Fresh Listen: Son of The Original Kool

Kool 104.3 105.1 Oldies Salisbury Ocean CityWith this week’s flip of WQTL Tallahassee, Fla., it’s worth noting that Adams Radio Group now has three stations branded as “Kool Oldies.” The new station, playing a more ‘60s-driven version of the format than that usually found on major format FMs, joins sister stations in Ocean City, Md., and last year’s launch on KWML Las Cruces, N.M.

These are the sort of medium-to-small-market changes that aren’t on everybody’s radar, but they’re good stations for listeners who want to hear the Oldies format as it existed in the days before it dropped pre-Beatles, then secondary ‘60s, then the ‘60s altogether. It’s a deliberate throwback to when oldies were oldies.

I was also excited to listen because it was an earlier version of Adams Radio Group that owned KOOL Phoenix, the original “Kool-FM.” That station (along with KXKL Denver) spawned hundreds of clones, then its AM station became the flagship of a Kool Gold Network specializing in pre-Beatles oldies. Kool Gold could roll deep. At one point, they were looking for a PD and I remember then-GM Jim Seemiller saying that the qualifications included knowing the B-side of “Earth Angel” by the Penguins.

I’ve listened a little to all three Kool Oldies and I haven’t heard “Hey Senorita” or “Earth Angel” yet. I did hear Las Cruces play Rene & Rene, “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero,” something you’d hope to hear on the radio in Las Cruces, N.M. Mostly, it’s the hits of the Oldies format as radio listeners knew them on the ‘90s dial, but that need exists, too. Here’s Kool FM Delmarva just after 9 a.m., April 12:

  • Dionne Warwick, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me”
  • Delfonics, “La-La Means I Love You”
  • Rare Earth, “Get Ready”
  • Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye”
  • Elvis Presley, “Don’t Be Cruel”
  • Neil Diamond, “Sweet Caroline”
  • Emotions, “Best Of My Love”
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner”
  • Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman”
  • Abba, “Dancing Queen”
  • Turtles, “She’d Rather Be With Me”
  • Spiral Starecase, “More Today Than Yesterday”
  • America, “Sister Golden Hair”
  • O’Jays, “Love Train”
  • Ben E. King, “Stand By Me”
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  1. John Gallagher says

    I saw “Bottle Of Wine” from the Fireballs and “Judy’s Turn To Cry” from Lesley Gore listed last night. Not really any obscure titles.

  2. Brammy says

    What’s with all these Oldies and/or Classic Hits stations that have use Kool as their branding? Years ago in Connecticut their was Kool 96.7 in Stamford. (Today 96.7 is a NYC move-in station that is owned by K-Love). Then in the New London Market there was Kool 101 (WKNL 100.9) that existing for many years before they flipped to Top 40 Roxy-FM (they have since flipped to Classic Hits as 100.9 K-Hits).Some time after WKNL flipped to ROXY-FM, In neighboring Westerly, Rhode Island Full Power Radio put a largely automated Oldies format on 1180 WSKP an 1800 watt daytimer and then simulcast it on 106.5 HD3. In 2015 Full Power Radio purchased Oldies Simulcast partners Oldies 990 and 1490 in the Hartford and Springfield Markets, renamed them Kool Radio and simulcast them with 1180. Today they are Kool 990/96.1, Kool 1270/100.1, and Kool 1180/104.3. Full Power Radio’s Kool Radio stations no longer simulcast, but they use the same playlist in the same order with the same voice tracked DJs and same syndicated programming except 990/96.1 airs Westwood One news hourly while 1270/100.1 and 1180/104.3 run CBS news and 990/96.1 break from the format for 5 1/2 hours on Sundays for an Italian Show and Lutheran Church Mass.

    1. Nathan Obral says

      The influence of the “Kool Gold” satellite format was far more extensive than we thought.

      WDLW/1380-98.9 in Lorain, Ohio has a wide-sweeping 50s/60s oldies format that’s also call-in request-driven, billed as “Kool Kat Oldies” (inspired by a short-lived late 60s Alex Lovy cartoon character “Cool Cat,” but modified to fit the same “Kool” mofit). It’s very much the archetypical full-service small-town station, with a heavy emphasis on local news and sports programming, but with a 10,000 song music library to boot.

  3. elcartero says

    Delmarva seems to be one of those havens where Oldies as it was once known still thrives. 107.1 the Duck (WTDK) plays a format that also reaches back to the ’50s, on a signal that covers about half to two-thirds of the drive from the Bay Bridge to the beaches.

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