DJ, Let It Play!

28 February 2023

Photos by Sara Rubenstein ’98

A person holds a record album (David Bowie's "Aladdin Sane") so that the cover photo aligns with their own face

A nostalgic notch on the dial for a host of music loving Carls, 88.1 FM is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its first broadcast on April 14.

A person flips through albums in the KRLX record library

Originally established as the AM station KARL in 1948 by GIs returning from World War II, the campus-based outfit switched to FM and changed its name to KRLX in 1974. Since then, with 24/7 broadcasts during the academic year, students harboring radio DJ dreams have gotten a shot on air (which might mean working the dial from 3-5 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, but, hey, fame isn’t free . . . ).

Overhead view of a person's hands on the faders of a sound mixer

The studio’s adjoining Record Libe boasts thousands of vinyl platters and CDs, perfect for sonic time traveling and genre-hopping. And for fans who want a little topical reading while they listen, the KRLX board publishes a campus zine called No Fidelity, described by publications director Henry Holcomb ’23 as “KRLX and The Cave, yet not quite either,” which features music reviews, writing, and art produced by Carleton students.

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