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990 WIBG / Philadelphia

“Crazy” Bob McLaine on WIBG Philadelphia | January, 1977

Oops! Here’s another morning maniac almost lost to time. Almost! This is Bob McLaine, known for many years in both Philly and Memphis, as ol’ Bob was a TV personality and the morning guy at WOTO “Oldies 95.7″ before it was blown up by Clear Channel back a few years ago.

And… hey Bob! I met Bob when he did a short stint at WGKX before moving out of the Memphis market a few years ago. Yep. Crazy Bob! Crazy but damn good!

This is a great aircheck. First, listen to ‘Wibbage” – not calling themselves that anymore, now at this point in time, its the NEW WIBG. New? We don’t hear anything new about it, this is classic WIBG with reverb and some pretty hot music for the day, and Crazy Bob is the morning man. Just listen to the number of drops McLaine throws in over just about everything!

Interestingly enough, this was recorded only a few months before dropping the WIBG call letters in favor of WZZD. “Wizzard 100” was also a Top 40 format, but a failure, as was the short lived Disco format afterwards.

After many years as a Religious outlet, the station flipped to Conservative talk as WNTP, in 2004. A format which continues to this day.

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18 Comments


  1. Thanks Steve, I enjoyed it. BUT, I’m pretty sure the date is not July. It’s 24 degrees and a chance of snow in Philly!

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  2. You’re right. I’ll change it. I looked at the wrong side of the cassette!!!! Call me dislexic! The correct date says 1/77. All of which means that the July 1977 aircheck is on side 2… which means you get to hear more WIBG soon.

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    • HEYyyy!, Steve, that means that that cassette has WIBG as a soft rock (Adult Contemporary) station on one side and WIBG during its subsequent final (albeit brief) stint as a Top 40 station on the other! (WIBG was AC from most of the mid-Seventies to the spring of ’77, then reverted back to Top 40 for [what would wind up as] its final three to five months on the air under those call letters].)

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  3. Before the year was out, WIBG would be gone and WZZD would be at 990. I moved to Philadelphia within a week if not days before they changed to WZZD.

    I do not know the exact date, but it was sometime around late August, 1977. Very close time to the news of the demise of Elvis Presley.

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  4. The format ended on 9/10/77

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  5. That aircheck sure hit home! I was always a fan of Philly radio, and jingles. I recall dx-ing jingles from my realtive’s home in the Poconos; great variety. Reception for the “All new WIBG” on one particular night was poor and they were running the Heller jingles. I was trying my best to tape those jingles; some success. I’d kill to get the top of the hour cut; it was long and sensational. Typical Heller.

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  6. crazy bob was great. but the best part of the aircheck is the hi-lo promo. who was that, and how’d he get so laid back? that was a terrific performance. “sit across the table from me and I’ll tell you about this great radio contest…”

    while it sounded like “classic” WIBG stuff, it really wasn’t. fairbanks had come in and bought the place from storer. they fired everyone and brought in all new jocks, and gave the station a much more “contemporary” feel than it had previously. those of us in philly that grew up with the station heard the difference. shiny new and more exciting than ever. trying and trying to distance itself from the stodgy old past. trying to be the station the young people would listen to, not “that old place my parents and older siblings used to listen to.”

    but it was way too late. what little was left after the beatings it took at the hands of WFIL was being ignored and left for dead by listener’s wholesale move to the FM dial.

    they’d try one more time by totally blowing it up and creating “WIZZARD 100” WZZD as an adult CHR, then a rhythmic R&B/CHR hybrid. but the fix was in and the place soon went religious and that’s where it stayed till the early part of the new century–purchased by salem and housed with it’s former rival-turned-sibling religious WFIL. it’s now running salem’s conservative news/talk format as WNTP.

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  7. That may have been “classic WIBG with reverb”, but it WAS “The All-New WIBG” in that it was adult contemporary(its format from 1975 until it flipped back to Top 40 a couple of months or so after this aircheck[only to become defunct under those call letters in September 1977 in favor of adult top 40 and later disco/urban and more recently Christian WZZD]). Plus, it was Buckley that “bought the place from Storer” and either upon or just prior to doing so, switched from Top 40 to the then-still new softer version thereof(or all-rock version of Middle of the Road, take your pick) called Adult Contemporary(or AC). And while ‘IBG, from most of the mid- into the late ’70’s, tried to shake the image of “that old place my parents and(/or) older siblings used to listen to”, it had repositioned its format to those very older siblings and parents(or at least those parents who either grew up on rock’n’roll in its early years and or began/continued listening to it as young adults during that period and listened to pioneer AC(the early)WIOQ in the early ’70’s.

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  8. Fairbanks, by the way, bought WIBG from Buckley(in 1976, a year after the latter switched the format to soft rock) and not from Storer(the station’s owner from its brief progressive rock era as well as its first Top 40 format and its second one[after its prog-rock format tanked]).

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  9. CORRECTION: The first of my two posts from 5/25/08 should have read, “Plus, it was Buckley that ‘bought the place from Storer’ and either upon doing so or at a later time during its ownership of WIBG, switched from Top 40 to the then-still-new softer version thereof(or all-soft rock version of Middle of the Road, take your pick)called Adult Contemporary(or AC).'”

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  10. I am wondering? I used to do things(voices0, for many DJ’s in the Memphis and would to find some of the tapes,if anyone has any that is. Like Bob, oh, to who is now a weatherman in Memphis. I have worked with Rick Dees, both at WMPS and WHBQ. Ron Jordon at WHBQ. B.J.Morgon on K97. As well as many others. Any and all help would be nice.

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  11. Bob now does afternoons and is PD at Entercom’s Newstalk WORD in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.

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    • Thanks for that info….is he still on there?

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  12. LOVED Crazy Bob in the “yawning” back in the daze! I was a Junior at Father Judge when this aired…loved those days and this station.
    Tnaks for sharing….BTW, I have some cassettes with DJ’s from Philly back throughout the 70’s (WIFI, WIBG, Wizard-100 with the late, great Steve Hatley (sp?). Let me know if I should look for them!

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    • Hey Mike…I know you!!

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  13. Listened to WIBG all thru my teen years while living in Phillie…have never found a station so great. Remembering Hy Lit mcing the Beatles at Convention Hall. Wow! Did I just date myself?

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  14. WIBG was at its best during its Storer years. Back around the British Invasion, the station was WIBeatleG, had great PAMS jingles, and some of the best jocks in the business. The station started its downfall when Storer sold it. There was really not much competition before WFIL went top 40; WCAM gave us the Geator, and WABC boomed in from New York with a pretty listenable signal. But WCAM was top 40 only at night, and listeners preferred a local station over one from New York. The mass exodus from Wibbage to “Wiffle” was because it was something different. Just my guess…

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  15. 3:10-4:20: Two Eagles (the band, not Philly’s NFL team) songs back-to back: their 1972 debut “Take It Easy” (3:10-3:19) and their current (at the time of this air check) hit “New Kid In Town” (from 3:19).

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