Ringo and Other Stars Support 88.5 FM

Ringo Starr in recording studio.

Photo by Brian Guido for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Member-supported 88.5 FM KCSN/KSBR, Southern California’s leading Triple-A (adult album alternative) format radio station, covers one of the biggest music industry entertainment hot spots in the world. In the homes, offices and cars of L.A. and Orange counties, 88.5 is a favorite listen for countless talented musicians, producers and entertainers — many of whom continued their longtime support this year.

The station received strong financial support and shout-outs during October’s record-setting fall 2019 pledge drive (as well as its spring 2019 counterpart). Fans and donors of the station include Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach, Eagles guitarist and prolific solo artist Joe Walsh and his wife Marjorie Bach, guitarist for Toto and Ringo’s All Starr Band Steve Lukather, and Hollywood power couple Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. Wilson, a singer-songwriter who this year released her fourth album, “Halfway to Home,” has performed live on 88.5 FM KCSN/KSBR and served as a guest DJ for the station. Hanks, an avid music fan, tunes in to 88.5 FM in his car when in town.

“We are extremely pleased with the upward momentum of 88.5 FM, as evidenced by the growth in membership, sponsor support and enthusiastic industry and listener feedback,” General Manager Patrick Osburn said.

Starr, the legendary drummer for The Beatles, called in to 88.5 FM on Oct. 25 for an on-air interview with DJ Nic Harcourt. They spoke about Starr’s new album, “What’s My Name,” his recent book, “Another Day In The Life,” and his support and admiration for the station.

“I just love the mixed-bag attitude of the station,” Starr told Harcourt. “It’s not like just rap, or just oldies but goldies, you know, it’s like everything in between. That’s what I love about it, to tell you the truth.”

On Oct. 24, a volunteer who answered phones during the fall pledge drive took a call from Starr, Walsh and Lukather, who rang from the limo they were sharing while on their way to see Ringo’s son, Zak Starkey, drummer for The Who, in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The three rock stars were listening to 88.5 FM and called in response to a challenge match provided by the Joseph F. Walsh and Marjorie Walsh Foundation. Starr, Walsh and Lukather met the challenge with generous individual pledges.

The pleasantly surprised volunteer who took the call asked the trio of rock stars if they  had a song request, and they requested The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

The spring and fall 2019 pledge drives produced 98 percent more financial support than the two from 2018. Contributing members are the station’s largest source of funding for keeping the music on the air, improving the station’s signal, and supporting live events and promotions.

“Since the partnership between CSUN and Saddleback College created the largest single-frequency coverage area by a non-commercial station in the U.S., and now with Patrick Osburn as general manager, the station is showing positive momentum across the board,” said Rob Gunsalus, chairman of the 88.5 FM Radio Oversight Committee and president of the CSUN Foundation. “It is great to see 88.5 FM getting traction, not only with entertainment and music industry stars, but throughout the Southern California region.”

The station is a combined effort of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Saddleback College, which began simulcasting as 88.5 FM in October 2017, linking the L.A. County- and Orange County-based signals. The station’s Triple-A programming is available on the KCSN and KSBR 88.5 HD1 channels, via the 88.5 app, and online at www.885FM.org.