1996 was certainly a LONG time ago! This little AM station was serving the black community of Charleston South Carolina since the mid-1940s, and trying to research this station, there’s no trace of it on the internet. No logo, no mention of the WPAL call letters, nothing. Which leads me to believe that the station signed off or changed formats to something else sometime before the turn of the century.
I remember this station from when I was stationed on a ship during my second U.S. Navy enlistment there in Charleston. The station came in fine at my home, in Mount Pleasant. I seem to recall the reasonably poor audio quality on the air… seemingly over-compressed, and that was how I remembered it. It’s that way on this tape, as well.
This features one “Easy” (or was it “EZ”?) Wendahl (like the song, “Mr. Wendahl”. Remember that?). He is very personable and comes across as warm and friendly. There was no date on this tape, and I narrowed the date down by the news item at the end of this aircheck, of U.S. Secretary Ron Brown’s body being flown back from the scene of the fatal plane crash he was involved with on April 3, 1996, and the jock mentions that he’s being baptized at church the next day, Easter Sunday 1996. Lots of date clues on many of these airchecks.
The audio quality may not be the best, however, this is an historic aircheck from the standpoint that I don’t think there’s a recording of WPAL Charleston out there anywhere, and it’s yet another AM station lost to the ages.