Right off the reel, here’s a brand new exhibit from Karl Phillips. WKDA has occupied three AM frequencies, that we know of, since 1968. 1240, as in this aircheck, more recently as a Spanish station on 1430, and currently on 1200 (later info courtesy FYBUSH.COM) after a move there in 2002.
This aircheck is unique for a number of reasons. First, this really is typical of most of the top 40 stations in the late 60s. Sure, there was WLS, WABC and a handful of others which always stand out. But most of the middle & large markets had stations which sounded very much like this. And they sure were popular. Especially when you realize that WKDA was only a 1,000 watt station by day and 250 watts at night. Yet, people remember the DJs who graced these stations.
Bill Berlin is one we’ve actually had numerous requests for. Aaah for the days when radio had this kind of lure. People do remember their favorite jocks, even when the signal didn’t go much outside of the city limits. Berlin had the 8pm to midnight shift. Listen to the echo that he could insert at the push of a button. Listen to the jingles. Who cut these? Heller, perhaps?
This reel was recorded on both sides, thus, it’s in two parts. Enjoy a bit of wacky Bill Berlin, and the hits that virtually NOBODY plays, save for a few Aretha Franklin hits!
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11 thoughts on “Bill Berlin, 1240 WKDA Nashville | December 27, 1968”
You’re killing me! Wow…this brings back good memories. I worked with Bill on the Music Country Radio Network. He’s not only a great talent, but a great guy as well.
Keith Bilbrey! Wow I’m quite honored as well as a large fan of yours on WSM! Speaking of memories, you probably know someone I do… Yodeller Kenny Roberts, he’s in his 80s at this point but we lived in the same hometown for many years, in Athol, Massachusetts. I know he’s been on the Opry and WSM numerous times in the past… and I was honored to have him on one of my shows back in the 80s.
As for Bill Berlin, I had several people request an aircheck from him, so thank our contributor Karl Philips for sending in that custom recorded reel.
I would put money on having heard this live on 1240 WKDA unless I was tuned in to 1300 WMAK which was KDA’s rival. I was in 7th grade, just recovered from the Hong Kong Flu and my family was spending the Christmas holidays in Nashville with family. Listening to WKDA was always a treat although I got to hear the legendary WHB in Kansas City anytime as we lived in Independence.
This was an exciting time for Top 40. More music was becoming a reality and personality one-in-a-row radio was on the way out. Eventually WKDA would boast 55 minutes of music during night hours bunching news and commercials at :55. You’d get things like “ten in a row” and more.
While I loved more music, the boss 30, 20-20 news and all that fun stuff, I now know it was the signal to the end of the radio personality.
In 1968, one by one, beautiful music FMs were changing to more contemporary formats including the album oriented rock formats. Nashville was a late bloomer for AOR. In Kansas City we already had KCJC, the FM side to the big 1380 KUDL “Cuddle” that would eventually become KUDL FM. Nashville, around 1971, got AOR via WKDA FM.
As for Bill Berlin, I used to be a ‘puker’ on the air thanks to guys like this. Finally a radio station stuck me overnights and re-trained me. Don’t know what Bill is doing now, but from this aircheck, no matter how much he would cringe hearing it, for those of us who remember, thanks for making radio that fun, magical medium we loved and cherished.
Thanks for the memories.
Bill Turner (KYND, Houston, TX)
Does my memory fail me? I remember a wonderful story teller, from I think, WDKA, that came on in the afternnon at 4:30 or 5:00
Iene Wicker. The Singing Lady.
I would love to write about her, however I must make sure. I am 81, so you know you will have to dig in the archives – aaround 1935 0r 36
Grateful for any information,
Bill Berlin (William Earnest Berlin, Jr) was my lifelong friend to whom will always be remembered for the rest of my life.
Bill was a wonderful and FUNNY guy. I’ll never forget him. RIP Bill.
I’m so happy to have found this! Bill Berlin was my father, and even though I miss him every day I keep finding recordings of him… things I’ve never heard… and It’s like he still here. Thank you.
He had a way of making you feel much better, even when things were going badly. He WAS a wonderful funny guy. One ounce of Bill Berlin was worth a ton of prescription medicine. He’ll always deserve a chapter in the History of Nashville radio. ~Bill Massey
I’m always proud when I hear people say such great things about my dad. Thank you!
love the jingles bring em on bill berlin…..
WKDA was country back in the late ’70s. I don’t know how long it lasted, though.