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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Cathy Faulkner: KISW, Seattle and the G-Word

Updated: Feb 14

It is fitting that this episode is being published on World Radio Day. Cathy Faulkner worked at KISW in Seattle from 1981 through to the early 2000's. She spent most of her time as the station's music director and on air. During that period, Cathy championed the local music scene and had a front row view to the ascension of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and some of the Seattle bands that did not get grouped into the G-Word category like Queensryche, and Candlebox. (The G-Word is Grunge and Cathy explains in the show why she cringes when she hears it)

In this episode, you will learn that it is all about timing. Especially in the case of Nirvana who released their Nevermind CD the first day that Cathy took the music director position. We also discussed some other rock radio groups who shaped the soundtrack of rock radio in the 90's like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tool and Brother Cane.

KISW celebrated 50 years recently and you can check out this episode from their current morning personality BJ Shea here.

At the beginning of the show we talked about Cathy's amazing wall of memorabilia. Here it is. If you were a music director at rock radio in the 90's - your office looked like this. (Bands may vary)

I have a few of my own pieces still kicking about. Including a signed Alice in Chains piece which is my absolute favourite. I'm going to have to put a note on the back of the piece to remind my boys to have it appraised before leaving it out on the corner.


Check out this gem from 1991 from Entertainment Tonight where they discuss the Seattle Scene. (Cathy appears briefly)


So a few regret about this episode. After listening back I wish I had asked Cathy about the deaths of Kurt Cobian, Andrew Wood, and Chris Cornell, and how she processed them. I also failed to ask about Presidents of the United States of America... Foo Fighters... and all the many bands that passed through her studio. Hopefully there is a next time because this was a fun episode to make. ~Matt




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