Border blaster


Broadcast station that, though not licensed as an external service, is, in practice, used to target another country.

- Border blaster

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Pirate radio

Radio station that broadcasts without a valid license.

REM Island was a platform off the Dutch coast used as a pirate radio station in 1964 before being dismantled by the Netherlands Marine Corps.
In 1926 WJAZ in Chicago, Illinois challenged the U.S. government's authority to specify operating frequencies and was charged with being a "wave pirate". The station responded with this February 1926 publicity photograph of its engineering staff dressed as "wave pirates".

Consequently, XERF and many other radio stations in Mexico, which sold their broadcasting time to sponsors of English-language commercial and religious programs, were labelled as "border blasters", but not "pirate radio stations", even though the content of many of their programs could not have been aired by a US-regulated broadcaster.

Wall of Voodoo

American rock band from Los Angeles, California, United States.

Wall of Voodoo, 1982 lineup (left to right): Joe Nanini, Chas T. Gray, Stan Ridgway, Marc Moreland.

A single, "Mexican Radio," about border blaster radio stations, became an international hit, peaking at #18 in Canada, #21 in New Zealand and #33 in Australia.

John R. Brinkley

American quack.

Brinkley, c. 1921
Operating room at the Brinkley Hospital, Milford
1920 newspaper item highlighting "Billy", the "First Goat-Gland Baby"
Minnie Brinkley holding John Richard Brinkley III
Grave of John R. Brinkley in 2011

He was also, almost by accident, an advertising and radio pioneer who began the era of Mexican border blaster radio.

Wolfman Jack

American disc jockey.

Wolfman Jack in 1979

In 1963, Smith took his act to the border when the Inter-American Radio Advertising's Ramon Bosquez hired him and sent him to the studio and transmitter site of XERF-AM at Ciudad Acuña in Mexico, a station across the U.S.-Mexico border from Del Rio, Texas, whose high-powered border blaster signal could be picked up across much of the United States.


Commercial radio station that is licensed to Los Angeles, California.

Logo for KKHJ/KHJ as "La Ranchera 930".

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the station competed with three other local stations with similar formats: KFI, KTNQ, and Tijuana-based border blaster XETRA-AM (The Mighty 690).

Carter Family

Traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956.

A. P., Maybelle, and Sara Carter (L–R) in 1927
Birthplace log cabin of A.P. Carter at the Carter Fold at Maces Springs, Virginia now Hiltons, Virginia
A.P. Carter General Store Museum at the Carter Fold at Maces Springs, Virginia now Hiltons, Virginia

In the winter of 1938–39, the Carter Family traveled to Texas, where they had a twice-daily program on the border radio station XERA (later XERF) in Villa Acuña (now Ciudad Acuña, Mexico), across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

Pembina, North Dakota

City in Pembina County, North Dakota, United States.

Fort Daer of the HBC and across the Pembina River on the right old Fort Pembina built by the NWC (painted by Peter Rindisbacher in 1822)
Preparing Red River ox cart at Pembina, North Dakota, for trip to St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota
Fort Pembina and Red River ox carts, c. 1870
A hardware store in Pembina, North Dakota.
Pembina Water Tower

The station was a border blaster primarily targeting Winnipeg from as close to the border as possible; when simultaneous substitution rules took effect in the early 1970s, Canadian interests bought the intellectual property of the station and relocated it to Winnipeg, where it was relicensed by the Canadian government as CKND-TV channel 9, and has operated there ever since.

Mexican Radio

Song by American new wave band Wall of Voodoo.

Wall of Voodoo frontman Stan Ridgway and guitarist Marc Moreland cited listening to high-wattage unregulated AM Mexican radio stations (among them XERF, XEG, and XERB) as the inspiration for the song.

Muscatine, Iowa

City in Muscatine County, Iowa, United States.

Sunrise over the Mississippi River
Muscatine High School

Norman G. Baker (1882–1958), inventor of the Calliaphone; established Know the Naked Truth (KTNT), a border blaster radio station


Fourth album by the American rock band ZZ Top, released in 1975.

The song was written about the influence of Mexican border blaster radio stations (so-called "X Stations") on Texas and other parts of the United States, namechecking "Dr. B," an alias of Dr. John R. Brinkley.