Lou Roberts, 920 WOKY Milwaukee | March 23, 1976

Airchexx Where Classic Radio Lives

Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks - Thanks!Sounding more like this was a demo than an actual broadcast, here’s Lou Roberts playing Milwaukee’s hits one Winter day back in 1976. I swear, you can hear a turntable rumble on this recording. This was definitely not recorded off the air. It could have been a skimmer reel pulling the audio right off the main console, or it might be something which was recorded in a production room. If it’s the latter, then much care was taken to make it sound authentic. Roberts includes a short phone bit with a caller at the end of this aircheck.

Another thing worth noting, this recording comes to us unscoped, and in excellent condition considering the age of this aircheck of an AM station. Unfortunately for you, this had to be telescoped before posting for copyright reasons.

Listen for commercials for Ford Pintos, banks and grocery stores. All very representative of what a small station would have sounded like in the mid-70s, certainly not a station in a large market like Milwaukee… this certainly is an eye-opener.

920 WOKY Milwaukee


  1. Bill Shannon

    I can vouch for this one. It’s authentic alright and was recorded on large reel directly from the console hence the lack of processing. The original aircheck ran about an hour in length. This is not a recreation but Bartel’s WOKY as it sounded in the day. Oh, and although it may have sounded small to a degree WOKY was a top 5 performing radio station at the time. This tape was originally rolled for Tom Konard as a favor for his Aircheck Factory.

  2. I was morning newscaster and the news director that hired Debbie Young (the first voice on the tape).
    Makes me proud to hear the Mighty 92 again. We were a kick ass radio station!
    I was looking for my assistant news director Steve Silverman. He became a lawyer in Chicago and I haven’t heard from him in 20 years.
    Wonder what happened to him.
    We didn’t use turntables there on Sherman Street in Milwaukee at that time. The djs used cart machines. There was a turntable but I don’t remember ever seeing a dj use it on the air.
    Like many old time radio stations in 76, all the equipment was OLD but still worked and management was not about to cut into the profits and buy new stuff. WOKY, a real money machine for Bartell Broadcasters (and us too).

  3. rick shannon

    I remember steve he was a great guy. I was bob barrys producer haven’t talked to him in almost thirty years I hope he is doing ok. If you know how to get ahold of bob pls give him my email

    • bob barry


      Someone told me they saw you on this sight. Where the hell are you? We talk about you often, with great respect!

  4. Do you still wear those wierd yellow glasses? I see that George Wilson gave our Lord Bob Barry a compliment saying that BB was the most prepared jock who ever went on the air each morning.
    Steve, if you run across this stuff again, can you send me another email. I was at Oxford studying law (reading law) when you sent me the email and I’ve lost your email address and might come to Chicago to finish up with the english bar exam stuff.
    dan abernathy

    • rick shannon

      No Dan, I don’t wear glasses anymore. I had eye surgery.

  5. Tim

    Is this the same Lou Roberts who recorded three singles for MGM in the sixties?

  6. Buck

    Once Mike Joseph and his, “Hot Hits” format hit WZUU in 1972, the end was near for WOKY and WRIT. Too sad. Two great stations were destined for change.

    • Bob Buchhauser

      Buck, You are correct. I first heard Mike Josephs’, “Hit to Hit” format on the “Super ZOO” in ’72.

  7. Al

    Reminds me of 96X Miami, just to an older demographics based on the oldies…sped up songs just like 96X…till this day, still can’t agree with or understand that philosophy…but the formatics and personality are great…

  8. Ann Abramoff

    Rick—-where are you these days? We dated briefly in the 70’s. You drove a blue Pacer and lived in the Catholic Knights building, if I remember correctly. I went with you to an event at a restaurant on the south side where Bob Barry was. Your show at WEMP started at 11:00 a.m. after my shift ended on Sunday. Joe Benson’s show was before mine.

  9. Al

    I worked as a summer releif engineer at WOKY in 1977 or so. Met Gene Roberts and Bob Betts who did the Great Lakes Dragaway ads. and it paid $5 an hour because I had a Class One FCC ticket.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.