102.9 WDRC-FM

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, 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...

Ken Gilbert, 1360 WDRC Hartford | January 1983

Date of Recording: January, 1983 Contributor: Ken Gilbert Station: 1360 WDRC (AM) Hartford Featured Air Talent: Ken Gilbert Comments: I asked Mr. Gilbert what WDRC-AM sounded like before the flip to Oldies, and so here’s a 9 minute high-quality scope from 1983. While Ken didn’t say so, it sure seems like Buckley did more of a slow format turn towards oldies from Top 40 during ’83. Listen to this, then the aircheck from later in 1983 to get a feel for where the station was going.

Ken Gilbert, “Jukebox Saturday Night”, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | 1985

From Contributor Ken Gilbert (Current Morning Man at 92.1 WVTK Port Henry, NY)! Ken writes: “This is an aircheck from around (19)85? Dean Richards helps me open Juke Box Saturday Night on WDRC FM.) There’s more heritage at 102.9 WDRC-FM than most stations can boast! Perhaps a great place to start is Man From Mars Productions‘ unofficial WDRC AM and FM fan site, wdrcobg.com! Why do I send you there? Because after you listen to this aircheck (and you really should listen here then go there in THAT order, to get the full effect), you’ll realize the true sense of HISTORY, that the folks programming Big D 103 were trying to convey. Its 1985. DRC-FM had been a Top 40 station (along with its sister station, AM 1360 WDRC) for a few years (technically, back to 1973 with a fe...

Peter Ross, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | February, 1972

This begins at the tail end of a newscast, the announcer doesn’t give his name. Then its right into music on the Peter Ross show! Here are the things to notice on this aircheck: Dick Robinson, who was HUGE on WDRC, voicing a Railroad Salvage spot. Robinson is the founder of the “Connecticut School of Broadcasting”. A somewhat racy promotion on DRC, called Hanky-Panky, starts the following Monday. Might be useful in pinning down the exact date of this aircheck. This is heard on 102.9 FM! And, its BILLED as the FM station! This proves that WDRC 1360 and WDRC-FM were programmed essentially the same (Top 40) but had separate air staffs and programming. Remember, this was recorded in 1972! Its possible that part of the day was simulcast. Indeed, when I started listening in 197...

QuickChexx: WDRC “The Big D” Lives on – 102.9 WDRC-HD2 Hartford | April 21, 2014

This is very short, recorded by your webmaster himself. Only to illustrate that there are some constructive uses for Ibiquity’s IBOC branded “HD Radio”. DRC-FM’s HD2 is locally produced, with sweepers voiced by Floyd Wright and an occasional classic WDRC jingle from the old Top 40 days on 1360 AM. But note, the HD2 recreation is jockless. It does, however, bring back the Oldies format that WDRC-FM had which played the hits of the 50s, 60s and early 70s. The only real problem with this station, is that few people can hear it. There are very few HD receivers being sold on the market, and most you have to go to a specialty store to obtain. Try getting a Sony HD receiver or Boston Acoustics at Wal Mart – you’ll be disappointed. So it is, that I decided to re...

Dean Richards, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | December, 1986

WDRC-FM has been playing Oldies in one form or another, continuously since 1984. In the beginning, it was VERY tight and all 1950s, 60s and early 1970s music. In the first part of the 1980s, DRC-FM was a part time simulcast of 1360 WDRC’s Adult Top 40 format. Interestingly enough, the station even turned the stereo pilot OFF during simulcast hours, which, by 1981, were just Brad Davis’ morning show 5:30-9 AM. By 1983, DRC-FM was full-blown CHR, probably intending to pick up the format where the AM side – a LEGENDARY Top 40 station, home to such names over the years as Joey Reynolds, Dick Robinson (Owner of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting) and many others, left off. But in 1984, the station shifted gears and started adding in Oldies. Slowly, at first, but one day, t...

Ken Gilbert, WDRC-FM 103 (102.9) Hartford | 1982

WDRC-FM has been Oldies since the mid-80s. This is a rare ‘check of Ken Gilbert (WAQY, WDRC-AM 1360) on ‘DRC-FM 103 during a short-lived period in which the station was a Top 40 station. The Top 40 years were from 1980 through early 1983. In ’83, both the AM and the FM side went Oldies, and if I remember correctly, the move to Oldies was gradual, rather than an abrupt format change. This is very short, and includes one jingle… which has been, ironically resurrected by today’s Oldies WDRC-FM. Listen as DRC plays the hits of the day – today’s Hartford listeners might be somewhat shocked to remember this particular time period on 102.9! Courtesy Contributor Paul DiMarco

Ron Sedaille, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | July 21, 2007

“All Request Saturday Night” on DRC-FM has been a staple in Hartford for several years now. Ron Sedaille is well known in Connecticut and does a show that’s quite reminiscent of 1960s radio. He even has his own jingles! You can view his bio from 102.9 WDRC-FM HERE. Your webmaster recorded this one Saturday evening in North Central Massachusetts (about 8 miles from the New Hampshire state line), using a 7 element FM DX antenna from Radio Shack. The signal has a bit of white nose on it but otherwise this is really great!

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