Contributor(s):Matt Seinberg (Big Apple Airchecks); Lee Chambers (WPGC Tribute Site)
Station: 95.5 WPGC-FM Morningside MD
Featured Jock(s): Don Bishop, Max Wolf & Don Geronimo
Aircheck Entry: #1,839
This Composite is actually four very short airchecks put together to form one decent composite representing the overall sound of WPGC in the early 80s before the station dropped Top 40 for Urban. Don Bishop is the first jock heard, his portion runs less than two minutes. Next, Max Wolf, who says two lines in about a minute, then two different recordings of Don Geronimo. The last two almost sound seamless, but you’ll figure it out when you hear Geronimo talking about getting up early, then playing two oldies! (and that’s how scary it got in 1981, when they tried anything, musically, to keep the audience).
I said in an earlier aircheck post that there isn’t an aircheck of Don Geronimo that I don’t like. This even reinforces that belief. What a talent! Don Bishop sounds good enough to have been a major morning show force, but unless he went on to a big show somewhere in the last 30 years under a different name, I don’t remember him. Max Wolf – we don’t get to hear enough of him, but what we hear shows that he certainly was a fit on WPGC.
The one feature of WPGC that stands out from this Composite is personality. What makes for great radio really IS what goes on between the songs.
For you who are still working in radio, here’s a few things to note.
Tom Prestigiacomo (WAKY, WMC-FM) once said that no matter what format you’re working in, when you crack that mic, talk to the people. Envision that there’s just ONE person you’re making eye contact with, and just speak as if its you and him/her. Get intimate with your listeners, or make them laugh. You only get one shot to get it right. No, you’ll never get to sound like WPGC does here (unless you’re programming your station in which case, please, GO FOR IT!), but whatever format you work in, make your listener smile. If you can do that, you’ll always be able to communicate in radio. Make someone smile today! 🙂
3 thoughts on “Composite: 95.5 WPGC-FM Washington DC | 1980-1981”
WPGC was always my ‘Base’ radio station, shall I say. From the dreadful microphone dub of the top 100 of 1964 until the Top 40 format disappeared. Somewhere around here I have dubs of the Top 100’s WPGC offered up until the bitter end of Top 40. The real treat is my copy of the top 100 of 1970. from I think #35 down to #1, it is a complete recording. The DJ, Harve Moore(The morning Mayer), all the adds, all the comedy, it is all there! It makes me kind of sad I would sit up for hours cutting all the adds out. I have several of the 80’s years in the same way, uncut. I have no reel to reel machine, and want one, but it would be an expensive studio model. Money is the block. My goal is to digitize the tapes. and yes, they still play even after all these years. Everything was recorded on Mylar based tape.. You awakened a dream!!
This is a mish-mash of four unrelated tapes. First is Don Bishop, the second time he was at WPGC from the Summer of 1980. Over a year later is Max Wolf, the day of the Ramblin’ Raft Race in August, 1981. Followed by Don Geronimo from Fall, 1980. Then a different tape of Geronimo from August, 1981 which aired immediately after the Max Wolf tape.
Considering how atypically large WPGC’s Adult audience was, two Oldies in a row wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. At the time, many of them had listened to the station for well over a decade!
I’d have to agree about two oldies back to back. WPGC indeed had that kind of audience. PGC was certainly not the only station known for doing that, however. In researching many of the remaining AM (only) Top 40 stations at that time, I found that MOST played a generous dose of ‘gold’ records in-format.
It is indeed four different recordings, all of which arrived on one Washington DC-region tape from Big Apple Airchecks. How it works is, BAA is an aircheck trader (such people do still exist). The site owner, Matt, got those recordings from Lee Chambers, who runs the WPGC Tribute Page… and most of the recordings Mr. Chambers has were recorded by him. So… yeah, these are originals but put on the source tape out of order. I’ll guarantee the authenticity of the recordings. And you are correct about the dates.