Established in 1875, the Pasadena Presbyterian Church was the first church in Pasadena and has been residing on the corner of East Colorado Boulevard and North Madison Avenue for the past 109 years. In 1924 the church started an unique idea of their own radio station, KPPC. It was originally used to broadcast Sunday services and Wednesday night prayer meetings. The studios and transmitters were in the basement of the church connected to an antenna on the roof of the neighboring building. Because of the terrible reception, the “underground” station distributed plans on how listeners could achieve better signal by adding to their personal antenna coat hangers and a broomstick.
In 1968 the church sold the stations to Crosby-Avery Broadcasting and from there faded into the Universal Broadcasting giant. KPPC-FM was best known in 1967-71 for presenting a freeform mixture of experimental and historical music with countercultural ideas. Each disk jockey presented their own music, which veered between genres including rock and roll, folk music and blues. This was extremely rare at the time when all other radio stations played Top 40 hits. KPPC-FM was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 in the “Legends of Rock Radio-Stations” category.
Our goal for the Uncorked Series is to rediscover our exceptional city- that begins by recognizing local history. Anthems were originally created as liturgical music, a way to bring believers together regardless of education or status, creating in that moment a united group with an overwhelming sense of strength. We are proud to present a church in Pasadena that happened to be the birthplace of a rock radio station, recognized for its innovative format. KPPC-FM opened listeners to new explorations in music that they would not have been exposed to otherwise. We invite you to join us at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church for ROCK/ANTHEM on October 15 for an adventure that explores the power chords and personal stories behind anthems.