Station: 970 WWDJ Hackensack NJ
Format: Top 40
Featured Air Personality: Bill Bailey (WWDJ/WLS/WGVU/others)
Contributor: Sandy Bailey
Post Date: 12.17.2017
Total Time: 3:39
Airchexx Entry: 1,535
Bill Bailey playing the songs by request…
There were two people named Bill Bailey who worked in radio, and whom many remember. The first was “The Duke of Louisville”, who was known primarily for his work at WAKY. He passed away a number of years ago. I had spoken at length with one of his good friends and collegues, Tom Prestigiacomo about his career when Tom and I worked together at WMC-FM Memphis. The ‘other’ Bill Bailey worked at several different large and major market stations around the country and is the subject of this short but original aircheck from reel.
This comes to us by way of Bill Bailey’s wife, Sandy. Sandy Bailey had written in a Facebook radio group that she had a few dozen airchecks of her late husband that she had to get rid of and wanted to know if there was a place that could possibly archive them, as she felt that her husband’s work should be saved for the future. We reached out to Sandy, who wrote back the following:
(My) Bill was on WLS with John Landecker and Chuck Knapp. He did nights 9pm-1am. The tapes that I was able to salvage are Bill at different radio stations all over the country (we moved over a dozen times) including WLS. I have jingle packages also. I am from Chicago and also have a passion for radio. Working at WLS was a dream. I started working there in Traffic 6 months before Bill arrived. When I saw Bill come in the door it was love at first sight for both of us. We were together for over 40 years.
Sandy Bailey speaks of Bill’s time at 89 WLS, since that was the highlight of her husband’s radio career (naturally, it would have been mine or yours as well!). I was not aware that he had worked at WWDJ. This is one of the rare treats we’ve come across over the years, in that not only do we have a major early/mid 70s AM Top 40 air talent here but a very rare aircheck of a station that has few recordings floating around. WWDJ was the little station that tried and at least in Northern NJ, could, for a time, while in the shadow of New York City and the AM giants like WABC, WMCA and even WNBC. It runs well under 5 minutes, but considering the painfully short amount of time our listeners stay on one page (according to google), this probably works for most of you.
6 thoughts on “Bill Bailey, 97 WWDJ Hackensack NJ | 1972”
In the late ’60s, 970 in Hackensack was WJRZ and it was country. In fact, at least one of their jocks (Lee Arnold) went to NYC’s WHN when it went country.
I grew up in the Boston area, and as far as I know Bill never worked in Boston. I wish he had been on the air there. He’s very talented; outstanding voice and great top 40 delivery!
Yes he was. But he’s gone now as well, which is why his wife sent me all the airchecks she could find.
I worked with Bill at KZBS Oklahoma City I did mornings & Bill followed me on the radio. I was amazed how humble and polite he was a true gem to hang with. Bill you are missed ( Gone To Soon ).
The date of this aircheck would most likely be Monday 11/15/1971 in the 11AM hour.
News headline mentions the death of Russian spy Rudolf Abel which occurred on that date.
WWDJ music survey for 11/19/1971 which includes chart positions for the prior week:
That does seem logical. I posted the date as it was written on the reel it came from. All the Bill Bailey airchecks come from his estate via his widow, Sandy Bailey. Other than those dates written (which might have been taped over with a later aircheck – I used to do that sometimes and forget to write the new date on it), the only other clues are on the recording itself. I could literally spend a whole day looking up news items. Some things are obvious clues. Others not so much. Thanks for the info.