During my early years KUT carried City Council meetings during my Thursday evening shift. When the meetings would end or take a break I would play a set of songs and write "fill music" on the log. Pretty quickly I realized that "Phil Music" could be a person's name. In radio, the trick is to take the smallest, most insignificant piece of airtime that you have and pump it up into something bigger. Soooo, I began proudly calling the little bits of time that breaks in Council coverage gave me "The Phil Music Program." I would start with a joke, usually ripped from the day's headlines, that would describe why Phil Music was absent, then I'd play a set of songs about the topic of the excuse. At the time there was no other broad based freeform program on KUT. The little bits of random air time became more of a regular show when Lee Cooke became mayor. He spoke quickly, limited citizen debate more than the previous mayor, and finished up the meetings at a reasonable hour. Often Phil Music would hit the airwaves by 8 PM and would be a full four hour program. Mayor Bruce Todd, when adjourning the meetings, would call for "The Phil Music Motion," rather than the motion to adjourn. Phil Music remained unofficial and unauthorized from 1981 until after a spectacular fundraising success in '89 or '90. When Council coverage moved to another station a few years back, Phil Music became the regularly scheduled Thursday evening program.
Phil Music was canceled on July 2, 2009 with less than four hours notice to the host. The audience was not informed and there was no final, goodbye program. The legendary Phil Music Program was replaced by the KUT AAA format.
On August 26, 2010 I did a Phil Music farewell program.
Here is the first six minutes of the show videorecorded by Ave Bonar: Phil Music's Last Stand (01)
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