Sample: 94.1 WQXI-FM Smyrna GA | 1969
Station: 94.1 WQXI-FM (WDJK/WKXI/WQXI-FM/WSTR) Smyrna, Georgia, USA
Format: Easy Listening
Featured Air Personality: Jim Rich (Business News Reporter)
Contributor: Bob Jones
Airchexx Entry: 1,471
“WQXI-FM salutes Harry J. Reynolds, appointed Southern Regional Manager in the photo and repro division of GAF Corporation”
So often in researching the history of modern FM stations, one finds that the humble beginnings were as a new FM counterpart to an existing AM station. Often, the first programming choice was a straight simulcast of the dominant AM station. For others, Classical Music was the preferred format, as new owners attempted to demonstrate the ultra-high quality sound that FM offered the listener compared to AM. And then, there was the ever-popular Easy Listening format which offered light instrumentals of established hit songs, and popular non-rock songs from artists such as Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and even The Lettermen. These last three artists are heard in this 45 minute recording of WQXI-FM in the Atlanta, GA market.
While Easy Listening stations bore many similarities from one city to another, some of the non-music features varied depending upon station ownership/management and its target audience. In this example of WQXI-FM, there is no newscast, but there is a Business Report anchored by Jim Rich at 24:17 into the recording.
Many of these Easy Listening stations had unique ways of identifying themselves. For example, in Boston, 96.9 was “From Boston’s Historic Waterfront, this is FM 97. JIB. WJIB”, set to the sound of ocean waves crashing upon the rocks. In suburban Worcester, 96.1 WSRS had some of the most melodic jingles perhaps ever produced. Lyrically speaking, they went, “WSRS, Stereo 96. Where the Beautiful Music Is” Here in Smyrna, 94.1 WQXI-FM had a soft set of produced jingles, presumably in Stereo, although this recording is in mono. Forgetting for a moment that the AM side, 79 WQXI was one of the most popular Top 40 stations in the South, if not the whole country in 1969, the FM side had its work cut out for itself in attempting to separate itself from its Rock & Roll AM. By 1977, they gave up the idea of Easy Listening and became CHR 94Q, which would be the leading hit music station in Atlanta for the better part of the next decade.