The Big Montage, 95.5 WPLJ New York | 1978

One of our most popular attractions has to be this fabulous montage put together and aired by Pat St. John. It’s been remastered and put to CD now – and we have it for you in it’s entirety.

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  1. I remember listening to WPLJ in the 70’s and waiting for these little tidbits to air at the top of the hour. I put them all togther on reel to reel, and one day Pat St. John put the “Big Montage” on in it’s entirety. Naturally after 20 something years, the reel didn’t play to well. I asked Pat for a copy of it, and he sent me a CD copy of it along with some other stuff. I’ve known Pat since I was in high school, and we’re still in contact today. He’s a great jock, and a good friend.

    • Lee Freed

      I recorded this off the radio when it aired in 1982 on halloween. I still have my original copy and have burned it onto a cd. still sounds great today.

      • Bill Bandon

        same here – recorded off the radio in 1981, and burned onto CD. Mine’s slightly different than this one – some DJ’s are different, for example, and some snippets are added/replace others. My 16 year old loves it.

  2. Ken Nagy

    Well I stumbled on to this website somehow and played the “big montage” in the office for a friend of mine. Talk about bringing back the memories. WPLJ was the only station I listened to back then and its very cool to hear the music, and the DJ’s names. Thanks for the bit of “time travel”. This is a keeper for me.

  3. Christopher Whalen

    Where can I buy the CD?

  4. Fred Kahn

    Nice hearing the WPLJ Big Montage. Any of the other mixes they have done? Is there a cd available?

  5. Fred Kahn

    Nice hearing the complete WPLJ montage. Any other mixes from their hey day available? Is there a cd available?

  6. I know you converted this about three years ago now, but I’m hoping you’ll be able to re-do the tape onto 128/44 mp3 in stereo. This really brought back memories but it was frustrating to have it in such a lo-fi format. And in RealAudio? I had to install the player just to listen to your rm file. Plus it seems a little fast.

    Hopefully you can re-do it.



  7. Desmond Dwyer

    This is the radio station that turned me on to rock ‘n’ roll. I was born in Jamaica and grew up listening to reggae mostly, but one day I was station surfing and came across these guys on WPLJ and hearing the opening chords of the The Cars “My Best Friend’s Gir” and my world was changed. I was heartbroken when they changed format back in the 80’s but continued to follow some of the guys on their various forays on other station, especially Pat St.John, Tony Pigg and Dave Hermann. Form me the Classic WPLJ will always be the best.

  8. PhxRocker

    This exhibit is listed as being aired in 1978, but I’m thinking it’s probably really 1979 or 1980.
    Because at the 9:58 mark you hear a few seconds of Led Zeppelin’s “All My Love”, and that song was not released until August 1979!

    Great exhibit, though….

    • Mike R

      Actually you are correct. I have the original recording on the original broadcast date that I made on reel-to-reel and it is dated Jan 31, 1980.

  9. Gary

    Wow, great to hear this after so many years. WPLJ used bits of this as station ID’s, so I’ve heard a lot of it separately. I especially love the “Same Old Song” section. Any change you could slow it down a tad though — it’s a little faster than it should be. Thanks for posting this classic!!

  10. John Barab

    Wow…did that jolt my 5 pound mass of protoplasm…I remember “Focus’s My…” was the bed all the jocks used to do top of the hour IDs…and the flying TV montage ad. The cornerstone of WPLJ tho…was its sound processing…it brought music to life! I would get so bumbed when i’d get a record, then go home and listen to it on my Kenwood…or Marantz..and not hear that reverb/compression. Going to college in DC…I remember how they “tip toed” introducing AOR to the capital, changing format at 8pm…til 1am…DC101. I remember going to their studios and telling the Program Director Dwight Douglas…how their sound was shit compared to PLJ. Deaf ears…sound like a cheap ceramic cartidge needle would. Nice to find this site… I had a weekend overnite stint at Z100 in 1984, though iy only lasted 3 months, it was a thrill for the moment! And I did have a few zingers I threw before the jingle…fun fun fun!(John Barry)

  11. I remember recording this off of a RTR in about October 1979. Pat St. John had announced he would be playing it, in its entirety, and it was a compilation of all of the top of the hour Montages that WPLJ was known for during the era. The credit, for most of it, goes to Carl Albanese who sliced and diced to make it sound tight and fluid. I still have this copy, albeit transferred to MP3, and listen to it in my iPod disguised as a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country. The image music was Focus’ “My Sweetheart”. What is especially evident is the tight processing which the engineers at Empire affectionately called, “pulsating DC.”

  12. jon berger

    grew up on rock in stereo 95.5 WPLJ back in the 70s.WNEW was too stuffy. PIX and 99x were ok I really wish somebody would post an aircheck or two.

  13. Jeff Meena

    Yes, I, too, recorded “The Big Montage” onto my reel-to-reel Sony. To this day, I still listen to it occasionally. I still remember the day that I recorded this while in my Mom’s basement listening to WPLJ and Pat St. John. What fond memories I have of those days and the music that reflected them.

  14. Peter Stoller

    This montage broadcast from late 1979 seems to be the only recording in circulation today, but there was at least one subsequent broadcast in the early 1980s with a slightly different assembly (my recording of it was lost 30 years ago) which included additional montage segments presumably produced after 1979. At least two of them I clearly remember: “The Rolling Stones” which began with several recorded song lyrics of the phrase (Bob Dylan and Deep Purple for example) followed by a string of short but instantly recognizable riffs from Rolling Stones recordings. There was a similar montage produced showcasing The Doors which began with “Don’t you love/the door[s]” cut from Love Her Madly, a string of recognizable Doors riffs, and ended with (“All hail/the door[s]”) cut from The Soft Parade. At least one more montage promoted the radio station’s promising “At least/five/songs/in a row/guaranteed for all”. Rather than ending with Focus’ “My Sweetheart”, my recording of The Big Montage concluded with the original (Four Deuces?) complete recording of the “WPLJ” song and an explanation of “white port and lemon juice”, whereupon the DJ at the time (Pat?) announced he would try some, accompanied by the sound FX of pouring a carbonated drink. “I didn’t know it had fizz,” the DJ commented. End of montage broadcast.

    That long-lost ’80s cut of The Big Montage is the one I’m pining for. I’m hoping someone else’s recording of it will surface one day.

    • The DJ was Pat St. John. I am aware of the other montage although I am not sure who has it. One of my contributors, perhaps.

  15. Ira Leviton

    Awesome. Thank you. I have this on a cassette somewhere that I haven’t played in more than 20 years, but I sure remember it. I once managed to get through to Pat between songs on the radio and asked him to play the Four Deuces’ and Frank Zappa’s versions of WPLJ – which he did. With the Internet it’s possible to listen to them any time, but as a teenager in the 1970s without those albums, it was impossible to hear those songs so it was a huge thrill when he played them.

    What’s the song at 2:37? It sounds like Fleetwood Mac but I can’t place it – I remember being stumped by that one almost 40 years ago when these montages were assembled.

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