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Al Bandiero on WKBW 1520 Buffalo | January 28, 1979

Of all the recordings I kept over the years, only two have survived from the 70s. The first is a Chicago “Greatest Hits” cassette that I got for Christmas in 1976. The second is this aircheck that I recorded one cold winter night – from my home in Massachusetts, about 500 miles from the station.

One of the nice things about AM radio (what some would call annoying) was the nighttime propagation which with even a decent table radio would pull in these powerhouse AM top 40 stations at night. And, it was good quality, too. No computers to throw spurrious buzzes and whirrs all over the spectrum.

So it was that KB Radio was my favorite station, and Al Bandiero was definitely my favorite jock in 1979. It wouldn’t be till years later that I knew he was big at WIFI 92 in Philly, and a hit in New York at Hot 97 WQHT and even now at 103-5 KTU. Just goes to prove, good jocks outlive any consolidation attempts!

Audio notes… I’ve remastered this now, and the source tape has degraded much over the years. Nonetheless, I think it’s a good quality aircheck that scoped, runs 12 minutes. There was so much heavy fading the night I recorded this that I had to use some processing and eq on this, so there’s a bit of compression and white noise which just can not be helped. Sorry about that. I try to leave these in the same condition as they are on the tape but this one was recorded on the cheapest of Scotch brand recording tape and I’m quite frankly surprised it lasted this long.

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7 Comments


  1. Steve,
    Re: WKBW Buffalo. I grew up about 90 miles south of Buffalo in Kane, PA. Like you I was a DX’er, pulling in skywave at night from Detroit (CKLW), Chicago (WLS), Cincinatti (WLW), Boston (WBZ) and New York (WABC). For some strange reason WKBW wasn’t available skywave, but Rock102 (WBEN-FM) was. Go figure. Anyway, as an aside, I too worked overnight board op at WIFI-FM, although it was a re-incarnation of Philly’s powerhouse at a short lived 3k in Kane. The station owner was originally from Philadelphia so it all makes sense where he got the call.
    Great classic aircheck. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Steve, WKBW’s tower aray was very directional and the signal went mainly east, you could hear it on the east coast but not 30 miles to the west.Thats why you could not pick it up in Kane. Bill

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  3. This clip is so cool. I was 14 in 1979 living on Cape Cod, MA and I used to listen to WKBW (at least 500 miles away I’d say) almost every night and loved it. I used to also pick up stations from Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, DC, Montreal, Halifax Nova Scotia, Moncton New Brunswick, etc., but WKBW brings back the best memories. I found this site searching for a list of the top 10 they used to play at night around 1979-80, but I’m glad I ended up here. Thanks!

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  4. Wow ! Great aircheck of Al. I’ve been a big big fan of KB 15 since the late 1960’s. Hearing these guys again brings back great memories. As a young teenager, I hung a huge antenna in my backyard in Prince Edward Island, Canada, just so I could listen to Jackson Armstrong. He & Kb are the reason I chose radio as my career. I’ve been on the air throughout Atlantic Canada since 1973.
    Today I’m home on PEI at Ocean100. Playing Classic Hits and still loving every second of it.

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  5. I heard WKBW in Miami Beach earlier. By 1979, I was listening at college in Philadelphia. WKBW was always a station that was true to rock and roll. In the 1960’s when all the NYC stations, on Sunday night had the music off with public service shows, WKBW was still rocking.

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  6. You’re KIDDING, Steve! NYC and Buffalo are in the same time zone as well as state and “KB” was still playing Top 40 late Sunday night? I wonder, did they only have public affairs programming on Sunday mornings? Did KB have two public-affairs blocks on Sunday, with the latter one very early on Monday mornings? Did it sign off every Sunday night/Monday morning (for transmitter maintenance) after the last Sunday-night rock’n’roll show or public affairs show? Just wondering, Steve.

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  7. At least through the early 80s KB put nearly all of its public affairs programming (aside from the newscasts at :15 and :45 past the hour, which were audience draws and heavily sold) on Sunday mornings between 5 and 9 AM. Worked swingshift in the newsroom there in ’77 and ’78 (newscasts weekend, street reporting during tht week) and we started regular format programming at 9 AM Sunday and didn’t shift to PA until the following Sunday morning. Tune 1520 any other time on any day and you got pure KB. Weekends were kind of a movable feast with a lot of turnover (some folks later moved up in the pecking order to regular weekday shifts, some moved on to other stations/markets, everyone got the benefits of learning the KB way of doing CHR.

    Bob Smith, WXXI-AM Rochester NY

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