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J.J. Jeffrey/Chuck Knapp and the “Top 300 Best of All Time”, 68 WRKO Boston | October 20, 1967

Bob GilmoreOur good friend Bob Gilmore returns with another fantastic aircheck of old!

It seems kind of odd that WRKO, a new station at this point, having flipped to Top 40 from the former WNAC earlier in the year, would be counting down the Top 300 Best of All Time – I mean, the Rock & Roll era only began 12 years prior… but I digress. J.J. Jeffrey starts out counting down the hits from #232 to #230 before handing the reigns to Chuck Knapp. Chuck continues with songs #229 – #220. The recording ends in the middle of a commercial break with Knapp doing a live read for Surf Music.

This is CLASSIC Drake Top 40! Cue the Johnny Mann Singers, and the original WRKO Jingles. All the formatics are in place, and the commercial breaks are filled with businesses that no longer exist, or are memorable for many reasons. And, speaking of live commercial reads, there are LOTS of them, and lots of live “tags” – live reads that the deejay would say at the end of a recorded commercial which was part of the spot.

For those of you wondering what radio really sounded like; what the roots of Top 40/CHR radio are, this is a history lesson you won’t learn in school. WRKO today might irritate its listeners with it’s uber-conservative talk shows (and Howie Carr ain’t no Top 40 jock, that’s for sure)… but this is what “The Big 68” was in it’s glory years, at the very beginning. And there’s just no comparison to now from then. We hope you enjoy!

68 WRKO Boston

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  1. WRKO was so Drake.

    Chuck Knapp sounds like a Jack Armstrong knockoff. I prefer the real thing.


  2. I thought that WOR-AM was the flagship of RKO Radio in those days. Also, KHJ went Top 40 with the Drake format in April, 1965. I seem to recall WRKO went Top 40 about the time that CKLW and WHBQ modernized their pre-existing Top 40 format, and this was a year after KFRC changed to Top 40 in 1966. WRKO was a big player in the group, but I wouldn’t call it the “flagship”.


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