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Radio Survivor's Top Five Commercial Radio Stations: #4 KFOX-FM in San Jose, CA

The station goes by the name KFOX-FM, but its real call signal is KUFX. It’s owned by the Aloha Station Trust, which runs a gaggle of divested Clear Channel signals (make your way through this FCC document for the tortured details). Anyway, the San Jose, CA based frequency plays a pretty decent assortment of “classic rock,” so here it is on a Radio Survivor top list.

I have to say from the outset that I am not a big fan of commercial radio stations, so don’t put too much weight in this endorsement. But the other night I was driving over the Bay Bridge and KFOX was playing one of my all time, out of sight, total rave fave blues covers: George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ version of Johnny Lee Hookers’ One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer. Suddenly I was happy the way only a radio station playing a really good song while you are on the road can make you happy. So I guess I’m writing this post out of gratitude.

KFOX's Greg Kihn

KFOX's Greg Kihn

In addition, I’ve listened to KFOX of late while driving around the San Jose area and heard some deejays actually back announce some of the songs the station plays, even say some interesting things about them. And the signal has some pretty high level on air talent, Greg Kihn most notably.

Here’s KFOX’s Last Ten Played list, as of a few minutes ago, my time:

1. Led Zeppelin – Bring It On Home
2. Boston – Peace Of Mind
3. Pretenders – My City Was Gone
4. Styx – Renegade
5. George Thorogood – I Drink Alone
6. Def Leppard – Photograph
7. Santana – Samba Pa Ti
8. Van Halen – Jamie’s Cryin’
9. Stevie Ray Vaughan – Pride And Joy
10. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Even The Losers

Not bad, except for Jamie’s Cryin’, which is one of the worst rock songs there ever was (don’t get me started on this). For some reason or other the station’s web site has a babe page. Pretty cheesy, but this seems to be a trend with Clear Channel signals (and even former ones, I guess). On the other hand it has a green (“save money save energy save the planet”) page, so there’s that.

All-in-all, KFOX plays great music and mostly doesn’t suck, and that’s the best you can get from commercial radio these days.


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