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Boston

Dale Dorman, 68 WRKO Boston | July 4, 1972

Dale Dorman was always fun, silly and just an all around kidder. And he’s at his best on this cool Summer morning here as Boston celebrates America’s Independence by tuning in to WRKO! Well, okay maybe thats not how all Bostonians did it but many were tuned in to Uncle Dale every morning. I’m always struck by how in the early 70s, WRKO really had a laid back sound that didn’t quite fit many of the ‘typical’ RKO stations around the country. Jingles were used infrequently and the whole atmosphere at WRKO at the time seemed less intense as one would expect from this Top 40 giant. Indeed, by 1976, WRKO was the hottest sounding station in Boston, and perhaps in many ways one of the best in the U.S. but this was the post-Drake era (by a couple of years). Other...

Jackson Armstrong on 1510 WMEX Boston | February, 1968

Jackson Armstrong seems to be one of airchexx.com’s favorites – his name shows up in our search page almost as frequently as Dan Ingram – and little wonder why! One of the fastest talkers ever, Armstrong has a long history of gracing radio stations with his mouth, one of them being WMEX Boston. Here’s a young Jackson Armstrong with vocal cords engaged – certainly revving up WMEX – which at this time was in hot pursuit of WRKO. This aircheck literally rolls along at light speed! Listen how Armstrong plays the Rolling Stones jingle, then never misses a beat in ‘fixing’ it. You’ll also hear those custom PAMS jingle cuts exclusively for WMEX. The “Good Guys” were definitely cookin’ in Boston in ’68!

Boston Sampler #1: WRKO / WVBF

Courtesy of Contributor Frank Davis, here’s a wonderful composite featuring two of Boston’s legendary Top 40 stations. It starts with Harry Nelson on WRKO, then moves on into the wierdest thing your webmaster’s heard come out of a radio (and I’ve heard a lot of strange things over the years). WVBF apparently has just tweaked it’s format to rebrand as the “New” F-105. It sounds like the station had been taken over by robots… some 150 years in the future (they even say that on the air). It’s just something you have to listen to. I’m sure that some programmer who knew what WVBF was up to back in ’76 can explain this better than I. The rest of this aircheck is mainly Mike Addams on the Big 68 WRKO, with the exception of ONE brea...

Chuck Knapp, 68 WRKO Boston | August, 1967

WRKO in 1967… the call letters scream Bill Drake, but in this aircheck, the signature Drake sound, and jingles, are not there. In fact, when WRKO launched, in March of ’67, the station launched without the talents of the talented consultant. You’ll also hear some slight reverb on this recording. WRKO DID, in fact, use reverb before the Drake consultancy. The exact timeline of WRKO events is listed at WRKO.org, at this link. Chuck Knapp has a very upbeat show. He also screams “Your Leeeeadddder”, much like Jackson Armstrong. Or, perhaps Armstrong heard it here first. No matter. This is a GOOD recording, one that hasn’t seen the light of day until now.

Alan Kabel, 94.5 WZOU Boston | Undated

Courtesy of Contributor Robyn Watts. From “East Coast Airchecks” ™ volume #89, here’s one of the hottest night jocks we’ve ever heard! Alan Kabel (sounds like “Kibble” on the air) is a screamer, and WZOU is hotter than a firecracker in a two-way CHR war with crosstown WXKS-FM “Kiss 108”. We’re guessing that this was recorded sometime in 1991, based upon Boys to Men airplay. Going through the archives we found this tape – and remembered that we apparently overlooked this ‘check of WZOU. This station was probably the best CHR that Boston ever had. A station that consolodation destroyed.

Joe Martelle, Rock & Roll Reunion, 98.5 WROR Boston Pt. 2 | March 17, 1985

Posting out of order, here’s part two of a two part aircheck of Joe Martelle’s “Saturday Night at the Oldies”, which ran for many years on the old 98.5 WROR. This event was actually an all-weekend affair, with former RKO jocks and some others coming in to join Martelle on the air. It made for very exciting radio! In this segment, guest jocks include J.J. Jeffrey, Dan Donovan (WMEX, WFIL) and the musician Little Anthony. Listen for lots of old WROR jingles and imaging, and a special ‘aircheck montage’ put together by Joe Martelle’s morning news guy Lou Josephs. Special emphasis is given to WROR’s sister station, 68 WRKO, as many of the personalities featured here were on WRKO during the years when WROR was an automated Oldies station during th...

Jojo Kincaid, WVBF Framingham (Boston) | October, 1978

Jojo Kincaid has long been one of your webmaster’s favorites. Here’s Mr. Kincaid doing what he does best, and the tempo is so fast, the show so tight, it’s hard to keep up! The best Top 40 jocks were fast and this ‘check doesn’t disappoint! Recorded on a Friday night, Jojo Kincaid is kicking off a weekend dedicated to the ladies. You’d think that something like this would mean lots of sappy love songs… but not on the New F105! Its up tempo through most of this recording. This was from a time when WVBF had just got rid of most of it’s Disco. So, the playlist is VERY Rock oriented. No jingles here, as ‘VBF ditched the jingles in ’77 when it went to the F105 monniker. Jingles wouldn’t return until the Fall of 1980 shortly befor...

WBMX Boston, “The New Sound of Mix 98-5” | May 1, 1999

Here’s a rather generic ‘check of WBMX Boston as it kicked off the final Summer of the 1990s. Plenty of sweepers and creative imaging reflecting Mix 98-5’s contests and music here. While scoped, you can really get a feel for the wide variety of music that the station was playing at the time. I was never terribly impressed by most of the ‘Mix’-branded HotAC formats of the time, but there was a very tight competition between WBMX and suburban (Worcester) 104.5 WXLO in the format which started in 1984 when 104.5 first aqcuired the WXLO call letters and launched their HotAC format from the Worcester Center Galleria (98.5 was then WROR), right up to present, and because of that, both stations have benefitted greatly from the necessary high level of creativity and f...

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