Top 10 KMUN Programs of All Time

KMUN Founder Reunion: 2007

KMUN has been providing community-based radio programming to Clatsop County and its environs for almost 40 years.

I once heard a tale that, in KMUN’s early days, people would ask one of the original station managers, “Does KMUN stand for communist radio?”

I never bothered to ask how he’d reply to that question. But even a casual listener knows that KMUN’s programming is void of consistent ideology, unless that ideology is to play the least popular (and probably least expensive) programs available from NPR and its member stations, such as World Cafe, Bioneers and Thistle and Shamrock.

What makes KMUN so unique isn’t the fact that it’s one of the oldest community-based public radio stations on the West Coast, or that it pays to play only the most esoteric shows from larger NPR member stations. It’s the fact that much of its programming is produced by local volunteers and is completely DIY.

In celebration of its long-standing local programming, I am presenting to you my completely unbiased and scientific ranking of the top 10 original programs on KMUN of all time.

5. The Finnish Folk Radio Hour

One of the many Finnish folk bands that have played at the Tillucum house for the Finnish Radio Hour

The Finnish Folk Radio hour has been blasting hits in the popular Kalevala meter since 1982.

Show host, Ella Hämäläinen, has been introducing Finnish Schlager music by bands such as Kuunkuiskaajat over the past couple of years, but listeners keep complaining that it’s inconsistent with KMUN’s brand guidelines and sounds a little too much like (an even softer version of) ABBA.

4. The Danish Folk Radio Hour

Popular Danish folk band Fantastik Frisure playing live from the Tillicum House

Show host Tove Jansson delights KMUN listeners with a combination of live and recorded Finnish folk music, always with fiddles and sometimes with accordian accompaniment. The show’s format follows a simple formula: 15 minutes of songs about sorrow and yearning, 15 minutes of songs about forests, and 15 minutes of songs about the Finnish national colors (blue and white). Tove spends the remaining 10 minutes or so apologizing for awkward delays between songs.

3. Democracy Whenever with Jaz McKay

God-fearing, smack-talking, gun-toting, flag-waving, KMUN news radio host, Jaz

Long-time KMUN listeners were surprised, to say the least, when KMUN brought conservative talk show host, Jaz McKay, to the Tillicum house to host its daily news show, Democracy Whenever in 2017. But Jaz has quickly become a KMUN fan favorite. Tune in Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 5, to hear Jaz explain how we can stop all of these crazy Democrat riots happening across the U.S., what a big dummy Nancy Pelosi is, why Ashli Babbitt was the greatest American intellectual of her generation, why he’d refuse to date AOC (hint: she’s not attractive enough for him/not up to his standards), and why police brutality is actually sort-of kind, when you really stop and think about it.

But please feel free to tune-out any time he swerves into vaguely eroticized conversation about US congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert’s “balls”, including how big they are or how they compare to those of other congressmen and women. The station manager is dealing with it. It’s totally off-brand for KMUN. They know.

But definitely do tune in to his own conservative political talk show on Friday nights where Jaz debates Oregon politics with two imaginary guests: the late William F. Buckley and the late Edmund Burke. It beats that toothless Santa Monica, CA show, Left, Right & Center any day.

2. The Swedish Folk Radio Hour

Frequent guest, Medelmåttighet, after playing live on the Swedish Folk Radio Hour

Show host, Anders “The Vargman” Limpar , is famous for interrupting live performances with his unbridled enthusiasm (e.g., “do you hear the f**king sustain on that Nyckelharpa?!?!” or “This folkmusik, right here. This is what I f**king live for!!!”).

Anders alone has racked up about $26,000 in FCC fines since the show began. I mean, where did you really think your sustaining membership money was going? Thistle and Shamrock only costs KMUN about $20 per year to air.

1. The Norwegian Folk Radio Hour

Special guest, Forferdelig Støy, playing live in the Tillicum House parking lot

A thunderous, en-lightning hour of contemporaneous fertility folk ranging from Elk-Core Norwegian drum n’ bass folk sensation, Das Odin–to Henrik Ibsen throwback Freya DiFranco (alleged inspiration for Oregon State motto “She Flies With Her Own Wings”). Shout out to Asgard, Warrenton’s sister city #TakkYouVeryMuch:)

0. The Icelandic Radio Hour

Apparently, it’s what the kids are into nowadays (when they graduate from Skinnamarink)

This is the hip, modern “alternative music” show that KMUN’s board of directors reluctantly allows to air on Sunday mornings from about 2 AM to 4 AM. The host is a 48-year old Gen-Xer that plays 90s music because it’s what the “kids are listening to nowadays”, which (apparently) is a lot of Alice in Chains and Bjork.

Yep, that’s it. Best KMUN shows of all time.

Hugs and kisses,

The Warrenton Warrior.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 KMUN Programs of All Time

  1. Thanks for that information. I was little startled to learn that KMUN is hosting a “FOX NEWS,” type segment, apparently by just surrendering to the demographic.
    I listened in the 70s and 80s and treasured the programming. There was never any ideology on the local end- just intelligent people who knew the difference between the truth and lies.
    I also wrote a bit for Mike McCusker in the Times Eagle days, so I can tell the difference.
    I SO DESPISE what this movement has done to this country, I can’t possibly continue supporting the station.


    1. Thanks. To be clear, the actual daily news show is a national one called Democracy Now and is decidedly not Fox Newsesque whatsoever. The idea of a conservative talk radio show on KMUN just struck me as a ridiculous idea. KMUNs programming has changed surprisingly little over the past 39 years (ie you can be guaranteed to hear a Pete Seeger song at least 4 times each week).


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