Big Apple Airchecks

Frank Kingston Smith, 105.7 WVBF Framingham (Boston) | August 15, 1978

Recording Date: 08.15.1978 Station: 105.7 WVBF (defunct) Framingham Ma (Wikipedia) Format: Top 40 Branded: “F-105” Ownership: Fairbanks Communications Featured Air Personality: Frank Kingston Smith (Bobby Mitchell at WRKO) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 17:00 (Telescoped) Aircheck #1,581 F-105 Carly and James. Good morning! It’s 7:13 with Big Frank… Curator’s Notes: Frank Kingston Smith is well known in Boston, having appeared on nearly all the Top 40 stations at one time or another. He was a longtime personality on the Top 40 format at 68 WRKO (AM), first as Bobby Mitchell in the Drake era and later as himself. Smith was also heard for a little while on 98.5 when it was WROR after flipping to live (assist) AC from automated Oldies. In fact, he w...

World Exclusive! Ron O’Brien, 68 WRKO Boston | September 17, 1978

Recording Date: 09.17.1978 Station: 680 WRKO (WNAC) Boston Format: Top 40 Branded: 68 WRKO – Boston’s Concert Station; Boston’s Super Star Station Featured Air Personality: Ron O’Brien (Real Name: Richard Walls; October 24, 1951 – April 27, 2008) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 22:39 Aircheck #1,580 WRKO.. Yes, if I had to pick between loving and fist fights, I’d pick love every time!!… Curator’s Notes: There’s not much I can say to describe this aircheck. You really must listen for yourself. This is probably the best that WRKO ever sounded as a Top 40 station. (All you current WRKO Talk listeners never heard what this station REALLY was like) WRKO simply COOKS! RKO General really knew how to program a tight radio station. And th...

Dick Summer, 95.5 WPLJ New York | 1973

Recording Date: 1973 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 95.5 WPLJ (WABC-FM) New York (Wikipedia) (Website) Branded: “Rock ‘N Stereo” Format: Freeform Album Rock Ownership: The American Broadcasting Company / ABC (Current:) Cumulus Media Sister Stations: 770 WABC/WABC-TV 7 (Current:) 770 WABC/WABC-TV 7/94.7 WNSH/103.9 WMBN Featured Air Personality: Dick Summer (WBZ/WPLJ/WNBC/WYNY/others) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 12:25 (Telescoped) #1,576 If you’re 90 years old this Spring and you’re getting married, I suggest you be very careful… Curator’s Notes: If you’ve never heard the beginnings of Freeform Album Rock, this will be quite a shock. There’s almost no trace of any real ‘hard’ rock here. Plenty of album cuts and...

Imus in the Morning – Final Show; 77 WABC New York | March 29, 2018 Part 1

Recording Date: 03.29.2018 Station: 770 WABC New York Format: News/Talk Branded: “Where New York Comes To Talk” Ownership: Cumulus Media Featured Air Personality: Don Imus (Imus in the Morning) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks #1,575 You have no idea… how much I’m gonna miss you… Curator’s Notes: The recording has much white noise in it, however, it’s listenable. I have no words.  The great Imus.  Down to this.  Whether he was forced out or chose to go out and retire on his own is certainly Imus’ business.  But at the end of this long aircheck, Imus gets very emotional.  His deep pipes now very light and raspy, a shell of the ‘shock jock’ he once was, Don Imus performs the final Imus In the Morning Program ever. There’s more...

World Exclusive! Big Ron O’Brien, AM 1490 KBAB Indianola, Iowa | Composite 1969/1970

Recording date: Sometime between late 1969 and early 1970 Station: 1490 KBAB (Defunct) Indianola, Iowa Format: Top 40 Branded: “Boss Radio” (Faux) Ownership: Unknown Featured Air Personality: Big Ron O’Brien Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks #1,574     The Two words describe Ron O’Brien… Curator’s Notes: This aircheck is an original.  Recorded on a two track reel, this was given to Big Apple Airchecks by Ron, himself, just prior to his untimely death in 2008.  We are honored to present this to you, as it came from Big Ron O’Brien himself!

Big Ron O’Brien, 66 WNBC New York | February 2, 1982

Recording Date: 02.04.1982 Station: 66 WNBC (defunct) (W2XY/WBAY/WEAF/WRCA/WNBC) New York (Wikipedia) Format: Adult Contemporary Branding: “Sixty Six, W NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN B C” Ownership: The National Broadcasting Company Featured Air Personality: Big Ron O’Brien (02.24.1951 – 04.27.2008) (Obit) (Wikipedia) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 12:53 (Telescoped) #1,573         W NNNNN B C! Four Fourteen with the all-night creature feature… Curator’s Notes: Knowing Big Ron was in a class by himself, having worked with many of the legends, such as Larry Lujack at WCFL and all, one would think that this talented guy would be holding down drive time on what by 1982 was New York City’s de-facto Top 40 station. Adult oriented...

Tony Pigg, 95.5 WPLJ New York City | September 2, 1977

Recording Date: 09.02.1977 Station: 95.5 WPLJ (WABC-FM) New York (Wikipedia) (Website) Format: Album Oriented Rock (AOR) Branded: “New York’s Best Rock” Ownership: (Then) American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / (Now) Cumulus Media (Website) Featured Air Personality: Tony Pigg Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks #1,571             It’s Tony Pigg at W P L J… and this is vintage Steve Miller Curator’s Notes: Well, the jocks could say pretty much what they want within the constraints of WPLJ’s album rock format, but Tony Pigg really plays it straight in this 15 minute ‘scoped aircheck (The unscoped version I WANTED to post runs 1 hour 20 minutes!). Tony Pigg, I’m told but can’t verify, was at the station from ...

Mike Wynn, 1280 KJOY Stockton CA | 1978

Date of Recording: Unknown Station: 1280 KJOY Stockton (Website) Format: Top 40 Branded: “The Great 128” Featured Air Personalities: Mike Wynn (DeeJay), Jeff Stein (News) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 11:53 Airchexx Entry: 1,548 Good morning all over your body…! Curator’s Notes: Knowing virtually nothing of radio in Stockton, California, it took a bit of poking around to get the history of this radio station. First off, there is nothing that I can describe about this station that isn’t outlined in fairly great detail at the station’s tribute website, //www.kjoy1280.com. A word about the tape quality. Overall, pretty good. It was received, however, recorded off-speed. I had to adjust for a recording that sounded a few semitones too high (an...

Frank Kingston Smith, WBZ Boston | December 28, 1979

Date of Recording: 12.28.1979 Station: 1030 WBZ Boston Format: Full Service Adult Contemporary Branding: “WBZ Radio 1030” Featured Air Personality: Frank Kingston Smith (Bobby Mitchell) (WFIL/WIBG/WICE/WRKO/WABC/WHDH/WVBF/WBZ/WRKO/WKKT/WODS) (Wikipedia) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Total Time: 9:48 (telescoped) Airchexx Entry: 1,545 Don Kent likes to keep the weather secret… Curator’s Notes: Considered the first commercial radio station in the United States, WBZ 1030 was one of New England’s original Top 40 stations. WBZ joined WMEX it was the second Top 40 station in Boston. When WRKO (ex WNAC) flipped to Top 40 in March, 1967, along with increased competition in the format, WBZ dumped Top 40 for Middle of the Road music (later termed Adult Contemporary)....

Jim Collins & “The Time Machine”, 66 WNBC New York | November 29, 1987

Date of Recording: 11.29.1987 Station: 660 WNBC New York (W2XY/WBAY/WEAF/WRCA/WNBC) Format: Full-Service Gold-Based Adult Contemporary Branding: “Sixty-Six W NNNNNNNN BC“ Featured Air Personality: Jim Collins (WPGC/WNBC/others) Contributor: Frank Davis Total Time: 54:10 Airchexx Entry: 1,542 WNBC Burnin’ up in a heatwave of hot STEAMING Rock N Roll!… Curator’s Notes: But, you say, this aircheck is already posted!! Well, yes. But this is the LONG version. Our Christmas present to you is this 54 minute clip of WNBC’s signature Oldies program, “The Time Machine”. Pre-dated in the New York area ONLY by 101.1 WCBS-FM, this was simply the best Oldies show on the air at that time. The whole idea was to re-create the 1960s sound of 77 WABC, and, righ...

Wink Martindale, 980 KFWB Los Angeles | June 2, 1965

Date of Recording: 06.02.1965 Station: 980 KFWB Los Angeles Format: Top 40 Featured Air Personality: Wink Martindale (WHBQ, KFWB) Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Post Date: 12.03.2017 Airchexx Entry: 1,530 The KFWB Principal of the Year contest has just two weeks to go!… Curator’s Notes: If you thought Wink Martindale seemed a little ‘stiff’ on the WHBQ “Saturday Morning Dance Party” from 1956, here’s a different side of Wink. Martindale is doing the morning show on KFWB and this is a music intensive show with a very upbeat presentation! The “Principal of the Year” contest is in full swing. Is there a station doing a similar promotion today, in the U.S. or Canada? Also, this comes with an obligatory PARENTAL ADVISORY for advertisements...

New England Sampler #3: Radio 85 WHDH Boston | April 1, 1980

Date of Recording: 04.01.1980 Station: 850 WHDH Boston Format: Full Service Adult Contemporary (Dayparted: News/Talk all night) Featured Air Personalities: Sean Casey, others Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Post Date: 12.3.2017 Total Time: 6:23 Airchexx Entry: 1,529 …This oughtta be the first day of Spring! Curator’s Notes: This is from an interesting time, of which I’d call more of a time of transition for WHDH. Transition because at this point in time, WHDH was becoming a more contemporary radio station than it had been for a long time. Through the 60s and 70s, WHDH played a much more ‘Middle of the Road’ blend of music, much softer and non-Rock based than it’s competition. For decades, the station’s main competitor was crosstown WBZ. In fact, w...

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