560 WHBQ

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...

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&...

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...

Chris Curtis, 56 WHBQ Memphis | Spring, 1973

Contributor Rob Grayson has digitized more of his tape collection. This is from the first of six sent in this week. Rob writes: “More goodies… these were recorded all on the same day in Spring of 1973, and I think I got them from Memphis DJ Don Roberts (Barney Raines), straight off the radio. You will notice the actual signal noise artifacts in the deep background and at times you can faintly hear another station on 560 behind the music. But, this is the real thing! Authentic radio listening in all aspects. Chris Curtis is a capable jock here, and WHBQ is still running their original Johnny Mann Singers jingle cuts – just two, three if you include the Top Hour cut. This has the famous RKO General sound all over it! There’s more to come from this same broadcast day, ...

Walt Jackson & Bob Landry “Buffoon of Memphis”, 56 WHBQ Memphis | Summer 1977

Returning a classic into the Archives, here’s the station that launched the careers of Rick Dees, Jack Parnell, and even Elvis Presley. RKO General O/O WHBQ was known as the ‘farm station’ of the RKO chain. Dees had left for Los Angeles the year prior, and the Q is still rockin. Its 1977 and Star Wars was the Summer blockbuster hit. Listen for your chance to battle Lord Vader and perhaps win $20 in Q-Cash! “Sooner Or Later You’ll Own General”. WHBQ must have helped sell a LOT of tires! But, question is, did the parent company ‘pay’ for their own spots (wouldn’t that be like providing a welfare check to itself?) Well… no, the sales guys would probably say those were required Agency spots. Or some darn thing. Where would YOU like th...

Memphis Composite – WHBQ, WMPS, Others | September 2, 1972

Well… Look what we found lurking on the back of a KLIF tape… Dueling Top 40 stations 56 WHBQ (RKO General) and 68 WMPS (Plough)! Imagine the surprise hearing this tape. Rob Grayson, where are ya! This is from before the Memphis appearance of Rick Dees, before FM 100 was Top 40… even before FM was even popular! Regardless of how good these stations sound here, the number one station hands down in the city was neither. It was the Soul station, WDIA 1070. And the Memphis sound sure is heard all over this aircheck. Take a listen and go back to a more troubled time, almost 34 years ago! Was it really that long?

Charles Allen, 56 WHBQ Memphis News | 1967

Looking back, for all the history that goes with WHBQ including the launch of Elvis’ career, the station that got Rick Dees noticed, etc., there’s really very little in the way of recorded audio left for us history buffs. Especially the 1960s. What does exist likely was recorded by the people that were there and experienced it firsthand. Such it is with this full newscast. We’re guessing the year 1967 (and sure that somebody out there knows the EXACT date, because you guys are THAT good!). Charles Allen is the newscaster here. Charlie (as we knew him later as the first morning man on WGKX “Kix 106) sounds great here, in the sticcato, quick reading style that was so commonplace in the 60s. Charlie gave this to me several years ago while he and I worked together for a...

Wink Martindale, Saturday Morning Dance Party on 56 WHBQ Memphis | 1956

One of the oldest airchecks on this website just got a facelift! Originally posted in Real Media format in 2004, Here’s an upgraded re-release of this original recording given to our Contributor (Jack Parnell) by Wink Martindale himself! This is the tale of three legends. A performer, a future game-show host and a legendary Top 40 radio station. Put it all together and you have Wink Martindale interviewing Elvis Presley on WHBQ radio in Memphis. To many of our younger listeners, this aircheck will likely have little meaning. Wink Martindale hasn’t done a new game show in years (although he is still a dj – on the Music of your Life network), and WHBQ has been Sports 56 for many years. But there was a time when all three were the very best in their trade. Number one in ever...

css.php