A LITTLE HISTORY OF CAVE-FM  

The idea of starting a radio station in Benson came from the mind of Paul Lotsof.   Paul had worked at several radio stations, mostly as a newscaster. In the mid 1970s he had a common American dream of starting his own company and being his own boss. Paul discovered that the Federal Communications Commission had an FM channel reserved for Benson. Although the channel had been available for quite a few years, nobody had applied for it.   Very likely there was a good reason for that. But Paul was young and foolish and he put in an application.  

At the time Paul’s father had some investment capital and his dad agreed to help with the financing. Here is a photo of Paul’s father, Jack.

Jack came up with about half as much money as was really needed to build a radio station so Paul ended up buying a 1964 mobile home to house the studio and he also bought a transmitter that was made in 1959 along with other equipment that   bigger stations had tossed out. All this old stuff had to be bubble-gummed together and it took years before it was made to work.

Shortly after the FCC granted permission to build the station, Paul and a friend named Steve Russell took a ride out to Benson to look for available land. Steve had a radio background but was working for a Tucson TV station at the time. As the two headed east along I-10, Steve noticed a sign for Colossal Cave. Steve quipped, “CAVE, that’s what you should call the radio station!”. Steve wasn’t the least bit serious but Paul wasn’t so sure. The more he thought about it the more he liked the name “CAVE”. Little did he know that ten years later the existence of  Kartchner Caverns would be made public.

In the summer of 1982 CAVE-FM went on the air but only briefly as some legal and technical matters needed to be resolved. Finally on April 23, 1983 CAVE-FM was launched for real and we’ve been serving Southeast Arizona ever since.

Our first record was called “Crazy Cave” which was done by a 1950s rock band called Danny and the Juniors. We played it over and over again for a whole week.

Have we made a lot of money? Absolutely not but it’s been a fun thirty years. We trust that CAVE-FM has provided some pleasure to our many listeners over our three decades.

Below,  you’ll find some photos of some of our past Cavemen and Cavewomen.   Some of them still work for us today.    If you’ve been a Cave listener for a long time at least a few of these names and faces should be familiar to you.  You may also recognize some of you friends and neighbors if you’re from the Benson area.

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