Ken Gilbert, WAQY Springfield Mass | Summer, 1981

102.1 Springfield WAQY Wacky 102 Rock 102 Glen FM Stevens Jim Kaye The Big Tuna Bax & Obrien Rock 102

Steve, Squirt and Greg
Ken “Squirt Baby Shoot” Gilbert
Date of Recording: Summer, 1981 (Exact Date Unknown)
Station: 102.1 WAQY Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Format: CHR
Featured Air Personality: Ken Gilbert (WDRC/WVTK/WVRT/WTIC-FM)
Contributor: Paul DiMarco (corrected)
Date of Posting: 09.19.2017
Total Time: 8:12
Airchexx Entry: 1,512

say what it is, you been messin around on me. 102 FM The Whack With Ken Gilbert in the Air Chair

Curator’s Notes:

From an unforgettable era of Wacky 102, where there are very few recordings out there, Here’s ole Squirt doing it on the radio as he did every day in middays on WAQY. The station itself was headed for a crash, but what it sounds like here, nobody really knew that an AOR format was launching in several months. This is from the innocent Summer of 1981. The station had transitioned itself in the past couple of years from an automated rocker, to an early voice tracked rocker (the voices were put on carts and inserted into a cart carousel, then those were programmed as an event in this early automation system), to live assist, and then, totally live in the last year or two. And despite studio issues, the station managed to win the hearts of young people all over the Pioneer Valley.

After Wacky 102 became Rock 102 in August, 1981, all the personalities heard on this station went on to bigger things. Ken Gilbert went to WTIC-FM (after the Hot Hits ™ format), then a long stint at WDRC AM and FM. Jim Kaye would go part time while pursuing opportunities in television, with his “Gold Rush” shows heard every weekend on WAQY after the flip.

This aircheck is a great trip down memory lane to a radio station that we all wanted to go to because it always sounded fun. Thanks to the likes of Ken Gilbert, Glen “FM” Stevens, The Big Tuna Jim Kaye and others.

Listen, enjoy and please COMMENT!

102.1 Springfield WAQY Wacky 102 Rock 102 Glen FM Stevens Jim Kaye The Big Tuna Bax & Obrien Rock 102


  1. Ross

    the Springfield market had a history of good top 40 radio (56 WHYN and 1490 WTXL). I thought WAQY 102 would continue that tradition but no. they never should have gone to a boring AOR format.

  2. Agree Ross. If Mike Adams didn’t convince Don Wilkes to change the format while Mike Schwartz was out of town, at least Tuna and I would still be there.

  3. Robert

    thank you Ken for your reply. I worked at WHEB 100.3/750 Portsmouth NH part time in the mid-’70s. it was a good-sounding HOT A/C station with a wide playlist including a gold library until some friend of Scott Knight convinced him to go AOR. later I worked across the street at top 40 107.1 WERZ (Z-107) and we beat WHEB in the arbitron despite our 3kw FM against their 50kw ERP FM along with their low-dial AM that covered the entire New England coastline as well as Atlantic Canada.

    • I seem to recall listening to it as a teenager vacationing in Rye Beach. IIRC, the station moniker was, “The Star Station”. Also, out of curiocity, at some point during WHEB-FM’s time early on as an AOR, didn’t someone do an interview with one of the Three Stooges?

      • Robert

        yes the slogan was “the Star Station for Northern New England”. I don’t remember the “Stooge” interview but that’s something they would have done. the area was full of live theater venues and places like Hampton Beach Casino where I saw Roy Orbison perform in 1984.

        • As I think back, I remember where I was when I heard the ‘Stooge’ interview. It was something that someone associated with the station (perhaps in years past) recorded with Larry Fine. A very old Larry Fine, as Moe, Curly and Shemp were all gone. The year I heard this was 1983, the year after graduation when I lived in the attic of my parents’ house and hooked into an antenna that got WHEB-FM 100.3. And, at the time I heard this, WHEB was indeed, still “The Star Station”, and it was still running the AM/FM combo Top 40 format by day with AM 750. The AM side was daytime only, to protect WSB Atlanta, which had and still has a tremendous signal at night into the Northeast. Amazing what I can remember about this, and yet I can’t remember what I ate for dinner yesterday. !!

          • Robert

            Steve, what I never understood was that 750 WHEB had been there since 1932 and all that time remained essentially a daytimer while WTSN only 10 miles away signed on 24 years later with 5000 watts fulltime. WHEB owner Norman Knight told me that they had tried to get night service but Cox Radio, owner of WSB, repeatedly nixed the idea. finally in 1991 WHEB-FM 100.3 had applied for higher power and tower height, but the NIMBYs in the city of Portsmouth demanded that the AM tower be taken down as a tradeoff for a higher FM tower…and with no additional AM revenue coming in, it was basically “an offer they couldn’t refuse”. and there was no reaction from the public when 750 went off the air for good.

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