Alternative and Free-Form Programming

The 1960s gave rise to one of radio's unique programming genres. During its short existence (1966–72), this format became known variously as progressive, alternative, free-form, psychedelic, and acid and was ultimately dubbed underground radio because of its unorthodox and eclectic mix of music and features and disc jockeys who broke from the traditional delivery style embraced by other youth-oriented stations of the day.


FM provided the fertile soil from which commercial underground radio would grow. It was where experimentation was permitted, because there was so little to lose at the time. Until the mid-1960s, FM moved along in low gear. A nearly negligible listenership provided ...

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