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Big Apple Airchecks
As part of our celebration of the 50th anniversary of WABC’s format change to Top 40 full time, here’s Chuck Leonard as heard on his show on 4/2/79.

This is another high quality original recording thanks to Big Apple Airchecks. Leonard is in top form, as the final year of true Top 40 rolls on through the Disco era at WABC. Check out the original commercials, included!

MusicRadio 77 WABC - 1978 Bumper Sticker

By Steve West

Steve West is a 41 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve is the founder of and - All the BIG Hits!

9 thoughts on “Chuck Leonard, 77 WABC New York | April 2, 1979”
  1. Fantastic Chuck Leonard — “The Best Who Ever Did It, and Got Away With It……..” He was the greatest and a “True Radio” Broadcasting Innovator at Music Radio77WABC-AM, 50KW in New
    York City. I will never forget that night in the 1970’s when I
    visited Chuck in the studios of WABC, and saw him work his on-air
    Radio Magic. As I conduct my weekly radio show on Power 106.9,
    WPHR-FM in Syracuse, N.Y., I always credit my dear friend Chuck
    Leonard as “one” of my greatest motivators as I get behind the
    microphone for some “Super Radio Fun.!!” Wow!!!! He was the
    “Real Deal in Radio …….” Long Live his Radio Legacy at Music
    Radio77WABC —- “Those Radio Nights were Magical!!”

  2. I remember when I first heard Chuck on WABC. I wanted to sound just like him. Then I saw him. He was black. I can’t sound like Chuck Leonard. I’m white, but I got as close as I could. The smoothest jock I ever heard. I miss him greatly.

  3. Personally, I love it. This aircheck brings back great memories of listening to WABC at night during my senior year of high school. It makes me wonder, though, if WABC might have lasted a little longer as a music station if it had ratcheted back the massive amount of disco music on its playlist.

  4. Chuck Le0nard is Smooth, and believe me when he first got the Job, he was hired on a recomendation regarding his performance! He was one who got the oppourtunity which makes me say for every Chuck, how many others didnt get the opporutinty to preform, with the exception of BILL BAILEY who I think sounds just as smooth as Chuck!

  5. Not only did WABC roll on as a true Top 40 station during the disco era, but, also, this was, to a certain extent, a disco *station*. (This was during WABC’s brief (the spring and probably early summer of 1979) era as a hybrid of disco and Top 40, mixing its usual mix of contemporary pop (disco crossovers included) and rock with disco that otherwise didn’t cross over to *adult-contemporary* **OR** to Top-40 radio.

  6. George Michael pointed out that part of WABC’s demise was that they chose to play the extended versions of all the hot disco records… which meant fewer songs and fewer jingles. If you didn’t like disco, you tuned out. They got back on track later in ’79, but never recovered the massive numbers from just a year prior.

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