Monday, January 24, 2011

My Memories of WMCA

The passing of former WMCA program director Ruth Meyer was reported on several radio message boards this past weekend. The aim of this journal entry is to discuss my memories of WMCA since a good history of the station can be found on Allan Sniffen's web site.  I am sure that Facebook friend  and radio historian Vince Santerelli has much in his file on this historic New York radio station.

I remember WMCA for having a much deeper playlist than WABC back in the 1960s.  Many good records that were not big hits could be heard only on WMCA in NYC.  I remember listening to Dan Daniel counting down the top 25 hits from 4 - 7 PM.  There was always the great rivalry between WABC and WMCA back then with each station trying to put the newest Beatles record on the air.  I never phoned in to try to win a WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt, but David Stein sent me a replica a few years ago.  Below is a photo of Alan Berman, Dean of Oldies Listeners, wearing a WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt.

In the late 1990s, the Museum of TV and Radio now known as the Paley Center held a salute to WMCA where Ruth Meyer and the living DJs from the Top 40 era were there.  Alan Berman was there, but we were not acquainted at that time.

It was sad in September 1970 when WMCA dropped the music for a telephone talk format called Dialog Radio 57.  I listened to Jack Spector's sports talk show back then.  R. Peter Straus owned the station for many years, but sold it to the Federal Broadcasting Company (somebody please correct me if I am wrong).  That company kept the talk radio format, but eventually sold it Salem who made it a religious station.

For a few years Al Gordon hosted a Jewish show from 2 AM - 6 AM on Sunday mornings.  Al hooked me up with WMCA morning host Kevin Cottrell who was the DJ at Lee's Bar Mitzvah in 2001.

Every day on the train ride to Newark I pass the WMCA shack pictured above and their towers in Kearney. NJ.

RIP Ruth Meyer and thanks for all the good years at Fabulous 57.

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