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.

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