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WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

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km1125
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WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by km1125 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:44 pm

Was going through some old 8mm movies can caught this pic in one of the parades. Probably very early 70's, maybe 71.

Who was she? Was she a big deal back then? What was WBRB? Is it still on?

Image



sfpcc
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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by sfpcc » Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:45 pm

I looked up "Rosie O Grady" and my hits were either A movie from 1950, (Sweet Rosie O Grady) or a few Irish Pubs. I looked up WBRB and found out it was a Country station in West Virginia. I don't know how long that station has had that call sign. Maybe West Virginia could help ? (maybe not)



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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Robert Faygo » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:13 pm

WBRB was, until the 80s, a full-service pea-shooter AM on 1430 licensed to Mt. Clemens that operated in Macomb County. Its towers were located on the Clinton Twp side of 14 Mile and Gratiot before the station went silent and the license turned in.

WBRB-FM 102.7 (now WDKL) came later.

In the 1960s, WBRB was co-owned with WERB AM 1090 Garden City (now WCAR) and the two stations operated loosely as a network.

Rosie O'Grady, who used that pseudonym on-air, hosted a program on WBRB.


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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:30 pm

The license for WBRB 1430 was deleted in late 1996. It seems like the 5 total Day and Night towers off Gratiot South of Mt. Clemens, were taken down a couple years earlier. The original three towers for 1430 were on Hayes Rd. near Hall Rd., just South of the Lowe's parking lot. They moved around 1960. Early air personalities Bill Hennes didn't remember them being there, and Bob Liggett passed away before we got a chance to ask. But it is on the History Card, though no one believes it. It's amazing the things on those cards that people don't believe happened.

WBRB-FM 102.7 is now WDKL, owned by K-Love/EMF, and the tower is now in Oak Park, just South of Yeshiva Gedolah High School, near 10 Mile and Greenfield. For around 60 years, the towers were at or just South of the WBRB 1430 site. The 1430 tower move in 1960 many have been related to the FM coming on the air and wanting a taller tower, and the old site being a wetland.
Last edited by Ben Zonia on Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Robert Faygo » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:44 pm

I also remember that once the ownership of the AM and FM were separated, Gilda Radner was the principle owner of WBRB for a time.

If memory serves, WBRB went dark in the early 80s for a couple years after giving up on the full service format, then came back in the mid 80s until going off the air for good in about 1989 or so. All 6 remaining listeners got over it.

I think they tried a whole bunch of formats in the mid to late 80s before giving up the ghost.

Looks like the old 102.7 studio / transmitter building / tower is still standing behind a strip mall and hotel.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5448172 ... a=!3m1!1e3

The AM 1430 studio building is long gone at 16/Gratiot. The second AM 1430 array was in the same vicinity as the 102.7 tower, but I don't remember exactly where.


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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:31 pm

There is a 4 kW ERP/126 meter HAAT AUX facility for WDKL on the tower off Gratiot.

Image
Last edited by Ben Zonia on Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by km1125 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:29 pm

Robert Faygo wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:13 pm
...WBRB-FM 102.7 (now WDKL) came later. ...
Being as it's also listed on the banner on that car, I would think the FM channel have been live at least as early as 1971
Ben Zonia wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:30 pm
...It's amazing the things on those cards that people don't believe happened. ...
Where do you find these "history cards"?
Robert Faygo wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:44 pm
....Gilda Radner was the principle owner of WBRB for a time.
...
IIRC, Her parents lived in the North Park Towers buildings back in the 80's



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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:56 pm

Where do you find these "history cards"?
I assure you they are real.

Go to CDBS. Click Station Search. Put in the current callsign. If it's been deleted, put "D" in front of the call letters, such as "DWBRB". Submit.

Click the Correspondence Folder Link at the bottom. Click the imported letter dated January 1, 1980 (every History Card was uploaded for this date).

They take a while to load, and the layout is kind of confusing. Once you get used to it, it's a little easier. It's images of Microfiche cards, white type on a black background.


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km1125
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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by km1125 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:22 pm

Ben Zonia wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:56 pm
Where do you find these "history cards"?
I assure you they are real.

Go to CDBS. Click Station Search. Put in the current callsign. If it's been deleted, put "D" in front of the call letters, such as "DWBRB". Submit.

Click the Correspondence Folder Link at the bottom. Click the imported letter dated January 1, 1980 (every History Card was uploaded for this date).

They take a while to load, and the layout is kind of confusing. Once you get used to it, it's a little easier. It's images of Microfiche cards, white type on a black background.
Thanks! That is very cool info.



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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:09 pm

The Canadian Database still has the WBRB DA information. One tower was in common to both Day and Night array. The Night array was a dogleg arrangement, probably because a symmetrical arrangement would have caused an unnecessarily deep null in the generally Western direction toward nearby populated areas. The Eastern directions didn't matter, as the nulls ended up over Lake St. Clair.

https://www.fccdata.org/?call=WBRB&ccod ... DN&lang=en


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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:22 am

Found this in a Billboard magazine "Radio Response Rating" report for Detroit from 1965:

WBRB: 500 watts. A Malrite station. Music format: Contemporary-Pop Standard. Editorializes on issues affecting local community. Special programming: Mich. State, Roseville & St. Clement [sic - I assume they meant Mt. Clemens?] High School football in season. "Sound Off" 10:05-11 a.m. M-Sat. "Tradio" 5 times a week, M-Sat. "Rosie O'Grady Show" 9:05-10 a.m., 1:35-2 p.m. M-F. "Zingo" 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. M-F. Frank Lee is in charge of 4-man news dept. 15-min. news, 8 a.m., 10-min. news, 12:05 p.m. M-Sat. Gen'l mgr. Charles H. Park, Jr. Send 3 copies each of 45's and LP's to prog. dir. David R. Woodling, Box 489, Mount Clemens, Mich.

WBRB-FM: ERP 30,000 watts. Music format: Country - Contemporary - Pop Standard. Simulcast with WBRB part of day. Same address and personnel as WBRB.

It's in the July 17, 1965 Billboard issue if anyone cares to look on David Gleason's website or on Google Books. It's an interesting snapshot of the market at the time.

Incidentally, WBRB-FM was given 14% of the total influence regarding sales of Country records in the Detroit market at that time. The other 86% belonged to WEXL, which I imagine had a crappy signal in Macomb County at night, so WBRB-FM apparently had some impact in those days before WDEE was Country on a 50,000-watt signal.

I wish there were more airchecks of the station. All I've been able to find is a tiny bit from the early '60s on one of the Motor City Radio Flashbacks web site's AM aircheck composites, and another from January 1990 (reportedly the station was a Motivational Talk outlet by then, but this was a DJ show and the music was sort of Hot AC - songs like Belinda Carlisle "Leave a Light On", Katrina & The Waves "That's the Way", and Taylor Dayne "With Every Beat of My Heart") which seems to be no longer online. My mom grew up in Romeo and recalls WBRB as THE station to listen to for severe weather info and school closings, more so than even WJR because it super-served Macomb County.



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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by Ben Zonia » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:10 am

Charles H. Park, Sr., the father of Charles H. Park, Jr. of WBRB, was the Chief Announcer at WJR for quite a few years. Charles Park, Sr. worked with Donald F. DeGroot at WFDF at the beginning of their careers. Don DeGroot retired as VP/GM of the Evening News Association and the WWJ Stations in the 1970s. Don DeGroot had been the first resident GM of WTAC Big 600 in 1947-1948. Don DeGroot was the father of John DeGroot, the founder of WWRM (WKPK) in Gaylord, WKZY Escanaba, and WMLQ Rogers City. On the 60th Anniversary in 1982 of WJR, Charlie Park, Sr., Bud Guest, and J.P. McCarthy were all on the Focus program. The interview was repeated on the 70th Anniversary. J.P. McCarthy became the first Top 40 DJ at WTAC in 1956, overnights as Big Jay McCarthy, after returning from Armed Forces Radio in Alaska. While at WTAC, he auditioned several times at WFDF, and was told he wasn't quite ready for the Big Time, as J.P. related during the Anniversary Focus Program. But a position soon became available at WJR, and he was hired there for the first time that same year.

The Sparks family owned WEXL Royal Oak, and founded WOMC Detroit, WHGR Houghton Lake, and WJGS Houghton Lake (now WUPS Harrison) for many years.

So there's your Michigan Radio Genealogy lesson for the week.


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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by km1125 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:34 am

ChrisWL1980 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:22 am
Found this in a Billboard magazine "Radio Response Rating" report for Detroit from 1965:

WBRB: 500 watts. A Malrite station. Music format: Contemporary-Pop Standard. Editorializes on issues affecting local community. Special programming: Mich. State, Roseville & St. Clement [sic - I assume they meant Mt. Clemens?] High School football in season. "Sound Off" 10:05-11 a.m. M-Sat. "Tradio" 5 times a week, M-Sat. "Rosie O'Grady Show" 9:05-10 a.m., 1:35-2 p.m. M-F. "Zingo" 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. M-F. Frank Lee is in charge of 4-man news dept. 15-min. news, 8 a.m., 10-min. news, 12:05 p.m. M-Sat. Gen'l mgr. Charles H. Park, Jr. Send 3 copies each of 45's and LP's to prog. dir. David R. Woodling, Box 489, Mount Clemens, Mich.
.....
There is a St Clements church in Centerline. I have a contact there and I'll check if they know anything about a connection.

Interesting info in all these posts!



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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:28 pm

km1125 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:34 am
ChrisWL1980 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:22 am
Found this in a Billboard magazine "Radio Response Rating" report for Detroit from 1965:

WBRB: 500 watts. A Malrite station. Music format: Contemporary-Pop Standard. Editorializes on issues affecting local community. Special programming: Mich. State, Roseville & St. Clement [sic - I assume they meant Mt. Clemens?] High School football in season. "Sound Off" 10:05-11 a.m. M-Sat. "Tradio" 5 times a week, M-Sat. "Rosie O'Grady Show" 9:05-10 a.m., 1:35-2 p.m. M-F. "Zingo" 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. M-F. Frank Lee is in charge of 4-man news dept. 15-min. news, 8 a.m., 10-min. news, 12:05 p.m. M-Sat. Gen'l mgr. Charles H. Park, Jr. Send 3 copies each of 45's and LP's to prog. dir. David R. Woodling, Box 489, Mount Clemens, Mich.
.....
There is a St Clements church in Centerline. I have a contact there and I'll check if they know anything about a connection.

Interesting info in all these posts!
There's also one in Romeo, which was the church my mom attended when she was growing up. I'm not sure if they have a high school though.



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Re: WBRB and Rosie OGrady?

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:31 pm

Ben Zonia wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:10 am
Charles H. Park, Sr., the father of Charles H. Park, Jr. of WBRB, was the Chief Announcer at WJR for quite a few years. Charles Park, Sr. worked with Donald F. DeGroot at WFDF at the beginning of their careers. Don DeGroot retired as VP/GM of the Evening News Association and the WWJ Stations in the 1970s. Don DeGroot had been the first resident GM of WTAC Big 600 in 1947-1948. Don DeGroot was the father of John DeGroot, the founder of WWRM (WKPK) in Gaylord, WKZY Escanaba, and WMLQ Rogers City. On the 60th Anniversary in 1982 of WJR, Charlie Park, Sr., Bud Guest, and J.P. McCarthy were all on the Focus program. The interview was repeated on the 70th Anniversary. J.P. McCarthy became the first Top 40 DJ at WTAC in 1956, overnights as Big Jay McCarthy, after returning from Armed Forces Radio in Alaska. While at WTAC, he auditioned several times at WFDF, and was told he wasn't quite ready for the Big Time, as J.P. related during the Anniversary Focus Program. But a position soon became available at WJR, and he was hired there for the first time that same year.

The Sparks family owned WEXL Royal Oak, and founded WOMC Detroit, WHGR Houghton Lake, and WJGS Houghton Lake (now WUPS Harrison) for many years.

So there's your Michigan Radio Genealogy lesson for the week.
Another link in the chain... WTAC, when they first went Top 40, was consulted by Mike Joseph, who would also oversee 1310 WKMH's transition to WKNR (Keener 13) in 1963 as well as the Top 40 conversion at WLAV in Grand Rapids, and changed 96.3 in Detroit from the WJR-FM beautiful music format to "Hot Hits" WHYT in 1982.



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