Director: Robin Woolman.

April 25 - Dick Wellstood performs a benefit concert in the Skylight Court of Riverpark Square, SPR's first official event! 

James McTigue takes over as Board of Directors.

The Pied Piper was one of the first locally produced programs ever aired on Spokane Public Radio. It made its debut in 1980, the same year SPR went on the air. The Pied Piper was concieved as an "imaginative family listening" program. Episodes featured storytelling, music, poetry, and more.

Stay tuned as SPR celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020. We'll be showcasing programs from the archives all year long.

SPR traces its roots to the early 1970s on Spokane’s South Hill in the basement of broadcasters George and Susan Cole. Public radio and TV stations were forming across the country after the landmark passing of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, providing support for educational, informational, and cultural access to people across the country.

KPBX briefly broadcast in downtown Spokane and then briefly went silent as they raised funds for a 56,000-watt station covering the region. The station became an NPR affiliate and slowly renovated the second floor of the Hoban Building on North Monroe. On January 20, 1980 KPBX began broadcasting, as promised, “a world of difference,” with a wide range of news, music, public affairs, and local productions.

40 years of Spokane Public Radio! Thank you for coming out and celebrating with us! 

This year marks SPR's 40 year anniversary. Join us at the station, 1229 N Monroe Street, to celebrate our birthday, have some light refreshments, and enjoy live music by Brent Edstrom and Brian Flick.

The open house will be from 3 - 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22nd.