One of Seattle's proudest cultural forces happens to be a not-so-little, wildly popular radio station called KEXP. What began as a tiny, 10-watt organization in 1972 has since evolved into an innovative, influential institution in the local community and far beyond. Tune into 90.3 KEXP for local, indie and live specialty shows that often break new bands.
Turn the dial to KNHC C-89.5 for killer dance tunes hand-picked by youngsters. For 43 years, this station has played some of Seattle's hottest sounds. Owned by the Seattle Public Schools, 89.5 puts the student staff in charge of production, programming, music selection and on-air hosting.
Who else makes on-air waves? KPLZ Star 101.5 means family-friendly rock, while the KNDD 107.7 The End plays alternative rock. Find NPR and jazz on 88.5 KPLU and classical sounds on 98.1 KING; the latter often promotes the Seattle Symphony. Additionally, KBKS 106.1 KISS spins Top 40 hits; 94.1 KMPS rocks the country scene; and 89.9 KGRG, Green River Community College's station, boasts a surprisingly large fan base. Rock on, Seattle!
Stop flipping the stations. Here are the 10 best radio stations in cities across America. — Photo courtesy of Ruud Hein
Top 40 tunes rule the airwaves on Boston’s most popular radio station, WXKS, better known as Kiss 108. Found at 107.9 on your radio, hit songs play around the clock. Mornings are made better with Matty and team, who bring listeners of all ages together as they team up to offer a morning filled with laughter at one another’s expense. And if the rotation begins to repeat, popular songs from various decades can be found a few turns down the dial at WODS radio 103.3 AMP.
If top 40 is not your thing, Boston has other great stations to get you to your destination. Hip-hop enthusiasts will love WJMN Jam’n 94.5, while those seeking easy listening can chill with the crew at WMJX Magic 106.7. Classic hits are all the rage on WROR 105.7. And even though you’re driving through a big city, you can still get a taste of country music at WKLB, Country 102.5.
If you prefer talk to tunes, listen to the local news on AM's WBZ NewsRadio 1030. Or enjoy all sports, all the time on the Sports Hub, WBZ 98.5.
For local flavor in Phoenix, turn the dial to 93.9 KWSS. It's the only station in town playing local bands, along with an eclectic mix of indie and alternative rock. Tune in on Monday mornings for the Monday Morning Record Club, where the DJ spins an entire album from beginning to end.
If country music is your thing, don't miss 102.5 KNIX. Phoenix's premier country music station has a stable of popular DJs and a playlist that includes the latest from Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift and other country superstars.
One of the most popular morning radio shows in Phoenix is Johnjay and Rich on KZZP 104.7 KISS. Brutally funny segments like "The War of the Roses" are interspersed with the latest top 40 hits, which makes navigating the Valley's morning traffic a lot more fun.
DC101 (WWDC 101.1) and WIHT Hot 99.5 dominate the Washington, D.C., airwaves with rock and top 40 tunes. They duke it out for best morning show, too, with a match-up of Elliott in the Morning on DC101 and The Kane Show on Hot 99.5.
Morning commuters who just want the news, traffic and weather (and not pop culture commentary) tune their radio to 103.5 WTOP, while fans of public radio listen to 88.5 WAMU, the leading NPR station in D.C.
Other popular D.C. radio stations include WMZQ 98.7, which plays country music hits, and WASH 97.1, the variety music station.
Chicago has nearly 100 radio stations within its listening range so it's easy to find something to love.
Those who love the variety of rock, blues and alternative music from the '70s through the '90s will likely have 93.1 WXRT on standby. In addition, WDRV 97.1 The Drive plays a wide range of classic rock, from Aerosmith to ZZ Top.
Chicagoans have plenty of great options when it comes to news and talk radio. For news and Bears broadcasts during football seasons, fans tune to WBBM-AM 780, while WGN-AM 720 covers news, the Blackhawks and the Cubs. WBEZ 91.5, NPR’s local affiliate, offers news and talk radio, including the popular Morning Shift and Afternoon Shift.
Country music is king in the Lone Star State, and Dallas features a wide variety of country radio stations, along with a mix of pop, alternative rock, sports talk radio, Spanish and hip-hop channels.
If you want a true Texan experience, tune into one of many popular country and western radio stations in Dallas, like KPLX 99.5 The Wolf and KSCS 96.3 New Country. Both stations feature top country music artists and some of the most entertaining morning shows in town.
Rock lovers will enjoy KZPS Lone Star 92.5, which plays classic rock; the DJ-free KJKK 100.3 Jack-FM that has one of the most interesting playlists in Dallas; and KDGE 102.1 The Edge, which plays alternative rock and hosts several the coolest concerts and festivals each year.
Kiss (KHKS) on 106.1 plays popular hits and its morning show, Kidd Kraddick In the Morning, is featured on the television show "Dish Nation."
It seems only fitting that the entertainment capital of the world is home to several bands that have hit it big in recent years – groups like The Killers, Panic! at the Disco and Imagine Dragons. One Las Vegas radio station that highlights alternative music, X107.5 (KXTE), is credited with helping launch these local bands. The station plays artists like the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam, as well as more mass appeal indie pop bands like Foster the People, giving listeners something to rock out to while driving down the Strip.
For those who prefer more of a top 40 mix, the appropriately named Mix 94.1 (KMXB) airs more of a hot adult contemporary format. Listeners will hear everyone from Katy Perry to Eminem on the popular station. Not enough of a “mix” for you? Then try KVGS 107.9 Bob-FM, which proudly plays “everything” from ’80s classics like Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” to bands like Garbage and Mumford & Sons.
Of course, if country music is more your style, KCYE 102.7 The Coyote is sure leave country fans howling for more. Playing a mix of today’s hottest country artists – including Tim McGraw and Keith Urban – the station will unleash your inner cowboy, regardless of whether or not the National Finals Rodeo is in town.
Portland is home to a vibrant and eclectic music scene that is reflected in the local radio stations. Here you will find a little bit of all genres. To hear oldies, tune into WWEG 106.7 The Eagle, but if you want something current, try KRSK 105.1 The Buzz or KBFF Live 95.5. Can’t decide between oldies or today’s popular music? You don’t have to. Listen to KXJM Jam’n 107.5 to hear the best jams from back in the day, as well as today’s top hits.
Alternative music lovers will be in heaven with two killer stations dedicated to only playing alternative music: KNRK Alternative Portland 97.4 and KKRZ Alternative Radio 102.3, one of Portland’s newest stations.
For classic rock, set your dial for 92.3 KGON, which has been going strong in Portland for more than 35 years. For Christian music, check out Way-FM 104.5 (KPWA), and for talk radio with the latest news, flip to OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) on KOPB 95.1.
If you are not in the mood to listen to any particular type of music, then check out KKCW K103.3, which plays the best variety, including pop, country, urban and rock.
The Music City label certainly applies in Nashville, as the mix is broad with a big devotion to country. Live Grand Ole Opry broadcasts are tradition, and fans are loyal to WSM 95.5 Nash for this. The Big 97.9 WSIX is tops in the morning, with the Bobby Bones show, featuring celebrity happenings and humor, along with country hits.
Rising talents in Americana, adult alternative, folk and rock (like Kings of Leon) is often is heard for the first time on locally based WRLT Lightning 100.1. It’s the choice of most artists and the best place to hear Nashville’s fresh music and perspective.
A mix of every type of modern pop and rock from the last 30-plus years is on Jack-FM 96.3 (WCJK). But to really keep up with what’s happening and get the inside scoop, connected folks admit total addiction to NPR (90.3 WPLN).
Dive deeper into Nashville's radio scene with satellite radio. Sirius Satellite Radio's The Highway has "Great American Country" Television personality, Storme Warren, chatting with musicians over hit countdowns. Also on Sirius, the Country Music Television channel, has similar programming with Cody Alan. CMT radio also offers stations for Bluegrass and Americana, which is a Tennessee favorite. There’s an abundance of international play coming out of local airwaves with these two major music networks operating in the market.