The sound of Barbara Gainer’s voice comes through loud and clear on the radio every Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to noon. Like clockwork, listeners can count on her familiar warm timbre when she delivers the repetitive trademark line, "You’re listening to grown folks, grown folks, grown folks music." And then she plays her own special blend of jazz and blues.
The disc jockeys at San Francisco’s KPOO-FM 89.5 are not just unique voices who play soul, oldies, reggae, salsa, gospel, hip hop and deliver the news. They’re a source of comfort.
These programmers are characters, personalities and people who are looking to connect with their audience; something that has proven to be that much more important during the coronavirus pandemic. When life as we knew it upended, we wanted to cling to structure and stability -- live radio can offer just that.
The station’s evolution dates back to 1970, when a scrappy radio engineer with a dream, Meyer Gottesman, applied for an FCC license to construct a radio station. Originally the call letters were set to be KPPC, to stand for the nonprofit Poor People’s Radio Inc., which founded the station. That was quickly changed to KPOO supposedly for aesthetic reasons. However, you should not pronounce it ‘kay-pooh’, especially on the air.