Ken Gilbert

WDRC-FM Oldies Sampler | 1980s

Date of Recording: Unknown Station: 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford, Connecticut, USA Format: Oldies Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert (WAQY/WTIC-FM/WDRC-FM/WDRC/WKNE-FM/WZRT/WVTK) Contributor: Ken Gilbert Airchexx Entry: 1,455 “I see Jerry Kristafer has a friend who travels there” Comments: For the sake of just ONE break on a 90 minute cassette, the rest of which appears to have been bulk erased (the original tape you can hear bits of audio from a prior recording trying to bleed through), we present a sample of the beginnings of Oldies “Big-D 103”. As Ken describes elsewhere, WDRC-FM morphed from CHR to Oldies over a few months in late 1983 into 1984, and by the time of this recording was firmly in the Oldies format. But its just one break with one listener call-in, and you ...

Ken Gilbert, 1390 WVAA Burlington VT | September 29, 2004

Date of Recording: 09.29.2004 Station: 1390 WVAA Burlington Vermont, USA Format: Classic Country Featured Air Personality: Ken Gilbert (WAQY, WTIC-FM, WDRC, WDRC-FM, WKNE-FM, WDOT, WZRT, WVAA, WVTK) Contributor: Ken Gilbert Airchexx Entry: 1,452 “We help take away the stress” Comments: Contributor Ken Gilbert is well known for his talents as a Top 40 jock – at WAQY “Wacky 102”, WTIC-FM and WDRC (AM) FM. But as this shows, he’s an all around personality who fits any format. From Oldies to CHR to this live Country format. Which brings up an interesting point. 1390 is one of those ‘graveyard’ frequencies where low powered community oriented AM stations traditionally went off the air at dusk or 11pm… or ran flea power after dark. In the pos...

Ken Gilbert, 97.1 WZRT Rutland VT | March 25, 1995

Date of Recording: 03.25.1995 Station: 97.1 WZRT Rutland, Vermont, USA Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert, Joel Williams Date of Contribution: 08.15.2016 Airchexx Entry: 1,447 “You can hear us in two countries, four states, twenty-six counties, and we can’t even count the number of towns!” Comments: From a cassette with no label, we were able to figure out the date of this recording based on the news items of the day. For one, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was released from prison this day, after serving 3 years of a 5 year term for a rape conviction. 3.25.95 happens to be a Saturday morning. Ken Gilbert is there, his happy self and qualifying listeners to win Z97’s grand prize in that quarter’s contest: a multi-CD set of the music of the British Invasi...

Ken Gilbert, 103.7 WKNE-FM Keene NH | February 19, 1994

Date of Recording: 02.19.1994 Station: 103.7 WKNE-FM Keene New Hampshire Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert Contributor: Ken Gilbert Aircheck Entry: 1,443 New England’s Power Station, 24 Hours A Day Comments: Contributor Ken Gilbert donated tons of tapes featuring New England stations he worked at over the years, and we’ll probably be adding these for a few years at this rate! WKNE-FM is a station that evolved from a partial AM/FM simulcast in the 70s and early 80s. From 1974 to 1985, as an independent FM outside of morning drive, the FM station was Beautiful Music and the call letters were WNBX-FM. The station became an Adult Contemporary station and broke away from AM 1290 completely in the Spring of ’85 when it returned to the WKNE-FM call letters that it held when it fi...

Composite: 103.7 WKNE-FM Keene NH | October 1993

Date of Recording: October 1993 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 103.7 WKNE-FM Keene New Hampshire Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert, Others Contributor: Ken Gilbert Aircheck Entry: 1,438 The Biggest Hits, The Best Songs… Comments: Our first recording of WKNE-FM takes us to 1993. There was some sort of smoke/fire incident at Swanzey Elementary School, a school down close to the MA/NH border but nobody hurt and Mid-day host and contributor Ken Gilbert makes several announcements to reassure parents. This actually includes two different airchecks recorded one on each side of this generic cassette with a cart label and ‘KNE FM OCT 94’ hand written upon it (above). The current Hot Adult Contemporary format goes back to 1985, when the station flipped from Beautiful Music to AC. Th...

Ken Gilbert, 102.9 WDRC-FM “FM 103” Hartford | 1983

Date of Recording: 1983 (Exact date unknown) Station: 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford, Connecticut Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert Airchexx Entry: 1,436 DRC-FM, playing EVERYBODY’s Hit Music! Comments: Well, here’s an interesting aircheck. This is from a period of time in 1983 when both DRC-FM and TIC-FM used a very similar approach to their respective Top 40 formats. As a listener, I preferred DRC-FM, partly because I could rarely pick up TIC, and partly because it seemed that DRC-FM let their jocks talk a bit more. Whatever the reasoning, this is a great aircheck! Just under 5 minutes in length and a bit processed in house because the source cassette played at slightly the wrong speed and sounded a bit gurgly… still does to a point, but these bits of hit songs will certainly br...

Ken Gilbert, “Jukebox Saturday Night” – 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | May 6, 1989

Date of Recording: 05.06.1989 Station: 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford, Connecticut Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert Contributor: Ken Gilbert Aircheck Entry: 1,434 …Ah – Petula Clark, makes me want to eat spaghetti! This is My Song Comments: Its a week before DRC-FM’s 50th anniversary, and the station is all geared up for it. Constant mentions of WDRC being America’s FIRST FM radio station. Well, it might be the first one, Doolittle’s newfangled invention sure did revolutionize radio but it would take 25 years and a shift in frequencies off the old 49 megahertz band and a push for receivers to finally win an audience. This aircheck really speaks for itself! Ken Gilbert is his merry old self and just does such a great job handling callers and taking requests. But hey, t...

Ken Gilbert; Dean Richards, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | March, 1988

Date of Recording: 03.1988 (exact date unknown) Station: 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford, Connecticut Featured Air Personality: Ken Gilbert, Dean Richards Contributor: Ken Gilbert Date of Contribution: 8.12.16 Aircheck Entry: 1,432 “…here comes Cher – I think this before she had tatoos and a big flamed bird on her backend!” Comments: Some radio recordings should never be hidden under a lamp – or in a box! Our second offering from the newly minted Ken Gilbert collection is this, super-high quality cassette of WDRC-FM (Big-D 103) from March of 1988. Its difficult to pin down a time on this, and the tape does not necessarily roll in chronological order. We hear Squirt (Gilbert), then a few minutes in, Dean Richards, then it finishes out with Gilbert. While the audio is ov...

Glen ‘FM’ Stevens; Ken Gilbert, WAQY “Wacky 102” Springfield | Summer, 1980

Thanks to Wacky jock Ken Gilbert, here’s about 10 minutes of he and Glen “FM” Stevens on one of the northeast’s greatest FM Top 40 outlets ever (in your webmaster’s humble opinion), Wacky 102! WAQY was about a year away from flipping to AOR, and still using the late-70s era Wacky jingles – of which I can’t figure out who produced them (TM maybe?). Wacky 102 still sounds like the powerhouse Top 40 outlet we remember, with lots of personality, a wide VARIETY playlist (and that’s really what Top 40 was all about), mixing everything from soft pop to hard rock – everything that was a hit got played. Many years ago, site friend Rick Kelly (Northeastairchecks.com) described the downfall of Wacky 102 this way… (paraphrasing here, because ...

Ken Gilbert, “Jukebox Saturday Night, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | 1984

Date of Recording: 1984 (exact date unknown) Station: 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford, Connecticut Featured Air Personality: Ken Gilbert Contributor: Ken Gilbert Date of Contribution: 08.12.2016 Aircheck Entry: 1,430 Comments: “Every hour Music Means Money on Big D 103, Hartford’s Oldies Authority…” Every great radio station gets it start somewhere. Some made an abrupt format change that caught listeners unaware. Others made a slow turn. WDRC-FM was the natural blossom of its highly successful AM sister station. 1360 WDRC had a number of slogans over the years, “You’re never far from a friend”, “Where Your Friends Are” WDRC, Hartford’s Big D” and such. Some personalities would go on to become very well known, such as Dick Robinson, w...

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