At long last, the KLOL documentary


As announced exclusively in the Houston Chronicle, the long-awaited 101 KLOL Houston rock documentary, “Runaway Radio,” directed/produced by first-time filmmaker and Texas media blogger Mike McGuff, will be released this month with a special Houston screening in early March.

The documentary, distributed by Dark Star Pictures, covers the wild 34 years (1970 to 2004) of one of the country’s greatest Album Oriented Rock (AOR) stations.

The film will be available to rent or buy on all major video-on-demand (VOD) platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, and cable/satellite, starting February 27th.

On March 2nd, there will be a 6:30pm screening in the Houston area at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema LaCenterra in Katy.

The film world premiered in November 2023 at the music documentary festival Sound Unseen Minneapolis.

“When I started this documentary, we were in a recession, followed by a global pandemic when we finished it,” McGuff said. “Based on those who have seen the movie at film festivals, it will be worth the wait!”

“The KLOL documentary shows the rest of the world why this station is still talked about to this day,” said KLOL’s first program director Pat Fant who signed the station on in August 1970. “It will be the last word on a Houston media legend. We didn’t just play the music, we were a part of it. Our promotions became spectacles. Our on-air personalities were the host presenters of the non-stop performance that was KLOL.”

The film explores the many on-air personalities and behind-the-scenes players that made the station famous and the winner of the top rock station in America by Billboard Magazine. From the wild station promotions, the music, and the radio wars, the family-owned station faced against ABC Radio-owned 97 Rock KSRR.

See here for the background. I contributed to that Indiegogo campaign way back when, though I’ve long since forgotten at what level and what I was promised. I’ll try to go to that screening, but if not I’m sure I’ll watch it one way or another. KLOL was a part of my life for more than a decade in a way that I just can’t imagine any local radio station being for anyone nowadays. Whatever you think about that form of media and its place in history, I’m glad it’s being documented and remembered. It was something else. CultureMap has more.

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