Dude Walker, WRQX “MusicRadio” Q107 Washington DC | April 27, 1979

The hot phrase in Top 40 radio at the end of the 70s had to be MusicRadio. At this point in it’s history, 107.3 FM in Washington DC was Top 40 as WRQX. Known as “Q107”, the air staff called it at times, “The New Q107”, “MusicRadio Q107” or just “Q107”. Despite the three rotating monnikers, it worked and Q107 became a very successful Top 40/CHR station as the station subsequently moved into the 1980s.

This is a great recording of Dude Walker, who is right in the middle of a very LONG commercial-free set (going on three hours commercial free by the end of this aircheck). This means that without any jingles or commercials, its ALL Dude Walker and a stack of teeny bopper records!

Neatly scoped from one hour down to just over six minutes by your humble webmaster, you get a feel for the pace of Q107. Its very up-tempo, with a lot of contests and plenty of excitement to keep listeners hooked hour after hour. It helps that the music during this era wasn’t too bad, either. πŸ™‚

Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks.


  1. brianCarter

    one of the great radio battles of all time Q107 vs WPGC circa 1979

  2. A great aircheck, although it was needlessly edited with “Airchexx.com” jingles inserted by someone.

    Q107 was just starting to get going in 1979 and, with all due respect, my cousins were loyal to 1580 AM on the portable radios around the house in Landover — prior to the grand exodus to Gaithersburg by white families.

    Even with Scott Shannon’s WPGC-AM & FM still a giant with a great morning show, Q107 would kill ’em by being smarter than the aircheck here presents listeners.

    This was ABC’s attempt to be a relevant CHR and in many ways mirrors what WLS, not WABC, was doing.

    Q107 finally hit its stride in 1981-82 by embracing the rock hits from acts like Asia, John Cougar, Loverboy, Rolling Stones, etc. In those days, that was a successful way to attract young white kids who didn’t want to hear Disco or anything “ethnic” – sorry to say, but that was DC circa 1982.

    WPGC aged badly after Scott Shannon went to Tampa, and never recovered as a mainstream CHR.

    Q107 had a great competitor in WAVA, but we all remember how awful 105 was in its earliest days, with “Charlie and Harrigan” and bad jingles preceding Don Geronimo’s afternoon arrival.

    Ahh … the memories!

  3. This check was recorded about 11 days after Q107 flipped from AOR to CHR (format changed on April 16th, 1979 IIRC). Dude Walker did nighrs in the first few months before moving on to mornings, replacing Ted Carson (who went back to Houston). Dude Walker stayed at Q107 until he was replaced by Elliot & Woodside in 1981 and went across the street to WPGC.

    Incidentally, the “Musicradio” phrase was first used in Washington at WPGC until it was phrased out in 1978. When Q107 signed on, they adopted the “Musicradio” phrase, which led to both stations crying foul when Arbitron allowed ratings credit to both stations that used the slogan. Although WPGC used the slogan first in the market, Q107 was the rightful owner since it was copyrighted by ABC and Q107 was owned by ABC.


  4. Kevin MacNutt

    My earliest memories of radio was Q107 with both Dude Walker and some guy named Dr. Johnny in the box around 1980-82. I could be thinking of a different station, but didn’t Q107 become more of an album oriented station at night for a few years.

  5. Kevin, you weren’t imagining things. Q-107 did went through a phase in 1980-82 where they leaned toward AOR hits (similar to what sister outlet WLS/Chicago was doing at the time). It wasn’t successful and they went back to Mainstream CHR by the Fall of 1982. This happened around the time that WPGC switched from Top 40 to AC, leaving Q-107 as the market’s lone Top 40 outlet, until WAVA went Top 40 one year later, setting the stage for the WAVA-Q-107 battle that would remain for the rest of the 80s.

  6. The Summer of 1981 was when Q107 debuted its ill-fated, ‘Q-Phase 2’ campaign, jettisoning Top 40 mechanics in favor of not talking up song intros, letting songs fade into oblivion, eliminating jingles, etc. In essence, the presentation became very Album Rock Oriented and was a huge failure. By the time ABC management realized their mistake it was too late.

    WPGC meanwhile kept up the promotional pressure at full speed and quickly rebounded, reclaiming the CHR crown which it retained until the Fall of 1982 when Marriott ownership made the asinine decision to change the format to Adult Contemporary, blowing off half the audience in one ratings book from 633,000 to 306,000 in just 90 days!

    In the absence of a direct format competitor, Q107 shot to #1 by default until WAVA came along using WPGC’s (((Reverb)))!

  7. Harvey

    Damn I was there—lots of memories…too bad we dont have Dr Johnny singing “Bars”. Great memories of a great radio station and time

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