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Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

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Ben Zonia
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Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat May 15, 2021 11:42 pm

WMRT 1010 and WMRT-FM 100.7 Top 40 Survey From 1963.

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Musicrewired
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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Musicrewired » Wed May 19, 2021 3:56 am

I'm surprised "Washington Square" by the Village Stompers wasn't anywhere in there. It was #2 in the U.S. just a week or two earlier.

Incidentally, this chart was from just after the Kennedy assassination. There likely wasn't as much interest in pop music in that immediate aftermath.

Also, the Sammy Davis Jr. song in the countdown, "The Shelter Of Your Arms", is one of his best hits, in my opinion.



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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed May 19, 2021 10:30 am

If you remember the era, Michigan Top 40s tended to play new artists WAY before the rest of the country, and stop playing them sooner. The West side of Michigan was more influenced by WLS, the East side of Michigan by CKLW. Lansing was in the middle. The "feeder stations" including WILS (not sure about WMRT, as a short lived Daytime startup) also influenced WLS and CKLW. WLS actually even broke records, before the "Stiffphobia" policies made it the "World's Last Station" to play "unproven" hits. Remember that record "Please Please Me" by the "Beattles" (on Vee Jay) in February, 1963 that Dick Biondi played that stiffed? I guess that was the last straw. :)

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Last edited by Ben Zonia on Wed May 19, 2021 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed May 19, 2021 10:52 am

December, 1963 was the month in between the Kennedy Assassination and the rise of The Beatles in the USA, two events that heavily influenced our History.

Note that "Peanuts" by The Four Seasons (also on Vee Jay) is on the WMRT chart at #31, even though they had no Billboard Hot 100 entires in "December, 1963", which may not have been lost on the late MSU Grad Judy Parker and later husband Bob Gaudio, when they wrote modified lyrics for the song that became a huqe hit.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/J ... 9-20170919


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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Wed May 19, 2021 6:57 pm

If WMRT was Top 40, that would have given the Lansing market three Top 40 outlets at that time alongside WILS and WJIM (which IIRC had just made the switch from being an old-line network station). When did WVIC enter the fray? I believe WMRT-FM was also known as WYFE (with C&W music) for a time prior to the switch to WITL.



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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed May 19, 2021 9:13 pm

100.7 became WITL-FM in 1966, after being WYFE from 1964 until 1966. I remember sometime while it was WYFE, being in Lansing and hearing them say that "Both Whittle and Wife will be on the air until Eight O'Clock tonight". As the Lansing Areas AM sign off time for May is 8:00 P.M., I would assume it was in May. To give more exact dates, refer to the History Cards.

You'll get a headache trying to read it under all the Wite-Out on the WITL-FM History Card, but 100.7 was WYFE from 4-16-64 until 5-17-66.

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/c ... r_id=81451


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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu May 20, 2021 12:06 am

When 100.7 first signed on, it had superpower with 92 kW ERP from 360 feet HAAT on the Olds Tower/Michigan National Bank Tower. Years later, WLMI 92.9 had a problem with downward radiation levels with just 5.4 kW when they moved there! The ERP went down over the years to 55 kW from the Olds Tower, then to just 55 kW from 165 feet from one of the WITL 1010 towers on Pine Tree Rd., which at the time allowed WITL-FM to still claim they were the most powerful Lansing station, when WFMK reduced from 116 kW from 300 feet to 28 kW from 600 feet HAAT from the Grand River Rd. site. They then moved to Pine Tree Rd. WLGH 88.1 now broadcasts from the old WFMK tower.


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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Thu May 20, 2021 12:23 am

WVIC 730 came on the air after WVIC-FM 94.9 as I recall, around 1965. It had a Beautiful Music format at first.


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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by FredLeonard » Fri May 21, 2021 5:11 pm

Notice the pictures of the "Good Guys" air staff at the bottom. Tom Pratt later became "Tom Greene" (Pratt was his real name), state capitol reporter for (in turn) WJR, WJBK-TV and WDIV-TV. Tim O'Brien became a correspondent for ABC News.



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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Fri May 21, 2021 11:06 pm

Didn't notice before that the WMRT Survey was called the "Silver Dollar Survey", again reflecting the WLS influence. Didn't the kids figure out where they got the name after they signed off at night and local station coverage became inconsistent? Did the DJs think the kids wouldn't figure it out. Very few FM radios were in homes then, and the adults were generally tuned to Beautiful Music on them in the evenings.


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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by FredLeonard » Sat May 22, 2021 3:45 pm

I remember WMRT in 1963. Whatever they called it, it wasn't Top 40. Closer to MOR with Top 40 cross-overs. They were an ABC affiliate and pretty much took everything, Flair Reports, Paul Harvey and the evening news block. In the evening on FM, the guy on the board took it easy and basically took the network music fill.
First thing Chuck Drake Mefford did when he took over was to dump ABC. WVIC picked it up a couple of years later, even before they went Top 40. Next thing you know, Old Chuckles is doing his afternoon talk show and some lady calls in and says, "Isn't great we can hear Paul Harvey again."
For the first couple of years, Wittle ran a mix of pop, MOR and country cross-overs. Then WVIC hired a PD from a country station. Chuck hit the panic button and went country, so WVIC went Top 40.



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Re: Pre WITL Top 40 Lansing 1963 Station Survey

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat May 22, 2021 4:39 pm

FredLeonard wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 3:45 pm
I remember WMRT in 1963. Whatever they called it, it wasn't Top 40. Closer to MOR with Top 40 cross-overs. They were an ABC affiliate and pretty much took everything, Flair Reports, Paul Harvey and the evening news block. In the evening on FM, the guy on the board took it easy and basically took the network music fill.
First thing Chuck Drake Mefford did when he took over was to dump ABC. WVIC picked it up a couple of years later, even before they went Top 40. Next thing you know, Old Chuckles is doing his afternoon talk show and some lady calls in and says, "Isn't great we can hear Paul Harvey again."
For the first couple of years, Wittle ran a mix of pop, MOR and country cross-overs. Then WVIC hired a PD from a country station. Chuck hit the panic button and went country, so WVIC went Top 40.
I guess you could pretend to be a Top 40 but with only a three or so hour shift of actual Top 40 per day.


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