For ten years, 1998 – 2008, 77 WABC New York paid homage to its legendary top 40 format by becoming MusicRadio 77 each Memorial Day. The first year, WABC simply called its event WABeatleC and gave away Volkswagen Beatles in a day long promotion featuring classic airchecks and interviews with former WABC staffers. The event was hosted by WABC’s then TalkRadio show hosts. Beginning in 1999, each Memorial Day the station aired “WABC Rewound”. It was narrated by WABC current Production Director and former MusicRadio 77 jock Johnny Donovan.
Bob Cruz with an hour of Rewound magic from his program on 8/31/78. This was Hour 2 of WABC Rewound ’04 donated by Matt Seinberg of Big Apple Airchecks. Unavailable on this website until now.
These recordings are of varying quality. Some are excellent. Some were made from a distance from New York City and the signal wasn’t very good. Still others were donated to us by someone who recorded the then poor live internet audio feed. Thankfully there are few of those recordings listed.
If you recorded parts of WABC Rewound and would like to donate parts to this website, please feel free to Contact Us. We’ll accept any parts of the program which we don’t already have.
An internet-only broadcast this year, each segment was presented without current commercials – less editing for your webmaster! Note that these files are a bit out of order this year, just listen at your leisure.
Earlier in the same broadcast day, Cousin Brucie, 6-7 PM July 13, 1974
Back to the early days of WABC – Cousin Brucie from October 1963 and Bob Lewis from June 1965
Dan Ingram, April 1st, 1971. Starts out at the end of ABC news… check out ‘ambassador’ George (HW) Bush. Historic, yes! This includes part 2 of an April Fools’ day joke (see below). Plenty of old commercials and WABC jingles!
Dan Ingram, January 19, 1971. Its Big Dan at his best!
Back to the year the Beatles invaded! Dan Ingram and Bob-A-Loo (Bob Lewis) from 1964.
Another Dan Ingram clip, this one from March, 1965
Morning Mayor Harry Harrison from New Year’s Eve morning, 1976.
Here’s a rare recording of Jay Reynolds. October 8, 1974
The great Johnny Donovan introduces himself for this segment from 1974, then its on to 1968 where the strange (Paul is Dead!) Roby Younge is featured.
November 14, 1970 – Ron Lundy, then Dan Ingram. Part of a great broadcast day on WABC!
IMPORTANT – Because of the way this page is built, the rest of WABC Rewound archives are in REAL AUDIO format. Be sure to have RA installed to listen. One note about Rewound 2007… the commercial load is almost unbearable. I’m sure the audience stayed with WABC for the show but this was rediculous. Along with WLS Big 89 Rewind, WABC apparently was VERY sold out! Then-current commercials have been edited out, along with music to comply with copyright issues.
Hour 1 – November 21, 1981. This hour is dedicated to the “Middle of the Road” version of WABC – “New York’s Radio Station”. You’ll hear Ross & Wilson, Ron Lundy and Johnny Donovan, and the AC hits of the day.
Hour 4 – Everybody’s favorite, Dan Ingram. First half is from 1966 (When Frank Sinatra was still making number 1 songs, according to Johnny Donovan), then it moves on to 1977, about 2/3rds of the way through… gotta love those Bee Gees!
Hour 5 – Roby Younge fills in for Dan Ingram, February 3, 1968. The hits of the day, along with plenty of classic commercials including one for Coca-Cola sung by Aretha Franklin! Plus, one complete newscast describing the war in Vietnam.
Hour 6 – Back to December 19, 1974 and the George Michael show. Listen carefully and you might hear George miss hitting the post by a microsecond… as Johnny Donovan says, that’s the first time anyone ever heard that!
Hour 7 – Chuck Leonard and Charlie Greer count down the top 100 of 1967. This gets a bit boring from the standpoint that without the music, we get to hear the “Superhit of the Year” jingle over and over… you get the point. Right off the bat to start things off, the cart machine sticks on Chuck Leonard. You won’t hear that these days with everything hard drive based!
Hour 8 – Check out the waning days of 1974 with George Michael. This one will make you go WOW! Listen to George Michael’s incredible talkups… he never misses the post here. Includes commercials from ’74, and some early and INTERESTING WABC George Michael jock jingles. From the early days of the George Michael show after Cousin’ Brucie left for WNBC.
* Harry Harrison wakes up New York City – Memorial Day, 1972! 6-7AM. Here’s one of the Big Apple’s most beloved DJ’s with music, coffee, time checks and traffic. It’s a great day to listen to Harry Harrison! Thanks to contributor John Troll of Danbury CT, via Matt Seinberg in New York!
* Here’s Howard Hoffman, as recorded during his night show on December 20, 1979. – 1-2PM. Hoffman is… well, Hoffman. He’s wacky, whitty and a fast talker. Hoffman, IMHO, really didn’t ‘fit’ the typical WABC jock image as far as his presentation goes, but in this era of WABC, the station was desperately trying to return to the number 1 position after having taken a beating from FM– not the least of which was 92-KTU, which went from worst to first earlier in the year with it’s Disco format. Still, it’s a great recording. Listen!
* A composite spanning the entire broadcast day in 1973 – 2-2:15PM. It starts with Harry Harrison’s morning show and goes right through the overnight hours. Harrison, Ron Lundy, Frank Kingston Smith, more…
* Hour 9 of WABC Rewound 03 from 3-4PM. The late Chuck Leonard, “The best who ever got away with it”, from his 9-midnight show in 1969. In your humble webmaster’s opinion, this is the best that WABC ever sounded. Tight, all the programming elements that made it sound ultra-contemporary, lots of PAMS jingles and plenty of one-liners. If you listen closely enough, you can almost feel the darkness surrounding that year… the Vietnam war was raging and if you place yourself back in time, you can almost smell those perilous times… A FABULOUS aircheck donated by Jared Kindestin. Thanks, Jared!
Many of these airchecks come to us from various sources. Most of 2004 was donated on VHS and soon as I find the person’s name who contributed it, he’ll get credit. Thanks to my bad memory, LOL. Thank you!
* Dan Ingram fills in for Herb Oscar Anderson one Sunday morning in 1967. Restored for WABC Rewound ’04, 12:00 – 1:00 PM. This link plays for approximately 45 minutes. The final segment of this aircheck has a separate link (below).
* Ron Lundy handles middays, 1975. One hour long, restored for Rewound ’04 – 1-2pm. Includes all program elements!
* Bob-A-Loo on WABC! 2:00 to 2:30 PM. Included are plenty of promos and hype about Roby Younge, who started this day in 1968!
* Dan Ingram returns to his former Afternoon Drive program on WABC in 1981. 2:30 to 3:00 PM. Ross & Wilson began mornings this same day. This is yet another historic day in broadcast history- Dan Rather’s first day anchoring the CBS Evening News, which Big Dan makes reference to at the close of his show.
* Howard Hoffman, January 9, 1980.3-4PM. Hoffman is a big time voiceover talent these days working from California – where else? Check out his site at Toonvoices.com. Howard was WILD on WABC! Unfortunately, he only got about a year to do his thing before ABC decided to quit the Top 40 race and started doing nighttime sports, landing the New York Yankees in 1981. The beginning of the end is heard here… it was great, but too little, too late.
* Big Dan Ingram, slammin’ the hits on a hot summer day in 1964! 4-5PM. You’ll hear something on this aircheck you’ll never hear today – cigarette commercials! Plenty of old commercials for cars and lots of New York businesses, many of which probably aren’t around anymore. Once again, in pristine condition, restored by Rob Frankel for WABC Rewound 04. *Programming note:* In most of these airchecks, I’ve taken the liberty of REMOVING the then *current* commercials (done in this case in 2004)… but of course the ones which are included in the actual broadcast have been kept for historical purposes. Enjoy more of Big Dan Ingram!
* The WABC Post-Rewound Talk Show, Part 1 – 6-7PM. After the airchecks were done, WABC Program Director Phil Boyce hosted a two hour call in talk show to talk about MusicRadio 77, and he had as his guest Dan Ingram! Dan wasn’t able to join them on WABC in prior years because he was under contract from WCBS-FM, but had been let go just weeks before Rewound ’04. Also joining Boyce & Ingram is Allan Sniffen from www.musicradio77.com. In part two (to post later), more of Big Dan, and those wonderful WABC PAMS jingles!
* Notes * – After receiving copies of the show from a couple of different sources, we’ve decided to blend the best audio quality of all the recordings. Thanks to Alan Fletcher, Matt Seinberg, Jared Kindestin and others who sent in portions of this year’s show. All recordings featured here were made ‘off the air’, as opposed to the internet stream.
On a different note, all segments of rewound 05 had to be scoped this year. Please accept our apologies in advance. Rules regarding music streaming are becoming very strict.
* Hour 1: The show opens by paying tribute to the late Chuck Leonard, who passed away earlier this year. Great show from 1975 – listen to how much echo there is!! Lots of commercials from the era also.
* Hour 2: Harry Harrison, August 1979 – Here’s the king of New York morning radio from what would be one of his last shows at WABC. You’ll notice that the station is still playing Top 40… Rock, Disco, etc. This is from just before PD Al Brady began the massive changes that would inevitably lead to the end of musicradio 77 – staff changes, AC music, etc. One noteworthy news/sports item on this aircheck: Yankee team captain Thurmon Munson had just been killed in a plane crash and Harry mentions the funeral on the air. Sad day… IMHO, the two best Yankees in modern history were lost – the other being Manager Billy Martin. Yeah, ’79 was a LONG time ago…
* Hour 3: Cousin Bruce Morrow, June 1965 What an incredible aircheck! What surprises me more than anything is the amount of talk, live spots and clutter Brucie has during his show. Bucking the conventional wisdom of today, Bruce does a real SHOW… not just four songs in a row before cracking the mic. And he did it with some of the biggest ratings in modern radio history! This is a unique aircheck for a number of reasons. First, notice the WABC chime WITHOUT the jingle! Also, the early news sounder. And, Dan Ingram is voicing everything! While scoped, you can still pick out the hit songs of the day done by Frankie Valley, The Beach Boys and even Elvis Presley! Also included… News 5 minutes sooner on WABC at :55 and :25! Cousins, this one’s a gem!
* Hour 4: Harry Harrison, August 1979, Part 2 – More Harry Harrison in the Morning! Yes, it’s scoped but if it weren’t, you’d certainly be having a flashback to Studio 54, gold chains and all that. This is from probably the last month WABC played disco music, there’s LOTS of it in this aircheck. Contrast this, very music-intensive 9:00AM hour to Rewound Part 3 and Cousin Bruce’s night show, which is more talk than music in the very time slot you’d expect it. This is how radio evolved from what it was to what it is. Harry sounds great here!
* Hour 5: Ron Lundy, September 10, 1975 – Here’s loveable Ron Lundy from his midday show in 1975. WABC is very much into contesting at this point – obviously beginning to feel the pinch from WXLO 99X-FM. Listen to the amount of echo…. it still amazes me the extent to which echo was used to make WABC seem louder and bigger than the competition. Obviously it worked… until FM became so big that WABC could no longer maintain it’s number one status in 1979. Course, as everyone knows, it took a new Disco station to knock off the ‘alphabet’ station. Here, you hear big echo and big contests… and Lundy sounds as good as we’ve ever heard him!
* Hour 6: Farrell Smith, 1961 / Dan Ingram 1965 – Okay, now it’s back to the 60s. Actually, this segment is unique for a number of reasons. First, it begins with Farrell Smith, who was with WABC in the very beginning of the MusicRadio era. As Johnny Donovan illustrates in the introduction, the audio quality is pretty awful. But, this goes way back to when WABC was just starting out on it’s musical journey. The aircheck then moves on to Dan Ingram in 1965. Now, I gotta tell ya. After listening to this aircheck where Big Dan plays about FOUR records in the entire hour, it makes one wonder how WABC kept it’s listeners. It’s nearly ALL COMMERCIALS! No wonder WABC had to play jingles about every other spot – ‘Program Content’, as the late Rick Sklar called it. So, yes, this is scoped… but we can keep the old commericals in and thats pretty much all this aircheck really is anyway, so enjoy a trip back to when Tackle was more than just pimple medication!
* Hour 7: Cousin Bruce Morrow, November 5, 1968 – This one was recorded on Election night in 1968 and there is a lot of news from Election HQ! This is one aircheck that’s more news intensive than music… Bruce was apparently out of the room at one point, you hear one DEAD SEGUE into Creedence Clearwater Revival. Honestly, I’ve never heard a dead segue on WABC airchecks. I’m sure they happened in the 70s but never back in the 60s. Listen…. excitement builds as WABC news airs a bulliten saying Hubert Humphrey is in the lead. Was it really that close? There are some good breaks from Cousin Brucie in this but not much in the way of music (its scoped anyway)… Enjoy hour #7 of WABC Rewound 2005!
… More to come from MusicRadio77 WABC Rewound!