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This blows by in less than four minutes but is a good representation of what evolved into the Washington DC market’s biggest Urban station. Seemingly every major market had one by the time 1979 was over. A Disco station. If anything, this represents the format that put the final nail in AM Top 40’s coffin. By the time most of these Disco stations moved on to a different format, around 1981, most of the AM Top 40 stations had given up on the format.

Casablanca Records – THE Disco label!!

Speaking of format.  Not to get too far off the subject, but “Disco 93” did what many ‘disco’ stations did when the genre fell out of vogue, and that was to morph into an Urban station.   So, since about 1981 or so, WKYS has been the leading Urban station in Washington DC, sharing it’s audience with WPGC (which dumped CHR for Urban around the same time).  Urban is the market leading format in the DC area.


Donnie Simpson is a big name in the DC market. To think, in many ways, to what came later in this market, it all started right here at WKYS.


WKYS “Disco 93” Washington DC

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!

One thought on “Donnie Simpson, 93.9 WKYS “Disco 93” Washington DC | 1979”
  1. I was an Air Personality in Knoxville, Tennessee in the late 70’s to mid 80’s and listening to Donnie Simpson’s Air Check reminds me of radio at it’s best when it was about the DJ and his show.Donnie is truly one of the best.

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