Radio F.A.T. – The Billies first songs

Back in 1983 Matt had a cassette recording of a Californian radio station, Radio F.A.T. , based in Gilroy, which was playing country-swing, country and bluegrass. We listened to it incessantly and during a cold winter on his first trip to Canada, Matt transcribed the lyrics of several of the songs on the tape, including Detour, Whisky, Wine, Love ’em and Leave ’em and Pan American Boogie.

Scroll down to listen to hours of Radio K.F.A.T.

We loved them, we learnt them and rehearsed them, and they became the basis of the early ‘Billies acoustic set whih we first performed at Glastonbury ’84. ‘Billies band members and fans will remember these songs well, in those early days, as we transitioned from acoustic to electric. They reflect our early acoustic roots, with Bill on tea-chest bass, Amanda on washboard, Dave on trombone, Colin on sax, Simon on snare drum and Matt on acoustic guitar and vocals.

Here’s a collection of some of the originals:

Love em and Leave em
Pan American Boogie
An early Billies set-list

 Listen to KFAT now..

KFAT 94.5 Gilroy, CA Nov 30-Dec 1 1979

 “KFAT was a legendary eclectic free-form FM radio station based in Gilroy, California, ‘Garlic Capital of the world.’ It featured country music, country-western, western swing, with a high cholesterol mix of blues, rock, bluegrass, hawaiian, folk, novelty 78s, zydeco, cajun, dixieland, soul, instrumental acoustic, raunchy comedy, 30’s hot jazz, yodeling brakemen, shit-kicker, redneck, truck drivin’, juke joint jukebox, roadhouse, roots, reggae, early ska, calypso, psychedelic, old timey, duck calls, hootenanny, electric blues, rockabilly, Motown, surf instrumental, tiki lounge, hillbilly front porch, and musical saw music to name but a few. The off-the-air antics of the diverse KFAT deejays often eclipsed their fabled colorful air shift personas. The life and times of KFAT radio, its crew and lively audience can best be read about in Gilbert Klein’s book, “Fat Chance”. The boisterous station (1975 to 1983) is recognized as the birthplace of ‘Americana Music”

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