John Donabie CHUM FM & Some WPHD 1972

The DJ patter on this clip is regrettably short. You will hear John Donabie at 00:59 for a few seconds plus Roger McCall on WPHD at 19:58 and perhaps John Farrell or Jeff Lubeck on WPHD at 26:32.

The clip consists mostly of music. The John Donabie segment features Van Morrison, Al Kooper, Otis Redding, The Bee Gees ( yes the Bee Gees and have no fear no disco, this is from the time the Bee Gees were actually an FM Act), Carly Simon, Dave Mason and The Chamber Brothers with a cover of The Midnight Hour.  I know these selections are all from one continuous air check as there are no pauses or stops on the CHUM FM portion of the tape. The musical selection sounds very much like what Mr. Donabie would have played. An amazing seven tracks on one set with one spoken break near the beginning. Such spoken breaks were a feature of free form radio as the DJ would do more than back announce the tracks. They would often create a narrative or theme or tell a story with non commercial spoken-word breaks mixed with music.

The WPHD segment has the final moments of an hour of the Byrds. Daily features of various musical acts were common on Free Form. WPHD and WBUF in Buffalo both featured various artists for an hour each weekday and John Donabie on CHUM FM did the same for half hour sets. Comedy selections were regularly interspersed into the presentation and you will hear a few seconds of the great Firesign Theater.

Chronologically speaking, the latest release date for the musical selections is Anticipation by Carly Simon from November 1971 and so I think this clip is from late 1971 or early 1972 when John Donabie was doing the 10 PM to 2 AM shift.

I wish I had more of the announcers on this but the clips does re-open a window into the world of free form radio from the early 1970’s. I would appreciate any corrections to the dates and announcer names etc. Please send me an email.

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