New York City Blackout – Radio Coverage | July 13, 1977 – Reloaded

July… Heat, Humidity, Hot Dogs… you know the drill. Often, especially in the Northeast, one of those cool fronts brings relief but they also bring trouble. This particular night in 1977 is remembered by nearly every New Yorker around back then. It started off as a miserably hot day, then a BIG storm front blew in… but it was only one of a chain of events that would leave Big Apple residents in the dark.

Radio covered it well. Lots of audio from WABC, WCBS, WINS & others.


  1. Ken

    I remember this quite well. I was 10 Years old. I lived in Jackson Heights. I do remember the WABC coverage, but mostly due to the booming reverb…That still worked? Gerorge Micheal.

    Wow, the whole block was out..what a party. But I think it was mostly to protect the neighborhood. I remember going to bed and getting no relief from the heat…Son of Sam, The HeatWave, The Blackout, and NYC in the Summer of 77 at it’s worst..God I still miss it

  2. Leu

    If memory serves, the reverb was added at the transmitter in Lodi, NJ. Ergo, a power disruption in New York City would not have affected the reverb.

  3. Allan

    I was watching TV in NJ and all of a sudden all the channels went out, found out the next morning what happened.

  4. Tony

    The first big blackout I remember was November 1965 which involved most of the northeast including NYC and part of Canada.

    WABC airchecks of that blackout also are available. It started about 5:30 p.m. Eastern time on Dan Ingram’s show.

    1977 — First world championship for the Yankees with Reggie Jackson who had been signed in November 1976.

    And the first world championship for young George Steinbrenner.


  5. Tony

    While WABC’s George Michael did his best, he kept repeating the same information.

    It’s obvious that the place to tune for information during the blackwout was WCBS-AM from what we could hear on this aircheck.

    We really cannot tell from this tape what WINS’ coverage was like.


  6. I remember this day. I was 6 years old. It was so exciting. I lived in Marine Park Brooklyn, where there was looting all along Flatbush ave! Thanks for posting this.

  7. swami

    I was 18 and living in Connecticut. I was watching some network show when a bulletin cut in and informed us of the blackout.
    I also remember the plague of burglaries that followed. Awful images.

  8. Many of the stations were hard to decipher, but WABC is and always be the most recognized and remarkable radio station ever!

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