Bill Bailey (left, shown at WWDJ Hackensack NJ) is featured on this roughly 30-minute telescoped aircheck of the morning show at 93.1 WDRQ Detroit. This came to us on a 12″ reel of tape from the WDRQ skimmer reel machine. It was donated to Airchexx by his wife, Sandy Bailey after finding us while looking for a repository to showcase her late husband’s work.
The audio is nearly perfect. Nearly, because in the first couple of minutes, there are a few dropouts in the left track caused by flaking off of the tape’s oxide coating, but that fixes itself by the 4-minute mark. This issue was addressed by Matt Craig at Big Apple Airchecks. I didn’t have a reel machine capable of playing 12″ reels, so I brought it and a few more down to the BAA studios on Long Island just 3 days before Christmas, 2021. Matt had to bake the reels so that the oxide coating would stay on the tape, and it would play like new.
A few details about this recording. First off, this is the Morning Show in Detroit. 1974 was a time before FM stations had access to syndicated (or dedicated) traffic reporters, so Bailey is doing the traffic reports all by himself. Ditto for weather reports, as you’ll notice there is no meteorologist on-hand to read a weather forecast (snow mixing with rain). Perhaps the best part of this is coming to the realization that the WDRQ morning show in late 1974 was much like many morning shows of the 1980s. Lots of jokes… some corny, a few legitimately funny, along with a lot of wacky stories in the news. Bill Bailey here was a decade ahead of his time! News is read by Jim Hawk (Hawke?). In the final newscast toward the end of this recording, Bill Bailey is having fun with his newsman, interrupting him at seemingly every occasion – and boy is it evident how irritate Hawk is at this behavior! But he handles it like a professional and just moves right along.
This is the first of four reels of tape that need to be put up in the next few weeks. We also still have a few already digitized airchecks from the Sandy Bailey collection on CD which need to go up as well.
View this at our official Airchexx Classic Radio YouTube Channel: