1220 WGAR

John Lanagan, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | February 4, 1977

“What a pain in your assets!”     Curator’s Notes: Every time I hear an aircheck of WGAR from the late seventies, it’s always tight, the jocks funny and the music is right on the mark. One would expect no less from the flagship station of Nationwide Communications – you know, the insurance company.. Now, for this one, we squeeze about 12 and a half minutes out of. The quality is so-so. This has a lot of white noise, which, despite my best efforts, I decided to keep in, instead of take the white noise out and have a recording that sounds like digital artifacts. So, its there. And realistically, one could be listening from Toledo and hear the same white noise. So it’s a throwback to yesteryear in many respects. Advertisements

Bob James, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | February 3, 1978

Date of Recording: February 3, 1978 Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Station: 1220 WGAR Cleveland Featured Air Talent: “The Real” Bob James Aircheck Entry: 1,400 Comments: WGAR (AM) was the flagship station of Nationwide Communications. Like many of the national radio ownership groups at the time, Nationwide placed emphasis on high quality broadcasting, personality driven stations with a well processed audio chain. In the case of WGAR, there was ‘light’ reverb in the audio chain. It was highly compressed and the modulation was CRANKED… but it was very clean. Jingles were from JAM Creative Productions in Dallas. WGAR had a full news department and led the Cleveland market in all dayparts during this time period. There’s a full newscast here read by John C...

Chip Binder, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | 1979

This was emailed in a few weeks ago from Joy Binder! Chip Binder did overnights for a time on WGAR, but frankly, he’s so good I would have thought he was doing morning drive! Here’s “Musicradio 1220” in fine late-70s form, complete with reverb (just a touch) and a set of JAM WABC jingles to compliment the hits of the day. Unfortunately, even if this were unscoped, you wouldn’t hear much in the way of music since this 10 minutes of extremely crisp audio consist mainly of Chip and a couple of long, complete stopsets…. still, listen for the commercials, and realize that 1979 was a very LONG time ago indeed!

Fig Newton (Dave Newton) on 1220 WGAR Cleveland | June 27, 1980

Fig Newton… what’s in a name? Plenty, if you’re from northeast Ohio. This is a pretty good morning show, reminiscent of Gary McKee on WQXI Atlanta. But this is Cleveland and WGAR is in it’s last days as a Top 40 station. Indeed, by mid-1980 many of the big and medium AM music stations were dumping their formats for something a bit more adult-oriented, but here, WGAR is still playing the hits. Fig is identified by one of our commenters as Dave Newton, who also was heard in the Cleveland market at WWWE (now WTAM) for a time. Listen for Jam jingles used at the time at WLS… a GREAT sounding package for this station!

Chip Binder, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | April 22, 1980

The second of two perfect-quality, right off the air monitor airchecks of Chip Binder on WGAR courtesy of Joy Binder! This time from 1980, listen as Musicradio 1220 sounds essentially as it did in ’79, complete with reverb and all! Be amazed realizing that Chip was an overnight guy… who today with that talent and voice would probably be holding down a top 10 morning drive gig with a partner. Why? Well, the obvious. Overnights almost everywhere today are either voicetracked, a satellite feed or jockless. And if there’s actually a live jock on the air, they usually sound horrible (apologies to all the overnight jocks out there, but hey, everybody starts somewhere, right?). But certainly almost nowhere does one hear an overnight jock with the professionalism heard on this 6 ...

Phil Gardner, 1220 WGAR Cleveland | May 1976

Phil Gardner is celebrating his two year anniversary on WGAR, and judging from the outstanding audio quality, it might have been put out on vynl or something – either that or someone took exceptionally good care of their tape! Dick Clark even sent audio congratulations for Phil’s show! Listen for Phil Gardner’s rendition of Byron McGregor’s “Our Americans”… almost the same, but with a few twists. (Frankly, this doesn’t even compare with the CKLW version) We LOVE the WGAR jingles here, and the reverb is SUPERB making WGAR sound larger than life! This is an impressive aircheck, one that you should NOT miss!

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