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102.1 WAQY / Springfield MA

Glenn “FM” Stevens, WAQY “Wacky 102 FM” Springfield MA | 1980

New contributor Paul DiMarco sends this original aircheck right off the source reel. We have a longer version of this which includes Ken Gilbert which was donated by Rick Kelly (northeastairchecks.com), but this particular copy is so clear and crisp its worth re-posting.

Glenn “FM” Stevens was part of a tight-knit group of jocks who made up the airstaff of WAQY’s Top 40 incarnation in its final two years of the format before the station abandoned contemporary music and moved into the AOR/Classic Rock arena. “Wacky 102” as it was known throughout the 1970s and up until the end of August 1981, is fondly remembered by its fans as one of the best Top 40 stations, or radio stations in general, in western Massachusetts. When ‘Wacky 102’ left the airwaves for the final time, it left a void in the market that was partly filled by 96-TIC-FM (96.5 WTIC-FM) Hartford. An attempt was made for a time in the mid 1980s to take then Soft AC WHYN 93.1 Springfield CHR with a new set of call letters, WHFM. This lasted about 3 years before the WHYN call letters were restored, but by that time, 95.7 WKSS Hartford had come along, and the CHR format was entrenched in Hartford, and the Springfield market skewed much older, with ACs WHYN and 94.7 WMAS, along with then-solidly Classic Rock WAQY all broadcasting to an older audience.

That shortened Springfield history lesson concludes with the observation that had “Wacky 102” found a way to reduce the number of spot units per hour and maybe raise the median listener age (some say it was about 12 in 1981!), WAQY could have kept the CHR format, as the format really began it’s second ‘heyday’ around 1983 nationally. It’s always a topic for discussion, but Wacky 102’s legacy remains a source of great pride for the jocks who worked there, and the listeners who remember.


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2 Comments


  1. I WORKED AT WAQY ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKENDS BEFORE I GOT A FULL TIME GIG AT WRCK IN UTICA. MIKE ADAMS WAS PD AT THE TIME AND KNEW THE FORMAT SWITCH WAS FORTHCOMING. I USED TO MAKE THE 90 MILE DRIVE FROM ALBANY TO EAST LONGMEADOW BECAUSE LARRY WELLS AT WDRC FM WHO I WORKED WITH AT WFLY TOLD ME WHAT A HOT STATION WAQY WAS. I REMEMBER THAT SAME REEL TO REEL SKIMMMER UPSTAIRS IN THE OFFICES.

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  2. Rick Kelly archived a lot of those skimmer reels. He hasn’t updated his site in a long time. Gave me a couple of WAQY tapes for the site. Now, if only others had a few more…

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