1440 WROK,Rockford IL Steve Casey, 1440 WROK Rockford IL | January, 1979

Steve Casey, 1440 WROK Rockford IL | January, 1979

Description by Steve Bleecker

Dave Huie (aka C.c. Matthews) had recently “landed” his P.D. Gig at
1440 WROK, Rockford, IL….as I was
unhappily at KXOA (formerly KNDE) , Sacramento, Ca. So…I “put the
Call into” Dave in early Jan. ’79…Asking…NO…More like Begging
him…to help “Get me out” of a Difficult situation in Sacramento
,where I simply was not “properly aligned” with Program Director Art
Schroeder ! KXOA was doing an AM Version of Lee Abram’s “Superstars”
format…playing Ted Nugent…on my show (Morning Drive) at 6:30 in
the Morning ! Needless to say, we had EVERY pre-pubescent listening
to us, but, obviously, could not “Sell” the Station to an Interested
“Client Base”!
Well…before I “knew it” C.c. Matthews was calling me back
quickly…with an “Offer I Could Not Refuse” …not that I would have,
anyway ! Middays at WROK…a GREAT Station with a Great History…and
Loyal Audience ! Mr. Nolte was the Owner…and word is that He was
quite instrumental in “something to do with” the Broadcast Cart
Machines we all used at the time…perhaps “Mini-Mation” (?)
…putting silent “Cues” at the ends of cartridge recordings.

Anyway…The Owners flew me from San Francisco to Rockford for my
“Interview” …I was Hired…and Two weeks Later…I was ON ! I’m so
Glad I had been fairly Close to Dave Huie a few Years before, at
WAXC…where we were both Jocks ! He Quite Literally Saved My
Life…because, upon getting back to KXOA…I got “the Hammer” !

15 thoughts on “Steve Casey, 1440 WROK Rockford IL | January, 1979”

  1. PLEASE NOTE : MY VERY SPECIAL THANKS…To Bruce Galloway, in Elma, N.Y. (Buffalo area. Bruce and I go way back to WAXC Days !) for “Finding this one” in his “Lost Tapes” Box…and sending it to me…where it was then “Jetted” to Frank Scheidt Audio, in Rochester N.Y., and prepared as an MP3…and then “Zipped” to Mr. West…for Inclusion on this Great Site !

    My Heartfelt THANKS, Big Time … to You 3 Guys…Bruce, Frank, and Steve West !

  2. Great voice … sounding hip (can that word still be used legally?)

    Or smooth and cool?

    Well, great … out of sight.

    And from what I can tell a well-run station too.


  3. Thank You, Tony…so glad this Tape was able to be “Resurrected” ! So often…my Life is Better…”Rewound…on Tape” !

    But…on “Fast Forward”…it’s now Facebook/FM !

  4. KXOA was owned by Brown Broadcasting who also owned KGB AM & FM. That’s where Art Schroeder came from to program KXOA FM. When they tried AOR on 1470 we all knew it was doomed. I don’t remember Steve Casey as I was busy at the Burkhart/Abrams Superstars station KZAP in 1979. To us, KXOA sounded like they were trying to channel KGB FM, but on AM it was a no go. In 1980 KXOA would go Top 40 with KFRC’s Terry Nelson as PD, but that wouldn’t last long either. I did middays there during that time, and while it was a great facility with great people it was pretty much the end of music on AM in Sacramento. Oddly, I have a friend who went to work at WZOK/WROK in 1980 and they were considered one of the truly great Top 40 stations for a market the size of Rockford, or even some bigger markets for that matter. I think I still have an aircheck of him in Rockford somewhere in my collection. Listening to this aircheck I can see why Steve Casey sounded so good doing AOR, great pipes and very natural sound. This was a time when having a good voice was an asset not a hindrance.

  5. Bryan ! I want to Thank You for your Kind words, really ! Also…who was (is?) your friend who worked at WROK…Wonder if I knew him…or…KNOW him ? Yes…WROK, under both C.c. Matthews & Chuck Diamond (P.D.’s) was a Great place to work…NICE folks… lots of Fun…I learned A LOT ! Still remember the “Spot Loads” every hour…Heavy Commercial content…a miracle we “Fit” ANY Music in !
    The fondest memory of KXOA is Certainly NOT Mr. Schroeder…BUT…The old Memos I found…in old desk drawers…in the Recently Abandoned offices of KNDE (the former call letters)…Those memos all contained the Signature of the One & Only Mark Driscoll…who had programmed against us at WAXC, Rochester, N.Y. just a few years before… while he was at The New BBF, Rochester , right “across the street”…I recently spoke with “Marcus” (Driscoll) about my Remembrances of “those memos…he confirmed…and seemed to get a chuckle out of something that was so AWESOME to me then…and still remains a SWEET Memory to me NOW ! Thanks, again, Bryan !

  6. Hi Steve & you’re welcome! My friend that worked in Rockford is Ed Lambert, who many may remember from Kiss-FM in Dallas. I later worked at KBIG when Marc Driscoll was our imaging voice. He was not a success at KNDE, but KROY would’ve been pretty hard to beat at that point, especially since KNDE’s owners were just about broke. That lack of funding and the ratings failure led to Brown’s reacquisition of the station. When AM-14 dropped the AOR format we acquired Jon Russell for the afternoon shift at KZAP. I later worked with Ron Garrett at KXOA who I believe also worked the AM-14 format as well.

    As for your experience at KXOA, I can only say that Art was a different kind of cat, and we all had a hard rime figuring him out. I only worked on a project with him once when he decided to run a special I produced for the AM when John Lennon was killed. The facility and the people there were all very, very nice, and GM Phil Melrose was the best GM I ever worked for. Good times to be sure. Oh, and about all those names, you aren’t alone. I was Bryan Davis at KROY and KXOA and Brian Mason at KROY-FM. B 🙂

  7. Bryan…YES…Ed Lambert worked literall “down the Hallway” from us…at WZOK…I remember he had “Limited” eyesight…But a TRULY NICE guy !…And, at KXOA…Ron Garrett…also very nice, when I was there at AM-14 ! I had “forgotten” about those two individuals ! Thanks for your remembrance ! Also…I just “played” you on KXOA (reelradio)…YOU WERE GREAT !

  8. Thanks Steve, I cringe when I hear myself, but I do think that the station sounded pretty good overall. I found the aircheck of Ed on WZOK and will have to give it a listen, it’s been a while! I have contributed to Uncle Ricky’s site, but since it’s pretty much a Top 40 site, I’m giving thought to some contributions of AC and other format aircheck to this site. We’ll see what I can come up with… B 🙂

  9. Bryan and Steve thanks for remembering me as a part of your radio careers. Yes it’s true I did work for the Browns at AM-14, then worked with Terry Nelson while he was PD. I left around 78 for Mornings at 91-X in San Diego where I worked for a year. Got a phone call one day from KGB-Fm program director Larry Bruce. Larry hired me for night at KGB-Fm where I worked with Pat Martin and Judy McNut. Three years later was hired by CBS as music director for their San Francisco rocker, KRQR. Eventually became music director then program director of 93-Rock, where I hired Larry Bruce as our consultant. I had worked with Larry as program director of KGB-Fm, as a consultant for KRQR. I left rock radio when Alan Mason hired me to do “Lights Out Sacramento” where we scored something like a 14 share at night… and to think they said it couldn’t be done! Jazz radio in Sacramento? In the late 80’s? Went on to Program the Wind/Wnde in Raleigh, N.C. then to the Wave in Detroit, Mi. another “Smooth Jazz” format. Then to KIFM where it was a thrill to work with the father of the “Smooth Jazz” format “Art Good”. Did sales for a year at KFSD “The Classical Choice” in San Diego and stayed there to work with Larry Bruce again when the station became “The Eagle”. What a boat load of radio fun! Decided in the late 90’s to not leave San Diego, my home town and I live here now with my young and beautiful wife Kristen Peer, go figure. Thanks for this great site and the chance to post my resume… Once in radio, always in radio!

  10. Did Jonathan Brandmeier get his start at WROK, or WYBR FM 105? I remember him in the Rockford market circa 1979, before he got snatched up by a station in Phoenix, then Chicago. I understand he’s on WGN for their AM drive slot and couldn’t be more surprised! JB on WGN? Holy Cow, Batman! What’s next? Coaxing Lujack out of retirement? Wow……

  11. Johnathon Brandmeier was the morning jock at WYBR. This automated station was located in (FWIR) Cherry Valley Mall.
    Brandmeier was the only live jock.

    Later went to WOKY-Milwaukee, then Phoenix.

  12. Geee… I think I was the guy who was the next midday guy at WROK, joining in late 1979, then the first afternoon guy on 97ZOK when it went CHR. Lots of familiar names in here.

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