kfaiFresh Fruit, the nation’s oldest continuously running LGBT radio show celebrated 35 years in operation in 2013 with a 30 minute audio documentary on Nov. 21.

Fresh Fruit got its start on May 11, 1978, and has operated consistently and under the same name ever since. It started as part of the Fresh Fruit Collective 1977-78 which was comprised of Ted Faigle, Mark Matthiessen (who was also called Maya), Richard MacDougall (who was also called Shannon), Kirk Hoffmeier (who died in 1991).

It was billed in the late 1970s as “the Upper-Midwest’s only gay radio show.”

“We are the longest running, not the oldest, not the first,” host Dixie Treichel told listeners. She produced the documentary and is planning a longer version in the future.

The audio documentary can be heard on the KFAI website and will soon be archived at the AMPERS and Public Radio Exchange websites.

Treichel traces the history of Fresh Fruit, while also tracing the history of LGBT Minnesota from 1978 to 2013. The documentary includes clips and interviews with the long list of Fresh Fruit hosts over the years including: Roxanne Anderson, Leigh Combs, Debbie Davis, Ted Faigle, Peter Gokey, Kim Hines, John Killacky, Steve LaVigne, Richard MacDougall, Mark Matthiessen, Patricia Nelson, Claude Peck, Gary Peterson, Eleanor Savage, Marj Schneider, Norman Strizek, John Townsend, Dixie Treichel, and Rob Yeager.

Fresh Fruit continues the 35-year tradition every Thursday at 7pm on KFAI at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 FM in St. Paul.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


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