Those that have watched Austin emerge as the “Live Music Capital of the World” remember there was a revered and historic radio station that served as the catalyst for the entire music movement.
From a recent Texas Monthly cover story (April 2012):
In the summer of 1972 Willie Nelson moved into Austin, just 6 months after KOKE-FM switched to its new format called Country Rock or the more politically correct term at the time “progressive country”. Radio in Austin would never be the same. Country Radio would never be the same. From the Carter Family to the Rolling Stones, to Waylon and Willie, you could hear the music that Austinites were listening to on I-35 and on South Congress. In 1974 Billboard named KOKE-FM the most innovative station in the country.
KOKE-FM played a role in the careers of all the “outlaws”. Waylon, Willie and the boys lead the way with KOKE-FM to help promote some of the most iconic singer/songwriters of the time thanks to program director Joe Gracey. When Jerry Jeff Walker needed an audience to record “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”, he called KOKE-FM to get the crowd he needed.
One of the characteristics of a regional music business was that the players, operating out of the glare of the big media centers, often made their own rules. “Redneck Rock” was created by KOKE-FM where the “outlaws” played by their own rules.
No one realized that what had started in that little studio on North Lamar would have such a profound effect on country music all across the world.
Joe Garcia had been the vanguard and proprietor of the KOKE call letters at its home in Giddings, Texas at AM 1600. Joe’s Hall Of Fame broadcasting lineage includes his father, Jose (Jaime) Garcia, who blazed the trail and set the standard for Hispanic and Tejano broadcasting in Texas.