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Ken Gilbert on “Wacky 102” circa 1981
Ken Gilbert has had a long career in radio, all of it in the New England region. Ken is best known for doing middays at WAQY Springfield in it’s top 40 incarnation as “Wacky 102” and at WDRC AM-FM Hartford in its top 40 and Oldies iterations.

As a personal gift to Ken, I’ve started re-mastering his skimmer tapes from the WAQY studio. For the average listener, a skimmer tape is a cassette or reel that turns on and off when the microphone button is pushed in the radio station studio, that way a record of what the DJ says is kept – usually for ‘aircheck’ sessions. Sessions with the DJ and program director intended to help improve the jock’s presentation on the air. Whether these tapes were used for such training sessions for Ken Gilbert is unknown, and I rather doubt it since Ken was one of, if not THE best personality on Wacky 102. Ken probably just loaded a tape in the machine to archive his show.

For this project, I’ve done the reverse of what I normally do with airchecks on this website. I have re-inserted the music into this aircheck- thus, a 30-minute’ scope’ comes out to 3:20:02 once completed. This particular tape took SIX HOURS to restore. The process involves matching up the tempo and pitch of every song with the tails present on the tape. It’s somewhat labor-intensive. Note to Airchexx fans: We will be offering PREMIUM content to subscribers in the near future, with an affordable subscription price. This is necessary for the continued development of this website. It’s also going to be something radio and music fans will enjoy! Coming soon!

Source ‘scoped aircheck provided by contributor Paul DiMarco

By Steve West

Steve West is a 41 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve is the founder of and - All the BIG Hits!

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