KB’s Radio Airchecks Page


 

Here you will find links to several streaming files that contain samples

of the work that I did at most of the radio stations in my past.

Listening to these, for me, is radio nostalgia at its best!

Of course, you are invited to listen, as well.

 

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First, here's a little personal PRE-history (whatever that means)...

WSNY, Schenectady, NY and WPTR, Albany, NY. Recorded sometime during the fall of 1967. Run Time 2:15.[MP3|RealPlayer]
When I was still in high school, I admired several Albany area radio personalities. I am fortunate enough to have kept three very short airchecks of a couple of my late-60s favorites. Cut #1 on this recording features Chuck Pollock, the afternoon drive jock on WSNY, Schenectady, in 1967. Cuts #2 and #3 are of the outrageous air personality, "Joe Hate" (aka Wild Child
[MP3|RealPlayer]) on WPTR, Albany. I admired Joe so much that I called his radio show a couple of times, just to partake in the on-air craziness. I offer the recordings of those calls as my very earliest recorded broadcast efforts in the Capital District. Incidentally, for those of you who remember Carroll's drive-in restaurants around Albany, NY, there is a snippet of a radio ad for Carroll's on the last cut, too.

And now... On with these blasts from the past (plus a little more history)...


WTRY AM-FM - Troy/Albany, NY. Recorded on the morning of March 15, 1973. Run Time 3:38.[MP3|RealPlayer] Cut#2 10:55[MP3]
My first fulltime radio job was working overnights for this legendary New York State Capital District Top-40/Oldies station and its FM sister. Everyone I knew had grown up listening to WTRY (or WPTR), so it was a thrill to get my start here. It had been the accomplished Capital District air personality, Kerry James
[MP3|RealPlayer], who originally gave me my real start in 1969, working part time at WDKC, the former call letters of WTRY-FM. Back then, I worked for Kops-Monahan Communications, Inc. (the owner of WTRY and WDKC in those days. In 1969, WDKC played MOR and Standards.) However, life had certainly become very good for me with this organization by 1973!
 
WTRY AM-FM - Troy/Albany, NY. Jingles - circa 1973. Run Time 0:54.[MP3|RealPlayer]
WTRY-FM underwent another call letter change in the spring of 1973. The new calls became WHSH, pronounced "wish". This fit nicely with the FM station's heavy emphasis on Oldies. Predictably, the request line became the "Wish Line". Around that time, the station provided all of the DJs with personalized name jingles. The first cut in this audio clip is my own personalized name jingle. That is followed by six of the standard WTRY jingles in use on the AM side, at the time. And here
[MP3] are two more “boss” sounding personalized re-entries.

KANE - New Iberia, LA. Recorded in June, 1974. Run Time 3:27.[MP3|RealPlayer] Cut#2 3:01[MP3] Cut#3 6:52[MP3] Ads 4:29[MP3]
A former coworker of Ric Kelly helped me to get this job, working evenings for a Top-40 in the Louisiana bayou country. This was years before anything Cajun was trendy. Working evenings was wonderful. After all, I could sleep late every day and I did not have to be around the radio station during the uptight daytime hours. KANE also gave me my first chance to do commercial radio advertising production. This job was my first attempt at "working my way around the country," too. I thought the food was good and the listeners were real friendly, but the summertime heat and humidity were unbearable.

WHUC - Hudson, NY. Recorded on a weekday afternoon in July, 1975. Run Time 4:30.
[MP3|RealPlayer] Cut#2 2:13[MP3] Ads 9:28[MP3]
Working middays for "The New 'HUC"
[MP3|RealPlayer] was the kind of career radio experience that every DJ should have at least once in their life: The air talent was superb, with the likes of Cary Pall[MP3|RealPlayer], Ric Kelly[MP3|RealPlayer], Jared Willetts (aka “Superjock”), Gary Mitchell (aka Jim O’Brien, Lee Hamilton, Gary Hamilton)[MP3|RealPlayer]. The equipment was pretty good, and management allowed programming enough leeway to exercise mass quantities of creativity, both on the air and in the production studio. That combination produced the kind of teamwork that one can sometimes see in this industry. Not to mention the fact that working at “The New HUC” was literally a ton of fun. For a sense of the fun, here is an on-air phone bit between Ric Kelly and part-timer, Lance Fitzgerald[MP3], and another one featuring Ric Kelly and Cary Pall[MP3]. Jared Willetts, the station program director, did a 30-minute, live-and-lively talk show called “Touring the Town,” weekdays during the lunch hour. Here is a sample of that show from July 7, 1975 [MP3]. All of these things added up to a really fun and good-sounding, small-market Top-40 radio station!
 
WOKO - Albany, NY. Recorded on a Sunday morning in October, 1975. Run Time 12:10.[MP3|RealPlayer]
Again, I was on the overnight shift. This time, it was at the 5000-watt Country/Western ruling force in Albany at that time. The music and approach there was a bit more relaxed than with the Top-40 format. I had some real fun with this format and shared the control room with top-drawer Albany radio talent: Joe Gallagher, "Cheerful" Charlie Pitts and Roy Mooney (aka Bob Mason)
[MP3|RealPlayer]. "OK-1460" was my first experience with the Country & Western (C & W) format. History would later repeat itself.

WWOM - Albany, NY. Recorded on a weekday morning in July, 1978. Run Time 3:43.[MP3|RealPlayer] Cut#2 6:57[MP3] Ads 1:31[MP3]
After a couple of years spent working at other non-radio jobs, the overnight shift at this Capital District soft-rocker was a pleasant reentry into my dream career of radio. Unfortunately, the music mix at this station evolved over time into something less than pleasing to this cowboy's ears. Frustrated, I subsequently took a couple of years' hiatus from the radio biz.

WABY - Albany, NY. Recorded on a Sunday afternoon in December, 1980. Run Time 3:50.[MP3|RealPlayer]
With God's help, I again returned to the Albany radio scene, this time at "Christian Radio 14, WABY." The aircheck in this audio file was recorded not long after the death of former Beatle, John Lennon. WABY station management was gracious enough to allow me to produce and present a short tribute to John in December, 1980
[MP3|RealPlayer]. This aircheck included here, while not recorded on the weekend of the Lennon tribute, is a sample of my work after the two-year break I took from radio. I was a bit rusty. Sorry... the audio quality on this one is a bit poor, too.

WOKO - Albany, NY. Recorded on a weekday afternoon in August, 1982. Run Time 3:41.[MP3|RealPlayer]
If something is really successful, change it! Radio format tinkering was the name of the game for Country/Western "OK-1460,” too. Following a format switch in the late 70s to a disco- flavored, "City Beat" format, WOKO saw its good numbers plummet from the solid highs it had posted in the early part of that decade down to miniscule shares of an already very splintered Capital District radio market. As part of WOKO’s C & W comeback attempt in 1981, I was hired, at first part time and later full time, to do an evening request show. It was great fun! On a trip to the Country Music Association (CMA) convention in Nashville in 1982, station management brought back a set of name mentions for each of the fulltime announcers, voiced by several C & W performers who were at the convention. Following is my personal set of promotional mentions:[MP3]. They got plenty of airplay. Unfortunately, our attempts to revive the WOKO audience fell woefully short. It just never recovered from the City Beat format change in the 70s. For WOKO, it could truly be said: Disco Sucks! Our attempts at reviving the local flavor that had been 'OK's strength in other years, went unrewarded. "OK Country" was permanently put to rest at midnight on a rainy Sunday in November, 1982. Here is the unhappy, final hour of WOKO’s C & W format, featuring Albany air talent, Reid Northrup:[MP3]. On Monday morning, Capital Country’s faithful listeners awoke to a brand new sound on 1460-AM
[MP3]. It was the audio feed of  CNN-2, sometimes referred to as "Chicken Noodle News." It seemed like it was time for this cowboy to hit the trail.

KDJW - Amarillo, TX. Recorded on a weekday evening in August, 1983. Run Time 2:10.[MP3|RealPlayer]
When WOKO was put to death, I left New York to seek a "real" C & W radio fomat elsewhere. And what better place to look than in Texas? Amarillo, Texas -- the Panhandle -- was the place I chose to continue "working my way around the country." I did evenings at "The Superkicker, 10-10 AM, KDJW." It was a 5000-watt station with a phenomenal coverage map (the Texas Panhandle is real flat!), and a satisfyingly large oldies library. At KDJW, I got significant experience using the old Emergency Broadcast System during Amarillo's frequent springtime tornado warnings.

WMVI - Mechanicville, NY. Recorded on Sunday morning, October 30, 1983. Run Time 3:45.[MP3|RealPlayer]
As sometimes happens in life, I was kicked... by the Superkicker. While searching and awaiting another full-time Country/Western gig, I spent some parttime hours at this little Big Band station in Mechanicville, NY. At WMVI, I worked with 1940s band leader, Chris Martin and 1960s broadcast legends Bill Edwardsen and George Marriott as well as the popular local TV star, Betty George and her little dog, Moo. We all were playing some very fine selections from the big band genre. The job lasted only eight weeks, but it afforded me some fine broadcast experience, and a few dollars with which to get by. This audio sample is very muddy sounding, but it is intelligible (barely). Unfortunately, it is the only one I own from WMVI.

KMON - Great Falls, MT. Recorded on a weekday evening, May 11, 1984. Run Time 3:46.[MP3|RealPlayer] Ads 7:34[MP3]
The Great Falls C & W station, KMON, answered my trade paper ad for work wanted. This was to be my first experience living in Montana, and Thanksgiving week of 1983 was when I chose to arrive in Great Falls in my brand new Toyota. It was colder on Christmas Eve, 1983 in Great Falls than I had ever been before: -45 degrees F. I warmed up enough by spring to record this aircheck of my evening shift show on May 11, 1984. KMON was partially owned by country music performer, Charlie Pride, who has some of his Country roots in Montana. This 5000-watt station's transmitter on 560 kHz was electrically grounded in the Missouri River and so put a good, solid signal into Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada at night. I frequently received phone calls from listeners hundreds of miles distant, in Red Deer, AB (near Edmonton) and Medicine Hat, AB, as well as from towns spread across most of central and eastern Montana.

WKXC - New Albany, MS. Recorded on Wednesday morning, September 11, 1985. Run Time 5:23.[MP3|RealPlayer]
Having spent an awfully cold winter in Montana, my search for a warmer climate provided a good reason to continue my efforts at "working my way around the country" in a state located in the Deep South. The South doesn't get much deeper than in Mississippi. My next venue, not far from Tupelo, was New Albany, Mississippi, to be exact. This hometown Country/Western radio station had a 1000-watt-days/500-watts-at-night signal that barely covered Union County, MS. But if local flavor and gentility, as well as lots of great C & W and gospel music is one's desire, this station fills the bill quite nicely. I did a live-assist morning show here from 6am-10am every weekday from early July, 1984 through mid-September, 1985. In the office space right next door to WKXC was a “powerhouse” North Mississippi Top-40, Rock’n’Roll radio station, WWKZ. They called themselves “KZ-103.” Here are some aircheck samples of three of the KZ-103 announcers, as they sounded in December of 1984: Mike Grace [MP3], David Greer [MP3] and Nikki Stewart [MP3].

WKXC - New Albany, MS. "KX-Country Interchange" Program. Recorded in December, 1984. Run Time 5:04.[MP3|RealPlayer]
While at WKXC, I was fortunate to have been one of the originators of an interesting (and hopefully entertaining) half-hour daily program, "KX-Country Interchange," from 9:15 - 9:45 on weekday mornings. The Interchange program, which contains more local color and flavor than any local, small-town radio program deserves to possess, continues to the present day. Sometimes, the callers have some very interesting and unusual items to advertise on the show. The above sample was recorded on a December morning, just before Christmas in 1984. If you really enjoyed that one, here is another KX-Country Interchange program, recorded in mid-June, 1985 [MP3].

KGVO - Missoula, MT. Recorded on a Sunday afternoon in December, 1985. Run Time 4:24.[MP3|RealPlayer]
On the day after I arrived in Missoula, MT in 1985 to further my education, I learned that Dave Wilson, former Great Falls (KMON) co-worker of mine and consummate broadcasting talent in his own right, was program director at KGVO, Missoula. In such a sparsely populated place as Montana, it was no surprise to me to find him there in Missoula, 180 miles southwest of Great Falls where we had first met in 1983. He hired me at KGVO on the spot. The many weekend and fill-in slots I had at this 5000-watt hometown C & W station gave me a great deal of good experience, some good times and a few much-needed dollars for general expenses.

KGVO - Missoula, MT. Recorded on Wednesday morning, October 4, 1986. Run Time 3:49.[MP3|RealPlayer]
Education sometimes takes a very long time to adequately further. Mine took longer than that. I was fortunate enough to be able to continue my weekend and fill-in work at KGVO right through my first college degree in 1990. I even continued to work there for three years after graduation in 1990, as a full time announcer, right up until February, 1993. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. There was a lot of other neat stuff mixed in between.

KERR - Polson, MT. Recorded on a Sunday morning in November, 1986. Run Time 3:46.[MP3|RealPlayer]
In the fall of 1986, Mike Doty, another Missoula friend and long-time familiar radio voice in town, landed a program directorship at the western Montana 50000-watt Country/Western powerhouse, KERR in Polson. After settling in Polson, Mike offered me the opportunity to work weekends for him at KERR, located in the picturesque Flathead-Mission Valleys. I accepted the offer and commuted 70 miles each way to-from Missoula for this job. O, the things we do for love! I definitely was "working my way around the country."
 
WHRL - Albany, NY. Unfortunately, I have no aircheck from this job. July - August, 1988.[no aircheck available]
During the summer of 1988, I was on break between academic semesters at the University of Montana. One morning, I was talking with Neil Young (Neil Van Patten), a long-time acquaintance, and occasional friend, of mine who happened to be programming WHRL, a new-age/light-jazz station in Albany. He said that he needed someone to fill in the evening slot at the station until he could find some full time body to replace his regular evening guy, who had quit. So, I agreed to do it. This five-week gig was just the right length to provide me with an expenses-paid vacation in my old hometowns of Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY. I sure enjoyed the music at WHRL, and I liked being back home for a while. But right after that, it was time to get back to academia and Country Music in Montana.

KUFM - University of Montana, Missoula, MT. Recorded during Spring Semester, 1989. Run Time 3:40[MP3], Cut#2 1:23[MP3]
During Spring Semester of my senior year at UM, I did an on-air internship that allowed me a little more practice of the radio skills I had learned while working at other radio stations. As well, it gave me a chance to try out some new skills I had been studying at the University of Montana. I had the pleasure of working with Terry Conrad, program director for KUFM. Terry was also my internship director as well as professor of Radio Production classes at the University. During my overnight on-air time at KUFM, I played alternating hours of “new age” music as well as bluegrass and folk genre cuts. There is a sample of each here. (Cut#1 is “new age,” and Cut#2 is bluegrass and folk.)

KYSS - Missoula, MT. Recorded on a Saturday evening in November, 1992. Run Time 4:29.[MP3|RealPlayer]
Back in July, 1987, I was offered yet another chance to experience working for a different one of Montana's great Country/Western radio stations, KYSS-FM in Missoula. One ought never to look a gift horse in the mouth, I had always heard. So, I jumped at this chance, too. While never a full time employee at KYSS, I did enjoy many weekends worth of part time shifts. Those shifts lasted for eight great years, right up through 1995.

KATQ - Plentywood, MT. Recorded during early March, 1993. Run Time 2:49.[MP3|RealPlayer]
You can teach an old horse new tricks, but it kind of depends on the horse... and of course, it depends on the tricks. At this community owned live-assist C & W station in the far northeast corner of Montana (mostly affectionately called "West Dakota"), this old horse attempted to learn the tricks of radio sales, copywriting and production. The radio sales part did not work out very well at all. I learned that I have a natural aversion to the notions of sales and marketing. However, the copywriting/production part was a ball, and worked well. Since the station had no live DJ shows, the only audio samples I have from KATQ are of my copywriting/production efforts. I have included several of them in this sample. This job was my most recent fulltime radio job. Hopefully, it will not be my last work in this exciting industry!


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