Local classic, KFMH radio comes back — online

If you were a rock or blues fan in the Quad-City area during the 1970s and ‘80s, KFMH-FM was probably locked on your radio.

“The thing was just outrageous all the time,” said “Captain” Steve Bridges, the program director and at one time a part-owner of the signal at 99.7. “(The disc jockeys) were edgy people, and they were encouraged to talk about their problems and talk about other things when other disc jockeys were just selling the station, basically. These guys were selling themselves.”

Long before corporate radio took over, the on-air staff chose their own music to play — with their own tastes. Extended broadcasts would come from the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, the Rock Island Brewing Company and concerts such as those by Van Halen and the Doobie Brothers.

“It was largely music that nobody was playing for its (the station’s) whole existence,” said Bridges, now the owner and morning show host at KCJJ-AM (1630) in Coralville, Iowa. “The music made it special, but also the people made it special. We gave a crap if somebody in the Quad-Cities or somebody in Iowa City was listening to us.”

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