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Bob Vernon, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | 1974

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Bob Vernon at WRAL Raleigh

New Yorkers will remember Bob Vernon, or “Vernon with a V” as he called himself, from his years hosting afternoon drive on 66 WNBC. Every time I listen to one of his airchecks, I’m struck by how “strange” a character he seemed to be. Perhaps it was all schtick. Vernon sounds as if he had an enormous ego to go along with all 50-thousand of those watts he was broadcasting with.

Before WNBC, Bob Vernon was in Cleveland at WGAR. Captured here on tape from several months before moving to New York City, Here’s Vernon sounding exactly the same as he did at WNBC. Often, it’s uncanny how personalities keep the same mannerisms no matter what station they go to during their careers. Perhaps that’s a sign of a mature broadcaster, one whose sure of himself and whose character is easily transplanted from one city to the next.

I’m not sure, but I think my favorite part of this aircheck are the WGAR jingles. WGAR was owned by the Nationwide Insurance Company and used a piece of their “Nationwide is on Your Side” jingle within jingles used at their stations (93.1 WPOC Baltimore was very similar in this regard up through the 1990s). Although… you’ll be hard-pressed to hear that logo on this aircheck. Perhaps we’re a few years too early.

Technical

This recording was digitized from reel to reel, and it sounds excellent. There’s virtually no compression and, very much as AM radio was in the early & mid-70s very clean, without digital or electronic noise.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Big Apple Airchecks is one of our original contributors, having donated several hundred airchecks since 2002. Matt is an aircheck collector and maintains a library of cassette tapes in the thousands. You can view most of his collection at BigAppleAirchecks.com, where he has his tapes meticulously cataloged by market and tape number. Matt trades with other collectors, so if you have something of interest, you may wish to contact him. His email address is matt@bigappleairchecks.com.

Matt lives on Long Island with his wife Marcy, their daughter, and three cats.

1 thought on “Bob Vernon, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | 1974

  1. stevetefft

    I discovered “Vernon With a V” in the summer of ‘75 on 66-WNBC. He did the afternoon shift, sandwiched between Cousin Bruce Morrow(10-2) and Oogie Pringle/Plain Al Brady(6-10). You’re correct that he sounded the same in Cleveland as he did in New York. Vernon later went to TV and became a news anchor in Nashville. He died several years ago.

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