“Nightwatch”, 94.5 WLRW Champaign/Urbana IL | September 7, 1969

94.5 Champaign IL WLRW

94.5 WLRW Studio
WLRW Studios from the early 1970s

While there seems to be a fair number of surviving Top 40 station tapes all these years later, other formats didn’t get quite the same amount of attention. Any number of reasons could be a factor in this, not the least of which is lack of interest. With that background, here’s an unlikely format to have been captured: Easy Listening. Often referred to as “Beautiful Music”, these stations played popular music that was re-recorded by lesser-known (usually) groups, and quite often were simply instrumental versions of the original hits.

You’ll notice one thing right off about this recording. The quality of what came out of the FM receiver is stunning. It is in mono, but you’ll hardly notice. This aircheck is 46 years old and sounds better than most FM stations do today – of any format.

This is living proof that here at Airchexx, we don’t just focus on old Top 40. We’re a real radio museum. This is why for the first six months of this site’s existence, we called it “All-Format Airchexx”. Watch for more unique recordings like this one as we roll on through 2017 at the place “Where Classic Radio Lives!”

94.5 Champaign IL WLRW


  1. Robert

    If I were still teaching announcing courses I would make the students re-create a WLRW aircheck. Once they correctly pronounced the call letters W-L-R-W they would pass the course.

  2. Bruce Powell

    Looks like the announcer was wearing a suit even. I can’t remember such formal type attire at any station I worked for in the 70s or 80s. Maybe the sales guys would be well attired, but the jocks, never. Casual to the max. Nice that some places strove to reach a higher plane. Or maybe it was just for the picture.

    • KDS

      Thanks for posting this aircheck. It is indeed a great example of how diverse radio was in its glory days.
      I am pretty sure some on-air personalities dressed in business shirt and tie (sans jacket) in the ’50s and ’60s. It was simply standard practice in many professions that have gradually become more casual with time. I agree that it added a degree of class.
      As the announcer in this aircheck was female I wonder what she was wearing?!

      • Bruce Powell

        I agree, as many professions have become much more relaxed since that period. Guess we’ll never know what she was wearing. I’d imagine, though, a dress might have been considered appropriate in that framework. Thanks for your response to my comment.

  3. André Deschambres

    An interesting air check to read about. Made me wish it was available to listen to!

  4. Visitor Chris Akanora writes:

    “Wonderful time trip. I am almost certain to have heard this show when it

    The host was WLRW’s chief announcer, and later program director, Jody
    Anderson. This was recorded a few weeks before she launched her show
    “Underground”, Sunday & Monday midnight – 2 a.m., also on WLRW and a
    radical departure from their everyday format. Probably influenced by
    Woodstock (the concert, not the album, which hadn’t been released yet) and
    by the underground/progressive sound of stations like KMPX, “Underground”
    played deep cuts by familiar artists like the Who, Steppenwolf and the
    Doors, and more rarely heard artists including John Mayall, Sons of
    Champlin and Man. There were some poetry recordings also. She played the
    Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album in its entirety, the weekend after its

    “Underground” lasted for a couple of years. It had a funky, Hendrix-like
    instrumental theme that I have never been able to identify.

    WLRW changed from Beautiful Music to an Easy Listening format (closer to
    what you hear in this aircheck) in August 1970. Jody Anderson Bowen hosted
    the 6-10 a.m. show for almost seven years. In the mid-70s the station went
    to a Drake-Chenault Solid Gold format. In 1974, Jody had a daughter,
    Jennifer, and left the station to “play house” with her according to

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