Month: April 2013

QuickChexx: “Nice T”, The Soulful Journey – 88.1 WZIP Akron | March 1, 1991

This comes to us via one of many assorted airchecks on a tape provided by Robyn Watts. Recorded on 3/1/91, this starts with ABC network News, (while he doesn’t say, sounds like anchor Doug Limerick) and goes directly into a sweeper about “Akron’s New Jack Station”. The show name is “The Soulful Journey, the jock is called ‘Nice T’. Yes, 88.1 is in the ‘non-comm’ part of the FM band, and WZIP runs a quick promo saying they play no commericals. We can’t tell from the tape if this is a full-time format, or block programming – although we’d guess the latter to be true, as WZIP is the University of Akron station. Still, it’s serving a unique, and probably underserved back in 1991 audience, and this is nice to hear, a ...

Dan Ingram, 77 WABC New York | April 30, 1982

When Matt Seinberg at Big Apple Airchecks said he was going to donate this Dan Ingram aircheck, he warned me, “Its kinda boring…”. Well, you’ve been warned. Recorded one week before the biggest format change in New York City history, WABC can be described here as, sluggish, slow and boring. Its as if ABC brass was trying their best to chase any audience away. Remember, this is 1982 and only two years earlier, TOP 40 WABC was only number 2 in the city, right behind a Disco station. So why hasten the demise? Its been said that ABC knew the future of AM was talk and wanted to go out on top. Which might have been but it’s staple of talk programs in the beginning dropped ratings nearly into the cellar. All that can be bantered around for another 30 years. What we h...

T. Michael Jordan on KKDJ Los Angeles | May, 1973

“KKDJ… With over Eight-Thousand minutes of music a week” Before KIIS-FM, there was KKDJ. Beginning in 1971, KKDJ (which, according to sources, was indeed related to 97 WWDJ Hackensack, NJ) began an automated (we’d call it ‘live assist’ today) Top 40 format on 102.7 FM. It lasted until 1975, when the station merged with then KIIS AM 1150 and took the KIIS (FM) call letters and format identity). There are various write-ups about KKDJ available on the web and so I won’t attempt to write about a station that I don’t remember. One good place to start is The site seems to be full of much factual information, that is, if you can get by the glaring error of the mention of AM competitor KHJ being on 920 KC. Maybe someone will fix that now th...

Composite: 1260 KYA San Francisco | September, 1973

Well, isn’t this aircheck reminiscent of a similar crisis we’re experiencing today? It opens up with a ‘special’ bulliten where KYA tells listeners that they will suspend normal public service messages in order to tell Bay area residents where they can purchase gas. After that, this is a really great, tightly scoped aircheck. This is amazing to hear, but not unexpected. They say a rising tide raises all boats, and with KFRC, one of the best Top 40 radio stations of all time in the same market, any wannabe competitor had to make every attempt to be at least as good. KYA certainly sounds good enough here to rise to the top of any other market in the nation – it certainly rivaled KFRC in sound, even if they couldn’t succeed in unseating the Big 610! Most de...

Rich “Brother” Robbin on KCBQ San Diego | December, 1973

Who woulda thought that in 1973 AM Top 40 would sound this good! Rich Brother Robin could open a university on how to do high-energy radio. Perhaps he should… the former WSRR (now WKIM) Memphis PD and creator of the Classic Hits oldies format sounded awesome in his prime! Anyway, at just over seven minutes, learn what ‘high-energy’ top 40 really was. KCBQ was known for it’s shotgun approach (to borrow Tom Kelly’s monniker), and here – KCBQ is at the TOP of it’s game! Remastered on 8/9/11

The Jerry Williams Show. 1510 WMEX | April 11, 1961

The man known as “The Dean of Talk Radio” was captured on this rare recording made all the way back in 1961. The late Jerry Williams, probably the earliest controvercial talk show host in American radio, spent several years at what would be Top 40 pioneer station 1510 WMEX Boston. Williams’ career actually began way back in 1946, in Bristol, Virginia at WCYB. By the time Williams began doing his brand of talk radio at WRKO in the 80s, he was a household name in Boston and around most of New England, much of that due to an eight-year run nights on WBZ 1030 from 1968 to 1976. Jerry Williams had an abrasive manner on the air. He would frequently hang up on callers he didn’t like. Despite some crusades that he launched, such as getting a bill to repeal the Massachusetts...

Charlie Van Dyke with Rick Dees on 93 KHJ Los Angeles | 1976

If you haven’t heard this aircheck before, you’re definitely in for a treat. Memphians know that Rick Dees was a huge star at WHBQ around the time of this aircheck. And if you think he was good there, put Dees in the same studio as Charlie Van Dyke and you have a trainwreck… or the funniest morning show ever in Boss-Angeles (oops, sorry.. wrong era). This is vintage KHJ from 1976. Rick Dees’s Disco Duck record is number one in Los Angeles, and apparently doing a tour of RKO stations to promote it. Obviously someone in Southern California was listening this day and remembered several years later when Dees took over mornings at KIIS. Van Dyke is definitely right on top of his game here.

Marvelous Mark Counts Down the Top 100 of 1977 on 610 KFRC San Francisco | January 2, 1978

This aircheck is much too short!!! In superb quality, this ‘check was recorded the day after New Years’ ’78. Not looking at the calendar just now, I figure this was probably a Saturday or Sunday. It’s all music, and Marvelous Marc is counting ’em down. This picks up in the middle of the countdown and runs through about #45 for the year. I sure wish we had the entire scope! Courtesy of…

The Real Don Steele, 1020 KTNQ Los Angeles | July 5, 1977

A world-premier aircheck that’s been sitting around the studio for a few years is this digitized copy of the original studio reel of “The Real” Don Steele on Ten-Q! Here’s one of the most high-energy jocks ever, captured on this unbelievably high-quality recording. It would not do this legendary personality justice to try to describe him or his career here, so we’ll just let our visitors post their memories in the space below. Don Steele passed away some years ago, but his memory lives on in great recordings such as these.

Hudson & Harrigan on KILT Houston | 1977

And now… the legendary Hudson and Harrigan! Plenty of excitement and fun on this legendary Top 40 powerhouse in the waning days of AM Top 40! This and the KRBE aircheck posted today came to us via an ‘anonymous’ contributor back around Christmastime 2004. Does this ring a bell – if you recorded this we’d sure like to know who you are! KILT is now an all-sports station on 610, but back in 1977 this was THE station to listen to. Travel back in time with us now and imagine yourself heading to work listening to this pair on your car’s Delco AM radio… you remember, the one with one large speaker in the center of the dash… the one you probably bought an FM converter to try out with only to discover that AM still sounded better.

Dick Drury, KGB San Diego | November, 1963

Here’s one of the old KGB… you gotta go way back to hear cigarette commercials and those old jingles which all seemed to be sung to a large brass orchestra. It’s the Pre-Drake era at San Diego’s KGB, back when music radio meant much more jock talk! Really, gang, 1963 was essentially just past the dawn of top 40 radio as we know it today. See if you can compare ANY of the on air methods and slogans used then with something you hear today. Perhaps you may want to use this to teach young people about the roots of their music on iPhones… well, this was it in a very real sense.

Rick Shaw & John Mack Flanagan on 610 KFRC San Francisco | October 10, 1976

This aircheck is so good, I don’t know where to begin! Over 15 minutes of pure 1970s KFRC heaven! Now Reloaded in higher definition! This is arguably one of the very best airchecks I’ve ever heard. If WABC New York is considered the greatest Top 40 station of all time, then 610 KFRC has to be the west coast’s answer to MusicRadio 77. Actually, west coast Top 40 was significantly different than it’s east coast counterpart, so in this regard there’s really no comparison – and no equal. KFRC was, in it’s own way, really THE very best Top 40 in America. There was no echo, but they didn’t need it. The station engineers must have been geniouses – KFRC’s processing was so good that the music literally lept out of the speakers, but WITH N...