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Joey Reynolds, 66 WNBC New York | January 7 – 11, 1974

Courtesy of Contributor Frank Davis…

This audio came in on an old generic brand C90 Cassette. Apparently transferred from the source reel, this took a bit of processing to bring back to life, speeding up the audio to what now sounds close to normal. Still, there are dropouts, and because this was recorded at night, there is the normal fading that occurs on the AM band after dark.

Despite white noise and tape hiss, this is unmistakably Joey Reynolds, filling in here for Wolfman Jack. Honestly, your webmaster didn’t know Reynolds had been at NBC prior to his Afternoon Drive show in 1985-86, but this is proof that he was indeed there, at least on a fill-in basis.

This aircheck reveals a few things about WNBC in ’74. First, this appears to be the most haphazard format I’ve heard – its no wonder WABC kicked their butts so badly during this time. Heller jingles, used infrequently and at odd places – at the jock’s discretion, apparently, and the oddest programming feature has to be the ending of newscasts – music just fades in towards the end of the news, without so much as the newscaster identifying himself, a jingle or any semblence of wrapping up the newscast. It’s odd, and sounds quite unprofessional, certainly not what you’d expect out of the “Flagship Station of the National Broadcasting Company”.

Joey Reynolds does entertain, however. This starts out with Reynolds’ trademarked theme song sung by Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons. You’ll hear plenty of callers, some of whom remember Reynolds from WKBW Buffalo – and they do mention call letters on the air. In fact, Reynolds even mentions WMCA by calls and ‘the left most station to the right’. He even plays a Dan Ingram jingle!

This really is a great aircheck, if you can put up with the noise. But it IS AM Radio, after all. And all you have to do is listen!


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8 Comments


  1. Just a thought about WNBC evenings in 1974. I think they may have been paying attention to their NY Rangers hockey and not paying close attention to an evening music show. At least during hockey season, when this was recorded.

    Reply

    • And of course, later in ’74, WNBC would successfully recruit Cousin Brucie from WABC, so the night show was an important time slot.

      Reply

      • And about 11 1/2 years after Cousin Brucie signed on with WNBC, Joey Reynolds returned to the station–this time with his own show (in afternoon drive, IIRC)!

        Reply

  2. Listened to the whole thing. Some good jokes and lots of inside radio humor. Very enjoyable.

    Reply

  3. OH GOD I REMEMBER WNBC AT NITE IN 70S LIKE IT WERE YESTERDAY. BUT THEY ALWAYS SEEMED TO BE MAKING A HALF HEARTED STAB AT A TOP 40 SOUND. PROBABLY BECAUSE THEY HAD TO WITH THE THE GUYS UP THE DIAL AT ABC LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK. ANYBODY REMEMBER OOGIE PRINGLE????

    Reply

    • I remember Oogie Pringle on WNBC…great DJ. He had the layed back sound like Bob Vernon. Sorry to hear Mr. Vernon passed away last year. I googled Oogie and it looks like his last gig was KWIZ in the LA area then suicide. Anyone know why?

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  4. First, I commend you on an extraordinary restoration job with this. It’s much cleaner and clearer than my 1970s dub, that’s for sure. Second, the news concept, which Joey alludes to at one point, involved the last story of the newscast leading directly into a song related to the story. Joey would adapt this idea for his own programming efforts at WHLW Lakewood NJ later in 1974 and KQV Pittsburgh in 1975. Finally, there is a little more of this out there somewhere, though not on this copy: Joey opens the sealed envelope he mentions toward the end, followed (I think — haven’t heard it in decades) by Porky Pig’s “That’s all folks” and a decidedly bitter closing monologue, the only line from which I remember is “We don’t have time for Joe Garagiola, we have to scratch him? OK, that’s almost as good as kicking him.”

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  5. plaza 7 8866! still remember that no. when i used to call big wilson and harry tucker!! its as famous as 645 1196 craaaazy eddie. in case any one recalls. crazy eddie antar who owned the stores used jerry carroll. dr jerry from wpix who actually did the commercials. just a bit of trivia info there

    Reply

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