Station(s): 1010 WINS / 1050 WMGM (WHN/WFAN/WUKQ/WEVD/WEPN) New York City, New York, USA
Format: Top 40
Featured Air Talent: Various
Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks
This is a great comparison between two competing Top 40 stations. 1961 was so early in the top 40 game that WABC was just in its infancy with its then-new format. This recording doesn’t include ABC.
WINS, of course, went on to become the nation’s first All-News station. WMGM simply reverted to the previous call letters on 1050, WHN, and then after several years as an MOR station, became synonymous with Country Music in New York starting in 1973 for the next decade.
More information about this aircheck is presented by visitor comments (below).
14 thoughts on “Composite: WINS and WMGM New York | September 17, 1961”
A great composite. There aren’t that many 1010 WINS and 1050 WHN/WMGM airchecks floating around out there. The audio is pretty good too. I will say this, WINS played the hits of the day but the jock sounded like he just pulled a shift at 1130 WNEW! Very laid back sound and delivery. WMGM air talent sounded a bit more up-beat.
The first DJ on this clip is Paul Sherman long time veteran on 1010 Wins starting in the early 40’s and doing news after the format change in 1965.He was Alan Freeds personal first choice for fill in and I used to have Paul filling in for Murray the K on the “Swinging Soiree” in 1962 on a 30 minute tape.
What was WMCA doing at this time?
WMCA was top 40 in 1961 (had been top 40 for at least 4 or 5 years by then), but not that successful. In fact, early 1962 became a very weird time in New York radio, with WMGM, WINS & WMCA all dumping top 40 for MOR. It left WABC, the newest player in the format, the only top 40 station in New York for the first six months of 1962, establishing them for the next 2 decades . WMGM reverted to their pre-1947 call letters, WHN, & stayed MOR until early 1973. But both WMCA & WINS switched back to top 40 in the early summer of 1962, with WMCA adopting the super-successful “Good Guys” tag.
One more thing: The clip of WMGM playing “Michael” was not from October, it was from the week of September 12, 1961, when “Michael” was #3 on the WMGM survey.
Don,right on about the date. When playing back the tape towards the end of it the date September 17 was mentioned!
From what I have read, WMCA had actually been Top 40 for only 3 to 3 1/2 years at the time of this aircheck (it went to its legendary Top-40 rock’n’roll format in 1958).
Where are those W MGM Hosts ?
Peter Trip Curly Head Kid 3rd row
According to Rick Sklar’s book, “Rockin’ America”, WMCA went Top 40 in early 1958. But I’ve seen WMCA Top 20 record lists from ’57, so it appears they were playing Top 40 music then. I don’t know what MCA’s daytime ratings were in the late 50s and early 60s, but according an article in Billboard in 1960, Scott Muni was New York’s top-rated nighttime DJ in 1959-60. (Bruce Morrow was the evening DJ on WINS then.)
Also, to answer an earlier question, the DJ on WMGM here is Norm Stevens (who sounds more like a typical 60s
Top 40 DJ than Paul Sherman did on WINS).
Are you sure that WMCA actually went to an MOR format in early ’62? I wasn’t listening to the station then, but according to a Billboard article in June ’62, MCA was still Top 40 then. They had only “softened” their sound by dropping some of the more uptempo rock and R&B records (something like “Twist & Shout”, for instance). Of course, that would have left WABC as the only New York station playing those songs.
Does anybody know the whereabouts of Bob Badger, from WPTR, Albany NY in 1964?
I’m glad top 40 got it’s energy in the days of WABC. I’d
fall asleep listening to WINS & WMGM!
Can anyone tell me if my memory is correct, that Peter Tripp (sp?) who used the moniker “Curly headed kid in the third row” was an MGM DJ? I remember listening to him (i think he also had a female sidekick) in the mornings as I got ready to for school, so he had to be doing the early AM stint. I am almost sure that it was on MGM, but I am old now and memory is not that reliable.
Yes, Peter Tripp was on WMGM from 4 to 8 PM, with his “Top 40 Hits of the Week” countdown show. The morning DJ that you recall was Ted Brown, who did indeed have a female sidekick. It was his then-wife, who he called “the Redhead”.