Throwback Thursday: What’s on the Radio Dial?

Oahu Radio Dial 9-1989
What was on Oahu Radio in Sept. of 1989.


For our Throwback Thursday feature we have this old radio dial list that I created in 1989. As you can see, while the format of the various Honolulu / Oahu Radio Stations were mostly the same as we have today, there were a lot fewer stations in the market then.

The top rated morning radio program at that time was the Perry & Price Show on KSSK, which is about the same as it is today. There were 3 top 40 stations in the market…. KQMQ FM, KQMQ AM and KIKI FM, an oldies station, KIKI AM and two adult contemporary music stations, KSSK AM / FM and KRTR 96 FM. Hawaiian music which at that time did not include reggae or “Jawaiian” was mostly played on the old KCCN 1420 AM station, which later moved to FM 100.3.

Hawaii Public Radio was on the air but simulcasting mostly classical music and “All Things Considered” on only two stations, KHPR at 88.1 FM and the Maui affiliate at KKUA 90.7 FM. Today Hawaii Public Radio has two distinct stations broadcasting statewide on several frequencies on all islands.

There were two Japanese language stations in the market… KOHO 1170 and KZOO 1210 on the AM dial. KOHO went off the air in 2000 and lives only in the memories of its listeners and a Frank DeLima comedy track. KZOO is still on the air at AM 1210 broadcasting mostly in the same format.

In 1989 none of the radio stations sent “streams” out over the internet, since that was only in the limited domain of the government and perhaps a handful of universities. The worldwide web and streaming audio were years down the line.

Compare this radio dial list to what we have today on the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide Honolulu / Oahu Radio Dial page.

See also: Hawaii Radio & Television Guide Archive


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.