video title: 1990s Sacramento Alternative Scene
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video source: SacTVnews
uploaded on YouTube Feb. 13, 2012

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duration: 12:11 minutes

When Alternative Radio Elevated Sacramento "Video of the Day" review by Alex Cosper on Feb. 18, 2012

KWOD 106.5 was an exciting station for Sacramento in the 1990s because of its outside the norm playlist and personalities that contrasted with the rest of the dial. The station was independently owned, which also made it unique. Throughout the 1990s KWOD exposed more new music and artists than any other station in town, which led to Sacramento becoming a higher profile market for music sales. The station gave early airplay to acts who went on to achieve national success. Those artists included Cake, Deftones, Oleander and Papa Roach. It was also a station that was part of a West Coast phenomenon, along with alternative stations in San Francsico, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland and Seattle, that influenced national airplay for alternative artists.

The KWOD story is fascinating because it proved that an indepedently run radio station could lead the market in many ways. When KWOD began mixing in modern rock songs with its top 40 playlist in 1991 the station rose from bottom of the Arbitron ratings to top ten. After the station shifted completely to an alternative format two years later, the station's ratings surged higher, ultimately becoming the leading rock station in town for a few years. In the process, KWOD helped bring initial airplay to artists who went on to sell millions of units. These artists included No Doubt, Dave Matthews Band, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan and Counting Crows.

I produced this video of interviews and scenes from 1996 to help preserve memories of the era. The video features KWOD staff members, including myself, since I was the Program Director and Midday Host for the station. Other appearances include Giles Hendriksen, Rob Endsley (whose voice can be heard explaining station giveaways), Peter Davis and Interviewer Don the Bike Mechanic. Toward the end of the video I interview artist manager Dave Park, who introduced me to the Deftones music as well as Little Guilt Shrine (LGS), who had a big hit on KWOD called "Jet, Jackie and JC." My programming assistant Ron Givens, who introduced me to Cake's music, appears with concert promoter Brian McKenna. Alive & Kicking publisher and concert promoter Jerry Perry closes the video. I wrote about my experience at KWOD in an online book called The Rise of Alternative Radio.

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