A collection of KFAT airchecks from 1982. The collection comes from Tim Pozar, who had been passed the collection from Bill Goldsmith. It is believed the original recordings come from Laura Ellen, co-founder of KFAT. Sadly, Laura died in 2007.
The facility went on the air in 1970 as KPER-FM at 94.3. The station broadcast in Gilroy with 3,000 watts and was co-owned with KAZA 1290 AM. KAZA and KPER-FM were split in 1973; Entertainment Radio, Inc., bought the FM and changed the call letters to KSND. Entertainment Radio filed to move the station to 94.5 from Loma Prieta Peak, noting that KPFA's grandfathered signal caused interference problems. The FCC agreed. When the new station reemerged in 1975, it became KFAT with a freeform country/rock format. In 1976, the station was sold to Wheatstone Bridge Engineering Company, and in 1980, KFAT-Levin Radio acquired the station. KFAT was co-founded by Laura Ellen Hopper, Jeremy Lansman, and Lorenzo Milam, who helped start many of community radio's pioneering stations in the United States.
Harvey Levin, the majority owner of KFAT-Levin Radio, died of cancer in May 1982 at the age of 38, setting in motion a chain of events that would lead to KFAT's demise. In order to pay down debts, he had instructed his estate to sell KUIC in Vacaville to pay down debt and fund the continuation of KFAT, but the down payment on the Vacaville station was simply too high, and KFAT was sold first. Western Cities Broadcasting paid $3.6 million for the station, and needing vastly improved economic results from what KFAT was delivering, on January 17, 1983, KFAT flipped to CHR as KWSS. (Santa Cruz-area station KPIG-FM was heavily inspired by the legacy of KFAT.) KWSS, which moved its studios from Gilroy to San Jose shortly after the sale, was a well-regarded hit music station in the South Bay area. Bill Kelly & Al Kline were morning hosts of the station before moving to KXXX in early 1989. Other known personalities were Steven Seaweed (KLRB, KFAT, KRQR, KSAN), Craig Hunt, John Mack Flanagan (of KFRC), Barry Beck, Larry Morgan (of KIIS-FM), Danny Miller, Tim Anthony, and Dr. Dave Lewis. In late 1986, it was acquired by Nationwide Communications.
On March 1, 1991, KWSS abruptly ended its broadcast and stunted with a loop of "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen for 3 days. On March 4, it flipped to classic rock as KUFX.