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The Big Montage, 95.5 WPLJ New York | 1978

One of our most popular attractions has to be this fabulous montage put together and aired by Pat St. John. It’s been remastered and put to CD now – and we have it for you in it’s entirety.

Courtesy of BigAppleAirchecks.


Steve West

Heard on great radio stations like WGKX "Kix 106" and WMC-FM Memphis, online at HitOldies.com (and once upon a time at RadioMaxMusic.com), loosely contributed to some yearly countdowns at MusicRadio77.com, and most importantly, Webmaster of this great Radio Historical site, Airchexx.comLook for me on the Ham bands. Perhaps one day you'll have a QSO with K1FRC. Happy DX and Happy Listening!

17 Responses

  1. I remember listening to WPLJ in the 70’s and waiting for these little tidbits to air at the top of the hour. I put them all togther on reel to reel, and one day Pat St. John put the “Big Montage” on in it’s entirety. Naturally after 20 something years, the reel didn’t play to well. I asked Pat for a copy of it, and he sent me a CD copy of it along with some other stuff. I’ve known Pat since I was in high school, and we’re still in contact today. He’s a great jock, and a good friend.

    • Lee Freed says:

      I recorded this off the radio when it aired in 1982 on halloween. I still have my original copy and have burned it onto a cd. still sounds great today.

      • Bill Bandon says:

        same here – recorded off the radio in 1981, and burned onto CD. Mine’s slightly different than this one – some DJ’s are different, for example, and some snippets are added/replace others. My 16 year old loves it.

  2. Ken Nagy says:

    Well I stumbled on to this website somehow and played the “big montage” in the office for a friend of mine. Talk about bringing back the memories. WPLJ was the only station I listened to back then and its very cool to hear the music, and the DJ’s names. Thanks for the bit of “time travel”. This is a keeper for me.

  3. Christopher Whalen says:

    Where can I buy the CD?

  4. Fred Kahn says:

    Nice hearing the WPLJ Big Montage. Any of the other mixes they have done? Is there a cd available?

  5. Fred Kahn says:

    Nice hearing the complete WPLJ montage. Any other mixes from their hey day available? Is there a cd available?

  6. Mik Muller says:

    I know you converted this about three years ago now, but I’m hoping you’ll be able to re-do the tape onto 128/44 mp3 in stereo. This really brought back memories but it was frustrating to have it in such a lo-fi format. And in RealAudio? I had to install the player just to listen to your rm file. Plus it seems a little fast.

    Hopefully you can re-do it.



  7. Desmond Dwyer says:

    This is the radio station that turned me on to rock ‘n’ roll. I was born in Jamaica and grew up listening to reggae mostly, but one day I was station surfing and came across these guys on WPLJ and hearing the opening chords of the The Cars “My Best Friend’s Gir” and my world was changed. I was heartbroken when they changed format back in the 80’s but continued to follow some of the guys on their various forays on other station, especially Pat St.John, Tony Pigg and Dave Hermann. Form me the Classic WPLJ will always be the best.

  8. PhxRocker says:

    This exhibit is listed as being aired in 1978, but I’m thinking it’s probably really 1979 or 1980.
    Because at the 9:58 mark you hear a few seconds of Led Zeppelin’s “All My Love”, and that song was not released until August 1979!

    Great exhibit, though….

    • Mike R says:

      Actually you are correct. I have the original recording on the original broadcast date that I made on reel-to-reel and it is dated Jan 31, 1980.

  9. Gary says:

    Wow, great to hear this after so many years. WPLJ used bits of this as station ID’s, so I’ve heard a lot of it separately. I especially love the “Same Old Song” section. Any change you could slow it down a tad though — it’s a little faster than it should be. Thanks for posting this classic!!

  10. John Barab says:

    Wow…did that jolt my 5 pound mass of protoplasm…I remember “Focus’s My…” was the bed all the jocks used to do top of the hour IDs…and the flying TV montage ad. The cornerstone of WPLJ tho…was its sound processing…it brought music to life! I would get so bumbed when i’d get a record, then go home and listen to it on my Kenwood…or Marantz..and not hear that reverb/compression. Going to college in DC…I remember how they “tip toed” introducing AOR to the capital, changing format at 8pm…til 1am…DC101. I remember going to their studios and telling the Program Director Dwight Douglas…how their sound was shit compared to PLJ. Deaf ears…sound like a cheap ceramic cartidge needle would. Nice to find this site… I had a weekend overnite stint at Z100 in 1984, though iy only lasted 3 months, it was a thrill for the moment! And I did have a few zingers I threw before the jingle…fun fun fun!(John Barry)

  11. Dave says:

    AWESOME! Thanks for posting this!!!

  12. I remember recording this off of a RTR in about October 1979. Pat St. John had announced he would be playing it, in its entirety, and it was a compilation of all of the top of the hour Montages that WPLJ was known for during the era. The credit, for most of it, goes to Carl Albanese who sliced and diced to make it sound tight and fluid. I still have this copy, albeit transferred to MP3, and listen to it in my iPod disguised as a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country. The image music was Focus’ “My Sweetheart”. What is especially evident is the tight processing which the engineers at Empire affectionately called, “pulsating DC.”

  13. jon berger says:

    grew up on rock in stereo 95.5 WPLJ back in the 70s.WNEW was too stuffy. PIX and 99x were ok I really wish somebody would post an aircheck or two.

  14. Jeff Meena says:

    Yes, I, too, recorded “The Big Montage” onto my reel-to-reel Sony. To this day, I still listen to it occasionally. I still remember the day that I recorded this while in my Mom’s basement listening to WPLJ and Pat St. John. What fond memories I have of those days and the music that reflected them.

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