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Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
943thebeach
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Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by 943thebeach » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:45 pm

Hey Guys:

I am doing the Ann Arbor market now and I am having trouble with some stations.

Can anybody help me fill in the blanks:

1050 WPAG

1960? Top 40, 1970? MOR/AC, was WPAG ever had a country format?

WYNZ 1520

1964? Top 40, 1968? religious

1290 WOIB

1967? Top 40

1480 WYSI

1966? Country

1480 WSDS

1998? Classic Country

1600 WAAM (This one is the tuffy)

1969? MOR/AC went back on after a fire destroyed most of the station.

1972? Top 40 Super 16

1976? MOR/AC

1983? Nostalgia

Date???? Talk (Monday-Friday) Nostalgia (Sat-Sun)

I really need some help with these stations. I am looking for exact dates or even Months to go with the years.

Thanks a hole bunch in advance. I really appreciate this. I have been doing extensive research and can't find any info anywhere.

T.J.

SixPlusOne
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by SixPlusOne » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:28 pm

943thebeach wrote:Can anybody help me fill in the blanks:

1050 WPAG
Using the first station on your list as an example. Go to this link:

http://www.michiguide.com/dials/am.html

1. Scroll down in this example to frequency 1050.
2. Click "Info" at the far right of that same line.
3. Scroll down to "Notes/History:".

This may provide the info you are seeking.

LouPerry
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by LouPerry » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:39 pm

Can tell you about some people:
Bill Bishop
WPAG [Ann Arbor MI] 1962
WAAM [Ann Arbor] 1969
WLEN [Adrian MI] 1977
WCAR [Detroit MI] 1977
WHNE [Norfolk VA] 1978
WNIS [Norfolk] 1979-1997
Now: Bill says (12/08), "I retired from WNIS in 1997 and have spent the time discovering a jazz singing talent and performing PA work at various sports events, including the local pro hockey team (1989-1998); am happy NOT to be tied up in the technical explosion that has taken over 'personality' radio." Click for more from Bill.
Gene Lindsey (Eugene Lisansky)
WBMJ [San Juan PR] 1967
WERD [Morristown NJ] 1975-1977 - Bob Dark
WCBN/WRCN [Ann Arbor MI] 1979-1984 - Bob Dark/GM
WAAM [Ann Arbor] 1982-1985 - Bob Dark
WOOD/WOOD-FM [Grand Rapids MI] 1985
WFAS/WFAS-FM [White Plains NY] 1987
WHNZ [Tampa FL] 1996-2006
Now: Gene says (12/06), "I am 'on the beach' due to staff reductions at ClearChannel, Tampa -- following 11 years as PD at WHNZ and 4 years as DO for CC's Total Traffic Network."
Stew Wilkins aka Bill Stewart
WWSR [Burlington VT] 1970
WQAL [Cleveland OH] 1971
WLEC [Sandusky OH] 1972
WFIN/WHMQ [Findlay OH] 1973
WRFD [Columbus OH] 1976-1980
WAAM [Ann Arbor MI] 1979-1980
WSPD [Toledo OH] 1980-1993
KVOO-FM/KUSO [Tulsa OK] 1987-1988
WWWM-FM [Toledo] 1988-1989
WHND/WCSX [Detroit MI] 1989-1993
WXKR [Toledo] 1990-1990
WSPD [Toledo] 1993
WCWA [Toledo OH] 1994-1995
WRQN/WWWM-FM [Toledo] 2008
Bob Bartlett
WELF [Chicago IL] 1962
WPAG [Ann Arbor MI] 1963
WKNR-FM [Detroit MI] 1970
WCAR [Detroit] 1971
KTAB-TV [Abilene TX] 1979 - anchor/managing editor
Jack Hines (John Heinritz)
WAGN [Menominee MI] 1964
WPAG [Ann Arbor MI] 1965
WVIC [E Lansing MI] 1967
WXYZ [Detroit MI] 1968-1968
KGO [San Francisco CA] 1970
KFRC [San Francisco] 1972
KNUS [Dallas TX] 1975-1978
KLIF [Dallas] 1989
WMAM [Marinette WI] 1990
WNFL [Green Bay WI] 1990
KRLD [Dallas] 1995
KRNB [Dallas] 2002
WBAP [Dallas] 2005

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:27 pm

440.com is notoriously incomplete and inaccurate. Many smaller stations are not included in the early resumes of major personalities. I have told the website owner about this, and he has ignored my timelines. You are better off searching americanradiohistory.com and ARSA surveys from the 1960s. If a DJ is listed on a survey, you pretty much know they were there that week and year. Larger markets have more complete survey collections, because the higher numbers of surveys published out there, increasing the odds that they still exist and can be found. For small stations, if you have just three surveys from one radio station, you may have the largest existing collection of their surveys likely to be found. Thousands of survey collections have been thrown out by people not realizing the value of such surveys. Even the people who contribute to ARSA had no recommendations on where to find such surveys other than your own.
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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:06 pm

I just checked ARSA. They have 5 WAAM surveys, 20 or so WPAG surveys, and 1 WOIB 1290 survey. Some stations and fans have started Facebook pages, which attracts fans that may have a few surveys and have contributed surveys to the site. So you might want to start a WAAM Super 16 Facebook fan page, for instance.
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LouPerry
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by LouPerry » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:10 pm

Ben Zonia wrote:440.com is notoriously incomplete and inaccurate. Many smaller stations are not included in the early resumes of major personalities. I have told the website owner about this, and he has ignored my timelines. You are better off searching americanradiohistory.com and ARSA surveys from the 1960s. If a DJ is listed on a survey, you pretty much know they were there that week and year. Larger markets have more complete survey collections, because the higher numbers of surveys published out there, increasing the odds that they still exist and can be found. For small stations, if you have just three surveys from one radio station, you may have the largest existing collection of their surveys likely to be found. Thousands of survey collections have been thrown out by people not realizing the value of such surveys. Even the people who contribute to ARSA had no recommendations on where to find such surveys other than your own.
Nice to know.

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Here's such a list that surfaced recently for WTRX Flint from 1962, from the back of a survey from ARSA. Each personality listed has a story which can often be traced on line. Those can be fascinating. If the personality uses a stage name, you may have to dig deeper. The answer may come up on 440.com if they are well enough known, so I don't mean to disrespect the site, just point out the limitations. I've found some fascinating stories about Ed McKenzie, one of the early Jack The Bellboys on WJBK. Terry Knight and Tom Clay (who is portrayed in Motown The Musical) were others. It's fascinating what you might find.

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jry
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by jry » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:30 pm

I still have a cassette that Mark Elliot made me of Jack the Bellboy from the early 60s.... 1500 AM.

My Boy Lollipop was one of the hits.

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:49 pm

I once had a WJBK 1500 (FM 93.1) survey from the early 1960s, from a visit to Hudson's in Northland on a trip to a Tiger Baseball game. Of course, somebody threw it out! Ed McKenzie's story is sad, because after he was accused of receiving inducements to play records, which he denied, he left for WXYZ, and after WXYZ went to a formula which didn't allow him to select the records he wanted to play and talk them up the way he did, he left the radio business entirely. Terry Knight had some similar problems in Detroit, and his story ended sadly in his murder by his daughter's boyfriend. The most interesting story I found about Ed McKenzie was that he was once beaten with a barber strap by one Ira T. Sayre, once a Michigan State Senator, for peering into his window while he was listening to WCX in the early 1920s, on his obviously expensive tube radio. Most people had crystal radios then if they had radios at all. Ed McKenzie was all of 13 years old at the time. It was the first time Ed had ever heard a radio. Sayre, an attorney who, one would guess, would know, told him window peeping was illegal. You just never know where your research will lead you.
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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:32 pm

Trying to find the timeline of "Jack The Bellboy", DJs at WJBK, I found this, the earliest known surviving survey on ARSA featuring a picture of Casey Kasem, who was not a Jack The Bellboy, but shows how interesting the research can be. It is interesting that Casey Kasem did have the 7 PM-12 AM airshift. which was the airshift that Jack The Bellboy occupied before and after.

Image
Last edited by Ben Zonia on Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Musicrewired
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Musicrewired » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:38 pm

As to whether WPAG was country, it was for a little while around 1985 - 86. They had dropped "Remembering Your Music" for a current country format. This was replaced with whatever they used when they became WPZA and moved from the Hutzel Building at Main and Liberty up to Domino's Farms.

Dean Erskine would likely remember more about it. He's bio-ed here: http://lucyannlance.com/?page_id=2

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:45 pm

This research shows that Tom Clay was "Jack The Bellboy" in 1958, Terry Knight in 1963, and Robin Walker in 1964. From what I saw earlier, Ed McKenzie was "Jack The Bellboy" in the 1940s and early 1950s.

WPAG 1050 was an AC/Full Service format by the mid 1970s. WPAG-FM 107.1 was Country at that time as I recall.
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by therad » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:52 pm

Here are answers to some of the Ann Arbor radio history questions. WPAG did have a Top 40 format in the early 60's. Their most popular DJ then was Dave Pringle, who went on to Detroit radio where he used the name Dave Prince. The first WPAG survey that lists a DJ line-up was dated March 29, 1965. There was Tom Wight 8-10 a.m. & 3-6 p.m., Bill Bishop 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m., and Bob Bartlett 6 p.m. to sundown and Sunday afternoons. This line-up remained stable until the format change to MOR in early 1969. By the way, if you're wondering what they aired from 6-8 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m., it was farm shows. The change from Top 40 to MOR happened sometime during the first half of 1969. That remained the music format until January of 1982 when they launched a Music Of Your Life format, and later dropped that briefly for country (as Musicrewired mentioned earlier in this thread) before Tom Monahan bought the station and changed the calls to WPZA.

WOIA/WOIB tried the Top 40 format twice in the late 60's. First was in the fall of 1967, when they rocked from 11 in the morning until 9 at night. Mornings was still MOR and there was a jazz show from 9 to midnight. The rock format used the slogans "The Innovators" and "The All-American Sound for the All-America City." The station went back to an all-MOR format early in 1968, but by the summer of 1969 they took a second stab at Top 40. DJ's during this time included Tiny Hughes, Jim Curtiss (now known as Jim Kerr), Mike O'Brien, Ken McDonald Jr. and Larry Monroe. On Valentines Day of 1970 the station changed call letters to WNRZ/WNRS and became Winners Radio. It lasted about another year before the FM morphed into an AOR format and the AM went Country.

To my knowledge WYNZ was always a Christian station and never had a Top 40 format. WYSI on the other hand was Top 40 from when they signed on in the early 60's until sometime in 1966. They had gone to a country format by December of 1966.

Now for WAAM - For almost all of the decade from 1963 to 1972 the station played MOR music during the day and rocked at night. Some of the daytime DJ's during this period included Rich Petershagen, Larry Rupple, "Smilin' Rick" Stowe, Jim Cutler, Bill Hamilton and Bill Rich. Here is a rundown of the night jocks starting with E. Alvin Davis, who began in late '64 or early '65 and did his last show on July 4, 1965. Bill Hamilton started the night show on 7/7/65 and continued in that shift until about Labor Day, when he moved to mornings. Bill Rich then did nights from September, 1965 until August 5, 1966, when he also moved to days. Don Thompson, later with WJBK, did Saturday nights from late '65 to mid-'66. Greg Siefker started on the night show on August 8, 1966 and left in late July of 1967. Skip Diegel was the next night host, but by early '68 the shift was done by Johnny Dollar. It was also early that year that they started a late night progressive rock show called Strobe, hosted by Joe Doll. When he left in the summer of '68, he was replaced by Jim Dulzo and the show name was changed to Spectrum.

Johnny Dollar was gone and Skip Diegel was back on the night shift when the station burned down early in the morning on Friday, September 13, 1968. The station was back on the air that night, using a remote broadcast trailer and a portable transmitter. The format remained MOR during the day and rock at night through that winter, broadcasting from a module motor home trailer in the parking lot. The rebuilt studios opened in August of 1969, the same month that Bill Bishop came over from WPAG to do the morning show.

For about a year in 1970-71 the station went all-MOR, dropping the rock show at night. But by late '71 they were rocking again in the evening with a DJ calling himself Tom Michaels, who later became Detroit radio's Jim Harper. The station also began to liberalize the daytime playlist, anticipating the planned switch to rock as "The New 16" which took place in May of 1972.

That lasted until about 1976 or '77 when a company from Lima, Ohio bought the station and changed the format to MOR. I believe the station was sold to Lloyd Johnson in 1983 and that's when the Nostalgia format began. I think Ted Heusel was hired the following year. You asked about the date when the station went talk Monday-Friday and nostalgia on the weekend. I can tell you that up until at least 1998 the weekday line-up included locally-hosted music shows in morning and afternoon drive, with Ted Heusel and G. Gordon Liddy middays and Bruce Williams and Jim Bohannon at night.

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:04 am

You can find out a lot about The Electrifying Mojo, who did an R & B leaning Top 40 7 PM to 12 AM airshift on WAAM in the 1970s, but most of the online information is from after he left WAAM.

From the WHRV days of WAAM, there is a lot online about Ollie McLaughlin from the 1940s and 1950s. Ollie is most famous for discovering Charles Westover, AKA Del Shannon.

You can find information from the WHRV days in the late 1940s about the late great Sleepyhead Ted Johnson, Ypsilanti HS graduate and Adrian native, who began his career at WHRV. He later worked at WXYZ Detroit and WTAC and WFDF in Flint.
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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:02 pm

Jerry Riley and Jim Michaels are other names from the Top 40/early AC era who later worked in Detroit.

The late great Fat Bob Taylor, the Singing Plumber, was at WAAM during the Full Service era after they dropped Top 40. He was later at WJR.

Jimmy Barrett was at WAAM during the same era and then went to WJR. He is now at WRVA Richmond, VA, where you can occasionally hear him during critical hours.
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by pixelplay » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Doug Boynton, who posted here a few days ago, was the WAAM News Director and morning newsman in the mid 1970s. He later ran Metro Traffic in Detroit and now has something to do with Voice of America or something like that.

Don Riley was the WAAM Super 16 Program Director in the mid-70s and did afternoons. He left around the time of the change in ownership in late 1976 for a late-night gig on WDRQ. He's now at a station in Indianapolis. Electrifying Mojo also left around then for WGPR. Jim Michaels left a few months later (he had been mid-days and was put on evenings by the new owners) for WDRQ where he became Jay Michaels. He was replaced by Kevin Sanderson (now a traffic reporter) who later left for WCAR 1130 later in 1977 when he was replaced by Joey Ryan who also later worked weekends at WCAR before moving to WTWR in Detroit. Bill Bishop also worked at WCAR on weekends for a time as did R.T. Griffin when he left WAAM in 1978, and Griffin ended up doing mid-days when WCAR became WCXI.

Bob Beasley was brought in by the new owners from Lima, Ohio from WLW in Cincinnati to do afternoons and be PD, and years before he had worked at WWJ.

Yep, Fat Bob Taylor, the singing plumber and friend of J.P. McCarthy, did mid-days for the new owners, too.

I think Jimmy Barrett worked there in the early 1970s before working at WDEE, went back again later in the early 80s as PD and followed that with a move to WJR as Gary Berkowitz's assistant and took over when Gary left. As Ben said Jimmy's at WRVA now.

Art Vuolo can probably help you with some of this stuff as he has a bunch of videos and I think even did some marketing work for WAAM years ago. He lived in Ypsilanti for years before moving to suburban Detroit.

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:12 pm

Did Don use Don Riley or Jerry Riley on the air at WAAM? There seems to be some conflicting information.
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pixelplay
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by pixelplay » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:15 pm

Ben Zonia wrote:Did Don use Don Riley or Jerry Riley on the air at WAAM? There seems to be some conflicting information.
He used Don (his real first name) at DRQ. Yes, he was Jerry Riley at WAAM. Thanks for catching that, Ben! Riley is a radio name. I think he used Jerry at WAAM because Don Flick was already there.

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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:33 pm

If you can get this link to load (close all other windows), this is a great source for a snapshot of Radio in 1973. Ann Arbor is Page 404-405. I guarantee radio buffs can spend hours on this link if they are old enough to remember these people. It gives the most complete station lists where personalities worked that I have seen. Also, the most complete lists of station personnel. Thanks to David Gleason for his wonderful site, americanradiohistory.com. Don't copy anything though, just excerpt and credit both the source and website if you use the information. This is Starship Radio from 1973. The only other limitation is that not all stations are listed in each market. But I would estimate a good 60-70 percent of all radio personalities from that era are listed somewhere. WAAM and WNRS are shown here.

http://americanradiohistory.com/Archive ... 1973_C.pdf
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Ben Zonia
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Re: Ann Arbor radio history need help guys please

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:10 pm

David Carmine, known as Dave Carr on WSDS, is another H*** source of information about people from the whole state. If you start looking at the resumes, you'll find many Ann Arbor personalities worked in several markets across the state. The Art Vuolo lines of who should be included in a "Detroit Radio Reunion" get very blurry when you see all the places where the people worked, where they started, and where they are from.
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