Rosko (Bill Mercer): A “Trip” Into Progressive Rock – 102.7 WNEW-FM New York | December 16, 1970

WNEW-FM, Bill Mercer, Rosko
From “FM Guide”, October 1967
What does one do with a tape which has no liner notes, few markings and one typewritten label which says ‘Rosko WNEW-FM 12/16/70’? Well, if you’re me, you post it on Trouble is, while this absolutely is Rosko (Bill Mercer), there’s not one mention of the radio station call letters, no mention of time, date… in fact, in playing both sides through to try to master this, there are only a couple of breaks where he talks. Its almost all about the music, except for one break where Rosko does a live spot break including a PSA for UNICEF.

I, your webmaster, never heard Rosko live. Not knowing if this was typical of his Progressive Rock shows (he was on the Rock incarnation of WOR-FM prior to it’s Drake Top 40 format in 1967), there’s no way of knowing for sure if the date on this tape is correct, of if this was actually recorded from 102.7 WNEW-FM, or if it was some tape or record that he put out.

This has been sitting in the tape archive here at Airchexx for about 9 years now, and didn’t post simply because I had no idea what to do with it. I’ve decided, since there’s so much noise on the tape (it was recorded at a very low volume), and so few breaks, to post this in its entirety.

I must apologize to whomever donated this to the site. I have since lost the information as to who it was, therefore, if that person is still visiting our site, please feel free to leave a comment or private email me and I shall immediately adjust the credits.

This runs for just under one hour. Help solve the mystery behind this recording and join in the discussion below.


  1. Tony

    The time frame of December 1970 seems right since “We Got to Live Together” was released about that time by Buddy Miles.

    An excellent history of WNEW-FM’s progressive years is “fm: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio” by Richard Neer, who was PD, morning man and music director among other positions during his years with the station.

    As Rosko ended every show, “I sure do love you so.”


    • Joe Bell

      Re Timeframe: This is the live version of “We Got To Live Together” from the Buddy Miles – Live album. The release date for that album is 1971. Doesn’t mean that a prominent jock like Rosko wouldn’t have had a pre-release copy of the song in Dec. 1970 though.

  2. Wasn’t he also on 92.3 WKTU in the late 70’s, early 80’s? I can swear he was also on the tv commercials for 92 KTU saying “92 KTU, where every second sizzles! 92 KTU Hotter than ever!”

  3. DanM

    Fun to hear- I listened to Rosko many a night at that time, while doing my HS homework – and yes, this sounds familiar and typical of his presentation. Once in a while he would read a poem and then play a record with a similar theme, but often he would keep the talk to a minimum. Sometimes he would segue six or eight tracks in a row, opening the mic only to say the names of the artists. I don’t think it’s unusual that there’s no mention of time/temp or any of that. Rosko’s style was to be super-cool and the music was the star of the show. There’s one gap in this tape of a minute or so – perhaps for some reason a station ID and a spot or two were erased?

  4. Rob Frankel

    Rosko left WNEW-FM in March of 1971, when he moved to France. He continued doing American radio via syndication, with a show that was virtually identical to his WNEW-FM show, except that there were no mentions of the station calls or of “Metromedia Stereo”. Considering that this aircheck includes a 1971 Buddy Miles track, I would guess that the original tape was mislabeled with the wrong date.

    • Paul Zullo

      Rob this must be a syndicated hour. I believe you have it right. Thanks for your work on the NY Radio Archive. I’ll look for you on Facebook. Paul Zullo

  5. I’m pretty sure this is an hour of a show that was syndicated for a short period of time by College Marketing Group. I was working at WGMR-FM in State College, PA in the early 70s and we carried the “Rosko Radio” show at 5pm each weekday. I remember we made a special arrangement to rebroadcast another hour of the show at 6pm each weekday. It was a barter deal and as I recall, CMG kept 2 minutes per hour for commercials they sold. I think they were mostly ads for chewing gum.

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