Russ Cassidy, WCMS “FM 100” Norfolk Va | February 17, 1988

…FM 100 WCMS, Your Station Of The Stars!

In what might just turn out to be the only remaining aircheck of the old WCMS (AM 1050, FM 100.5), here’s a recording I made while living in Portsmouth, Va. I was stationed in Norfolk during the years 1985-1988, much of that time in the Naval shipyards in Portsmouth. WCMS was the leading Country music station in those years. Other stations came and went. For a time, there was WKEZ “Keys Country” at 94.1 on the Penninsula. Then, I think around 1987 there was WSKX, “Kix 106” on 106.9 in Suffolk. WKEZ lasted for a while. 106.9 did not. As I recall they went Classic Rock. The Norfolk market is much changed these days with the main Country station being WGH 97.3. WCMS no longer exists (but the call letters are in use at 94.5 in Hattaras, NC). Back in ’88, WGH-FM was a huge Top 40 station.

This is about WCMS. 100.5 had a great lineup in 1988. A very stable airstaff as I recall. Joe Hoppel was the longtime morning show host. Russ Cassidy had middays for much, if not all the time that I was stationed in Norfolk. I don’t recall the pm drive host nor the evening host, but I believe, again, that the staff was very stable. During this time, the station was an AM/FM simulcast from dawn till dusk. WCMS AM 1050 was a daytime only operation and went off the air at night to protect AM 1050 in New York City (primarilly).

100.5 WCMS Country Classics AM 1050 FM Station of the Stars Joe Hoppel Russ Cassidy Norfolk Virginia Beach Hampton Roads Barnstable Citadel Entercom The Maxx Rock Alternative WGH Eagle" title="100.5 WCMS Country Classics AM 1050 FM Station of the Stars Joe Hoppel Russ Cassidy Norfolk Virginia Beach Hampton Roads Barnstable Citadel Entercom The Maxx Rock Alternative WGH Eagle

11 Replies to “Russ Cassidy, WCMS “FM 100” Norfolk Va | February 17, 1988”

  1. Renee

    Russ Cassidy was my father, he passed away in 2005 and I miss him every day—-I have not heard his voice in many years. Thank you for posting this…

    • Donald Blake

      Renee, I am very sorry to hear that your Father had passed back in 2005. He was a good friend of mine in our youth, starting in the 1st grade at Jane Bryan Elementary. He and his family then lived on Seaboard Avenue in Buckroe. After his father died, he and his Mother moved to Duncan Drive. When I starting working at the amusement park as a teenager, I persuaded Mrs Lena Gilbert to hire him. It was there he met Gloria Jean Saunders, Mrs Gilbert’s niece who became his wife. I last talked to Russ when Mrs. Gilbert’s family asked me to attend a birthday party for Mrs Gilbert, and the family asked me to contact as many of the boys that used to work for her. When I talked to him, I learned that he and Gloria had divorced, and that he thought it best to not attend. Since then, I lost contact with him, and was just recently made aware by a former neighbor that he had died. Please accept my sincere condolonces. Donnie Blake


    Russ was doing the 6pm til midnight shift when I did the all night as the midnight cowboy. WEould love to hear from some listeners WCMS carolina Charly The earl of Norfolk Thanks

    • Ken hancheck

      Cheyene Cody here along with my wife Gail Keener aka Denver Darling played in Carolina Charlie’s band after the four c’s from 1970 to 1975.

  3. Bill Shelton

    I remember listening to Russ on WCMS. What a great personality and a wonderful voice. I used to stop by and see Russ when he did remotes over in Hampton/Newport News. One of the nicest men I’ve had the privilege to meet. I think WCMS started dying when Russ left. My humble opinion. Russ inspired me to be a “jock.” Thanks Russ for the memories. Finding this air check inspires me to get back into my voiceover work! And Renee, rest assured that your Dad was loved by everyone that he came in touch with! I’m so glad that I got to know him.

  4. Randy

    when i was a kid back i the 70’s wcms had a goodie wagon but i need help they played a song of a auctioneer and i cant find that song or know who sung it they played it often like 1975 it was not Leroy Vandyke ca anyone please help me.

  5. Mike Burnette

    Russ and Joe influence me from 1976 and on. I came over to tryout for a traffic slot when I was 20 years old and VERY green. Got to meet Russ that day. Like meeting a movie star for me at the time. I was quite good enough, but I kept working at it and became a decent DJ for American Forces Radio from 1986-2012. I now have my own on-line Christian Top 40 Independent station. Radio has never been as good as they did it. Mike “MoonDog” Burnette

  6. Tucker

    Renee? I grew up listening to WCMS and your dad, Russ Cassidy was my absolute favorite disk jockey. The guy had such a smooth, friendly, thoroughly enjoyable voice and on-air presence and he had a style that I always thought was unequaled across the spectrum of Country & Western radio. In the summer time, when I was a teenager and got a break from high school, I used to carry a pocket sized transistor radio around with me everywhere I went – and I always had it tuned to WCMS and listened to Russ Cassidy every day. I am so sorry for your loss, and admire the fact that you still miss him and are willing to share your respect and feelings of loss.

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