Month: October 2013

Bob Lewis, 95.5 WABC-FM New York | January 10, 1970

Bob ‘Bobaloo’ Lewis was best known as one of the “All Americans” on 77 WABC (AM). Lesser known was the fact that he was also heard on the FM side. WABC-FM 95 1/2 was a Progressive Rock station. The format was called “Love”. It featured tons of album cuts from all the heavys of the time, Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, and many more similar artists which would become the staples of AOR and later, Classic Rock stations. In 1970, this format sported jingles, and full newscasts on the hour and half hour from the ABC FM Network. Its obvious that ABC corporate was building for the future and knew even in 1970 that the future was with FM. This aircheck proves it. What you hear on this aircheck is a radio station that was WAY ahead of its time. When 95.5 changed ca...

Barry Kaye, 610 KILT Houston | 1974

New Contributor John Hale writes, “…here’s the aircheck Barry Kaye cut at KILT back in ’74 that won him DJ of the year recognition. And no wonder he won the award. There should be an award category for the most high-energy personality! Compare Barry Kaye to someone like Jack “Your Leeeeeeeeeeeeeder” Armstrong, and you get the picture.

Sample: 95.1 WAYV Atlantic City | November 4, 1997

Scoped down from an original 45 minute cassette side to this 7:52 sample, here’s a look at HotAC/Adult Hits 95.1 WAYV. The station has a pretty wide playlist here, lots of 80s gold along with the top AC hits of 1997. We don’t know who the jock is, as he never identifies himself, but with only a few talk breaks in this three quarter-hours, one gets the impression that personalities were somewhat discouraged here, deferring to sweepers, jingles and “30 minutes of stopless music” to carry the radio station. Or, it could simply be this was a ‘live’ show done in the middle of the night, as the recording was done from 2:20 to 3:05 AM Listen closely to the Top of Hour legal ID bed. WAYV is using the JAM Creative Production Z-100 package from 1983 “serving...

Suzy Waud on Energy 105 WNRJ Pittsburgh | October 27, 1989

Yet another from Robyn Watts’ huge collection includes this generous dose of CHR from the Steel City. This is another one of those stations that’s apparently been gone for quite a number of years (which is why a google image search turns up nothing). Still, a great sounding late-80s version CHR station that really made it’s mark on Pittsburgh. And, as a footnote, WNRJ was at 105.7 and actually licensed to Hilliard, Ohio. Suzy Waud… love that voice! Can one of our visitors tell us if she is the same as the female jock on our WLS AM/FM composite elsewhere on this site? We’d sure love to know! Be sure to leave a comment below.

Peter Butler & The Z Morning Zoo, 98.5 KZOU Little Rock | October 23, 1989

Little Rock’s hit music station here is Zoo 98 – officially, 98.5 KZOU. This encompasses a bit of the Z Morning Zoo featuring Peter Butler, and friends… includes News, Sports and the (scoped) hits of the day. The date of this recording is based upon the birthdays noted shortly after the start of this aircheck. Our keen sense of irony here at airchexx notes that here in Little Rock, the “Zoo” format is made official with the KZOU call letters, while in Boston, their “Zoo” format had already morphed away from the slogan “Zoo” by 1989, and was simply identifying as Z-94 WZOU. Both stations here in Little Rock and in Boston had similar playlists and formatics, and both would soon enough succumb to CHR format burnout that happened as the dec...

Composite: 800 XEROK Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua | 1974

John Long (WAVZ) was the Programming genius behind this short lived but fantastic Top 40 format, leased from the Mexican government on XEROK. Located just across the Rio Grande, this station was a ‘Superpower’ AM like none other. Actually, the real history of this ‘Border Blaster’, as it was called, starts in the early 1940s. The original call letters were XELO. In 1941, the station’s high-power transmitter was custom built, efficiently stepping the power up to 150,000 watts. While this is nothing by comparison to Powell Crosley’s WLW Cincinnati and it’s 500,000 watt transmitter, it is enough to make it easily the most powerful AM station in North America. In 1972, A group of American investors leased out XELO and launched a Top 40 format. The call...

Michael P., 105.1 KMJX “Magic 105” (Conway) Little Rock | October 23, 1989

“…We’re dealing with goofy middle names today” Like much of the Little Rock radio market as of this writing in 2013, the station formerly known as “Magic 105” has changed formats, this time to Country. But here in 1989, KMJX was a Rock station. Not knowing exactly the form of this format at the time, it SOUNDS like Classic Hits, although this may have simply been an evolving Classic Rocker or even Active Rock, although there’s not much ‘new’ music heard in this portion of the Morning show. They do get a request for Fine Young Cannibals, during a phone call just before a News break. Did you know there was a UFO sighting in Pine Bluff, Ark? That’s what Michael P. says… As with most of our airchecks, this is scoped. Even the NE...

Don Christy, 94.9 KOLL “Kool 95” Little Rock | October 23, 1989

Yet another morning drive of Little Rock radio is presented here, on a tape from California Aircheck contributed by Robyn Watts. Here’s the Don Christy morning show on Kool 95. This is a mainstream Oldies station playing the hits of the 50s, 60s and early 70s. A pretty good sounding station as most Oldies outlets were as they cropped up on FM beginning in the early 80s. Nationally, Oldies did very well until the early 00s, then the format drifted into Classic Hits (70s, 80s and even 90s). Some Oldies stations simply went on to some other kind of music. And some never saw the huge successes of stations like WDRC Hartford, WOGL Philadelphia or KRTH Los Angeles. This is one of those that managed to hang on through the new millennium pretty much intact.

Craig O’Neil, 103.7 KKYK Little Rock | October, 1989

We’re guessing on the date of this aircheck as sometime in October, 1989, based upon the news item that Jim Bakker was sentenced to prison the day before this was recorded. (Can’t find the exact sentencing date but the trial lasted six weeks and began in August of 1989, so this is just a guess). This opens up at 6:51 AM in “Crazy” Craig O’Neil’s morning show. This is the old “FM 104” KKYK with a contemporary format, and plenty of good morning show elements, including Comedy, News & Sports. This is not over the top as is the norm with so many hit music stations today. Strangely enough, there is very little in the way of historical information on the old KKYK. We do know that the station changed call letters to KSYG on 9/6/96, then to KABZ...

Allan Sands, 690 WAPE Jacksonville

Courtesy of Robyn Watts, we’re completely unsure of the date on this one, although there are clues contained within this aircheck. Allan Sands(see below for the correction) even has his own jingle. All of which contributes to a stellar recording highlighting the then number one radio station in Jacksonville. Top 40 radio at its very best here.

Sample: 106.1 WBLI Patchogue NY | June 18, 1997

Lesson: How to edit a 45 minute cassette side down to four and a half minutes? Patience. A CHR/Dance mix format, excellent jock doing PM Drive and jingles that actually sound good and fit the music all highlight this scope, which spans 45 minutes from 3:20 – 4:05PM. Remember that this was on the air two years after Telcom ’96 was signed into law and at this point, this and most other big market stations were still mostly live and untouched by the voicetrack machines. Sound like a station you’d listen to today? I know I would. Today, 106.1 WBLI is still CHR, owned by Cox Media.

Michael Sarzynski on 66 WNBC New York | October 23, 1978

Thanks to this late submission from our good friend “Magic” Matt over at Big Apple Airchecks, we can bring you a really GOOD, high quality recording of the late WNBC. 1978… probably the biggest year for Disco music, before the days of disco destruction… and here’s WNBC doing it’s best to compete with crosstown WABC. Good as it was, success was never achieved in this too-little-too-late attempt to gain the top 40 music crown, what, with WXLO and other FM stations swiftly coming up to oppose the few remaining music AM’s in the Big Apple. However, despite that background, listen to this aircheck! I think you’ll find the presentation better than most stations today… and even better than most Oldies stations. It sure was a different world in...