Monday, September 8, 2008

Spotlight on WOR-FM

Reader, please keep in mind that my radio journal entires are based only on my memories of listening to that station years ago.

Back in early 1966 WABC and WMCA were the only rock stations in New York.  Those stations were excellent, but were too formatted.  Popular music of that time was changing.  There were many artists whose best music were on album cuts which were not played by the Top 40 stations.  The FCC issued a regulation at that time that co-owned stations had to duplicate programming at least 50% of the time.  Thus WABC AM and FM, WCBS-FM, WNEW AM and FM, and WOR AM and FM had to split their programming.

WOR-FM took the air on July 30, 1966, but there was DJ strike.  It wasn't until October that disk jockeys like Murray the K, Johnny Michaels, Rosko, Dick Birch and possibly one or two more took the airwaves.  I remember that I didn't have an FM radio at that time but my sister did.  She could be somewhat bitchy to me, so I had to sneak into her room when she wasn't home and borrow her FM radio.  Murray the K was a character to say the least.  He would ram his favorites down your throat and didn't care what the listeners thought.  In her book Janis Ian noted that Murray played the controversial Society's Child once an hour.  He also played Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep Mountain High.  That was a big hit in the UK, but never charted in the USA.

Radio stations evolve, change formats and change formats.  I am aware of two articles that discuss the history of the 98.7 FM dial position in NYC.  If you e-mail me I will send it to you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is too bad the original WOR-FM format did not last longer. It lasted a little more than a year and the station switched to the Drake Format in which the station played a lot of Oldies. All the DJ's left and I remember Rosko resigning on the air. Scott Muni went on to bigger and better things when he went on to WNEW-FM where he stayed for years.

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