Bonnie & friendBonnie Simmons
has been programming her mix of singer/songwriter, folk, rock, country and R&B on KPFA since the very late 1980’s. One of the best loved personalities of Bay Area music radio, she was raised in New York, and then moved to San Francisco from Denver in 1968 and became a pioneer of free form radio. During her eight years, from 1970 to 1978, at the legendary KSAN, she served as Program Director, Music Librarian, and Disc Jockey.

After leaving KSAN, she worked at Warner Bros as National Album Director, promoting Prince as well as the first Dire Straits and Rickie Lee Jones albums, amongst others, and also worked at Hightone Records. She moved in and out of radio at KFOG, LIVE 105, KOFY-FM, KVRE, KDBK “Double 99” and KUSF.

As the Audio Director for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she created the disc jockey audio exhibit and many of the exhibits involving sound at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

On a local level, Bonnie spent several years working as a sandwich-maker at Ozzie’s Soda Fountain in Berkeley, and currently hosts her eclectic weekly show on KPFA. Bonnie managed the band Cake for eight years, and represented Noe Venable and Etienne de Rocher for many years. For the past 14 years, she has been happily involved in Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the extraordinary free festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and has been the Executive Director of The Bill Graham Memorial Foundation since 2009.

 

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