No theme, group or artist featured for the next few weeks- but a Radio Station!
A now-defunct Radio Station, WOR-FM, that had really only about 14 months of glory- and sadly, it's call letters no longer even exist.
But it was the FIRST FM to play Rock & Roll, and it laid the groundwork for what was later to be regarded as the best Rock station ever, WNEW-FM.
It debuted on July 30, 1966, 45 years ago...and I didn't even have an FM radio!
The year before, the FCC made perhaps the ONLY good ruling in their history, to make this extraordinary event possible.
And I will play the first song they played on that historic day.
After all the heat we've had and my brain being mush (surprised I could DO a show, lol!), I'll let Radio Authority Alan Sniffen tell some of the story:
WOR-FM: A Brief History
by Allan Sniffen
In 1965 the Federal Communications Commission ruled that major market FM radio stations could no longer simulcast their AM sister stations. FM had to become separate with individual programming. This was deemed necessary to allow FM to grow and develop its own audience. The ruling put radio station owners in a bind. They needed to come up with new formats for these weaker and less desirable stations. Since FM was more difficult to receive, its universe of potential listeners was much smaller... and so was its billing. The new formats therefore had to be both different and relatively inexpensive to program.
It was in that environment that RKO General Broadcasting launched its new WOR-FM (98.7Mhz) “Hot 100” format on July 30, 1966. The name is deceiving because, in fact, it was the first Progressive Rock station in the country. It marketed itself as stereo as a way to distinguish itself from AM radio. The problem was that many of the records played by the station were not in stereo. While it was true that most record albums were stereo, singles were not. Since the singles came out before the albums, much of the new music it was breaking was in mono.
The original WOR-FM disc jockeys were Scott Muni (formerly of WABC and WMCA), Murray “the K” Kaufman (formerly of WINS), Rosko (Bill Mercer) and Johnny Michaels. Even though the format began on July 30, the disc jockeys did not. There were union problems with AFTRA. RKO did not want to pay FM disc jockeys the equivalent pay of their AM counterparts. As a result, the station segued from one record to another (except for taped promotions by the DJ’s) until Saturday, October 8 1966.
Thank you Alan, and more from you coming.
The words GROOVE, GROOVY, and particularly HAPPENING will pop up frequently during these shows.
As usual, I don't know how long the series will go.
I just have a bunch of records, actual airchecks, and a desire to re-create what was the first vague inkling for me that I wanted to play music like THIS!
For oldsters and youngsters alike, I invite you to join me, because "The Sound Is WOR-FM...New York!"
And here's the groovy, happening link to those truly thrilling days of yesteryear, at WLSO.FM: