Joel Sebastian, 66 WNBC New York | October 7, 1985

660 New York WNBC WFAN WEAF WRCA Don Imus In The Morning

WNBC Time Machine Staff
The Personalities of The WNBC Time Machine, 1987
Date of Recording: 10.07.1985
Station: 660 WNBC (WEAF/WRCA/WNBC) New York, New York, USA
Format: Top 40/Variety
Featured Air Personality: Joel Sebastian (WLS/WNBC)
Contributor: Jim Hampton
Airchexx Entry: 1,486

…here’s a little bit of the Gary Burgess humor, he wrote out the forecast listen to this… what’s for tonight? Dark!


If you’ll listen closely enough, you’ll definitely notice Joel Sebastian’s voice. Yes, where did I hear him before? WLS, of course! New Contributor Jim Hampton, who just donated roughly a dozen airchecks to the Airchexx Museum archive, recorded this himself – and so that’s high-quality, first person tape recordings from an incredibly historic WNBC broadcast. This was just before the Weekend “Time Machine” came into being, and the overall format of WNBC at this point is STILL Top 40 hits – although not for much longer. Note the incredible variety of music Sebastian plays. Its all over the board, from what people call Classic Rock, to pop, to disco, to even new Power pop ballads. All this, plus the beginnings of mid-day variety shows like Soupy Sales. PM Driver Joey Reynolds hadn’t arrived yet nor was the sell off of the NBC Radio division yet underway. This is an enormous, high quality recording that will leap out of your computer speakers the same way actual broadcasts did on your car radio.

This was scoped down by the contributor, but most definitely sounds as fresh as the day it first broadcast.


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  1. ron kay

    wow. never heard him before…….stunningly excellent…..smooth, real, warm, charming, fun. ….and that WNBC Engineers are masters…

    ….the audio processing is killer sweet.

    a fine example of what radio perfection can be.

    The format and sound would work right now in 2017… extremely listenable

  2. Salem Akbar

    The King of Smooth, making complete sense of going from “New York, New York” to Paperback Writer”! An incredible talent, taken far too soon. Only thing missing is Joel saying “ the voice of labor, WCFL”. But that’s another aircheck!

  3. Confusing, he died 3 months after this date at only 53. Was this weekend fill? What a beautiful and smooth voice and style. I remember him best from CFL in late 60s.

  4. dave arnold

    20 years after Joel had to leave wins because of the format change.sounding great here.

  5. Gary Kerns

    First of all, the sound of this ‘check was everything you said it would be, if not more. However, it was recorded in 1984, as (at 5:42), the deadline for a contest was given as January 31, 1985, and October 7 was a Sunday in 1984. Here are a few anecdotes I’ll never tire of telling. I’ve lived in West Virginia all my life, but late at night I’d often listen to “The Time Machine”. Big Jay Sorensen used to rib me about being a hillbilly. In later years he worked at WJRZ (somewhere in New Jersey). He remembered me, and he said that when he’d put me on the air, New Yorkers would get a kick out of my accent. Having said the previous, my favorite station of all time was WHN from 1979-87 (their last eight years of existence). I was into country then and liked NYC, so what else was I going to listen to? I couldn’t get HN down here very well, but I sure lived for trips to NYC where I certainly could. In short, I wouldn’t trade those days to be President. A couple more points, and then I’ll go. Just before Christmas of 1987, I called Big Jay and said “Merry Christmas, y’all”: that went out over the air. Lastly WNBC filled a void for me when WHN went to the great beyond. 660 is now WFAN, where it moved from 1050.

  6. Gary Kerns

    One thing I neglected to mention. At 19:03, hearing Frank Purdue saying it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken. I’d forgotten all about that for years until I heard it a few minutes ago.

  7. Gary Kerns

    I’d forgotten all about “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken” until I heard it at 19:03

  8. Rick

    I’m a little confused by the date on this broadcast. Joel Sebastian was on WJMK Chicago the last 6 months of 1985 before he passed away in January 86.
    Are you sure this date is correct?

    • The date on this is a bit tricky. Sebastian mentions the space shuttle landing safely this day, which for some reason I thought he was referring to the shuttle Atlantis, which had it’s maiden flight and safely landed on Oct. 7. BUT, there is one thing that baffled me. I had no idea that Joel Sebastian was at WJMK Chicago at the end of the year. And, the weather forecast is WAY too cold for early October. So, it would have to be January 27, 1985, the date that shuttle Discovery made a safe landing ending STS-51C. What do you think, Rick? Possible correct aircheck date of 1/27/85?

      BTW. The aircheck was just labelled 1985, which left it up to me to figure out when this aired.

      • Rick

        Yes, I doubt that it’s Oct 7th with that temp. January is more likely although I’m not sure when Sebastian worked at WNBC. I know he was in Chicago from July of 85 on.

  9. I live in the Chicago area and I know that Joel Sebastian by the fall of 1985 was working Mornings at WJMK 104.3FM he passed away in January of 1986 from complications of pneumonia

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