Last week’s column on Oldies and Classic Hits stations that still play the ‘60s, usually as part of a broader mix, brought forth a lot of reader suggestions.
One of the biggest FM outlets to spring up as a result of the format’s evolution is Hubbard’s KAZG (Oldies 92.7) Phoenix. With rival KOOL pushing into the ‘90s, “KAZG cumes around 170,000 people a month and has a 1.3 share 6+ in December and the Holiday 2016 [PPMs]. We play Beatles, Motown, British Invasion, and lots of ‘60s pop music, in addition to plenty of ‘70s material,” writes cluster OM David Moore.
Randy Michaels checks in with hometown WDJO Cincinnati, as well as Lancaster, Calif.’s “goldmine in the desert,” KFXM-LP, and WEAK-LP Athens, Ohio. Reader Bryan Wellander also mentioned WDJO. To which I’ll add that Cincinnati is also the home of newly launched Classic Soul outlet WDBZ (Soul 101.5), which plays ‘60s and ‘70s R&B without the Urban AC ‘80s.
“Three of our seven stations program ‘60s-‘70s oldies as ‘The Legends.’ WNBP Newburyport, Mass., WWSF Sanford, Maine, and WGUY Bangor. Each station is programmed separately and has a variety of weekend specialty shows [including] our own ‘Doo Wop Show’ [with owner and record industry veteran Carl Strube] … We make no secret of going after the 55-plus crowd. We have no problem selling spots and features to clients that want the boomers.” – Pete Falconi
“How about a little ‘50s/’60s love in your next Oldies column for 1230 and 1340 Classic Oldies WMID. Also streaming without any geofencing. Last hour’s spice oldie was ‘Matthew and Son’ by Cat Stevens. The hour before that we played ‘Running Bear’ by Johnny Preston … We are Scott Shannon’s favorite Oldies station, no kidding!” – Equity Communications president Gary Fisher
“The South Jersey Shore airwaves bristle with the ‘60s and ‘70s. As well as your mention of WBHX, head a few miles south, there’s the Classic Oldies simulcast of the “Jersey Giant” 1340 WMID Atlantic City and 1230 WCMC Wildwood. WVLT 92.1 Vineland, WTKU with Jerry Blavat in the evening, several School LPFM’s with amazing playlists that shock even a tired set of ears like mine. And, of course, our own Live/Local WIBG (Wibbage) serving Avalon-Atlantic City and on 92.3 in Cape May.” – Bill Cain
Bill Shannon, whose WCCK (K104) Erie, Pa., and its Burbach Broadcasting sister top 40s were always enjoyably iconoclastic in the ‘80s is now playing “over 3,000 songs in rotation from the mid-‘50s to the late ‘70s on 5,000 watt WWOW Conneaut, Ohio. You can hear us from the outskirts of Cleveland to the outskirts of Buffalo to the outskirts of Pittsburgh.”
“I have two stations that are ‘60’s heavy, centered ‘66-‘76 with flavor from both sides,” writes consultant Ken Moultrie. “KVGH (Valley 106.5) Palm Springs and [Olympia, Wash./South Sound Seattle metro] KGY-FM … Both stations are branded as ‘Greatest Hits’ and not ‘Oldies.’ In Palm Springs, we even paly a very limited short list of pre-Beatles stuff for flavor.”
“WXRB Dudlley, Mass., became one of the first non-commercial all-Oldies stations in the nation in 2005,” writes the station’s Peter George. “We have one of the widest playlists around from 1954 to 1983. And if a [newer song] has a definite ‘oldies ring’ to it, we’ll play it . . . I invite you to listen to WXRB-FM on-line. Just click on the “listen here” icon and you’ll hear us in full stereo.”
“There are a couple of stations here in Maine that play ‘60s on the regular,” writes Scott Bakal. Among those that stream, he mentions WCTB (Cruisin’ 93.5) Augusta and Augusta’s evolving Adult Standards outlet Kool AM 1490.
“WJPR also plays ‘60s songs – and ‘50s songs, and ‘70s songs, and ‘80s songs,” writes the station’s Al Gordon of the low-powered Central Jersey AM. That is when the station’s not in its Jewish programming format (or off the air for 24 hours from sunset Friday). “We are probably the only format of its kind. I am getting close to WLNG with the amount of songs in our library.”
“Two stations that I program that play ‘60s and ‘70s are ‘Good Time Oldies’ 104.9 WTNQ in the Knoxville, Tenn., market and WAVV-HD-2 (The Second Wave). These two stations dip into the late ‘50s through the very early ‘80s, concentrating on the Beatles era, through the mid ‘70s” – Al Baxa
“WSWO-LP (Oldies 97.3) Dayton, Ohio, is volunteer run and plays songs from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s,” says reader David Thomas.
Reader Dan Adams checks in on behalf of KYNO Fresno, Calif., back on AM with the music and jingles that brought Bill Drake’s ‘Boss Radio’ to the world more than fifty years ago. I can vouch personally for KYNO’s signal making it to Southern California at night and perking up a drive between Los Angeles and San Diego a year ago.
CKWW (AM580) Detroit has long been tending the Drake-era legacy of “Big 8” sister CKLW and prompted a reader mention in the comments section of last week’s column. Big 8 veteran Charlie O’Brien, who was an integral part of the station, isn’t there anymore. But in his absence, nobody has pulled “Now Run And Tell That” by Denise LaSalle, for which I’m grateful.
Former KYNO and RKO jock “Big Bob Anthony” Fogal and his wife are now the owners of Spokane, Wash.’s KPKL (Kool 107.1). “We make fun of ‘the other station’ and their ‘puny playlist of only 300-400 songs. We brag that we play ten times more songs than those other guys, and that our library is over 4,000 songs and growing every day. We create the theater of the mind mental picture of the Kool air team going down into the KOOL Gold Mine with our miners’ hat to dig up the old songs you thought had disappeared.
Reader Brian McKay cites WAKY Louisville, which has hung in for a while now with its tribute to the legendary AM and a staff of market veterans. So has WTIX-FM New Orleans, which is playing the Beatles, “And Your Bird Can Sing” as I write this. WTIX still digs into the “only in New Orleans hits” heard on its AM predecessor, making it the only pop oldies station where you can sometimes hear “Take This Job and Shove It.”
Reader Marc Bramhall mentions WNTY (Kool Radio) Hartford, Conn., also heard on AM/FM translator combos in Springfield, Mass., and Hope Valley, R.I. That station is one of those filling the hole of WDRC-FM (Big D 103), a successful medium-market of unusual depth.
Among those stations not apparently streaming, but mentioned by readers:
- Jay Gadon of Northeast Communications writes in on behalf of the group’s WFTN/WPNH WFTN/WPNH (Oldies 92.9, via a FM translator). “The playlist is very deep with many ‘oh wow’ songs that have vanished from many playlists.”
- WKFB Pittsburgh, still running a format designed by market veteran Clarke Ingram in non-brokered hours (approximately 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.). Reader Philip Menkowski also mentions suburban WEDO.
- “Good Guy Radio” KISN Portland, Ore. — A community station using the heritage Top 40 calls of the ‘60s (and later oldies FM calls), suggested by Eric Norberg.
- Scott Bakal also mentions Bangor/Augusta’s four-frequency “Big 104“, as well as the MOR/oldies hybrid on WPTK (Just Right Radio) Raleigh, N.C.
- KORL Honolulu, which recently stopped streaming its new “Oldies 101” format.
Finally, some specialty shows worth checking out:
Besides keeping the biggest, most enduring ‘60s playing during the week, WOGL Philadelphia PD Anne Gress writes, “Do you know about our Doo-Wop show (‘Streetcorner Sunday’) we do every Sunday night 9 p.m.-Midnight. I guarantee there isn’t anyone else on earth playing these hits on broadcast radio. The show is lovingly curated by my midday host/legendary Philly jock Harvey Holiday. I call it ‘the original sound of Philadelphia.’ Take a listen sometime if you’ve never heard it. It’s rebel radio!”
WRCB-TV Chattanooga news anchor David Carroll is doing a Saturday/Sunday 10 a.m.-Noon show on the market’s Classic Hits station, WPLZ (Big 95.3). But some of his “Vinyl Express” show is also posted on YouTube. Recent themes include Beatles solo hits, misheard lyrics and spotlights on various years.