From contributor Steven Green.
Here’s an excellent quality recording of WROR‘s Oldies show which aired each Saturday night. It was a throwback to the station’s prior Oldies – based Adult Contemporary format and skewed very old- mostly 1950s Do-wop and early 60s titles were featured. Joe Martelle was WROR‘s Morning Man in 1981.
“Saturday Night Live At The Oldies” was arguably the most popular show on the old WROR on 98.5 and ran from 1977 when the station first started playing some contemporary music until 1991, when WROR became WBMX “Mix 98.5”
So much has changed since the time of this aircheck. Frequency and format changes over the years has altered the entire FM landscape. Starting in 1991, as I just mentioned, when WROR became WBMX, that was the first of these changes. In 1996, the station once known as WVBF (then WCLB/WKLB) changed formats from Country to Classic Hits by owner Greater Media, which brought back the WROR call letters. This version of WROR was originally intended to directly compete with Oldies 103.3 WODS. This version of WROR is still there as of this writing.
Back to 98.5. In 2008, the WBMX call letters were changed to WWBX, which had been in use in Bangor, Maine, from 1995-2008. In July 2009, Entercom (now Audacy), the then owner of 104.1 WBCN, ended that station’s decades-long Rock format and deleted the call letters as part of moving WBMX from 98.5 to 104.1. They moved WBMX so that they could launch a new Sports station to compete with WEEI on 98.5. WBZ-FM in its current incarnation was born from this move. Ironically, WBZ-FM was the Westinghouse sister station to WBZ (AM) until 1981, when those call letters were dropped from 106.7 and the station sold; the new station was, and still is, WMJX “Magic 106.7”
Those are the station changes relating to WROR and 98.5 FM. The changes to the Boston radio market can be difficult to keep up with. Just since 1995, for example, here’s a very brief rundown of some of those changes:
93.7 is All-Sports WEEI-FM and has been since the mid-90s
96.9 went from Country to Smooth Jazz, to FM Talk, to Rhythmic AC as WBQT
98.5 went from WBMX to WWBX to WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub”
99.5 was Adult Contemporary in 1995 when they flipped to Smooth Jazz as WOAZ, then eventually to Classical when WCRB moved from 102.5 to 99.5
And that’s just a sample. You can read more about the Boston radio market at what used to be known as “The Boston Radio Archives“