In the latest KCSBeat column from the Santa Barbara Independent, Colin Marshall covers the station’s ongoing re-airing of all the newly remastered and interview-supplemented episodes of Don’t Bank on America, Malcolm Gault-Williams’ 36-part radio documentary on the history of Isla Vista and its three 1970 riots, well-known as I.V. I, II and III.
Rest assured that the KCSB crew is not simply pulling the shows, last aired in the late 1980s, out of the mothballs and throwing them on the air. The episodes are being newly remastered straight from their original reels of quarter-inch audio tape, and augmented with conversations featuring the shows’ creators and subjects. The first chapter features a discussion between series creator Malcolm Gault-Williams, who DJed on the station in the 60s and managed it through the 80s; KCSB development coordinator Ted Coe; and Art of Peace host Philip Levasseur. The three discuss the origins of the series, the challenge of capturing and conveying the times in audio, and what it felt like to be right there in the midst of so much social change.
“I had begun commercial broadcasting in 1968 as a freshman in Arkansas,” Gault-Williams says in the segment, recalling his beginnings in the medium. “When I transferred to California, I was a City College student. The station let me in the door even though I wasn’t a UCSB student. I started filling in over Christmas break 69-70. It was my first experience with freeform radio; it made a big impression on me, that style of programming, and I tried to continue with that through my radio career. Unfortunately, the changes in radio and formatting as time went by made the opportunity to do that less and less. But when I was here at KCSB, it was mostly as what we called a ‘night owl’ DJ, holding down the FM shift between midnight and eight in the morning.”
You can read the whole story here. The remastered Don’t Bank on Amerika currently airs every Friday morning from 8-9 a.m. on KCSB.