John Mack, 1380 WAMS Wilmington DE | August 3, 1979
Was THIS any way for a great Top 40 station to end up? A Traveler’s Advisory Station?!!
WAMS, the call letters, went through a number of frequency changes at the end of it’s life from around 2000 till the end. Sitting on 1590, 1600, 1250 and even 101.1 FM fairly recently, this once GREAT radio station sure fell a long way.
Lets do what we do best, and turn back the hands of time.. this time, to one of the greatest years of AM Top 40, before the whole format flamed out and ended up reborn on FM – 1979. It’s August 3rd of that year, and an unbearable Summer on the northern Eastern Shore of MD. You’re cruising along U.S. Hwy 13, the main route from Wilmington and parts north, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The top is down on your convertable and the Cumulous Clouds are building – you can hear the static in the background as you’re cruising to the Top Hits on WAMS 1380.
This is, understandably, for those of us around 50 years old, something of an audio treasure, along the lines of what someone around 60 feels when hearing Cousin Brucie on WABC from 1969. Only better! Sure, the (barf) sounds of Rex Smith (we really PLAYED him on the radio??) and the Charlie Daniels Band were fantastic on a well compressed AM station like this. And to hear Casey Casem doing an exciting spot for “American Graffiti” – just a WOW moment!
As you can tell, your webmaster really went to radio heaven listening to this. Everything from the boring, to the many Disco hits you hear parts of, to a jock with a decent sense of humor, even to the transmitter blinking on and off to the rhythm of dancing lightning bolts – which is why you hear a bit more of “Smoke On The Water” than we’d normally leave in a scoped aircheck – just so you can hear the transmitter hiccup!
We don’t know anything about our jock, except for he’s not the same “Mack” who did the overnight trucking show on WWL New Orleans. And WAMS? Stayed with Top 40 till 1988! Bravo to them for sticking it out that long. Today, its all part of radio history, one that we’re proud to show right here!