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PM Drive on 99-5 WRNO “The Rock” | October 1987

(Comments by Steve West)

Remember back in the days when WRNO transmit (sometimes) a simulcast of its FM rock station on Shortwave? I still remember the frequency. 15.420 Megahertz. Sometimes Hard Rock, sometimes Top 40 (I heard Casey Casem on it one time), sometimes religion especially towards the end of it’s life, and for about a year, the home of Rush limbaugh.

Anyway, this is not about the shortwave station, although it’s from the FM – SW simulcast era. It’s about the early Classic (active?) Rock era at 99.5 FM in the Cresent City. Today, WRNO IS Classic Rock and is owned by Clear Channel Communications. The Oldies days are long gone, and so is the Shortwave station.

This is short, about 4 and a half minutes, which technically makes it an official Airchexx.com QUICKCHECK… but it should remind everyone of the radio heritage that was in New Orleans for so many years!! And, check out the (way out of place but sounding good anyway) 70s era Top 40 jingles this station used infrequently. I always wondered if that was for the benefit of the Shortwave listeners or what???!!!

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  1. The talent is “Weird” Wayne Watkins, who later went to Biloxi, MS to program rocker WCPR-FM. Savor the Corvette promo from the station owner’s brother Mike Costello. (Must be the only way he made it on the air with THAT voice!) Mikey went on to program (if you want to call it that) WTIX-FM.

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  2. WRNO is now news/talk as “The New 995.com”.

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  3. Hey, Dan…I LOVED YOU ON FUNLOVIN’ WTIX 690! 🙂

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  4. WRNO was one of 2 of my favorite haunts on New Orleans Radio (along with WTIX-AM [The Mighty 690]) during my high-school years in the late 1980s. I mean, with such gems as The Out-Of-Control Morning Show, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame and The ’60s At 6:00, how can you beat that?!

    On Monday, November 13, 2006 at 4:00 AM (CST), the original Rock Of New Orleans became another card in the “aint dere no more” file; having signed off with The Doors’ “The End,” WRNO-FM gave way for all-Talk radio format as the “The New 99.5FM.com”…going the exact same way of radio flesh as WTIX-AM 690 did in 1998! 😛 It’s not like the end wasn’t expected, anyway. For me, the end came when in 1990 it instituted that abysmal “Z-Rock”! Fortunately, that dog of a concept was soon abandoned, but the damage had been done; WRNO had “jumped the shark.” It had been limping along ever since until it was finally put out of its misery.

    It moved to a new position on the dial, 104.1 (the former placing for KHOM-FM) and is now known as simply “The Rock of New Orleans,” but I don’t think anything will ever be a proper subtitute for WRNO-FM, the once-mighty home for classic rock. 🙁 WRNO, you continue to be bitterly missed to this very day. To absent friends… <:-(

    In Memoriam
    WRNO-FM 99.5
    The Rock Of New Orleans
    October 17, 1967 – November 13, 2006

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    • YOUR RIGHT ONE YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE SHOULD EITHER BRING WRNO 99.5 BACK OR WTIX 690AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR MAKE IT COME BACK

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  5. DO YOU REMEMBER THIS– PLEASE– ANYONE IN NEW ORLEANS?

    SOMEWHERE IN THE 80’S— A RADIO STUNT– ADVERTISEMENT–GIMIC– WHERE WRNO 99.5 F.M. IN NEW ORLEANS— PLAYED

    LED ZEPPELINS’S— “ROCK AND ROLL” NON-STOP—BACK TO BACK

    FOR 2 STRAIGHT DAYS!

    CAN ANYONE HELP ME? WHEN OR ABOUT WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? AND WHY?

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    • 99.5 played ‘Rock N Roll’ back to back for 2 days straight sometime in the early 90s, I think after it had become “The River” playing all 70’s AM Classics. I always kinda liked the River, but it wasn’t really ‘The Rock of New Orleans.’ Anyway, they played ‘Rock N Roll’ because it had been a long time since they had rock n rolled…and then switched to the Classic Rock Radio format.

      Also around this same time B97 had gone all talk. That was weird, too.

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  6. HEY YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS BUT I’M A TEENAGER AND WHEN I GROW UP WANT TO BRING BACK WTIX 690AM AND WRNO WE’RE ROCK OF NEW ORLEANS AKA 99 WRNO AND I ALSO AM AN AUDIOPHILE I HAVE A RECORD COLLECTION I GOT A 15.99 BEATLES REVOLVER ALBUM FROM THE MUSHROOM ON BROADWAY (ABOVE THE BOOT) IT’S WROTH THE TRIP AND MAYBE BRING BACK THE TUBE MUSIC NETWORK LOOK UP ABOUT IT YOU WILL LIKE IT REMEMBER AT THE BEACH AT THE BEACH AND K&B AND MORE OLD STUFF WHEN EVERY THING WAS MADE IN USA PLEASE EMAIL ME TO CHAT WITH ME AT [email protected]

    PLEASE EMAIL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. WRNO pretty much sucked ass but it was the only only game in town till WCKW came around and basically played the same crap. Z rock was freakin awesome!! I listened nonstop then.

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  8. Weerd Wayne Watkins was PD and afternoon host on Classic Rocker WXRG in Biloxi for about a decade. He continued on its formats successor GO-FM and remains as program director of Go’s successor the BOB-FM format. In the early 2000’s he was also heard as fill-in on sister station WUJM during it’s Molly @ 967 early years.

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