Jim Santella – In The Belly of The Beast

Jim Santella could be called the Dean of all Buffalo DJ’s from the free form era and beyond. He started his professional career at Buffalo’s first free form called WYSL.  That station changed it’s called letters to WPHD and Santella also made the transition.  He later moved to 97 Rock where he stayed for many years. More recently he had a blues show on public WBFO and has since retired.

This clip finds him firmly in new wave land on WUWU FM ( June 1983) playing tracks by Q-Field, The Talking Heads and more. Some jazz by Jean Luc Ponty for a change of pace. My favorite musical selection on the clip is “Church of The Poison Mind” by Culture club which finds Boy George in full Motown mode.

An interesting commercial with Jeff Gordon for a WUWU party  plays during the first break.

There’s around the dial twisting starting at the 47:00 minute mark you can hear Rick Ringer on CHUM FM announcing his last set. Yes this was the time when they actually played Quiet Riot. You can also hear James Scott on CFNY announcing an interview with Kajagoogoo by The Live Earl Jive later that day. Unfortunately I did not stay on any one station for too long during the dial changes, save for a classical station near the end.  Quality is so so on the clip and falters badly at the end as the tape rolls off the reel. Highlighting the ephemera of the listening experience.

The clip ends where it began in “the belly of the beast” with Jim Santella. That phrase, used by Santella in his ID’s, quite aptly described the format and vibe at WUWU FM and I hope you enjoy this clip from one of the legendary broadcasters from Western New York.

Cross Posted in the Radio Corner.


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