Assorted WKNR Airchecks, 1964-1970 – Part 1

Kinda like a large, refrigerated taurine of tapioca… WKNR’s Bob Green, describing the chance of snow in the Detroit area weather forecast, one cold evening in 1968. Contributor Steven Green sent this to us from his collection in Texas, along with six others included on one CD. Highlights: Listen for commercials that you probably never figured you’d ever hear again, such as Manufacturers Bank, Libby’s Tomato Juice and Zestabs Vitamins. That last one, the female voice announcer says ‘the latest thing (that’s not good for you) is cyclamates”. Now, how ironic is it that some ingredient in vitamins is bad, but apparently, carcinogens like asbestos, cigarette smoke and auto emissions weren’t even on the public radar back in the 1960s. Such is the n...

Jerry St. James, WDRQ Detroit | August 1977

From contributor Paul Ford, Here is great aircheck from WDRQ 93.1 FM in Detroit… August 1977 with Jerry St James. Truly representative of many one-man morning shows at the end of the 1970s, here’s one from the FM dial… which at the time was still having difficulty competing with AM radio. Detroit, however, was in a different position, where the dominant Top 40 station for much of the 70s was the Big 8 – CKLW, across the river in Windsor, Ontario. DRQ is really trying to win in this recording, and it sounds great. Wish we had an aircheck¬†of the rest of the broadcast day, which would truly give us a slice of what WDRQ 93 FM sounded like – but I’d bet you could get a feel for its sound by searching for Y-100 Miami on this site since those two stations had a...

QuickCheck: Richard D., WHND 560 Monroe (Detroit) MI | 1983

Here’s a Detroit area station that’s been gone for over 25 years. Our Contributor (“Paul”) writes… (This) came from a long ago defunct radio station…. that was once in it’s heyday as a GREAT (FM) oldies station (WHNE) from 1973 – 1976 until it finally ended up as a has-been AM station until it’s demise around 1990. The demise Paul is describing is the end of the Oldies format on 560. While there is a separate history for the FM side, we’ll concentrate for a moment on the AM signal. Our research indicates that since 1990, there have been three different sets of call letters for 560 in Monroe, Michigan. WHND, WLLZ and WRDT. It’s current license expires on 10.01.2020. As many might expect in this day of greatly diminished reven...

Jim Hampton, 1270 WXYZ Detroit | August, 1966

Date of Recording: 08.xx.1966 Station: 1270 WXYZ Detroit Format: Top 40 Ownership: ABC Featured Air Personality: Jim Hampton Contributor: Jim Hampton Post Date: 11.19.2017 Airchexx Entry: 1,525 Curator’s Notes: This self-submission came along with a few extras from Mr. Hampton’s career. This recording is unique. Hampton is doing the all-night show, and he does everything including the news. There’s one sponsor during his first hour, a local audio retailer selling a record player for automobiles. Apparently, those things worked, I’ve seen pictures. A full newscast read by Hampton is included toward the end of this scoped aircheck.

Lee Alan, 1270 WXYZ Detroit | 1966

Date of Recording: 1966 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 1270 WXYZ Detroit, Michigan, USA Format: Motown/Soul Station Slogan: “Channel 1270“; “The Super Hit Sound” Featured Air Talent: Lee Alan (sp?) Contributor: Jim Hampton Date of Posting: 09.27.2017 Total Time: 12:35 Airchexx Entry: 1,518 This the Horn! Lee Alan who is wonderful for you! Curator’s Notes: This audio came directly off the studio skimmer reel. Notice the distorted and flat EQ response in Lee Alan’s mic. I’d say his voice sounds HORRIBLE in this recording, and one must wonder what it sounded like after AM limiting and processing for air. Someone didn’t watch his board levels!! Other than the obvious mic distortion, the rest of this is pretty clear. It sounds to my trained ears th...

Composite: Detroit/Windsor AM/FM | 1974

Date of Recording: 1974 (Exact Date Unknown) Station(s): WHFI/CKLW/CKLW-FM/WNRS/WXYZ/WDRQ/WPAG Format(s): Various Featured Air Personalities: Various Comments: Some airchecks seem to need perpetual work to bring them back to life. This is one of them. First received at our studios in October, 2002, this recording suffers from tape wear and old age. The best we could do was clean up some of the distortion in Adobe Audition and re-post it. Noise reduction would simply reduce the high end frequency response and boosting the high end would bring up the tape noise. The original cassette this came on is in very delicate shape and playing it to re-record is somewhat risky, therefore we worked with the original .wav file. In what should have been part of our “Old Gold” series (this wou...

Jim Hampton’s Radio Recall Featuring Kris Eric Stevens

Date of Recording: Unknown Station(s): 104.3 WOMC Detroit, Michigan, USA; 890 WLS & 1000 WCFL Chicago, Illinois, USA Format: Oldies Featured Air Personalities: Jim Hampton (WXYZ/WOMC, others); Kris Eric Stevens (WLS/WCFL) Contributor: Jim Hampton Airchexx Entry: 1,486 Comments: Described as perhaps one of the youngest jocks ever on WLS, Kris Eric Stevens is featured in this interview on Jim Hampton’s Radio Recall show. In it, they talk about Stevens’ career at WLS and at WCFL, as he was one of a few jocks who worked both sides of the river in one of America’s closest Top 40 battles in the early 1970s. Radio Recall was a Podcast featured on the Motor City Radio Flashbacks website, which also airs on Classic Hits radio station 104.3 WOMC Detroit. †The program has itR...

Dick Purtan, 95.5 WCZY Detroit | September 20, 1988

Date of Recording: September 20, 1988 Contributor: Russ Horton Station: 95.5 WCZY Detroit Featured Air Talent: Dick Purtan (WCZY, CKLW) Aircheck Entry: 1,403 Comments: Courtesy of New Contributor Russ Horton (above), Detroit’s “Z-95.5” gets its first listen since the station changed formats a long time ago. Dick Purtan is holding down morning drive and there are all the elements that make for great morning radio. News, Traffic, Weather, plenty of music and contests! This is a fun aircheck! Commercials and music are edited out.

WKQI “Q95-5” FM Detroit | July 25, 1998

“It’s a Hotter than Hanson Weekend” Front row seats to Hanson at the Palace… tickets given away all weekend long. I think I’d rather be run over by a garbage truck, but the kids liked Hanson, like they enjoyed the Spice Girls. Well that’s how it was at the tail end of the 1990s. Imaged and branded like a CHR station, Q95-5 here sounds like it’s solidly in the Adult Contemporary world. Certainly, Benny Mardonis – “Into the Night”, even in 1998, wouldn’t mix well with the most pop hit CHR format, save for a specialty show. But this is in-format, and the variety of music from 80s AC/CHR classics to Semisonic and Hootie & The Blowfish is astounding! Lest we forget, 1998-99 was also the time period of the boy bands… Ha...

Taylor and Clark on WKNR Detroit | January 7, 1968

We suspect that Steve Taylor and Gene Clark recorded this show right off the board… in fact, they say that they will record all their shows from now on right at the start of this superb recording. Interestingly enough, they say they will no longer say any words that offend the audience… hmmm, you mean there were shock jocks in 1968? This is a very interesting aircheck for several reasons. First, it’s a broadcast quality aircheck of the morning show on WKNR (not too many of those around), and second, you get to hear about what’s going on in the world in ’68. It may not sound like it going back in this wonderful submission, but 1968 was a VERY long time ago!

Steve Robbins, WKNR “Keener 13” Detroit | January 1967

Not too many Keener airchecks floating around these days but here’s one in incredible audio fidelity! Right off the master reel is a composite of Steve Robbins, not heard anywhere else. Keener was Detroit’s ‘other’ Top 40 station, always in the shadow of CKLW across the river in Windsor Ontario, but WKNR had a very loyal following, especially in the mid-60s before CKLW literally ruled the airwaves of the Motor City!

QuickCheck: “Ted Richards, 800 CKLW (“The Big 8”) Windsor | May 1974

Seals & Crofts are in concert on May 28, The Beach Boys have a new album out, and Teddy Bear Richards counts down the bottom five songs on the CKLW all-time top 500! CKLW today is has a News/Talk format which is programmed entirely for the Canadian audience in Windsor, Ontario. However, in 1974, the hits were aimed straight for the other side of the international border. After all, “Motown” wasn’t just a genre of pop music or a record label, it was everything that encompassed (and what still does) Detroit, Michigan! Since it’s May, and there are still so many fans of The Big 8 and Teddy Bear Richards on both sides of the border, lets have a quick slice of history!

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