WBZ FM Boston Top 40 Launch June 1973

WBZ FM switched to an automated top 40 rock format in June of 1973. This aircheck is from their first week with the new format. Most of the voice over work on this aircheck seems to be by students or amateurs. Later in the year the station did hire some pros to do the voice-overs.

The history of FM rock in Boston at the time is a bit convoluted. Free Form WBCN was the most stable station but in addition to WBZ, a number of other FM stations introduced some variation of a rock format around this time including WVBF, WROR and others.

Top 40 stations on FM during the early 70’s were more album oriented than their AM counterparts and generally gave greater exposure to songs which were receiving airplay on the free form stations. One such example, Roll Over Beethoven by The Electric Light Orchestra, is heard on this clip. The track is from the second ELO album and is perhaps their most adventurous hit  record. The song charted on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks largely to FM airplay. There is a truncated version of a song by the Glass Harp called Can`t You See Me that I don`t think was played on many AM top 40 stations.  A brief instrumental section of the song is heard just after I`m Doing Fine Now by New York City.

You will also hear a few minutes of WVBF after the Osmonds are announced and then back to WBZ FM. The aircheck ends with a record by novelty artist Dickie Goodman called Watergrate. One of Dickie’s usual spoofs using small bits from  hit records of the day in between his comedic comments. Also note that The Monster Mash was played not as an oldie but a current hit as it was riding the charts upon it`s re-release during the summer of 1973.

I have more tape from this broadcast, a continuation of their Top 40 countdown, Stay tuned.

CFNY FM 1989

This clip was recorded on my JVC Stereo VCR and based on Barb Hansen’s brief news update I think it’s from 1988-89. You will also hear Scott Turner at 3:36. This was recorded during the “History of Rock Saturday.”

Judging by the tracks played and announced you would think you had tuned into Q 107 sometime in the late 70’s. I’m not sure if this was before or during Reiner Schwarz’s tenure as PD. The station’s format recovered from earlier tightening with Mr. Schwarz at the helm.

A classic rock staple by Manfred’s Mann’s Earth Band is featured in the clip above but the You Tube link below is from an earlier incarnation of the band and has them covering Randy Newman. A track which I heard regularly on CHUM FM in the early 70’s and which is  now forgotten by radio.

WBUF FM 60’s Weekend Part 3

This is Part three of the WBUF FM 60’s weekend show from 1979. The station had a mainstream AOR format at the time but the playlist is surprisingly heavy on bubblegum. There’s also a few FM rock hits including  What About Me by  Quicksilver Messenger Service and a track from the 70’s by Lighthouse. Quality is not great as the source tape is defective and suffers from Sticky Shed Syndrome. The fourth and final installment will be posted in the future.

WVBF FM 1973 Part 3

This clip dates from the summer of 1973 and features DJ Ron Robin on WVBF FM  ( Electronic Mama) from suburban Boston. A good example of their Top 40/AOR hybrid format. There were a number of FM stations in the US  around  1972-74  with a similar format.

The playlist  includes a few pure  AM singles, some FM  friendly singles and also an album cut by the Stones. Steven Tyler from Boston’s own Aerosmith calls in from a concert location near the end of the clip. Their single Dream On had just taken off and was a hit huge in Boston on it’s initial release in 1973. The song became a much bigger national hit upon it’s re-release in 1976.