Memphis

QuickChexx: Robert Gray, 56 WHBQ Memphis | October 31, 1977

Date of Recording: 10.31.1977 Station: 56 WHBQ Memphis, Tennessee, USA Featured Air Talent: Rob Grayson (Robert Gray) (WHBQ, WMC-FM, WKNO-FM/TV, others) Contributor: Rob Grayson Aircheck Entry: 1,110 (Repost at 1,450) (What does this mean? (1)) I’m heading back to my coffin till next year Comments: Contributor Rob Grayson checks in with a coveted couple of audio snippets we pasted together into one, three-minute scope of RKO General’s Memphis outlet, 56 WHBQ. As many, we’re sure, would attest, the RKO stations all had that trademark sound, a perfectly clean audio chain, no reverb, and jocks who were encouraged to be a funny and creative on air as possible. This is no exception. It was a WONDERFUL time for this radio station, Rick Dees had gone to Hollywood, ratings were u...

Composite: 56 WHBQ Memphis | Summer, 1974

Date of Recording: 1974 (Exact date unknown) Station: 560 WHBQ Memphis, Tennessee Featured Air Talent: George Klein, J.J. Jordan, Robert E. Knight, Dude Walker, Mason Dixon, Tom Kent, Steve Weed Contributor: Steve Bleecker Aircheck Entry: 1,429 Comments: WHBQ, that’s Billy Preston with George Klein in the Morning, 8:12 and Nothin from Nothing – looks like my paycheck every week! Where else can will you find a recording of George Klein on the air doing half of what made him famous, I mean, listening here, you almost expect Elvis to make an appearance! Klein was programming WHBQ at this point, but listen, this has the same ultra-tight format and big sound heard at every other RKO/General owned radio station! Note the jock list! Many of these guys would go on to much larger market...

Jumpin’ Jack Flash, 94.1 WOGY Memphis | July 22, 2000

Date of Recording: 07.22.00 Station: 94.1 WOGY Memphis, Tennessee Featured Air Talent: Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Steve West) Contributor: Steve West Aircheck Entry: 1,425 Comments: “…We’ll show the big and boastful station how weekends are supposed to be – ALL REQUEST!” How different are off-drive times in commercial radio today as opposed to 16 years ago? Well, when was the last time that you heard time checks, local weather conditions and phone calls on a Saturday afternoon?! From a time when stations actually cared about formatics over the weekend, Froggy 94 tries HARD to beat crosstown “Kix-106” (WGKX Memphis) in the ratings war, dispite having an inferior signal. Formatically, Froggy sounded better. Froggy was live 24/7 in 2000. Even the overn...

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Steve West), 94.1 WOGY Germantown/Memphis | July 29, 2000

Date of Recording: July 29, 2000 Station: 94.1 WOGY Germantown, Tennessee Featured Air Talent: Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Steve West) Aircheck Entry: 1,412 Comments: Country station WOGY – Froggy 94 – came along in 1993 after being several other formats since it first signed on as one of Sam Phillips’ radio stations in 1978. Froggy 94 lasted until the Summer of 2001 when it flipped to Modern AC as 94.1 The Buzz (WMBZ). What’s the first thing you notice in this aircheck? That’s the question you can answer when submitting your comments (below). A bit of background information on Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Every jock on the station had “frog” names. Hoppy Gilmore (Paul Hankins). Forrest Jump (PD Matt Albritton). Pollywog (Judy Shore) and Danger Frog (Je...

Steve West, 105.9 WGKX “Kix 106” Memphis | October 2, 2004

I couldn’t resist going back over 11 years ago to a Saturday morning show I had on Kix 106. Admittedly, this isn’t the best I ever sounded there at Kix, and I attribute that to a couple of things. Mainly, the station’s processing was a bit strange and it always threw me off. Instead of the studio mic being processed to make one sound like he or she pops out of the radio, it sounded more as if the mics were all attenuated in some way. This is why, as you listen, phone calls walked all over the studio mic. At the time, we tried pushing the mic volume up higher and pulling the Shortcut 360 (the device we recorded phone calls on) volume down, but that did little good. Mic volume was maxed out on that board and sounded a bit distorted, at least in my headphones. The good stuff...

Harry Chapman on WMPS 680 Memphis | July 19, 1963

Courtesy of Skip Reynolds, CE of Entercom Memphis… Skip tells us he found this tape at the transmitter site of what is now WSMB 680 a while back. This is an original recording of Harry Chapman, the morning man on what was Plough, Incorporated owned WMPS. Listen to the old commercials! We couldn’t recreate the “quaintness” of these old swing-era sings. WMPS sounds very Middle of the Road here, playing hits from Ray Charles, the Four Seasons and some lesser known regional hits. Without hearing the rest of the broadcast day it’s hard to get a feel for WMPS’ format, but the station is VERY sold out, with this 45 minute morning show clip being more commercial load than music. Lots of live reads. Ever wonder what early 60s radio sounded like… radio befor...

Steve West on WMC-FM 100 Memphis | August 28, 2005

Just a few days before the cataclysmic landfall of Hurricane Katrina, I was enjoying doing another “Whatever Weekend” show on FM 100. Its funny how fate works. I never thought to record this particular evening and never had a recording of it, yet it’s one of the best from all my years in radio. Then owned by CBS (now Entercom), WMC-FM was HOT! Trying hard to maintain a decent lead over crosstown WMBZ (the Buzz), which was in it’s death throes, PD Lance Ballance pushed the music envelope right to the edge with these “Whatever Weekends” – CBS’ (Infinity) answer to the emerging “Jack” variety hits format. At the time of this recording, I was at the end of a 4 month run as the weeknight host while they looked for a replacement to the ...

Composite: WHBQ, WMPS, WDIA Memphis | 1972

This runs almost 24 minutes and may be somewhat confusing. Listen carefully because this is presented as one or two breaks from one station, then flips to another for a few breaks, etc. Other than being a somewhat muddy sounding recording – the tape is 42 years old after all, this is an excellent representation of the state of popular music radio in Memphis in the early 1970s. Don’t be fooled, however. Each station represented has its own unique approach. WHBQ is solidly Top 40, and a typical RKO General station in its jock style and approach. WMPS bills itself here as “The Rock of The River”, no doubt referring to the mighty Mississippi which separates Memphis Tennessee from West Memphis, Arkansas. The jingles are a re-sing of WLS’ “The Rock of Chicago&...

QuickChexx: Art Scott, 1480 WMQM Memphis | April 11, 1973

From Contributor Rob Grayson, here’s the final installment of our series of Memphis radio from 1973. WMQM at 1480 AM was a fulltime Country station – a station that specialized, apparently, in older Country music, judging by the songs heard on this short aircheck. There’s just over two minutes of this scope featuring Art Scott, and Mike Mitchell of WMQM Information News. 1480 has been Black Gospel WBBP for many years now, and in 2002, a new 50kw station at 1600 AM was licensed to Lakeland, TN in Fayette County, out east of Memphis, which now uses the WMQM call letters. That station is tied in with Christian WWCR Worldwide shortwave.

Mitch Craig, 68 WMPS Memphis | Spring, 1973

“From the Gateway to Mid-America!…” The WMPS Top hour legal ID says it all. A Broadcast service of Plough, Incorporated, WMPS put up stiff competition to RKO General’s 56 WHBQ and for a while they even seemed to trade jocks! Mitch Craig is heard doing Afternoons. This is short and much of it was scoped before we got it in the Airchexx studio, but you will hear Casey Casem voice a full commercial for Stag Beer (who drank THAT?). More of the faux WLS Top 40 format and lots of fun from a great era in Radio!

Donnie Brooks, 68 WMPS Memphis | Spring, 1973

It’s a Friday night at “Super 68” and Donnie Brooks is at the controls of Plough’s superstation! WMPS is doing its best to imitate Chicago’s WLS, and by the sounds of this aircheck, it’s working. Note the WLS type jingles, such as the cut “The Rock of the River“, set to the tune of WLS’ “The Rock of Chicago“. Note the full length commercial for Wrigley Spearmint Gum, and some historic Memphis movie theaters that are no longer there. Courtesy of Rob Grayson, who was there to capture it all!

George Klein, 56 WHBQ Memphis | Spring, 1973

George Klein, by 1973, was known nationally, and internationally, as Elvis Presley’s best friend. Aside from allegations of payola that circled around Kline, he never was directly accused. And this is good. One of the most influential Memphis Jocks and programmers in the 60s/70s, Klein certainly had his connections in Graceland. And he spent lots of time on the air at WHBQ. In later years, Klein would find himself in the fold with his Elvis show at (then Barnstable) Memphis Radio Group’s WSRR “Star 98.1”, which turned into The Cat… all these incarnations of classic hits, the latter programmed by California’s legendary Rich Brother Robbin. I said all that to lead into a great aircheck from a station in a time period which influenced everything that came a...

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