Big Ron O’Brien

The Big Ron O’Brien Files, Part 3: 102.7 KIIS-FM, KIIS 1150 AM Los Angeles | October 7, 1986

Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks, yet another original Ron O’Brien recording from the generocity of his estate. This is a pretty good recording, with just a bit of FM static. Otherwise, the dynamic range is excellent and Big Ron sounds right at home at “The New Kiss FM & AM”. Apparently, KIIS-FM was in the midst of a bit of a re-tooling of the overall sound, de-emphasizing Rock cuts and adding in more Rhythmic songs and there is a promo stating as much heard about mid way through. As is often the case with west coast airchecks, I know very little about the particulars of air staff and format, and will rely on our listeners’ comments (to our Facebook and Twitter accounts) to fill in the blanks.

The Big Ron O’Brien Files, Part 2: Giant 1130 WCAR Detroit | March 16, 1972

That’s Neil Young, he’s got a Heart of Gold. I would settle for an aorta of silver… The Big Ron O’Brien Files will eventually end up on its own page, due to the sheer number of airchecks available from the estate. Here’s Part Two of the collaboration between Big Apple Airchecks and us featuring the very best of one of America’s legendary radio dj’s! This is also the first aircheck dedicated to the station once known as WCAR. There was also another station, on 1090 in Detroit which also used the WCAR call letters. This one was known, during the early and mid-1970s, as “Giant 1130”, a 50,000 watt Top 40 station which began as a “Good Music” station earlier in the 1960s. It was known as such because the owner was not a fan of R...

The Big Ron O’Brien Files, 95.5 WPGC Morningside 1977

We run a family show here… Picking up where we left off some time ago in 2018, the parade of Big Ron O’Brien (Richard Walls) aircheck tapes continues on courtesy of the family of the late Big Ron via Big Apple Airchecks. In this 12+ minute clip, we find our subject at another legendary station (at least legendary during this time period), the AM/FM Top 40 combo of WPGC 1580/95.5. This aircheck really is the perfect combination of a pristine original recording made from the FM side and Big Ron’s sarcasm – which makes him so darn FUNNY! If you have the patience, listen to all 12 minutes of this aircheck to be amazed. Every break, every time. Then come back soon for MORE in our new series of “The Big Ron O’Brien Files”.   WPGC 95.5 has been Urban...

Big Ron O’Brien, Willie B & Tom Murphy; 68 WRKO Boston | November 30, 1978

Six O’Clock on your cruise through the ozone with Big Ron O’Brien… Curator’s Notes: A full, daytime scope of WRKO and a few of its iconic personalities are featured here in late 1978. It opens with Big Ron O’Brien, then Willie B., and finally Tom Murphy. In the case of Tom Murphy, this is only the second aircheck featuring him, and listening as I edited the audio, I could swear that this was Harry Nelson! As some would say, however, it’s all in the signal processing. You’ll laugh, listening to Ron O’Brien try to pronounce words in this aircheck where Ron’s having a bit of trouble with his tongue this day! Aside from that, this aircheck roars past at the speed of light! This is a super-tight Top 40 format, true to RKO General form, and t...

Ron O’Brien, WOKY Milwaukee | March 26, 1976

Station: 920 WOKY Milwaukee (Wikipedia) (Website) Format: Top 40 Branded: “Woky“, “The Mighty 92” Ownership: (Then) – Bartell (Now) – iHeartRadio Featured Air Personality: Big Ron O’Brien Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks Airchexx #1609   WOKY, Great sinalong record that’s the Bellamy Brothers... Voluntary Subscription Options Yearly Subscription : $80.00 USD – yearlyMonthly : $10.00 USD – monthlyWeekly : $3.00 USD – weekly Curator’s Notes: Remembering the legacy that was Big Ron on the radio, here’s one that goes back to the early part of Ron’s career.  It’s also our first post highlighting Top 40 legend WOKY! Here are some other Big Ron O’Brien Airchexx that you may enjoy!: Ron O’Brien, WC...

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...

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...

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