KUZZ-FM - AM 550 - Bakersfield, CA

Save this radio to your Streema Favorites

Ads by Google AdSense

KUZZ-FM Info

Bakersfield has strong historical ties to Country Music. Located at the Southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley, agriculture is the city’s second biggest industry. Much of the population is made up of American refugees from the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma and the dry plains of Texas who settled here ... See more during and after the Great Depression. The cavernous dance hall, the Rainbow Gardens, was located just south of Bakersfield and was a regular stopping point for touring Country and Western groups like Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. It was in small Bakersfield honky tonks that homegrown future stars like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens honed their craft. In 1958, radio station KIKK went on the air playing Country and Western music for Bakersfield. In 1960 the call letters were changed to KUZZ. Local Country and Western television star Herb Henson was the station manager. In fact, he effected the call letter change to reflect his own stage moniker, "Cousin" Herb Henson. At that time KUZZ was at 800 on the AM dial as a ‘daytimer,’ a station which was prohibited by the FCC from broadcasting after sundown. Buck Owens purchased KUZZ from its owners in 1966 at the 800 AM position and a year later purchased the 107.9 frequency, bringing it to Bakersfield from San Clemente. Owens immediately put the FM station on the air as alternative rock station KBBY-FM, programming mainly ‘underground’ rock and roll while Owens continued to play Country and Western music on KUZZ. Station newsletters from the late 60s show that KUZZ broadcast regularly scheduled Farm Reports and an hourly Gospel Moment with everything closing down at sunset. Following the 1969 demise of Owens’ KBBY-FM, Buck quickly switched the call letters to KZIN-FM, showing its ties to KUZZ-AM and changing the programming to Country and Western. KZIN was a 24-hour signal, which differed from its sister station only slightly by playing more album product and often giving newer artists stronger airplay than KUZZ. The idea of a 24-hour Country AM station was still uppermost in Owens’ mind and, in 1977, plans were finalized to purchase the 970 AM position then occupied by rival Country station KBIS. At the same time, KUZZ’s 800 AM daytime frequency was sold to the Four Square Gospel Church headquartered in Los Angeles. Their plans were to broadcast a Christian format out of Bakersfield. In January 1977, KUZZ and KZIN-FM officially split on-air at midnight with the song "New Kid In Town" by the Eagles (a rather neat way of signaling that KZIN was now KKXX-FM, an album oriented Rock station). KUZZ was now 24-hours, full-time Country music, which was what company president Buck Owens had wanted all along...or was it? By the early 1980s, technology had progressed to the point where AM stereo was a reality rather than a dream. Owens began to take a long serious look at possibilities in the Bakersfield market. By 1984 he had increased KUZZ’s transmitting power to 5,000 watts and purchased another station’s lower dial position from which to broadcast. The station was KAFY (formerly the number one rock station during the 1960s) which, by the early 80’s, was now Country with the very attractive dial position of 550 AM. Simply stated, the two stations would merely exchange positions on the dial. Not so simply, it was an unprecedented move in broadcasting. The FCC could cite many cases whereby one station had purchased another’s dial position, but none that had ever exchanged frequencies. In Bakersfield a concerted promotional effort by KUZZ eased the historic exchange, and the KUZZ listening audience moved down the dial to 550 AM along with the station. In the minds of station personnel, this was an important transition because KUZZ had, since 1978, been occupying the number one spot according to the Arbitron Survey ratings. Rarely out of the top three stations in the market, KUZZ usually alternated with sister station KKXX in the top position. The Bakersfield radio market truly belonged to Buck: two top stations, two extremely popular and winning formats but another major change was on the horizon. AM stereo wasn’t working. The public wasn’t purchasing AM stereo units and, with competitors threatening to bring the Country format to the FM band, Owens answered the challenge in 1988 by replacing KKXX with KUZZ. By simulcasting Owens got the clean FM sound the Country audience demanded and the enormous coverage afforded by the AM dial position. In its 30 year history KUZZ has been honored with numerous industry accolades: Gavin Station of the Year, Radio and Record Station of the Year, Billboard Station of the Year, Academy of Country Music Station of the Year, Country Music Association Station of the Year, twice named the Associated Press Station of the Year and the National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Radio Award for outstanding community service. The recognition is humbling, but even more so is this fact: KUZZ has broadcast 30 years and 21 of them as the number one station in the market. The rich tradition of Country music is alive and well in Bakersfield and doing quite nicely, thank you.

Visit the Radio's website Wikipedia

Country AM 550 48Kbps English
Contact: LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES: hcampbell at buckowens dot com NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES: hcampbell at buckowens dot com COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS: scariker@buckowens.com PROMOTIONS: jhufford@buckowens.com PROGRAMMING: ebridwell@buckowens.com NEWS: kuzznews@bucko

Wall

streema-team

Streema Team

Check out Country tracks from Bakersfield, CA, United States by playing KUZZ-FM.

April 26, 2010, 4 a.m. GMT

Reviews - Rate this station:

No reviews yet. Be the first to post one

Recent Listeners

Sign Up for Streema

If you want to save the KUZZ-FM live stream, start sharing stations with friends, or engage in a deeper Streema experience, please sign up below.

By clicking Sign up, you are indicating that you have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Streema Mobile

We've developed a mobile website for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) and Android devices. Native apps coming soon!

You can check it out by visiting our mobile radio site from your phone or tablet's mobile browser - it's free, no download required.

For more information go to our Mobile Support .

In other languages

See this page in French: Ecouter KUZZ-FM en ligne

Playlist, tracklist, top songs played coming soon...

PC requires Windows Media Player - Mac additionally requires Real Player - See FAQs for more info on how to listen to live streaming radio.