When this reporter moved to Rochester in 2018, I knew I was coming to stay and I knew I needed to find a radio station to occupy button number one on my car radio. I was more than a little surprised when the first rock radio station I found was gloriously uninterrupted by commercials and playing some of my favorite classic rock standbys. I remember driving through greater Rochester for the better part of an hour and being treated to set that included Kiss, Judas Priest, Neil Young and a diverse collection of solid rock. That radio station was 89.9 KRPR. It has been option number one on my radio ever since.
"We're proud to say that we are the only independent. locally-owned radio station left in the city," Program Director Brian Taylor told me as he sat in a well-baffled booth at the station tucked away in a Southeast Rochester shopping center. "It's good our group came around and we've been rock from the beginning."
The group brian refers to is a collection of radio afficionados who teamed up to purchase the station when RCTC decided it was getting out of the radio game decades ago. The group bought the station and has run it like a rock and roll public trust ever since. The focus is on playing the classic rock many of us miss and not just the hits.
"That's our thing," Taylor said pushing his studio microphone stand aside. "We go to the local record store. We go through the vinyl. We did through the CD's and we find tracks that maybe weren't the A cut or the B cut on that record, but they were songs that, in the old days, you played, the whole record, you're familiar with it."
KRPR is committed to providing those tracks with an unfiltered, unaltered purity. For audiophiles of a certain age, it is a very warm sound.
"It's old school," said proudly. "I mean it's analog equipment that we use to send the signal out to everybody. We try to not process it much. We want our station to sound exactly like the record did when you pit it on twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years ago."
KRPR can now be streamed online the world over, just go here to listen live.