From the Vault is a series highlighting recent projects, research, and interesting finds from the Special Collections & University Archives department at the Gleeson Library | Geschke Center. This post features KUSF Wave Sector, the newspaper publication of the beloved KUSF radio station.
Inspired by a recent research inquiry on local concert advertisements from the 1980s, the Archives department uncovered a time capsule of the new wave/punk rock music scene of 1980s San Francisco when we pulled the KUSF Wave Sector issues from the KUSF archival collection to aid in the research.
KUSF Wave Sector debuted in May of 1981. The KUSF radio publication, edited by recent Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco Foghorn, Marcella Farragher, featured concert and record reviews, band interviews, and columns focused on the new music scene according to this article in the Foghorn. The newspaper emerged during a time when KUSF was becoming more popular locally, especially with the move away from new rock & roll programming at KSAN. Soon after, KUSF 90.3 FM became more widely known nationally and even internationally.
“KUSF began in 1963 as a campus-only AM station managed by the Associated Students of the University of San Francisco (ASUSF)… [In] 1977, KUSF became an FM station broadcasting on the 90.3 frequency… In its early days KUSF was a conventional college station, broadcasting programs of interest to the university and greater San Francisco community. However, KUSF soon garnered attention by playing new underground music: it was one of the first radio stations to play punk rock. Many now-famous acts also first gained exposure on KUSF, most notably The B-52’s and Metallica.”From, About KUSF.org
For more information on what was happening on campus during the time the KUSF Wave Sector debuted, check out the San Francisco Foghorn student newspaper issues from 1981, online in our Gleeson Library Digital Collections.
Once the KUSF archival collection is more fully processed, the Special Collections & University Archives department plans to digitize and make available the KUSF Wave Sector, as well as some of the KUSF programing brochures.
If you are a student and would like to learn more USF stories and how you can shape campus history, or if you are a faculty or staff member and would like to learn more about our collections and how to use archives in your courses, please contact University Archivist Annie Reid or Head of Special Collections & University Archives John Hawk.