Imagine my surprise when editing this tape labelled, “Dan Ingram 77 WABC 7-71″ and finding out that the afternoon this was recorded, the contributor was going back and forth between the other two powerhouse Top 40 stations at the time: 97 WWDJ out of Hackensack, NJ and 98.7 WOR-FM NYC! Actually, this turns out to be a real treasure! Comparing afternoon shows on these three stations gives one a front row seat to how radio was in 1971 in the nation’s #1 radio market! The only thing missing is 66 WNBC – however, in 1971, WNBC wasn’t doing a Top 40 format, so this aircheck really did combine the three stations that were playing the hits and catering to young people at that time.
Of course, there’s no comparison whatsoever as far as ratings went. While both WOR-FM and WWDJ technically ‘showed up’ in the ratings books, both were far behind WABC. Perhaps it isn’t even fair to compare these three LEGENDARY jocks in the same aircheck. Bwana Johnny was well known in his own right and Walt Baby Love was known and LOVED by so many who followed his career, as he did a fantastic personality-driven presentation in Top 40 radio through the 1970s, then into Urban radio in the 1980s before moving into Gospel. Walt Baby Love was incredible! But neither one of those jocks holds a candle to the wit and humor of Dan Ingram, especially in 1971. Big Dan, arguably, was at the pinnacle of his career (a long pinnacle that would last right up to the end of WABC in 1982), and while great by themselves, neither Bwana Johnny nor Walt Baby Love sound anything close to as personable as Dan Ingram.
This is my personal opinion, mind you. Your mileage may vary.
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This tape was remastered to -5 db, although there are spots that are a bit lower than that, that I wasn’t willing to compress to normalize everything because that would have made this aircheck sound ‘crunched’.
That might make sense only to audio engineers.
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About the Contributor
Steven Green lived in the New York City area and was privileged to be able to record most of the big radio stations of the day. Steven said that WABC was by far, his favorite radio station during the years that WABC was a music station. He was also a big fan of WNBC, especially in 1987-1988 during its weekend and overnight “Time Machine” format. Steven Green has donated dozens of airchecks to this website and is also building his own collection in the national online archives at archive.org.