Goodbye 100.3 FM The Sound, Dammit

1003 The Sound Banner

I honestly thought it was a joke when I first read the article on LAist.com, “100.3 The Sound to Be Replaced with Christian Music Station.” LOL. I mean, come on. Replacing the best classic rock radio station in Los Angeles with one which has one singer praising God and then another saying how much they love God and even another one speaking of how God got them through tough times? You know, a radio station with real variety. Aren’t there a couple of radio stations on the AM/FM radio dial with Christian music already? Do we really need another featuring songs indistinguishable from the others played before them?

Well, it turns out this is not a joke and, as I write this article, April Fool’s Day is not around the corner. In completing its merger with CBS Radio, the American broadcasting company Entercom has agreed to sell three of its radio stations, among which is 100.3 The Sound. The classic rock station is to be replaced by the Christian Contemporary station, K-LOVE and, according to Program Director, Dave Beasing, The Sound now has 30 days until their operations are shuttered. Now radio stations may come and go, but to learn this one is heading towards the annals of radio history has left me utterly infuriated and deeply depressed. Like many out there, I found The Sound and am not prepared to lose it.

Like everyone else, I grew up on FM radio with KISS-FM in Southern California (Rick Dees in the Morning!) and KFOG up in Northern California, but as the years went by, I grew continually restless with every single station I tuned in to as commercials and advertisements became more prevalent than actual music. I eventually gave up on radio for a time and became much more open to inserting a cassette into my car’s tape deck where I could get my music fix more easily and be spared from another advertisement for car insurance.

100.3 The Sound, however, was different. They would play a bunch of songs in a row, and they were the kind of songs which, even after listening to them hundreds of times, I could never get sick of. When the commercials came on, I never found myself eager to change the station as I eagerly anticipated which classic song Uncle Joe Benson, Rita Wilde, Cynthia Fox, Mary Price, Tony Scott, Tina Mica, Steve Hoffman, Mimi Chen, Andy Chanley or Gina Grad would end up spinning next. Did it matter which song they played? No, because I could always count on it being one which raise my spirits whenever I am stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on any given Los Angeles freeway. Furthermore, listening to this station on a daily basis keeps making me forget 95.5 KLOS still exists, and this is quite a feat.

Of course, it became an obligation to turn the volume down whenever that blasted Kars 4 Kids jingle was played. So simplistic and annoying in design and yet so catchy at the same time, it has long since proven to be equivalent of the Silver Shamrock jingle from “Halloween III.”

It didn’t matter if they were playing Led Zeppelin, Styx, The Eagles, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones because 100.3 The Sound made you realize why classic rock became classic rock; you never got sick of listening to it. Songs like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” never get old for me, ever. “Hotel California” still has relevance in this new millennium. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” still has us holding out hope even when times seem darker than ever. And while I may not have “Too Much Time on My Hands” like Tommy Shaw does, I always look forward to hearing it as much as another Styx song, “Mr. Roboto.”

That’s the thing about classic rock, it never ever gets old. It has heart and soul which today’s music seriously lacks. The artists of the here and now seem way too focused on generating the next big #1 hit to where they employ an obscene number of writers and producers on a single song in an effort to create something commercially viable, demographically friendly and inoffensive to the most sensitive of ears. Musicians from years past were never as concerned about making hit records as they were in creating music which spoke to them as much as it did to us. Even today’s generation has a great love for these bands to where their music’s power is undeniable. Taylor Swift may be the hit maker of today, but can you see “Shake it Off” or “…Ready for It?” having the lasting power of “Bohemian Rhapsody?” I think not.

Whenever I am driving people all around Southern California, they remark how the music playing on 100.3 The Sound makes them feel like they are in high school again. I feel the same way, and I went to high school back in the 1990’s! Sure, there are some passengers who instead want to hear the latest in hip hop which is fine, but more often than not, they dig listening to what this great radio station plays had on its playlist.

I love it when Andy Chanley breaks down a song to where you hear only the lead singer’s vocals or a particular guitar riff. I love Rita Wilde’s album side at 11, and she made me realize Journey’s “Frontiers” album was actually not a part of my record collection and needed to be. I love Uncle Joe Benson’s “10 at 10” as he was great at taking you back in time to a year which remains fresh in our minds, and his show “Off the Record” had him indulging in down to earth conversations with artists I always want to know more about. This station even managed to lure Mark Thompson back into the realm of morning radio, albeit for far too brief a time. Still, he had his “Cool Stories in Music” podcast which I always enjoyed listening to on a Sunday night.

100.3 The Sound also plays host to “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” the guitarist and “Sopranos” actor’s radio show which showcases what he sees as the “coolest songs in the world.” Now this is what Vincent Vega would call “a bold statement,” but in Little Steven’s case, he is absolutely justified in making it. While he plays songs by The Rolling Stones and The Monkees, bands we know and love, he also includes the grooviest of tunes from Butch Walker, The Weeklings, Jeremy & The Harlequins, Fleshtones, and the Kurt Baker Combo. I have to say I don’t know these ones but feel like I should, but with his show, Little Steven has introduced them to a new generation of listeners. It is also further proof of how my rock and roll education is far from over as his song selections provide me with a gloriously rockin’ good time.

Plus, how many other radio stations have a show like “Your Turn?” This is where Sound listeners like you and me can spend an hour as a DJ (pre-recorded of course) and play our favorite tunes for devoted listeners to hear. Now this is a radio station which respects its fans like few others do. While many of them may not sound ready for prime time, it is always great fun to hear what songs they selected. I was hoping to get a chance to do it, and I do have experience as a radio DJ, but thanks to corporate greed, it is unlikely like I will get the opportunity.

Well, all I can do now is enjoy the remaining days 100.3 The Sound is on the air as I feel uncertain there will be another radio station like it in the near future. I have no real desire to tune into a Christian music station. Granted, there are some great Christian singers out there (Vanessa Jourdan, you rock!), but being without The Sound on my FM radio dial will make it painful to even try to tune in to this channel.

A big thank you to everyone at 100.3 The Sound for all the great times and songs they have given me. You will be deeply missed.

WRITER’S NOTE: I am including the following song as it started playing in my head loudly after it set in that 100.3 The Sound is going away. It was released back in 1992, and I believe this makes it “classic rock.” After all, this station also plays the music of Pearl Jam.

See also:

If I Had Hosted ‘Your Turn’ on 100.3 The Sound

 

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27 comments

  1. Nicholas Orchard · October 3

    Aren’t there enough of us old farts around to support a classic rock station?? I’m totally with the author about the GOD stations. All I can say is hey!! —– Mark Cuban!! You live in the LA area! Buy a classic rock station!!! We’ll pay ya back!!

    • Mike Monaghen · October 5

      I love Bohemian Rhapsody but not everyday

    • judy lang · October 5

      Nicholas is right on the money…this old fart will gladly go for subscription situation to hear these gods of Rock back on radio…come on lets fix this.

    • I agree!!! 😦

    • Chi · October 5

      Why can’t they move down or up the dial..I just started listening fresh out of Country music because it’s not Country and Western anymore ..Classic Rock find somewhere on the dial I’ll be Look in 4 ya..

      • sjsobol · October 5

        Entercom had to divest one station in Los Angeles to remain under the FCC limit for common ownership. They already owned The Sound, having acquired the station from Bonneville not too long before seriously starting merger talks with CBS. Personally, I’d have been happier if they either spun off Jack FM or moved 100.3’s format to 93.1, but it’s probably cheaper to keep 93.1, since that station has no DJs.

        Ironically, Bonneville was owned by the Mormons.

  2. Gregory Sorensen · October 4

    Alittle peace of heaven, 94.7 Kmet TweedleDee…

  3. Debi Chessani · October 4

    This really SUCKS! This is the best station ever… way better than KLOS NOW..where will all this talent go now? Ugh WHY!?

    • Mike Monaghen · October 5

      You said it yourself they played the same songlist everyday I was amazed to hear a Jethro Tull song a couple of weeks ago they needed to play a larger catalog

  4. Julie Reichman-rice · October 5

    First I had to get over KMET, now this 😦 I am so sad.

  5. Richard · October 5

    I fell in love with the Sound instantly as The Sound to me was a radio station that is “one of a kind” to a lot of people who appreciate great music and not static (Talk and too many commercials). The Sound was like the Carly Simon song entitled Nobody Does It Better.

  6. Mark Vaught · October 5

    I’m 50. I grew up in Los Angeles. Whittier to be exact. And I grew up on rock radio. KMET and KLOS. That’s rock radio. NOT anything to do with Rick Dees. Lol When whoever it is (never heard of him!! Lol) that got to post on behalf of The Sound and says he grew up on FM radio and KISS-FM, “like everybody else”. I almost choked laughing. NOT like “everybody else” buddy. I grew up on FM rock radio. Lol
    I was 9 yrs old and won tickets to see Mott. The remaining members of Mott The Hoople,after Ian Hunter left and went solo. I had won a trivia contest. 9yrs old. To see them at Record Plant recording studio in Hollywood. Lol Can’t remember now if it KMET or KLOS? Lol
    I found the Sound 100.3 as soon as they hit the airwaves. I have listened just about everyday since. (Minus some time in jail/prison).
    I remember being pissed at first when Mark Thompson came on board. I said to myself. Damn, I left KLOS, because him and his buddy, Brian wouldn’t shut up in the mornings. I don’t wanna hear ANYBODY talking first thing in the morning. Shut up and play music. Then Uncle Joe, Rita Wilde, Cynthia Fox came and I said, awwwww familiar voices. Good move guys!!
    I still don’t listen in the mornings. Lol Sorry Gina, Andy, Todd. Lol But I’m around the rest of the day. The 10 at 10. Album side at 11. All good stuff. Oh wait! I do listen in the mornings. Gotta hear Andy’s Time Travel and think about Gina if I didn’t love my girlfriend. Lol
    You guys did a great job covering the worst possible need. Yes, Vegas. But I’m referring to the recent passing of Tom Petty. You guys made it ok for me to cry. Tom was classic rock!!

    But hey, all good things must end. What comes up, must come down. Stupid is as stupid does. I was there listening when the Mighty Met KMET shut down and became 94.7 The Wave. So it shall be, I’ll attend the passing of 100.3 The Sound. Thanks guys. I’m a Christian, but can’t stand Christian music. Not even that stuff they call Christian Rock! So I’m releasing my own CD. Hopefully by end of this year. Mark and the True Believers.
    “Faith In These Times “. Check it out. Maybe the new station will play it? It’s Christian Rock, but the kind classic rockers will dig.

    See you in the other side. Thanks again, hate to see you go.

  7. David Morales · October 5

    I have not changed my radio dial in years. Like thousands of others, what will I listen to now?

  8. Jackson · October 5

    Sad to hear of THE SOUND’s demise. It was the closest LA station to the old KMET in programming & attitude. It will be missed.

  9. B. James · October 5

    There is one Christian station south of downtown (commercial Contemporary Christian 95.9 The Fish). There are a few rimshot LP signals of Christian music on 92.7 FM by the Educational Media Foundation’s Christian Rock Air 1 (quite a different genre than Contemporary Christian). And there is absolutely 0 listenable Christian Contemporary or Christian Rock stations north of Santa Monica and between Glendale and Woodland Hills. That’s a huge area.
    So to answer the question, ‘Aren’t there a couple of radio stations on the AM/FM radio dial with Christian music already?’ The answer would be, ‘Nope!’
    Unless you live in South LA or Orange County, there is no Christian Contemporary music (quite different from Christian Rock- think KOST vs. KLOS & KSWD) to be heard anywhere on AM or FM. I’ve been speculating on this for months and had already concluded that the station Entercom chose to sell would flip to either Rhythmic Oldies or Christian.
    Granted I would have rather a company like Salem or Moody buy the station but I’ll take EMF as it will give most of LA proper is first and only listenable Christian music station over the whole metro.

  10. I love everything you say about The Sound and all of the DJs. Could we put up a GoFundMe page to save this radio station? I loved everything about this station and the education it provided us about who we were listening to. I am very, very sad to see them go. Shoot, I was mad when they move Uncle Joe to a later time because I loved listening to him on the way into work, but I soon realized that the goof ball they replaced him with is no longer there, I came back to it in the morning to hear all the exciting and interesting information provided by Andy and his music breakdowns. PLEASE DON’T GO!!! I WILL MISS YOU ALL!!!! 😦

  11. Charlene Gordon · October 7

    I actually yelled at the TV when I saw the news report that The Sound had been sold. I have been a steady listener ever since I saw an article about The Sound in Richard Wagoner’s excellent radio column in The Daily Breeze. He had another excellent article about this today. I’ve tried listening to the other stations out there. Too much noise, too much pop, DJ’s that are trying to be funny but aren’t, too much rap and hip hop. I’ve been on the fence about satellite radio in my car, we have it in my husband’s car and I do like it. I’m having mine installed tomorrow. There’s just nothing on our local FM waves that’s anywhere near as good as The Sound. You will be missed, you will ALL be missed.

  12. Victor · October 7

    I have been a listener way back when KLOS was the only classic rock radio station back in 1980. KMET came along shortly and I also switched back and forth with San Diego’s KGB 101.5 and 91X during the 80’s these were my primary stations I would alternate with. Living in the low desert of Imperial Valley nearly 300 miles away . Back then I had a powerful rooftop antenna to draw these stations in. I was so greatful to have a good receiver.
    Time progressed and stations
    have come and gone. KLSX, Pirate Radio, KNAC were all great. I have another experience first hand when I lived up in Monterey County. They have a great classic rock radio station The Hippo 104.3 awesome music back to back comnercial free with rock blocks. I sometimes tune in on Tune it radio. I have another classic rock station out in Coachella / Palm Springs KCLB 93.7 rocking the desert region nearly 30 yrs. Now I live in Orange county and have listened daily at work to the Sound since 2010. I will definitely miss the crew Uncle Joe 10@10, C-Fox, Rita Wild all old djs I rememeber listening to back in the early 80’s. To hear the station theme A Litlle bit of Heaven on 100.3 twiddle dee just the way the Met did it back in the day. Awesome slogan. Gauges my age now. Its kinda sad now to end something that worked so great with a large folliwing Lol Whooyaa!!!

  13. Joanne Tisza · October 8

    Where’s Uncle Joe, Rita Wilson, & Cynthia Fox going?

    This is heartbreaking.

  14. Greg George · October 9

    Replacing The Best FM LA ROCK Radio Station with a Religious Station Is NOT GOING TO MAKE GOD HAPPY..
    This CHANGE is Only Going to PISS GOD OFF..

  15. Sky Daniels · October 9

    If you were a fan of the ‘original’ Sound, when they deftly combined great new music with smart deep cuts, you might try 88.5 FM

  16. Elaine Banman · October 10

    I moved here seven years ago and haven’t listened to any other station since. Nothing like it and there’ll never be another like it again. Sad to see you go.

  17. c voge · October 10

    Back to satellite radio again. So sad to see it go.

  18. Robin · October 10

    Completely un-frickin’ believeable! No way will a Christian station last long due to this! What is this world coming to when they get rid of the good and keep the bad? We need our classic rock to get thru our work days, driving on L.A. freeways and taking us back to our childhoods! I am so mad, something needs to be done to keep this from happening!!! I need music from my youth … every day!

  19. Mary A Nixon · October 11

    We are so bummed to hear that The Sound is leaving! I thought I heard it wrong! I just can’t believe it! We love The Sound!!! I’m a Christian too, and I KNOW there are other stations on the radio that plays Christian contemporary music. We don’t need any more!! There is just nothing like Classic Rock, plus the DJ’s on The Sound ROCK! I love to hear their stories they share, the 2 for Tuesday, Triple Play Thursdays, etc. The DJ’s have become part of our circle of friends. We feel as if we know them personally. PLEASE let us all know where you are going! We will be following you! Sure going to miss The Sound so much, and all of the DJ’s. Love you guys!!!!

  20. Marcus · October 11

    I listened to the Sound from the beginning before they had any dj’s hoping they could become a great radio station, unfortunately they turned into a KLOS clone without the Mike Diamond commercials. The one dj they didn’t hire after klos was Jim Ladd, he would have fit in well and was the best dj there. Before Klos and Kmet there was KPPC and KNAC(before their metal format), they kicked ass on anything after them. The closest to that today is KOCI 101.5 in Costa Mesa, awesome station to listen to and stream, great music and you won’t hear the same song in 2 months if that and their limited commercials are low key.

  21. Joe R. SILVA · October 23

    I hope EMF and CBS are condemned to listening the creepy Russian Eduard Khil for eternity.

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