Ken Gilbert, “Jukebox Saturday Night”, 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford | 1985
From Contributor Ken Gilbert (Current Morning Man at 92.1 WVTK Port Henry, NY)! Ken writes:
“This is an aircheck from around (19)85? Dean Richards helps me open Juke Box Saturday Night on WDRC FM.)
There’s more heritage at 102.9 WDRC-FM than most stations can boast! Perhaps a great place to start is Man From Mars Productions‘ unofficial WDRC AM and FM fan site, wdrcobg.com! Why do I send you there? Because after you listen to this aircheck (and you really should listen here then go there in THAT order, to get the full effect), you’ll realize the true sense of HISTORY, that the folks programming Big D 103 were trying to convey.
Its 1985. DRC-FM had been a Top 40 station (along with its sister station, AM 1360 WDRC) for a few years (technically, back to 1973 with a few years from ’77 to ’80 as an album rocker), following in the tradition of the AM side. And NOW, in 1985, DRC-FM had moved in the Oldies direction (and I say ‘direction’ because if I remember correctly, DRC-FM still played currents up until 1986, but its been a long time and so details are a bit sketchy). So, Jukebox Saturday Night, was a great way to expose the audience to a format WDRC-FM was considering, while using the name of a Big Band Show (really!) in New York at WNEW!
Here are the little details that some younger visitors to here might not quite get. The jingles used for all EXCEPT the Top of the Hour ID, for this show, were the ones used on AM 1360 throughout most of the 1970s… and the PAMS cuts go way back to the 1960s! These were ORIGINAL AM-side jingles, not WDRC-FM re-sings! Very classy! Of note here, when WDRC-FM went oldies, they had their own Oldies Big D 103 jingles cut, and they used the Big D 103 slogan through the mid 1990s, not going to the formal 102.9 exact frequency until sometime after, say 1996? Perhaps later. Somebody knows.
The reverb was used on WDRC (AM) in the 1960s. Given the music focus, 60s and 70s (and for quite a while after this aircheck, DRC-FM would narrow down musically to 50s, and 60s only, up to about 1972.!!) used here, it was totally appropriate.
Ken Gilbert… fantastic talent, throwback to the Top 40 era – I believe that when this was recorded, WDRC was in transition from Top 40 to Oldies – both here at WDRC AM and FM, and at WAQY Springfield in their “Wacky 102 FM” days prior to 1981. In fact, out of fairness to Ken, here’s a few links… On Top 40 WDRC from 1982. And, on Top 40 WDRC (AM) in January, 1983, and again in July, 1983.