Date of Recording: September 20, 1988 Contributor: Russ Horton Station: 95.5 WCZY Detroit Featured Air Talent: Dick Purtan (WCZY, CKLW) Aircheck Entry: 1,403 Comments: Courtesy of New Contributor Russ Horton (above), Detroit’s “Z-95.5” gets its first listen since the station changed formats a long time ago. Dick Purtan is holding down morning drive and there are all the elements that make for great morning radio. News, Traffic, Weather, plenty of music and contests! This is a fun aircheck! Commercials and music are edited out.
“It’s a Hotter than Hanson Weekend” Front row seats to Hanson at the Palace… tickets given away all weekend long. I think I’d rather be run over by a garbage truck, but the kids liked Hanson, like they enjoyed the Spice Girls. Well that’s how it was at the tail end of the 1990s. Imaged and branded like a CHR station, Q95-5 here sounds like it’s solidly in the Adult Contemporary world. Certainly, Benny Mardonis – “Into the Night”, even in 1998, wouldn’t mix well with the most pop hit CHR format, save for a specialty show. But this is in-format, and the variety of music from 80s AC/CHR classics to Semisonic and Hootie & The Blowfish is astounding! Lest we forget, 1998-99 was also the time period of the boy bands… Ha...
We suspect that Steve Taylor and Gene Clark recorded this show right off the board… in fact, they say that they will record all their shows from now on right at the start of this superb recording. Interestingly enough, they say they will no longer say any words that offend the audience… hmmm, you mean there were shock jocks in 1968? This is a very interesting aircheck for several reasons. First, it’s a broadcast quality aircheck of the morning show on WKNR (not too many of those around), and second, you get to hear about what’s going on in the world in ’68. It may not sound like it going back in this wonderful submission, but 1968 was a VERY long time ago!
Not too many Keener airchecks floating around these days but here’s one in incredible audio fidelity! Right off the master reel is a composite of Steve Robbins, not heard anywhere else. Keener was Detroit’s ‘other’ Top 40 station, always in the shadow of CKLW across the river in Windsor Ontario, but WKNR had a very loyal following, especially in the mid-60s before CKLW literally ruled the airwaves of the Motor City!
Seals & Crofts are in concert on May 28, The Beach Boys have a new album out, and Teddy Bear Richards counts down the bottom five songs on the CKLW all-time top 500! CKLW today is has a News/Talk format which is programmed entirely for the Canadian audience in Windsor, Ontario. However, in 1974, the hits were aimed straight for the other side of the international border. After all, “Motown” wasn’t just a genre of pop music or a record label, it was everything that encompassed (and what still does) Detroit, Michigan! Since it’s May, and there are still so many fans of The Big 8 and Teddy Bear Richards on both sides of the border, lets have a quick slice of history!
Here’s another one we have to make an educated guess as to the year. This was the short-lived recreation of the Big 8 – on FM! Judging from my trip to Detroit in the early 90s, I remember this station and it really DID sound good. One of the very few Oldies stations to effectively recreate the original sound of their AM (KFRC 99.7 TRIED, we’ll give them credit), CKLW brought just about everything back except all the old jocks. Imagine, trying to make new jocks sound like they did at 800 on the dial in 1974. Well, they did it here. Listen for CKLW 20/20 News – one can almost expect Byron McGregor to be anchor!
…”I am a radio star…” If you listen to this closely, you’ll notice that Chuck McKay is returning to CKLW after some time at WLS Chicago (his words). But is this any way to return? He acts like he’s leaving again, and talks about being fired while on the air! This is the classic what not to do in a top 40 format… because the format is trashed 2 minutes into this show! No jingles are heard on this recording, but that is about right, since the Drake days have been over at the Big 8 for some time now. McKay does some name dropping… Byron McGregor, etc… and thanks mom for convincing him to go back to CKLW.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The city of Detroit, Michigan turned into a battleground in July, 1967 after city police raided an ‘unlicenced’, after-hours bar on what is now called Rosa Parks Boulevard, in the wee hours of July 23rd. As the situation became more tense, Governor George Romney called in the National Guard, and then President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the U.S. Army into Detroit to quell the violence. It ended up being one of the costliest and most destructive riots in U.S. history. At the end of five days of guerilla warfare, 43 lay dead, 463 injured and several thousands of others were under arrest. Large parts of Detroit were in ruins. View a NewsReel of the 1967 Riots Listen to history as it happened, as described by ABC (network) News repor...
“…Only a fool would work under these conditions” Its a rainy, cold morning in the Motor City, and station management has left a memo to the morning guy … he can only use one phone line for his show because the phone company is concerned about too many listeners calling in. So what does he do? What any responsible air personality would do… This is Mort Crowley, first aircheck of him for this website, so it’s really quite a catch! This came to us on cassette from the ‘annonymous’ contributor (we know who he is but he made us promise to keep his name a secret). The audio quality is superb, considering the year of this broadcast!
CKLW may have been Canadian, but it was likely the most creative and best station in the RKO chain. It’s also likely that the period of 1970-1976 was probably the height of “The BIG 8”. CKLW was a 50,000 watt music blowtorch covering most of Eastern North America… and it catered to interests in Detroit as well as to it’s own Canadian listeners. Today, however, this is known as “The Information Station” and primarilly serves the Canadian side of the boarder only. If only Canada’s CTRC knew the monster that was created way back when had the power to affect people thousands of miles away… well perhaps they did know. Either way, the CanCon rules enacted in the 70s may have helped Canadian artists, but it did spell doom for CKLW– as th...
Here’s something that Matt at Big Apple Airchecks sent in. Apparently directly from Pat St. John himself, this is a ‘reconstructed’, mostly scoped aircheck of Pat’s last show on Keener 13 before he moved on to then AOR 95.5 WPLJ New York.
Contributor Paul Ford sent this in a while back… it’s 1972 and DRQ is airing The Last … Contest. Certainly wasn’t the last contest ever aired on WDRQ, nor anywhere else, but the contest voicers sound the same no matter what station it was done on (can you say KCBQ?). The audio quality on this is fair. The jock’s name – Jeff Goodrich, part of the early Top 40 staff of WDRQ after their launch as the nation’s first All-News FM station in 1971. That failed miserably, but if it were done today… well well well, probably would have a winner on their hands, who knows. This is a real classic for your listening pleasure!