Big Apple Airchecks

Wink Martindale, 980 KFWB Los Angeles | June 2, 1965

Date of Recording: 06.02.1965 Station: 980 KFWB Los Angeles Format: Top 40 Featured Air Personality: Wink Martindale (WHBQ, KFWB) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Post Date: 12.03.2017 Airchexx Entry: 1,530 The KFWB Principal of the Year contest has just two weeks to go!… Curator’s Notes: If you thought Wink Martindale seemed a little ‘stiff’ on the WHBQ “Saturday Morning Dance Party” from 1956, here’s a different side of Wink. Martindale is doing the morning show on KFWB and this is a music intensive show with a very upbeat presentation! The “Principal of the Year” contest is in full swing. Is there a station doing a similar promotion today, in the U.S. or Canada? Also, this comes with an obligatory PARENTAL ADVISORY for advertisements...

New England Sampler #3: Radio 85 WHDH Boston | April 1, 1980

Date of Recording: 04.01.1980 Station: 850 WHDH Boston Format: Full Service Adult Contemporary (Dayparted: News/Talk all night) Featured Air Personalities: Sean Casey, others Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Post Date: 12.3.2017 Total Time: 6:23 Airchexx Entry: 1,529 …This oughtta be the first day of Spring! Curator’s Notes: This is from an interesting time, of which I’d call more of a time of transition for WHDH. Transition because at this point in time, WHDH was becoming a more contemporary radio station than it had been for a long time. Through the 60s and 70s, WHDH played a much more ‘Middle of the Road’ blend of music, much softer and non-Rock based than it’s competition. For decades, the station’s main competitor was crosstown WBZ. In fact, w...

New England Sampler #2 – Composite: 68 WRKO Boston | March 31, 1980

Date of Recording: 03.31.1980 Station: 680 WRKO Boston Format: Top 40 Featured Air Talent: Various. See Description below. Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 6:06 Post Date: 11.30.2017 Airchexx Entry: 1,528 … Presenting Elton John at the Music Hall… This has not been posted elsewhere so THANKS to our contributor! Curator’s Notes: Audio: This came in with very poor audio consistent with a cassette tape that’s had much of it’s oxide coating worn off. Muddy and bottom-heavy (sound wise), I had to do a lot of digital doctoring to make this listenable. It is now, but it’s not quite WRKO… It’s a bit muddy, even after my cleanup efforts. Other than that, this is a GREAT representation of RKO General’s flagship radio station.

Composite: 98.7 WXLO “99X” New York | June 15, 16 & 17, 1978

Date of Recording: 06.15-17.1978 Station: 98.7 WXLO New York Format: Top 40 Slogan: “99X-FM” Ownership: RKO General Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Featured Air Personalities: Bobby Rich, Sue O’Neal, Bobby Messina, Jay Thomas, Dick Sloan, Glenn Morgan, Al Bandiero, John Larabee Post Date: 11.20.2017 Airchexx Entry: 1,256 Curator’s Notes Known on air as “America’s most listened to FM Station”, WXLO certainly was memorable in many ways, but was never bigger than it’s AM competitor, 77 WABC. In perhaps any other market, this would likely have been the number one station, however with the competition in the Big Apple, Middle of the pack is about where 99X stood for most of its existence. Semantics aside, 99X was indeed memorable and loved by man...

Dale Dorman, WXKS-FM Medford/Boston (Kiss 108 FM) | May 1, 1999

What teens, do you suppose, knew that in 1999, one of their favorite DJs was in his 50s? On the occasion of Uncle Dale’s passing in 2014 at age 71, at the time of this aircheck, he was at the tail end of a 20+ year run as the Afternoon Drive jock at Boston’s “Kiss-108 FM”. Dorman is one of those jocks who made it big in the RKO chain of stations back when personality really mattered. Once the Morning Show host at WRKO in it’s top 40 heyday, Dorman also spent time doing West Coast top 40 at KFRC San Francisco in the late 60s, and after WRKO was the morning guy at Fairbanks’ WVBF in it’s “F-105” incarnation. Over 9 minutes scoped from the original 30, here’s Uncle Dave, STILL doing top 40 and sounding like he’s relevant and lo...

The Real Don Steele, 93/KHJ Los Angeles | January 8, 1970

Date of Recording: 01.08.1970 Station: 930 KHJ Los Angeles Format: Drake Top 40 Featured Air Personality: The Real Don Steele (Donald Steele Revert April 1, 1936 – August 5, 1997) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Date of Posting: 11/18/17 Airchexx Entry: 1,524 Sockin’ it to ya! Three Oh Nine with the Real Don Steel and Johnny Nash! Curator’s Notes: There are those in this audience who know the Real Don Steel Personally…. or at least did while he graced our radios with his presence. Here’s a typical RDS show scoped down from 35 minutes unscoped to keep us legal. Comments: Please, reply to this post below!

Ron Lundy, WABC New York | July 29, 1970

Date of Recording: 07.29.1970 Station: 770 WABC New York Format: Top 40 Featured Air Personality: Ron Lundy (WIL/WABC/WCBS-FM) (June 25, 1934 – March 15, 2010) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Hello Love! Original Comments: Here’s Ron Lundy at a very sold out WABC! While this is scoped, the unscoped version still has more commercials than music. You’ll need patience to listen to this, as the source audio as we received it is choppy and a bit muddy, otherwise its a great representation of America at the height of the Vietnam war. Listen for a full newscast including stories about fish with mercury, extreme pollution, a heatwave causing reductions of electricity, and more.

Robert W. Morgan, 93 KHJ Los Angeles | August 8, 1970, Part 1

Date of Recording: 08.08.1970 Station: 930 KHJ Los Angeles Format: Top 40 Featured Air Personality: Robert W. Morgan Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Post Date: 11/10/2017 Airchexx Entry: 1,524                 Curator’s Notes: The evolution of radio, television and now the internet as means of mass communications often reminds us of how rapid the general public embraces new technology.  Consider that from the time KHJ debuted it’s now legendary Top 40 format until roughly 1971, KHJ was the single most listened to radio station in Southern California.  Fast forward just nine years, and ratings were so low (impacted by FM) that the station changed to Country, then to Oldies, and by 1986, disappeared altogether. FM radio was king in Los Ange...

Big Wilson, 66 WNBC New York | April 1969

Date of Recording: 04.xx.1969 Station: 66 WNBC New York Featured Air Personality: Big (John) Wilson Format: Pop/Full Service Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Original Post Date: 03.02.2010 Curator’s Notes: There’s a lot that’s been said about Big Wilson – he’s a legendary personality on the old WNBC. Problem is, when people think of radio in the 1960s in New York City, the first station that always comes to mind is WABC. So, WNBC was always dwarfed… and never really tried to compete in the Top 40 arena anyway, as NBC, the network, always had features running on air which disrupted the music presentation. Big Wilson is captured here in a recording that sounds like it was made with a microphone placed in front of a table radio speaker. The audio quality is...

Jay Douglas, WTIX-FM New Orleans | 1996

Date of Recording: 1996 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 94.3 WTIX-FM (KLEB-FM/KZZQ-FM/KBAU) New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Format: Oldies Featured Air Personalities: Jay Douglas, Doug O’Brien (News) (WNBC/WINS) Contributor: Annonymous Comments: I hate to call this ‘sloppy’, but there are numerous pauses between elements in this format. It sounds as if WTIX-FM is using one of those old fashioned reel-to-reel automation systems that had a bit of a lag at times when switching from one reel, or cart machine to another. Either way, this was recorded before computer automation and it’s associated ability to allow production folks to make gawd-awful, effects laden sweepers that run between every song these days. Yes, there are plenty of dead segues here, and that’s nice t...

Composite: WINS and WMGM New York | September 17, 1961

Date of Recording: 09.17.1961 Station(s): 1010 WINS / 1050 WMGM (WHN/WFAN/WUKQ/WEVD/WEPN) New York City, New York, USA Format: Top 40 Featured Air Talent: Various Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Comments: This is a great comparison between two competing Top 40 stations. 1961 was so early in the top 40 game that WABC was just in its infancy with its then-new format. This recording doesn’t include ABC. WINS, of course, went on to become the nation’s first All-News station. WMGM simply reverted to the previous call letters on 1050, WHN, and then after several years as an MOR station, became synonymous with Country Music in New York starting in 1973 for the next decade. More information about this aircheck is presented by visitor comments (below).

Steve York, 66 WNBC New York | April 23, 1983

1983 might be considered the year that 66 WNBC finally hit the post as a true Top 40 station. Nights were full of the hits of ’83, one of the top rated shows in New York, and the station was boasting Imus in the Morning and Howard Stern in the afternoon. Having witnessed the demise of WABC almost a year earlier, WNBC finally achieved what it couldn’t all throughout the 70s – ratings superiority over 77 WABC. In addition, while the programming was superb, the station switched to AM Stereo (the Khan system) and it sounded incredible even in mono! This era is largely forgotten by nearly everyone but its important to remember that while Z-100 launched in 1983, WNBC really took over for a time as THE Top 40 station in the Big Apple. Shortly before WHTZ came on the air, 7-Midni...

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