Jim Stevens, 1400 WLLH / 99.5 WLLH-FM Lowell Mass | July 25, 1964
**LISTENING OPTIONS ARE PROVIDED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST**
This is actually somewhat complicated. Apparently provided by Ron Gitschier on cassette for contributor David Boucher, this is an aircheck that goes back to an interesting time in New England radio broadcasting history. WLLH was one of those synchronized stations. Much like WBZ/WBZA, WLLH had two transmitters with the same callsign, in two different cities. Lowell and Lawrence. Thus the “LL” in WLLH. According to Wikipedia, the station had plans to add a transmitter in Haverhill… which was the “H” in the callsign:
There are actually two transmitters with the call sign WLLH. Both operate at 1,000 watts using non-directional antennas on AM 1400. One is in Lowell, and there was a synchronous transmitter in Lawrence, together forming the two Ls in the call sign. (There were once plans for a transmitter in Haverhill, — the H — but it was not built.) The station has shut off the Lowell transmitter and change the City of License to Lawrence.
The technical description out of the way, now a bit about the tape itself. The start of this tape has a watermark for “Man From Mars Productions”. A cursory check of the manfrommars.com website shows that, indeed, the source cassette includes the subject aircheck on Ed Brouder’s “Man From Mars Productions” website, so we must also include that in our list of credits. HERE IS THE PAGE LISTING THIS AIRCHECK. From what I can tell, this aircheck was originally recorded BY Ed Brouder.
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From 1964, this actually is a very good quality recording. It is, however, at least second generation. It’s likely that the source aircheck recording was performed on a high-end reel-to-reel machine and has since been dubbed to cassette, which is what we received. There is quite a bit of white noise. That can come from being a second generation recording, as tape hiss heard on the original recording gets amplified on a cassette dub. Were this a third or fourth generation copy, it would have been more than hiss… the entire recording would become muffled. At least the audio fidelity remains fairly good throughout most of this aircheck. It’s likely this was recorded from the FM side, and that would explain much of the white noise.
Listen for Jim Stevens playing the hits, then “Double L News at 25, with an all-of-a-sudden very serious Jim Stevens reporting.
I found this whole recording very interesting. First, WLLH sounds almost 5 years behind the times in its presentation… yes, in my opinion they sound rather late 50s, early 60s sounding. WLLH is playing ALL the hit songs. Even the ones mom and pop would like. Frank Sinatra actually was a Top 40 artist in 1964 so don’t laugh.
WLLH-FM was destined to become adult “Beautiful Music” formatted 99.5 WSSH later in the 70s. “Wish 99.5” morphed into a sleepy soft AC in the 80s, gradually going mainstream AC, and then becoming WKLB during one of that country station’s incarnations (think of it… 105.7, then 96.9, 99.5 and then 102.5… but it has become successful. A different story we tell elsewhere on Airchexx).
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Because this aircheck at its source comes from a subscription service, we cannot provide a YouTube video aircheck because that could be downloaded. This is out of respect for the original aircheck provider. Should we receive information that this is not the case, we will create YouTube content for this aircheck.