First Listen: Boomtown Richmond

Boomtown UWin 1450 WUWN 1540 WBTL Richmond

“Out and About” wasn’t the first song that caught my attention on WUWN/WBTL (Boomtown Radio) Richmond, Va. It was just the one that made me start writing songs down.

Boyce & Hart’s “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” is of those top 10 records that might as well have never existed — except in my firmament — based on its acknowledgment (or lack thereof) by Oldies radio. That was the case even when Oldies radio was Oldies radio, and even when Oldies radio was firmly centered in 1967.

“Out and About” was the Boyce & Hart single before “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight.” It peaked at No. 39. Although it does have some ongoing pop-culture footprint for being featured in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie, you don’t hear it on the radio now either. So I did a First Listen to “Boomtown Richmond.” And as I was starting to write it up a few days later, it played “Sugar and Spice” by the Searchers (in between “We Belong” and “The Chain”) and I had to start writing down songs again. Now it’s playing “Stand by Me.” By Mink DeVille.

Boomtown debuted a week ago, on two AMs and two FM translators. PD Jeff McKee is a market veteran. McKee and morning partner Bill Cross also do a thematic “9 at 9” segment. On the morning I heard them, they were playing songs from the movie Almost Famous, which they declared to be not just a rock ‘n’ roll movie, but the spirit of the radio station.

WUWN was most recently eclectic R&B oldies. Both the old and new formats were attention-getting mixes. When you go to TuneIn looking for WUWN, you get Richmond Soul Radio, the apparent online successor to an earlier format on WUWN’s frequency. (Currently, it’s playing Southern R&B/Blues, but I’ve also heard R&B countdowns from the ‘80s.) And now Boomtown is playing the “I Would Die 4 U”/“Baby I’m a Star” medley from Prince’s Purple Rain album.

I knew after “Out and About” that Ross On Radio readers would want to know about Boomtown. Here’s what I heard on Monday afternoon after “Out and About”:

  • David Bowie, “Rebel Rebel”
  • Paul McCartney, “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (from an MTV performance)
  • Delaney And Bonnie & Friends, “Never Ending Song Of Love”
  • Fats Domino, “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)”
  • Rolling Stones, “Gimme Shelter”
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience, “May This Be Love”
  • Eric Clapton, “After Midnight”
  • Greg Kihn Band, “The Breakup Song”
  • Otis Redding, “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”
  • Jackson Browne, “Doctor My Eyes”
  • Little Richard, “Slippin’ And Slidin’ (Peepin’ And Hidin’)”
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Green River”
  • Beach Boys, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (as I write, they’re playing “Do It Again”)
  • Green Day, “Time Of Your Life”
  • Doobie Brothers, “Takin’ It To The Streets”
  • Sheryl Crow, “A Change (Will Do You Good)”
  • Fleetwood Mac, “Second Hand News”
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1 Comment
  1. garylee says

    I live here in Richmond and have been listening to Boomtown since day 1. I actually won the first contest and when I stopped by their studio to pick up my gift certificate Jeff took a few minutes to speak with me about his vision for the station. He and I are about the same age and grew up listening to the same music. For me what really connects to me with this station is playing the Searchers. Although not on the same level as the Beatles and their sound was a link to many other artists of their era as even many today.

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