Phil Gardner, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | May 1976

Big Apple Airchecks Matt Seinberg Craig

Phil Gardner is celebrating his two year anniversary on WGAR, and judging from the outstanding audio quality, it might have been put out on vynl or something – either that or someone took exceptionally good care of their tape! Dick Clark even sent audio congratulations for Phil’s show!

Listen for Phil Gardner’s rendition of Byron McGregor’s “Our Americans”… almost the same, but with a few twists. (Frankly, this doesn’t even compare with the CKLW version) We LOVE the WGAR jingles here, and the reverb is SUPERB making WGAR sound larger than life! This is an impressive aircheck, one that you should NOT miss!



  1. This is Phil Gardners Second Anniversary Show at WGAR, and I sent it in either late last year or early this year. A very entertaining airchecks! Matt Seinberg/Big Apple Airchecks

  2. Travis

    Sounds like Phil did nights at WGAR… when did The Real Bob James arrive?

  3. Dan

    Wasn’t Phil at WMPS Memphis once…I think there was a Phil Gardner doing morning when I was there in the 70’s

  4. Mike Lee

    The Real Bob James did nights and Phil did late nights on WGAR! They worked there at the same time, and then I believe Phil took over nights when Real Bob took off.

  5. ernie kyger

    phil gardner did 8pm -midnite. Bob James did overnights, midnite to 530 am. Phil gardner left for WIBG in Philly, and the Real Bob James moved in to the 8-12 show.

  6. Marv Farrel

    I would love to know if Phil is still working anywhere now. I got to meet him in Cleveland in the mid 70’s. a geat jock and and a great guy.


  8. Bill

    love the air wondering is there anyone out ther have a joe mayer aircheck from jan 27 1976 on WGAR im lookin for on because on that day my sisters birth was announced on their healthy baby of the day contest.if anyone has that please let me know i would love a copy of that again


  9. brian ellis

    I grew up listening to Phil while in high school. a lot of us would listen to phil doing our homework and then talk about his show the next morning. he was better than tv and especially when he ragged on local celebrities-he was Clevelands best.

  10. Phil Gardner was on WLYV in Ft Wayne, IN in the early 70’s. He had the morning show, but ‘LYV (that’s what we called it back then, hehe) only played the “Top 30” only format like that I know of. LYV was the first real rock AM radio in The Fort. WOWO was, but they played too much late 50’s and early 60’ stuff ro us 70’s hippies, hehe.

    Phil had great characters doing bits (i.e. the lunch lady, I’ll think of her name in a minute) first skit stuff I’d ever heard, besides “Raisin Miller” on WOWO. He was really the first shock jock ever, and I listened to a lot of AM in those days, on my little 9-volt 7-transistor am pocket radio. I could pull down New York (WABC), Detroit (WJR/CKLW “the Big 8”) and Chicago (WBBM/WLS).

    • RJC

      I too grew up listening to Phil on WLYV in Fort Wayne. I just Googled his name out of pure curiousity to see if there was a bio on him. I now regret that I never got a “Phil Gardner Grog Mug”.

  11. Phil Gardner did “Gretta Goodmeal” and her sidekick “Roxxie” (I think maybe played by Jay Walker) they used to give us the public service announcement about the Ft Wayne Public Schools lunch menu for the day! and of course hijinx ensued… Weee! I’m glad I renmembered that! hehe

  12. ace

    On G-98 Phil was part of the G-Team in the morning-him, Bob Travis & Tom Jeffreys…he had characters…the Story Lady, Walter Bumbite, Old Toke, Little Arnold(the boss’ little boy), Calvin Cartwright, & I’m not sure, but I think Jeffreys did Yoko Ono & the Famous Yolanda Williams…oh yeah…and an Ernest Angley impression that was excellent. Best morning show I ever heard. Long Live G-98!!!

  13. ace

    I spoke to him via email & he said something happened to him in 1979 while working at WGCL that made him turn religous. Anyone know what that was?

    • James

      Phil Gardner had a nervous breakdown because he had “lost” everything including his “pride!” Phil is now in Fort Wayne, Indiana under his real name Phil Reaser and working at WBCL 90.3FM, and doing Mornings here!

      • Sorry, James, I’ve never had a nervous breakdown or lost everything. But had I, you should have told me about it before this! (I’m still at WBCL. That much is true.) -Phil Gardner

  14. TOm Herb

    Phil came to Ft wayne, IN (WLYV 1450) in 1970-ish, til around 1973…he came there, if I am not mistaken, from Cleveland then, then he returned there again???

    • James

      Correction…Phil Gardner started at 1450AM WLYV on January 1972 through 1974 (when WLYV switched to a “Country” format)!! Then, he went to WGAR The Big 1220AM, in Cleveland, Ohio! I knew Phil, personally!

  15. Bill W.

    One bit I remember from Phil Gardner’s program on WGAR, not on this aircheck, was The Right Reverend Willy Tucker from Him, Ohio.

    • James

      Phil Gardner first started Brother William A. Tucker, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brother Tucker said he was from Him, Indiana! Then, when he moved to Clevland, Ohio. Phil, changed it to Him, Ohio! Jim “Rooster” Cassell – Classic Fort Wayne Media. Go to and go to “groups” and then, click on to Classic Fort Wayne Media! You’ll see a “story” of Phil Gardner and other WLYV archives!!

      • Tom Nisen

        It was Hymn,In! I used to deliver his afternoon newspaper when he was on WLYV!

        He was the “Superjock” of mid-markrt radio!

        Remamber The First Church & Trust Company of Hymn,IN? “Save where you were saved!” was his motto!

        Phil was the best damn DJ to ever grace Fort Wayne! I wish him well. He was my first inspiration to get into radio in the mid seventies!

        Phil, If you’re still with us, you turned me on to Brother Francis Stick Incense!

  16. markse7

    “Us Americans”(which is included on this aircheck)was a parody on the Gordon Sinclair commentary “Americans” which was recorded by Sinclair and legendary CKLW newsman Byron McGregor….he had the bigger hit with it.

    Gardner actually recorded this during his WLYV stint. I hadn’t heard it in years! It was a sad day for his ‘LYV fans when he laft to go to ‘GAR but in effect we could hear ’em thanks to WGAR’s 50,000 watts!

    • Gary K

      I have several hours recorded from the radio of Phil Gardner from WLYV in Fort Wayne. His final show was great where he played James Gang and, I believe, the long version of In A Gadda Da Vida.

      • James A. Cassell

        Gary K., I would like a copy of those Phil Gardner tapes at WLYV. If they are on cassettes. I would put them on CDs for you “Free Of Charge” and I would give you a copy of my CD of him on WLYV!!

        James A. “Rooster” Cassell

        Check out “The Phil Gardner Story At WLYV” on!

  17. mike hotaling

    were these guys top 40 or a/c? like wnbc they always seemed to me when I was growing up, to be riding the fence between the two formats.

  18. This format would beat a lot of formats of today in ARBs. I’d love it if some outfit with major market radio stations brought this format back.

  19. mike hotaling

    morning drive talent at night… what a concept… at night you could hear wgar in upstate ny…and we could hear our local stations (including nyc in the daytime) always enjoyed wgar.

  20. I’m surprised no one mentioned “Cy in the Sky,” Phil’s spoof on the traffic ‘copter. Good thing Cy wasn’t real. I doubt a drunken helicopter pilot would’ve lasted long.

    I also remember one of his last broadcasts on WLYV, after the station turned country. He locked himself in the booth with a pile of rock vinyl. There was an old lady who called in, complaining about him playing those “filthy” rock records. Phil dispatched her rather quickly, pointing out country recordings such as Charlie Rich’s “No One Knows What Goes on Behind Closed Doors,” and many others.

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