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Murray The K, 102.3 WHFS Bethesda MD | 1971

Murray the K (Kaufman) at WINS New York


In one of the best FM recordings in terms of quality we’ve ever received from 1971, here’s morning man Murray Kaufman (aka Murray the K) on the old WHFS 102.3. Interesting thing about this station, it was the first station to broadcast in quadrophonic in the Washington DC area. Quad didn’t really catch on until the mid-70s, and even then, it never became very popular due to the scarce nature of receivers.
UPDATE: Visitor Jay Schlossberg left an interesting reply in the comments (below) which sheds some new light on this unique radio station Reposting it here for information as follows:

“There are a few factual inaccuracies here but the biggest one is that ‘HFS was never quadraphonic. The truth is that when it was launched as a mostly classical station (with a smattering of jazz) in November 1961 it was the first High Fidelity Stereo FM radio station in the DC market hence: H-F-S.”

The format here is described as middle-of-the-road, but included a lot of then progressive rock. As you might expect, there are few commercials on this station, even though its morning drive. But there is one, toward the very end of this recording, urging people to write to their representatives to stop the war in Vietnam! Very telling of the times, you really have to hear it!

Kaufman, of course, got his start in New York on 1010 WINS when it was still a Top 40 station. He passed away of cancer in 1982. Hard to believe it’s been that long. As for WHFS, the station eventually moved completely into Progressive Rock, and sometime in 1983 changed frequencies to it’s wildly popular presence on 99.1. At the time of this recording, WHFS was running only about 3,000 watts, but the move to 99.1 (in Annapolis) allowed for a power increase to 50,000 watts, giving the station a coverage area spanning the Eastern Shore of MD up to Baltimore and down to Washington DC. 99.1 changed formats and call letters on October 1, 2008. At that time, the WHFS calls went to 1580 AM Lanham, MD (the old WPGC (AM) radio station).

The WHFS call letters are currently in use in Seffner, FL. WHFS is currently broadcasting on 1010 AM. Information courtesy of FCCinfo.com. The current FCC listing for WHFS is available via this link (as of 8/1/2016)


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10 Comments


  1. You’re right Steve….awesome audio quality.
    The only downside to this great aircheck is that I was not familiar with any of the tunes…..guess I was never exposed to this kind of middle-of-the-road or progressive rock during 1971.
    Thanks for posting.

    Reply

  2. Great aircheck…the only one I’ve found of Murray at WHFS. I don’t know who described HFS’s format as ‘middle of the road’. It was 100% underground rock at the time of this recording. During his brief time at HFS, Murray was the only old timer on an air staff that was largely comprised of young biker types.

    Unfamiliar songs?? Murray was playing the hits! To those of us who were rock fans during this era, the songs on this aircheck were prime core listening material….’Sugaree’ was one of the hotter tracks from Jerry Garcia’s first solo album…the Dead’s ‘Sugar Magnolia’ was huge…Dave Edmunds’ ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ was another biggie….Jackson Browne’s ‘Under the Falling Sky’ was a live version of one of the more popular songs from his first album…Van Morrison’s ‘I Want to Roo You’ was a prime cut from his top-selling album Tupelo Honey….’All I Really Wanna Do’ is a great golden, and chart hit as a 1965 single, from the first Byrds album.

    I don’t believe this is a morning show (as described). Cerphe, the rock who was coming up after Murray at ‘8 o’clock’, rarely if ever did mornings. He was HFS’s main evening jock.

    Reply

  3. Correction to the sentence above…Cerphe was coming up as a ‘jock’, not a ‘rock’, although he sure did rock!

    Reply

  4. Cerphe, Damien, Weasel, and Josua were the greatest combo of DJ’s this town ever heard. The diversity was unheard of before, or since. Thanks to the late, great Jake Einstien, and his son Damien.

    Reply

  5. This is not from 1971. It’s from between February 1972 (when “A Clockwork Orange” was released in the U.S.) and August 1972 (the Republican Convention). My guess is May or June.

    Reply

    • Have to agree–my guess is late winter/early spring ’72. Clockwork Orange wasn’t in theaters broadly until Groundhog Day 1972. It was released in the UK in Jan ’72. The movie had to have been out long enough for the joke about its Catholic church “endorsement” to have hit the papers and been relevant to the audience, since the Catholic church came out in March 1972 to give the movie a “condemned” rating.

      Also, Jackson Browne’s self-titled debut record hadn’t been released in US stores until January 1972. Guessing that although WHFS was progressive, it wasn’t so progressive that it plucked him from a pre-YouTube unsigned artist cache.(And I’d be surprised if this is a live version–his phrasing is pretty similar to the CD version of his album I have).

      I hear the Vietnam spot, but I wonder whether it’s just a few months old.

      Lastly, the site of the Republican National Convention would have been in the news in Feb-March ’72. There was some controversy that the GOP had selected the site as a favor to donors, against the wishes of the city government itself. (See http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/92fall/elephants.htm.)

      Not trolling, I promise. Just like a good mystery. . . .

      Reply

  6. It’s 1971. A Clockwork Orange was released in ’71, and if you listened to the end of the PSA to stop the war in Viet Nam, it calls for the troops to be out no later than December 31, 1971.

    Reply

  7. Wow. This set is giving me a contact high. I’m a child of the 90s HFS, so this clip is an awesome treat.

    Reply

  8. Jackson Browne’s debut album was not released to the record stores until Jan. of 1972, but radio stations would have been sent advance copies a couple of weeks earlier. My best guess is Dec. 1971 for this aircheck.

    Reply

  9. I am the director of the feature documentary, “Feast Your Ears: The Story of WHFS 102.3 FM”. There are a few factual inaccuracies here but the biggest one is that ‘HFS was never quadraphonic. The truth is that when it was launched as a mostly classical station (with a smattering of jazz) in November 1961 it was the first High Fidelity Stereo FM radio station in the DC market hence: H-F-S. You can watch the trailer for the film, which is still in production, at http://www.feastyourearsthefilm.com and we’re hoping it’s ready by early 2017 if the gods are with us

    Reply

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