PRP.fm Hits 99.1 FM: Launch Party Highlights

A steady stream of local musicians, would-be volunteers and well-wishers made their way to the Tiffany Center’s eighth-floor studio where Portland Radio Project celebrated its launch to the FM dial at 99.1 Friday, May 22, 2015.

After streaming a rich blend of rock, folk and blues for more than a year, PRP.fm volunteers were thrilled to be broadcasting over the airwaves. The station offers a new, commercial-free, community-centric model for music radio – highlighting local artists, nonprofits and businesses.

Dan Packard and Valerie Ring, stalwarts of local radio, kicked off the all-day party at 7:00 a.m., announcing the station’s FCC-required call sign, KSFL- LP (for Smart, Friendly, Local – Low Power).


Portland Blues legend, Norman Sylvester. Photo by Robert Parish.

One of PRP.fm’s earliest supporters, Portland blues legend Norman Sylvester, aka “The Boogie Cat,” led a long list of local performers who dropped in to say, “Thanks for featuring local musicians.” Along with playing a local artist every 15 minutes, PRP.fm opens the studio to “Drop-In Sessions,” interviews with local artists who are invited to perform live in studio.

(A recent Kickstarter campaign successfully funded a portable stage that, when built, will accommodate larger groups than those who now squeeze into the station’s tiny studio.)

Here are a few special moments of conversation and live performance from launch day:

10:00 Norman Sylvester
11:00 Brian Copeland
12:00 Chad Van Dyke (Outerspace Heaters/Bike Thief) and Matt Varga.


Chad Van Dyke. Photo by Heather Hanson.

1:30 Rob Rainwater
2:30 Amber Sweeney
3:00 Martin Zarzar


Martin Zarzar. Photo by Sarah El Ebiary.

3:30 David Douglas
4:00 Sarah Parson from The Lower 48
6:00 Michele Van Kleef + Tim Ellis
6:30 Sarah Billings joins Michele and Tim

David Douglas

David Douglas, acoustic guitar. Photo by Robert Parish.


Sarah Parson from The Lower 48. Photo by Teri Briggs.

“This is a huge step toward our dream of creating a non-commercial radio station that is a true community hub for local arts and culture,” declared PRP.fm founder Rebecca Webb. With the radio ownership consolidation of recent decades, many local ties have given way to programming from national media conglomerates, according to Webb. “We believe local voices, those of musicians, nonprofits and businesses, are at the heart of vibrant civic life, and should be heard.”

Tim and Michele

Michele Van Kleef and Tim Ellis. Photo by Robert Parish.

In addition to incorporating local artists into its regular playlist at least four time per hour,  PRP.fm also produces the award-winning weekly series, Community Voices, featuring local nonprofits.

Through its parent organization, We Make the Media, PRP.fm obtained an FCC permit to broadcast in the heart of Portland at 99.1 FM. In addition, PRP.fm streams online worldwide, with no commercials.


Photo Collage by Teri Briggs.


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