Joe Niagara, during the Final Week 99 WIBG Philadelphia | September 5 1977

Joe Niagara, during the Final Week 99 WIBG Philadelphia | September 5 1977

990 Philadelphia WIBG WZZD WNTP

If you grew up during the glorious days of AM radio in Philly in the 60s and 70s, there were 2 AM radio stations that you probably listened to for Pop music. One option was Famous 56, WFIL. The other was “Wibbage,” WIBG, located at 990 on the AM dial. These two pop radio behemoths ruled the airwaves in Philly. WIBG was king late 50s to the mid 60s, & WFIL took the throne from the late 60s into the 70s. Both stations were very personality-driven, with larger-than-life DJs who played the Top 40 smash hits of the moment, and depending on your favorite boss jock, you were either glued to 560 or 990 AM. It was captivating. While WFIL’s DJs were the “Boss Jocks,” including Jim O’Brien, Dr Don Rose, & George Michael. The WIBG DJs were the “Good Guys” – Joe “Rockin’ Bird” Niagara, Jerry Stevens, Bill Wright Sr., Frank X Feller, Dean Tyler, Allen Dean, and “Hysky O’Rooney McVoutie O’Zoot”…AKA Hy Lit.

By the late 1970s, both stations were running on fumes, as the radio audience was shifting to FM. WIBG management decided in summer of 1977 to take WIBG in a new direction. The station would in a more “Adult Top 40” direction, and be branded as WZZD, Wizzard 100. The new station flopped, and then moved to Disco in 1978. WZZD was sold in 1980 to Communicom, which flipped it to Contemporary Christian.

This aircheck features Joe Niagara from the final few days of Wibbage. -Ellis

Courtesy: Bill Cain

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