Month: June 2011

Composite: 89 WLS Chicago | March, 1977

The late 70s. The second heyday of WLS in Chicago. By this time, WLS was the number one station in Chicago, even with FM competitors in the Top 40 format. It’s FM station at 94.7 was WDAI, an Album Rock station that had been around since 1971. WLS AM had been known in the early 70s as the “Rock of Chicago”. With that background, WLS was solidly known as the place for Rock music in the market and there wasn’t a station around strong enough to challenge the brand. While WLS would once again revive the “Rock of Chicago” name in 1979, at the time of this aircheck in 1977, WLS is using the “MusicRadio 89” branding which had proven itself so successful at sister station WABC New York. The jingles at this time are all from JAM Creative Productions i...

Composite: 95 1/2 WMET Chicago | March 1977

Who knows what became of this 1970’s FM competitor in the Windy City? Certainly, there’s plenty of personality on 95.5 FM (including ol’ Captain Whammo aka Jim Channel), but the jingles in use are probably the worst ever heard in contemporary radio. I suppose that would be unique enough to keep an audience, but one would think that MET had enough personality playing the hits to give WLS a run for its money. Not being from Chicago, I know next to nothing about WMET other than it existed and that Captain Whammo went on to become a preacher with his own ministry sometime after his MET days. Come to think of it, the jingles and top 40 approach seems similar to the John Long sound at X-Rock 80 down in Juarez, Mexico… minus the cutsey Mexican female voice 🙂 This composite...

Mal Vincent, “Dusty 45s”, 95 1/2 WMET Chicago | 1985-1987

Mal Vincent was a “supersub’. He would substitute for various DJs, usually at night. Scattered throughout a period of 4 years, he was on the air from 1983 through 1987. During his time with WMET Chicago, 95.5 FM, he was never given his own time-slot. This tape is a mixture of airchecks from June 1985 thru June 1987. WMET’s format was Oldies from the 60s thru 80s, with an occasional current hit thrown in. In June of 1987, WMET disappeared from Chicago. It was replaced with a Smooth Jazz format, which remained for 22 years. It’s currently an Hispanic music station. WMET Chicago 95.5 FM was one of the few major market radio stations to use freelance supersubs. Most of the aircheck is from Mal’s show that he entitled “Dusty 45s.” He played seldom heard...

Don Geronimo, 95.5 WPGC-FM Morningside | March 19, 1980 – 6:45 to 7:30 pm

They say its darkest just before the dawn. Or, in this case, the station was hottest just before the end. WPGC would eventually become an Urban Contemporary station and shed it’s longtime Top 40/CHR format as the 80s unfolded. Here, in the first quarter of 1980, Don Geronimo proves that this station cooks just as hot as the best CHR stations of the day! The station is playing the hottest music of the late 1970s, and it’s TRUE VARIETY (not diversity)! Of all things, this aircheck begins with the Captain & Tennile! Yes, its scoped, but you do hear the beginnings and endings. Just some of the titles WPGC has on the evening playlist include Fleetwood Mac, Styx, Bob Seger & the Commodores. We sure wish we could post the unscoped version (maybe someday). Some interesting fa...

Geoff Edwards, 710 KMPC Los Angeles | November 13, 1978 Pt. 2

Part 2 of the Geoff Edwards show on KMPC. More classic commercials, in a laid-back MOR format which includes lots of phone calls for a Disneyland contest. Audio quality is even better than in part 1. As a special treat, Wink Martindale is heard doing two breaks at the end of this aircheck as he was on after Edwards this particular day.

Geoff Edwards, 710 KMPC Los Angeles | November 13, 1978

Our first aircheck of KMPC brings us to the year 1978. Geoff Edwards does a great show. He’s a wonderful communicator, as evidenced by this recording. Interestingly enough, we haven’t received too many recordings like this. This was made by someone putting a table microphone in front of a radio speaker. You can hear talking in a few places, and some strange banging noises about mid-way through. Despite this, the quality of this aircheck is quite good and the extra outside noise doesn’t detract from the overall sound of KMPC through a radio speaker. I found, while listening with my better half editing this that the best part of this aircheck has to be the old commercials. You’ll find yourself singing along to the Beneficial Finance (toot toot!) spot. Many more are qu...

Charlie Van Dyke & Mark Elliot, 93/KHJ Los Angeles | June 18, 1976

Courtesy of BigAppleAirchecks, here’s a wonderful taste of 93/KHJ during the Charlie Van Dyke era. KHJ is full of excitement and personality oozes out of the very pores of this radio station. Outside of the Drake era, it really didn’t get much better than this for KHJ. The audio quality of this recording is nothing less than superb. Listening to this you can easily get lost in this audio time warp back to 1976. It sounds better than you’d hear on ANY AM receiver today, thanks to the wideband receivers back then. Both Charlie Van Dyke and Mark Elliot are successful voiceover artists today, and both have been quite successful in both radio and television in major markets in the United States and Canada.

Machine Gun Kelly, First Show – 1020 KTNQ (Ten-Q) Los Angeles | March 18, 1978

M.G. Kelly had been on crosstown KHJ since 1976. In ’78, KHJ decided to take the station in a more ‘mellow’ approach – we’d call it Adult Contemporary today – in the process, asking Kelly to basically lighten up on air. One day, Kelly walked out and seemingly overnight found himself on KTNQ. This aircheck represents the Gunner’s first show on Ten-Q. For those of you in radio, do you remember your first day at a new radio station? Just finding where the mic pot was on the board was sometimes a challenge, nevermind finding that ‘sweet spot’ where your voice sounded just right and not over-modulated. M.G. Kelly tackles his first hour on the job with only one somewhat glaring error… just before the end of this aircheck, Gunner cracks ...

Andy Barber, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | June 24, 1978

First put together in 1976 from what had been KGBS to go up against market Top 40 leader KHJ, Ten-Q had all the makings of exciting radio. Sure, there was no reverb, but with talent like M.G. Kelly and others whose quick wit and ‘shotgun’ approach fit well with the music of the late seventies, who needed it! This is the first recording we’ve heard of featuring Andy Barber and he’s a perfect fit for KTNQ. A comparison of this station with KHJ during the Summer of ’78 would find Ten-Q playing a wider variety of hits, a hotter playlist with more, harder rock, while KHJ was ‘playing it safe’ staying closer to the middle of the road. And while this is not the first aircheck of Ten-Q featured on Airchexx, its one of the best in terms of sound quality. Co...

John R., 1510 WLAC Nashville | 1967

John R. (Richbourg) was one of four Rhythm & Blues deejays who graced the airwaves of WLAC after dark, when the station’s powerful 50,000 watt signal could be heard via skywave across 38 states and parts of the Caribbean. When we first posted John R., way back in 2004, the aircheck became one of our most popular recordings. The quality of this tape is amazing. It was apparently transferred from the source reel right onto this cassette by our contributor, Frank Davis. Richbourg is upbeat and ever so knowledgeable about the music. There are some live commercial reads here also, as were the majority of spots aired during John R’s programs. You want real R&B, this is it! The Real Deal! This is partly scoped, so you won’t hear all these obscure cuts, but you will get...

The Greaseman, WWDC-FM DC101 Washington | March 11, 1988

Its The Greaseman (Doug Tracht) in all his glory! This was recorded by Matt, owner of Big Apple Airchecks, who also recorded this aircheck of Grease on 3/30/88. The topic du jour is teens who date older women – at least that’s how this starts out. Its quite amazing to hear what happens when the Greaseman gets wound up about a subject. Perhaps its the inflection in his voice. Greaseman is just too unique to describe, you must listen for yourself. Especially if you never heard him before. Ol’ Grease got himself into a bit of trouble a few years back from what left his tongue, and unfortunately what’s left of his career was transmitting from WMET AM in Washington DC a few years back. That station’s web presence is gone now and we can only hope he has moved on to ...

Chuck Knapp, 68 WRKO Boston | August, 1967

WRKO in 1967… the call letters scream Bill Drake, but in this aircheck, the signature Drake sound, and jingles, are not there. In fact, when WRKO launched, in March of ’67, the station launched without the talents of the talented consultant. You’ll also hear some slight reverb on this recording. WRKO DID, in fact, use reverb before the Drake consultancy. The exact timeline of WRKO events is listed at WRKO.org, at this link. Chuck Knapp has a very upbeat show. He also screams “Your Leeeeadddder”, much like Jackson Armstrong. Or, perhaps Armstrong heard it here first. No matter. This is a GOOD recording, one that hasn’t seen the light of day until now.

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