Rick Shaw, 560 WQAM Miami | December 20, 1967

560 Miami WQAM Rick Shaw

Aircheck courtesy of Contributor Larry Stoler

Often times when researching the legacies of classic radio stations, we don’t come across much valuable information. Its times like this when the audio we post must speak for itself.

This aircheck is all about the hits of 1967 and the air talents of Rick Shaw. The burning question of many of our minds is, is this the same Rick Shaw who graced the airwaves of 610 KFRC San Francisco? The voices do not necessarily sound similar, but considering the level of processing used at KFRC, its possible that these two men are indeed one in the same.

There are lots of live commercials. Commercials, commercials EVERYWHERE, all over the place. About the closest thing you’ll get to a music sweep is two songs in a row before more commercials. And WQAM has a jingle for nearly everything. Since this is just days away from Christmas, there are numerous WQAM Christmas jingles. And, the holiday music? Certainly not the novelty songs you hear these days. Much of the holiday music heard on WQAM is of the classical/church choir style.

We think these jingles are from Heller, but we’re a bit unsure. Someone out there knows.

WQAM is still on the air, same frequency, same call letters. The music is long gone, the station is an all-Sports outlet these days.

560 Miami WQAM Rick Shaw

Aircheck #1,251 since May 2, 2002


  1. Jay Rudko

    Definitely NOT the same Rick Shaw. This Ricky-Ticky was in South Florida radio since the late 50’s. And, unlike the other Rick Shaw, he’s still around. A true Miami radio legend.

  2. Not the same Rick Shaw from SF…rick aka Jim Hummel is from St Louis and came to Miami in the late 50’s and went to WCKR (now WIOD); they were QAM competition before WFUN came on around 1961, when they became WIOD and MOR, which was a very respectable AC in 1976 when I worked there with the late Mike Rineri, Big Wilson and Bill Calder. WFUN was WQAM competition until Jan of 76 when WFUN was sold and went beautiful music. FUN often beat QAM in the ratings in the 60’s. Rick wad some talented guy and just retired a few years ago, where he spent many years on WMXJ, follwing WAXY, where he was PD

    • Jay Rudko

      Al, your comments are interesting, but inaccurate. WCKR was never any real competition for WQAM. “Wacker” was MOR except during Rick’s show, but at best was “chicken rock”. The management at WCKR never really let him get into the real meat and potatoes of top 40. His appeal was more in how he talked to the teens in his audience as though he were talking directly to them. On the other hand, Bob Green was allowed to go hard top 40 at WINZ, another station that was MOR during the day. The other top 40 station in town, pre-WFUN, was WAME. It was a daytimer, so it was no competition at night for WQAM, WCKR, and WINZ.

  3. Rick Shaw the KFRC varitey passed away but his hey day was at KFRC starting in 1975 as said before this is not the KFRC Rick Shaw but a great aircheck

  4. Miami was far enough from SF for anyone to know. This AC was definitely before Boss Radio which I’m sure QAM ripped off, too. Jim Dunbar was on WLS so they went with a Jim DunLAP, Kemo Sabe (didn’t I hear someone in NY use that?). Ahh, the good old days. At least one knew what time it was.

    • Jay Rudko

      First off, “Scienceminute”, WQAM never did anything close to the Boss Radio format. If you really listened to KFRC, you know that it was a highly structured format that didn’t give the jocks to be themselves. WQAM wanted their jocks’ personalities to shine through. This aircheck shows Rick Shaw at his best, which is something the structured Drake format would never allow. Jim Dunlap? He used his real name, which many jocks don’t do. You make a lot of assumptions about WQAM when you’ve probably never listened to it outside of these airchecks. I grew up with the station. I think it was far better than you give it credit for, and that’s not fair to those who put their all into making WQAM one of the finest top 40 stations in the nation. This Rick Shaw was on the air here in Miami at the same time the other Rick Shaw was on at KFRC. So your science isn’t very scientific.

      • Just a reminder folks, please keep it civil. We’re all radio fans here, and if one person makes a few errors there’s no need to jump all over him. The rule is keep it friendly. Thanks.

  5. Jay Rudko

    I meant no disrespect, Steve, but I do think one should have his facts straight before posting. I apologize to you and Scienceminute, but a few facts that might clear some things up. I know some of the Storz stations “borrowed” some elements of the Boss Radio format, but it was “Fake Drake”. WFUN, WQAM’s major competitor, also did the “Fake Drake” thing for a short time. It bombed here. The only element they kept from that effort was the 20/20 News. WQAM’s news was always at :55, with headlines on the half hour. WQAM strived for personality. Their jocks were more than record spinners; they were entertainers. What happened between the records was as important as the records themselves. I’m not saying WFUN wasn’t a good station, but they took a different approach to the top 40 format than WQAM did. And while there was a clear rivalry on the air between stations, the jocks of both stations were friends. How many stations can claim that? Very clearly, Miami had some of the finest top 40 radio in the country. Too often outsiders underestimate how great our stations were. They’ll never know what they missed!

    • I certainly won’t argue with you there. Funny you should mention the ‘fake drake’ thing. It was tried all over the place and really gave the real format a bad name. Mostly because what those stations tried to do didn’t work. As for south Florida radio, I can’t speak for the era you grew up in, but I visited Ft. Lauderdale in 1985, when I was in the Navy. I was on an Aircraft Carrier, the USS America (CV-66) and we anchored right offshore. The beach goers could see us. Anyway, I remember some great Radio that nobody ever talked about up north.

      • Jay Rudko

        Steve, by the time you were there, FM had already taken over. The 60’s were the best times for AM top 40 radio. The competition between the Q and FUN was all part of what made it so great. WQAM was also blessed with a flamethrower signal that many 50kw stations would have loved to have. Although they were a 5kw station (1kw at night), they were non-directional, and had that tower over the bay. WFUN’s signal had to be highly directional to protect another station in the state at 790, as well as stations in Atlanta and Kentucky. Their signal into Broward County at night wasn’t stellar, while WQAM boomed in. Plus, they had Ricky-Ticky!


      You certainly know your history and I agree with you.They were great ans beautiful times here in south Florida.

  6. Doc Durdin

    Thank you for this Steve…. I was born and raised in Ft Lauderdale. Rick Shaw was not only the best DJ, he endeared himself to every kid out there. IMHO.. That’s what made him special to all of us. I was 17 when this aired.

  7. Al Kramer (WWFL 1340) Clermont, FL 1981-1982

    Remembering the competition between WFUN, 770 & WQAM 560… When the Beach Boys huge 1964 hit “FUN, FUN, FUN” was on the charts, WQAM never gave-it any airplay! They chose the “B”-side (a cover of Frankie Lymon’s), “WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE”…Simple reason: Anything with the lyrics “FUN” -would be like WQAM advertising for WFUN…Bruce & Terry’s, 1964 SONG “SUMMER MEANS FUN”…same thing. When WFUN reduced their AM power at sundown, their signal from south Miami was considerably weaker, especially in Broward County. On a rainy, overcast night, simply tuning the radio a bit higher-up=the-dial, brought-in WABC in Yonkers, N.Y. – as strong (or stronger), than WFUN. “How do you spell FUN?”…”…with a ‘W’!!!” – was the proclamation, in 1965. Good-time Top 40 Radio, in Miami!

    • Jay Rudko

      Al, you’re right about WQAM never playing anything with the word “fun” in the title. And the jocks never had fun, they enjoyed themselves. It was also never 79 degrees. Flip things around to WFUN, it was never 56 degrees. Well, there was that one time where the jock slipped up and said it. Then he started pounding on his console, pretending it was the thermometer, claiming the thing must be broken. And, yes, spelling “fun” with a “W” was a big thing here. Incidentally, WABC isn’t in Yonkers; it’s in New York City. Always was. WFUN actually didn’t reduce power at night, but they switched their directional pattern to throw their signal out over the water. They could be heard in the Bahamas at night better than they could be heard in Broward.

  8. Cary Troxel

    Anyone know how to contact Rick Shaw? I would like to see if he could make an appearance at our 50th reunion of our class of 68 Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale next year. My classmates would love to pay tribute to him and his career spinning tunes all those years.

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