Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Birth of KFML

Recently, I received email from Patricia Bancker, the wife of the original owner of KFML before it was freeform, when it was a classical station. Here is what she wrote:

"I was noting some of the information you have online about KFML and I never see you mention the actual birth of the station, which you may find of interest. My husband, Evert Abram Bancker, Jr., purchased the station while he was living in Chicago attending the University of Chicago and moved it lock, stock and barrel from Chicago to Denver.

"His vision was of a purist classical radio station, which is what KFML was originally. He also had, in the lower below ground level beneath the station on Fillmore Street, a record/hi-fi store which also sold high end electronics and furniture. That was known as the Allegro Music store. It had two huge fish tanks at the entrance and usually had a huge lizard whose name was Quazimoto tied outside at the entrance. The lizard finally broke loose one day and made the front page of the Denver Post as it was captured and placed in the zoo.

"As Evert was well in advance of his time, the station of course didn't make any money. He tried to manage with subscriptions but was certainly ahead of PBS and that didn't work very well. KFML ended up in receivership and was purchased sometime in the early 60s by a family who maintained some of the classical repertoire, but gradually it evolved into what I heard (we had moved to Europe by then) it became, which is what you are speaking about.

"... My husband's first wife, Janet, is still living and might remember some of the old staff that worked there. I simply cannot recall any names, but some of them did stay with the new owners after it went into receivership. I recall the attorney in the receivership, who remained a friend, was Leslie Gross. Leslie was killed flying into Aspen in a small plane from Denver in the 60s. Not that that makes any difference. If Janet recalls any details however that may be of interest I will pass them on to you..."


  1. Hey I just stumbled upon this post and this blog and it's great having found someone interested in documenting freeform history. Odd that KFML has roots in Chicago...have you heard of or listened to any of WZRD Chicago's freeform in our 35 years of broadcasting?

  2. Hi, Michael ~ Yes, I have heard of WZRD, but have not heard it. Got any links you could pass on? Thanks for checking in, here.

  3. Absolutely, Malcom-
    You can find the station streaming for Realplayer at as well as a new in-progress section of live-performance archives and you can check out real-time playlist info at
    (not every dj is using it yet, but we've set it up to automatically log anything played from our harddrive.)
    As of late, the station is in the midst of a complete overhaul of our online presence (myspace,facebook,twitter etc...) and working on making our official webpage better, functionally, until we eventually completely redesign it. I know that was a mouthful--thanks for yer interest and I'll be sure to keep checkin' in.