1020 KDKA Pittsburgh Covers the Blizzard of 1977 | January 28, 1977

We’re having a blizzard this afternoon… don’t let these warm temperatures fool ya now Please scroll down to read an important message Curator’s Notes: After I spilled hot coffee all over my brand new keyboard, I got the bright idea that since this Summer has been so unbelievably hot around the country, perhaps it would be interesting to hear what the weather was like back in 1977. After all, the snow will be here sooner or later and you can put your AC unit away for the year. What you will hear in this 24 hour composite is quite unbelievable. Some of us are old enough to remember just how bitter the winters were in 1977, 78, 79 right up through about 1983. But it’s different when you HEAR the radio announcer say it’s going to be 15-30 BELOW zero! How lon...

Pittsburgh FMs – A tale of Contrasts | 1980s

More proof that FM radio in the 80s was unique and alive… here’s a look at two Pittsburgh FM stations – no two stations could be more different than these, WAMO 106.7 (Urban) and 100.7 “Double X” WXXP (Alternative). This starts out with an unidentified female DJ and moves on to Derrick Allen on WAMO. Then over to crosstown WXXP with Paul Cramer. * Note: Mr. Cramer has written in to say that the date of this aircheck is from June 10, 1988. Please note the correct spelling of his name as of this update. WAMO continues as of this writing with an Urban format, WXXP has been gone since 1988 (you can read an archived article from the Daily Collegian dated 9/6/88 here.)

Composite: 970 WWSW Pittsburgh | July, 1980

Date of Recording: 07.xx.1980 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 970 WWSW (WTKN/WBGG) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Format: Full Service Adult Contemporary Featured Air Personalities: Charlie Warren, George Heart, Jay Mitchell Contributor: Robyn Watts Airchexx Entry: 1,461 “…In a 1979 People Magazine Poll, who was America’s favorite MALE singer?“ Comments The first half of this recording is dedicated to Charlie Warren and the morning show. Investigating the history of WWSW, there is very little reference to the slogan by which the station is branded here in 1980 – “Double Double”. There’s even a jingle package cut for it. Of course, the talent uses both Double Double and 970 WWSW to identify the station, which on this recording sounds very good. N...

Jim Quinn, 1410 KQV Pittsburgh | May, 1971

Date of Recording: 05.xx.1971 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 1410 KQV Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Format: Top 40 Featured Air Personality: Jim Quinn Contributor: Robyn Watts Airchexx Entry: 1,459 “Once again, we are giving away hot pants!” Comments: Sounding much as if a table microphone was placed in front of a transistor radio speaker, here’s a quick aircheck of Jim Quinn. Quinn runs a very up-tempo show and has a good sense of humor. There is a promotion going on, giving away ‘hot pants’. The first break you hear there’s a winner on the phone. KQV was the leading Top 40 station in Pittsburgh in 1971 – an era before FM listening had caught up with AM. You’ll enjoy this 4:25 scope of 14/KQV! Click to Donate Now!

Mike McGann, 1250 WTAE Pittsburgh | December, 1973

Date of Recording: 12.1973 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 1250 WTAE Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Featured Air Talent: Mike McGann Contributor: Mike McGann Airchexx Entry: 1,451 “Nostalgia Radio. Playin’ it like it was with Roy Orbison!” Comments: Fake or real Drake formatics and jingles abound in this short scope provided by and of Contributor Mike McGann. The station’s imaging voice is none other than Charlie Van Dyke. It’s pretty straight forward and a tight presentation overall. Listen about halfway in to a promo for Byron McGregor’s “The Americans”. Don’t forget that this was a commentary from the legendary Canadian broadcaster which was turned into a single and played on a number of radio stations across North America in 1973. Very...

Mike McGann, 96.1 WXKX Pittsburgh | 1982

Date of Recording: 1982 (Exact date unknown) Station: 96.1 WXKX Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Featured Air Talent: Mike McGann (WIXZ, WXKX) Contributor: Mike McGann Airchexx Entry: 1,450 Comments: We can’t pin down the exact date of this scope but essentially, its from sometime in 1982. The recording itself was pretty good quality, we only did some light processing. The aircheck was already scoped down by it’s Contributor.

Marco Polo, WKTQ Pittsburgh | May 28, 1973

Date of Recording: May 28, 1973 Station: 1320 WKTQ Pittsburgh Featured Air Talent: Marco Polo Contributor: Robyn Watts Aircheck Entry: 1,413 Comments: How many stations used an approach similar to this one in the early to mid 70s? WKTQ is branded here as The New 13Q. “Don’t Say Hello, say I Listen to the New Sound of 13Q”. And if you do, you win MONEY! Well, yes. One can compare this to WAVZ New Haven around the same time and hear a nearly identical approach. The jock is Marco Polo, although we don’t know his real name… or maybe that IS his real name! This is 5 minutes long but the quality is so good you’ll think you’re hearing it for the first time on a widebanded receiver!

Lonnie Davis, Bumper Morgan & Ray Davis, WWSW 3WS AM/FM Pittsburgh

While the audio is perfectly normal for a typical Oldies outlet in the Steel City, there’s some mystique surrounding a radio station which there’s no date printed on the recording. We hear Bumper Morgan once, Lonnie Davis once, and a promo for Bill Worthington, but otherwise this is a rather ho-hum run of the mill Oldies station. The AM side of this aircheck is on 970 and now apparently is doing some other format, the FM is 94.5 and is still doing oldies… well, Classic Hits today.

Johnny Williams, WTAE Pittsburgh | 1976

Date of Recording: 1976 (exact date unknown) Contributor: Tom Lacko Station(s): WTAE 1250, WTAE-FM 96.1 Featured Jock: Johnny Williams Aircheck Entry: 1,394 Comments: Donated to our archives over ten years ago, Contributor Tom Lacko sent in this recording that he entitled “WTAE Transitions to 96 KX”. Indeed, this does sound like format change day on the FM side of this simulcast of 96.1 FM / 1250 AM. The change happened at 6pm at the conclusion of the Johnny Williams show. Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact date for the format change but it is known that just before the change, the FM side would separate from the AM and play Disco all night long. The format change brought a Rock Leaning Top 40 format and the call letters WXKX. The station has been airing a CHR format e...

Jerry Kristafer, 96.9 WFFM “FM 97” Braddock (Pittsburgh) PA | February, 1981

From Contributor Robyn Watts, here’s our first aircheck of Jerry Kristopher (WKCI, WDRC-FM), and he’s not in the Hartford, Connecticut market! In a sense, this is sort of a boring aircheck. FM 97, not much of a slogan in and of itself, is solidly an Adult Contemporary station. Perhaps the station was trying to find its way. In 1981, FM was just coming into its own and many stations didn’t quite know which way to go formatically. Those which didn’t go CHR or Country or AOR were lost in the shuffle for a time. Perhaps this is what happened to WFFM. The station has been gone for so long, there’s not even an original logo scan out there anywhere. Today, it’s Variety Hits 96.9 “Bob-FM”. After all, who needs disc jockeys? Aircheck #1,252 since May ...

Herb Crow, WWSW “3WS” Pittsburgh | October 8, 1980

Here’s another station from the Steel City which hasn’t got much exposure. “3WS” is apparently still around, although we’re not sure what format its running these days. The tape at hand was sent in by Robyn Watts. It highlights 3WS as an Oldies station in October of 1980. It sounds like the morning show, Herb Crow is very personable. Interestingly enough, the 3WS jingles are one of the JAM WABC cuts and while the jingles sound GOOD, its a little wierd hearing “MusicRadio 3WS” in an Oldies format. Just sayin’. Aircheck #1,252 since May 2, 2002>/center>

Bob Gray, 1320 WKTQ Pittsburgh | 1977

Contributor Rob Grayson is understandably proud to say he was part of Cecil Heftel’s WKTQ Pittsburgh. Known as 13Q, a Top 40 powerhouse created by Buzz Bennett, this station was a major force in the market through much of the 1970s. Here’s what the airstaff of 13Q looked like during the station’s golden years. (Courtesy of Jeff Roteman’s 13Q Tribute website) This is so tightly scoped down you have to listen closely or you’ll miss something. You have to admit, from what you hear of the playlist, 13Q was a real Rocker! From Abba to Kansas and everything in between, the station was exciting to listen to! Here’s a lesson in how to do Top 40 radio the right way!

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