Les Davis, 1560 WQEW New York | October 15, 1998

After the demise of Big Band and Standards on the old WNEW AM “Eleven Three Oh”, a group of jocks approached the ownership of Classical WQXR about starting up a Standards format to fill the void left by WNEW. What happened next was a wonderful warm station with glowing personalities and a format that to some degree was even better than what MetroMedia had developed at WNEW. WQXR-AM soon became WQEW and for many years, it WAS the de-facto industry standard by which all ‘Standards’ formats were judged.

Here’s a 41 minute recording of the Les Davis show on WQEW. Listen for a promo for the upcoming Batt Johnson show. You’ll hear some fading, as this was likely recorded in the evening hours some distance from New York City.

Courtesy of early Contributor Joe Tymecki


  1. Perry Pace

    Hearing Les Davis again after all of these years brought a smile to my face. I used to listen to him as a teenager and he turned me on to many musicians. THANKS for posting this.

  2. Jack Rose

    He’s still working. You can hear Les’s show Mon-Thu 6pm-midnight plus Sunday middays (Eastern time) on Sirius XM 67.

  3. A wonderful piece of audio! Thanks for posting! I loved this radio station and was, like many, devastated when it was taken down.

  4. John von Soosten

    This would have aired in the afternoon. Batt was on 7:00 PM to 12:00 Midnight. Les regularly filled in for Jonathan Schwartz whose show was on 3:00 to 7:00 PM. And I often filled in for Batt following Jonathan.

  5. David

    Back in the late 70s, Les Davis hosted a jazz show (live from a restaurant or jazz club–I forget which–in New York City on jazz station WRVR New York. Circa September 1980, it abruptly flipped its format to country and call letters to WKHK. Not long thereafter, Davis moved his jazz show to otherwise beautiful music WVNJ-FM. He remained there until it became Top 40 station WHTZ–AKA Z100– in ’83.

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