Last week I was contacted by Mark Brown from the Tulsa World (no relation) who is working on a story about the golden age of radio in Tulsa. Namely, the zebra-striped era of KTOW.
In the Nineties this minor AM country station was commandeered in the name of alternative music by Tim Barazza and company. Later an FM transmitter came online and the upstart station started showing up on the ratings. Something the established players never imagined would happen. It was this unique time and place that is the subject of the forthcoming newspaper article.
It had been years since I’d thought much about KTOW and the phenomenon it wrought. I was never a DJ, but did have fun with a short-lived show on Sunday nights called Night Light. Bowe and I would read weird crap from the newspaper, run spoof commercials for a variety of fictitious local businesses and take live phone calls from listerners. My favorite memory of that was the night we played Battleship over the air. It was amazing how many people called that had never played Battleship! Not surprisingly we won.
I was able to provide Mark contact info for a few of the personalities associated with KTOW. Some were personal friends- like Robert Bowe (Robb on the Radio), Chris Hale (Caesar Vitalis), Tony Dapolito (Sabu), Carole Thompson (Carol Dane) and Tony Mills (Tony Too). Others were acquaintances that I didn’t really know all that well- Sanchez, Linda Berg (Taylor Chance), Joe Stone, etc. There were others I may not remember… sorry!
In case you have a KTOW story to share, or know how to contact some of the other DJs, you can reach roving reporter, Mark Brown at the Tulsa World or firstname.lastname@example.org
Like magic is this Internet thing- no sooner do I mention a long-ago radio station then suddenly it appears on My Space! Join me in befriending this blast from the alternative music past… KTOW 102.3