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Donnie Simpson, 93.9 WKYS Washington

The beginnings of format fragmentation. The end of traditional Top 40. Whatever you call it, this is how it sounded when Disco stations popped up all over the country.

This is an interesting sounding station. Apparently from 1978, or so we’d guess, 93-KYS calls itself the all disco station, but the playlist is not exclusively disco. You’ll hear a portion of “Love Won’t Let me Wait” by Major Harris… that’s a bit slow for this format… and you’ll also hear KC & The Sunshine Band and a few mainstream disco crossovers in this format. Overall, it sounds good, but your webmaster remembers when Ritchie Balsbaugh launched WXKS-FM (Kiss 108) in Boston back in late ’78, and there wasn’t a slow song in rotation at that station. Also, 93-KYS runs NBC network news, as you’ll hear at the end of this aircheck.

This is a much different sounding station than the Urban flavor that WKYS evolved into, but it’s very interesting and very laid-back for a Disco station. Definitely worth your quarter-hour!

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9 Comments


  1. Looks like this aircheck is from sometime in September of 1977. I say this because a commercial mentions a concert on Saturday September 24, and September 24 fell on a Saturday that year. I’m actually not that surprised that the presentation is so laid back here. I remember when 92.3 WKTU switched to an all disco format in July 1978. their jocks were also very laid back which made for an interesting contrast to the up tempo music. I honestly don’t know when disco stations started sweeping the nation, but maybe this particular station made have gotten in a little ahead of the game. It would be interesting to hear what they sounded like toward the end of 1978 when you couldn’t move without hearing a disco song. maybe they pstarted eliminating the slower songs then?

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  2. I always considered 93 WKYS to be the FIRST all disco station. It has been debated, but I have not be convinced that I am wrong.

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  3. i’VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED DONNIE’S ON AIR WORK AS EXCELLENT AND THIS AIRCHECK ILLUSTRATE THAT. I WONDER WHERE HE IS WORKING NOW…IN REGARDS TO RADIO/

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  4. Donnie Simpson is still working in the DC radio market. He just celebrated 30 some odd years in radio! You can hear him on 95.5 WPGC, you can also hear him in webcast or streaming radio or what ever its called.

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  5. I love donnie and want to know how can i write donnie or email him. I was told he helps people out in crisis well i need help or someone to talk to. what should i do?

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  6. Aloha! I ran into Donnie Simpson yesterday, April 29, 2008. I did not have a business card unfortunately at the time and wish to contact him. How may I do so? Or he may contact me via the information provided.

    Thank you!

    God Bless

    ~Traion

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  7. I’ve got original tapes recorded by my uncle that was in the chilean airforce and in training in Washington by 1977….everytime he went back to Santiago de Chile…brangt a couple of tapes from KYS, under my request…amazing the same year and with the same commercials….I have those tapes (noow in Mp3) that sometimes I hear in my car when I drive into the wonderful Steppe of PATAGONIA-CHILE….I love that music….even today in 2010….WOW!!!!!

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  8. Donnie “The Big Green Eyed Monster” Simpson Went On To Be 1 1/2 Of The 2 New VJ’s Alongside Reverend Dr. Booby Jones As Part Of The New Music Video Channel Black Entertainment Television Better Known As BET!

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    • Oops I Mean Dr. Bobby Jones.

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