Once upon a time, in the ’70s, the District was home to one of the most subversive, radical, and otherwise adventurous college radio stations in the U.S., WGTB at Georgetown University. (Here’s a City Paper cover story on the station from several years ago.) Run by a collective of radical activists (few of whom actually attended Georgetown), WGTB was called “the voice of third-world communism” by Spiro Agnew. He was referring to WGTB’s lefty news programming, but the station was also an outlet for some of the most innovative and interesting music of the time. Psychedelic and progressive rock, avant-garde jazz, and early punk records all emanated from its Georgetown campus studio.
Today WGTB still exists, but as an internet-only station that’s nowhere near the controversial and galvanizing force it once was.
But you can still hear the sounds of its Golden Age. Every Wednesday, the net radio station WGAY broadcasts a 24-hour set from its collection of hundreds of WGTB airchecks. For a once-a-week return to the days when FM radio meant challenging the government in a government town, taunting the Catholic university that funded your enterprise, and playing music that couldn’t be heard anywhere else, go to WGAY’s website and click the “Listen Now” link at the top of the page.