A Brief History of 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio

1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio was acquired by Eberhart Broadcasting in February 2008 and is headed by longtime DFW consultant and radio personality Steve Eberhart who used to jock at KGAF in the 70s. 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio was owned by First IV media between 1974 and 2008 and by Bud and Joe Leonard Jr.dba Gainesville Broadcasting and White Fuel Corporation between 1947 and 1967. Some of the notable names in 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio’s history include Steve Eberhart who was a disk jockey at the radio station between 1973 and 1976, and Dee Blanton who hosts the radio station’s Dee’s Breakfast Club. Other notable people include Bob Couch, Steve Simmons, Pat Bolin, Mike Smith, David Klement, Ross Whitmire, Mike Parenti also known as Mike Monday, Mike Stoddard, Randy Williams, Ray Whitworth also known as Ray Kennedy, Chad Henderson, Stephen Monahan, and Curt Spain. 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio’s studios are situated at Radio Hill, Gainesville. The radio station is the former sister of KGAF-94.5 FM.

When 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio was built in the late 40s, it was designed with acoustic soundproof windows and walls. The studio featured a master control room, which was later adjusted to accommodate the FM transmitter. The studio also featured a huge live performance studio where live bands would perform during the early days, a small production studio, and a horseshow Gates console area for disc jockey roles. For many years after the performance studio was built, it acted as an office, but still features the old mic jacks and soundproofing that it had originally. This makes it one of the few retro studios being used that has not essentially changed since the Forties. Elvis Presley is said to have made a visit to KGAF studios before a Gainesville concert in the 1950s. 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio was a daytime-only radio station between 1947 and 1980, after which it became a full-time radio station and continues to be so presently.

In December 2010, Eberhart Broadcasting made an announcement regarding KGAF AM 1580 Radio’s change in music identification and programming. The 1580 AM became Memories 1580 and included a new and interesting format of modern pop music from the Sixties, Seventies, and early Eighties. 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio retained most of its former features such as sports, weather, and morning news, community service programming between 6 am and 9 am, during lunch hour at 12 am, at 5 pm in the afternoon. Local sports coverage for the local area continued just like in the past. The Texas State Network News and the two-times an hour weather update also continued. Air personalities Janice Williams, Dee Blanton, and Steve Eberhart also remained in their afternoon, morning, and midday slots. The only thing that was essentially not the same was the name and music. A survey of clients and area listeners revealed that 1580 KGAF-Hometown Radio does a better job with music that appeals to a broader range of audiences. Also, the Memories station that had been previously launched in North Texas a couple of years before had done very well in the region and this affirmed the idea that this kind of music programming had the potential to attract a bigger audience.