Lorenzo Milam

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Lorenzo Wilson Milam, born on August 2, 1933, in Jacksonville, Florida, is an American writer and activist who was instrumental in starting many of the first listener-supported community radio stations in the United States, beginning with KRAB-FM in Seattle in 1962. Milam, who is credited with helping in the startup of at least 14 stations from the early 1960s through late 1970s, is often referred to as the "Johnny Appleseed" of community radio. He got his start in radio volunteering in 1958–1959 at Lew Hill's KPFA in Berkeley, California. He used a $15,000 inheritance to buy a small FM transmitter in 1959 and spent the next 3 years seeking a broadcasting license "anywhere in the US" from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which assigned him a frequency in Seattle.[1] With the help of volunteer engineer Jeremy Lansman he was able to get his antique Collins Radio transmitter on the air in 1962. Lansman later assisted him in launching other stations around the country, starting with KBOO in Portland, in a mini-network that was sometimes referred to as the "KRAB nebula". Mr. Milam authored the book Sex and Broadcasting, A Handbook on Starting a Radio Station for the Community[2][3]

Milam produces the online publication Ralph (The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities).[4]

Books and publications[edit]

  • The Myrkin Papers
  • Sex and Broadcasting
  • The Crippled Liberation Front Marching Band Blues
  • Lourdes of Arizona
  • Crip Zen
  • A Cricket in the Telephone at Sunset
  • The Blob That Ate Oaxaca (as Carlos Amantea)
  • Gringolandia, A Guide For Puzzled Mexicans (with Jonathan Gallant)
  • The Fessenden Review (Editor: 13 issues)


  1. ^ Crowley, Walt. Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995)
  2. ^ "The Bader Award". San Francisco, California: National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  3. ^ Armstrong, David (1981). A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America. South End Press. pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-89608-193-1. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  4. ^ Corbett, Larry (September 2000), "Lorenzo Milam:Surviving Geezerhood", New Mobility, retrieved September 26, 2013