WBBF, WCMF and More-Rochester NY Radio

I have a an interesting lot of tapes  which seem to have been made by recording from microphone to radio and not direct via patch cords. The quality is not great.  They include some content from WBBF AM which was Rochester NY’s first and most successful Top 40 station. The first clip includes that and may have been recorded in  late 1963 and early 1964. The DJ patter is short but the highlight is the intro to the Trashmen’s Surfin Bird.

The first clip also has a few ads recorded in 1972 during the airing of a Beatles special in 1972 on WAXC AM.  The station went onto competition with WBBF as a top 40 outlet in 1972. The special was produced by CHUM radio in Toronto and you can hear the CHUM production credit near the end of the clip.

The second clip consists of ads and other content that was recorded during the airing of a BBC Beatles special in  April 1973 on WCMF FM. WCMF at the time was a free form station that I would tune into when I could get it in Toronto. The clip includes a few different versions of ads for a Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin concert and a Ten Years After, Strawbs and Eagles show. There’s also stereo store ads and a PSA for the Wounded Knee reservation plus some other WCMF content about the Beatles special.  The CMF DJ sounds like Buffalo and Rochester radio legend “Unkle”  Roger. The only thing I have copied from the Beatles special is a Murray the K intro to the Beatles song Happy to Dance With You and a part of a WABC jingle.

WCMF was a wonderful station during the free form era and it’s the first station I heard Lothar and The Hand People and I think it may have been the only station I heard that group other than perhaps  WZIR and WUWU from Buffalo. The third clip has CMF during the tail end of the free form years in 1975. I recorded this myself and have uploaded it previously. Musical highlight for me is near the end when The Beach Boys free form era classic Feel Flows is played. The DJ on the clip is Bernie Kimblel I believe.

Corrections and input welcome.


4 thoughts on “WBBF, WCMF and More-Rochester NY Radio”

  1. Regarding your WCMF post, Bernie Kimble (real name Kimpel) recently passed, after spending the last few years in Cleveland as PD and announcer at a smooth jazz station and heading up a college radio station. Sounds like Unk, in your other clip from CMF. The late Unkle Roger McCall. Unk was inducted, posthumously, into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame this Spring. He was a tireless, enthusiastic supporter of local artists and bands and always encouraged people. He was killed quite a few years ago, and there’s never been an arrest. I did the morning show on CMF from ’76 to ’80, and I was doing weekends in ’75, having been hired by Bernie Kimble. Slowly the days of underground radio wound down, and what was interesting was that all of us, until 1978 or so, were music people first, radio people second. There are some airchecks of CMF and photos on my website at http://www.hearchucknow.com.

  2. Thanks for the comments Chuck. I remember your name.

    WCMF was a great station and in those pre-internet days it provided another option in addition to the Toronto and Buffalo stations. I first heard Unkle Roger on WPHD in Buffalo and continued to listen to him on WCMF. He had a show called Import/Export later in the 80’s when CMF was AOR but that show covered alternative and off the beaten track rock. I have some audio of the show on the site.

    There was a fair bit of movement between Buffalo and Rochester DJ’s. John MaGan who is mentioned in the middle clip was also heard in Buffalo. Jim Sotet worked at WPHD and then I remember him on WCMF.

    I think I hear Gary Whipple on one of the ads on the middle CMF clip and I also remember a DJ, I think his name was Pollis and he went by the name Part Time Pollis.

    I just found a sheet from 1975 where I had written down the names of some of the WCMF DJ’s and in addition to the ones already mentioned I have Suzanne King, Horton and Peltman.

    WCMF was a fabulous station during the free form years and I will check out your site and would love to hear more air checks from that era.

  3. Hello… I have a strange, random question regarding WBBF. I grew up in Spencerport, NY and I remember listening to BBF. I was just sitting around today talking with my family and I mentioned one of their contests in the 70’s. My family said I was crazy when I claimed they did something where people could win stuff if they wore a button that said “BBF, coat walking ticket”. I was a kid, so I don’t understand what that meant, but I know I remember that. Is there anyone who remembers that or knows how I can confirm that? I would not begin to know how to research this. I live in PA now and from what I can tell, WBBF is not in Rochester anymore.

  4. I’m looking to make a YouTube video using 1970s WBBF 95 radio as Audio,with bits and pieces of the music with a slideshow of old pictures.How do I do this? I know I need the WBBF recordings.From the recording uploaded to YouTube.

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