Bill Bowker (Press Democrat photo by John Burgess.)

KRSH Radio listeners got treated to a classic April Fool’s Day joke this April 1.

Those who tuned into 95.9 FM in Santa Rosa this morning heard a station identification they weren’t expecting.

“Today, we’re KVRE, at least ‘til 3 p.m.,” said KRSH DJ Bill Bowker.

For locals with long memories, those call letters are a treasured bit of nostalgia.

Founded in 1974, KVRE garnered a loyal following until it went off the air in 1988, with an eclectic mix of music and a laid-back attitude.

“It was a rallying point for the Sonoma County when it was changing,” said former KVRE DJ Scott Murray, who returned to take a shift on the air this morning.

“The good old boy kind of thing was receding, and a lot of people who were moving up from the Bay Area were taking a more prominent role in the area,” said Murray, who now works in the Sonoma County Public Defenders’s office.

Today’s on-air prank confused some people with its sudden flashback to the ‘70s, also bringing back former KVRE DJs Scott Kinsey, Bob Sala and “Daisy.”

“Some of the newer listeners called and didn’t know about KVRE,” said Bowker, a mainstay at KVRE from 1979 until the end.

“Then somebody called and said they found their old KVRE T-shirt that doesn’t seem to fit them anymore,” Bowker said.