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Best Detroit stations of all time

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
Deleted User 10525

Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Deleted User 10525 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:26 pm

Ok RadioKev has got us on a roll. Meaning best formats, past and present.

1. Z-rock 102.7

2. 105.1 The Edge

3. 97.1 Extreme radio

4. 106.7 The D 2.0 Variety hits

5. V98.7

6.106.7 The Beat

Currently: 98.7 The Breeze has my attention.



MrTaterSalad
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by MrTaterSalad » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:15 am

The best stations for me occurred (mostly) when I was younger. Below are my top three.

#1: Oldies 104.3 WOMC (circa 1995 through 2006 or whenever Kevin Murphy came into town and took a hatchet to the station)
Oldies 104.3 had it all back in the day. A great, deep mix of music spanning the late 50's, 60's, and 70's. Genres including Motown/R&B, Pop, Doowop, Rock & Roll, Classic Rock, Hippe Rock, Folk, Soul, etc. They had a great lineup of DJ's on-air with Dick Purtan and Purtan's People in the morning (Big Al, Jackie, Dana Mills, Rebekah Rhodes, Ankles Stewart, Doc), Tom Force and/or Bob Vanergrift middays, Tom Ryan & Matinee Mindy on the ride home, Don Phillips at night.

Randy Reeves as the voiceover guy mixed with the the TM Century Overture jingle package produced an incredible sound for the station. TM Century's Overture is still my favorite set of jingles I've heard in the Detroit market. Those jingles were on point and really added a lot to the listening experience of the station.

#2: WDFN Sports Radio 1130 The Fan (1994 circa 2007)
The original FAN was something unique and special growing up as a kid. My love for sports could now go on and on and on listening to the fan.The chance to here none-stop sports talk on the radio was so much more meaningful back in the 1990's because no one else around the Detroit market was doing that. Stoney & Wojo and all their segments (Happy New Year, Archie Bunker, the brackets, Caller Jeff, etc.), Sean Baligian, Jamie & Brady, Drew Henson were a great collection of sports talk hosts. When competition arrived WDFN still had the better air talent than anyone (sans maybe Karsch and at times Art Regnar) who was on Team 1270. That said, I did listen to Team 1270 a lot too.

#3: 106.7 W4 Country (the original W4 Country)
106.7 W4 Country was everything a live and local station should be. W4 played a far greater variety of songs than did their rival at Young Country. It was nice to hear something outside of the top 40 of country being played on the radio. They had good-not-great imaging, if not lacking a bit in the signature jingle department. They also had a terrific on-air team ranging from Joe Wade Formicola and Dina Harding (aka Rebekah Rhodes) in the mornings, Jim Bosh & Holly Dunn in the mornings, Katie O'Niell, Brenda Matthews, Sharon Foster, Dave Kelly, Ken Warner, Mike Scott, Andie Lynn, Michael J. Foxx, etc. It really is a travesty what AM/FM-Cheap Channel did to W4 Country. They've paid the price on the 106.7 dial ever since flipping it from W4 Country.



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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by stopnswop2 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:12 am

I always had issues with Oldies 104.3. They seemed to heavily focus on "rock and roll". Which they are doing even today with the Classic Hits, having far too large of a selection of Classic Rock


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Art Van Damme
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Art Van Damme » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:44 am

Kind of difficult to do this without more parameters but, eh, it’s for fun.

1. WJR - To be the go-to station for generations really says something of the institution. Ok, I can hear the grumbling “it currently is a shadow of its former self” I get it, I get it. But consider how long the station has been on the air doing the middle-of-the-Road personality format. Even before JP, WJR was THE station for adults, period. After network radio, through the JP years and rock n roll and fm, WJR has had staying power.

2. WKNR - October 1963 the shot heard around Metro Detroit (for the most part). For 4 1/2 years “Keener” was the voice of Detroit’s young generation. Excitement, personality, music, promotions, even news, WKNR was the station kids loved, until it awoke a sleeping giant...

3. CKLW - It wasn’t only the 50,000 watts that made CK a winner. It was tight programming, even more excitement(!), bigger promotions and a sophisticated sound that made WKNR sound like cheap candy. Let’s face it in 1967 people’s tastes were changing musically and CKLW came on at the right time. Million-dollar weekends, non-stop show-flow, less chatter, hell even the news was compelling and who could deny the music selection. I would venture to say that up until FM started taking over listening, CK was still a force up until 1978.

WJLB - AM14’s signal basically covered the City proper, but it had influence on both black and white listeners. When Booth exchanged positions of WJLB-AM 14 and WMZK-FM 97.9 in 1980, the station became even more influential. It has had the same format since then, showing many other competitors the door.

WRIF - How many rock stations have come and gone since WRIF has been on the air? Sheesh! All the personalities who worked there. You know who they were. Rock n Stereo! Baby!

Honorable Mentions:
WHND Honey Radio - What any Oldies station in the US should have looked to as an example of how to execute the format successfully. What a fun station it was.

WHYT 96FM/WCZY Z 95.5 - tied. Detroit’s textbook Top40
Battle beginning in 1983.

98.7 WLLZ Detroit’s Wheels. The only station to give WRIF a run for its money.

1130 WDFN The Fan - Could have been so much more. It was off to a rocky start but when the station found its footing, it was great. Should have moved to 106.7 but that has been discussed here already.

97.1 The Ticket. Detroit’s sports station. Whether you like it or not, it’s the tops, and has chew up and spit out competitors.



Deleted User 14803

Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Deleted User 14803 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:04 am

Of course, I’m going to say( because of my age of 63)”The Only Station That Matters “WABX 99.5 by the way they were the originators of that phrase ,next Rock WWWW 106.7,Third place would be Early 89X 1991 -1997 last would be The Groove 105.1.Also WABX was the station of your wildest dreams .I sure miss them.



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mikemach
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by mikemach » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:25 am

I would say 88.7 around 1990 when Alternative Rock started in the evenings only, then went to full time. This station played brand new (to me) music I had never heard before. This was a big game changer for me musically and I left Motley Crue et al in the dust.

Also equally important to me was Drew and Mike on WRIF around 1994. I was a loyal listener for the whole run and still listen to Drew's podcast.

Lastly WXYT in the late 80's early 90's. I loved Denny, Mark Scott and especially the great David Newman. That was the Zenith of talk radio for me!



szmigiel
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by szmigiel » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:08 am

This is my "Best Of" list in kind of chronological order.

WABX 99 1/2 late 70's early 80's until they became Class FM

WLBS 102.7 for a short period in 1984 when it played new wave before becoming oldies

WDTX 99.5 When the station went full MTV/New Wave, it started great but it slowly went downhill till it became the Fox.

WDET Is a special case because it always seems to have at least one program I like to tune into, even if I am not listening all the time. I liked their music shows in the early to mid 90s the best.

CJOH/CMIX 88.7 "The Cutting Edge of Rock" when it was just a late night program that took over the station. It remand pretty good even as it turned into 89X, but soon Grunge took over the airwaves and it wasn't much different then most Rock stations.

Planet 96.3 was nice while they stilled played some classic new wave mixed with less grungy alternative until slowly changing into WDVD and becoming generic in the early 2000s.

And it dies there, I can't think of a single station or format that has me looking forward to tuning in. I will listen to NPR or 97.1 not because I want to but because it is about the only thing I can leave on for any length of time.

Special Shout out to DJ's and Shows I would tune into

The Electrifying Mojo, even though I wasn't the biggest R&B fan in the world, I would tune in because he would play stuff I wouldn't hear anywhere else, or stuff that would become hits.

Mike Halloran Radios in Motion I followed Mike Halloran from station to station, even when he left the Detroit market for California, WLLZ still played a taped show on the weekends I didn't want to miss because it was the only place to hear what would be called alternative Music.

Greg St James again following him from station to station, he knew his stuff and always tried to play new and interesting artist

Brent Bambury Brave New Waves on late night CBC radio.

Allen Oldham Fast Forward was the only place to hear House and Detroit Techno on the radio.



Kratos429
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Kratos429 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:40 am

I'm not sure we can talk best ofs without talking about 90s WNIC.

Jim Harper and the Breakfast Club mornings, Gene Maxwell middays, Chris Edmonds PM drive, Alan Almond Pillow talk evenings. Their air lineup was consistent from my earliest memories in 1995 until Harper went to Magic in 2001.

Each of these was mentioned in the 98.7 thread in terms of either Broadcasters we want to see or see emulated. Harper and the Breakfast Club was a Hall of Fame nominee last year, Alan Almond was a pioneer and nearly went into syndication before it was en vogue, and doing the same sort of show that makes John Tesh and Delilah millions of dollars. WNIC was #1 in the ratings before Harper moved to Magic and split the station's audience.



mkhopper
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by mkhopper » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:47 am

Not much more can be said that hasn't already but in my opinion:

Late 70s, through the 80s, WABX, WLLZ, WRIF, in that order.
Those stations defined music for me while growing up and I don't think anything on the radio will ever reach those standards again, in this or any other market.

Also while not Detroit specifically, but in the late 80s, WIQB out of Ann Arbor was always another solid station. Most couldn't tune it in very well much east of Plymouth/Canton though.



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Art Van Damme
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Art Van Damme » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:34 pm

Kratos429 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:40 am
I'm not sure we can talk best ofs without talking about 90s WNIC.

Jim Harper and the Breakfast Club mornings, Gene Maxwell middays, Chris Edmonds PM drive, Alan Almond Pillow talk evenings. Their air lineup was consistent from my earliest memories in 1995 until Harper went to Magic in 2001.

Each of these was mentioned in the 98.7 thread in terms of either Broadcasters we want to see or see emulated. Harper and the Breakfast Club was a Hall of Fame nominee last year, Alan Almond was a pioneer and nearly went into syndication before it was en vogue, and doing the same sort of show that makes John Tesh and Delilah millions of dollars. WNIC was #1 in the ratings before Harper moved to Magic and split the station's audience.
I heartily second your opinion, Kratos.

WNIC was H*** as Detroit FM radio started to become more formatted. WKNR Stereo Island was first, then the WKNR-FM calls were retired for WNIC and Detroit’s Nicest Rock.

I’m not sure but I think Harper came to WNIC in 1978. (I think after the St James and Harper show broke up on DRQ. My memory is fuzzy on this.)

The Harper/Gannon Breakfast Club was legendary. Did they team up in ‘82?? I can’t recall the exact year.



Kratos429
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Kratos429 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:57 pm

Art Van Damme wrote:
Kratos429 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:40 am
I'm not sure we can talk best ofs without talking about 90s WNIC.

Jim Harper and the Breakfast Club mornings, Gene Maxwell middays, Chris Edmonds PM drive, Alan Almond Pillow talk evenings. Their air lineup was consistent from my earliest memories in 1995 until Harper went to Magic in 2001.

Each of these was mentioned in the 98.7 thread in terms of either Broadcasters we want to see or see emulated. Harper and the Breakfast Club was a Hall of Fame nominee last year, Alan Almond was a pioneer and nearly went into syndication before it was en vogue, and doing the same sort of show that makes John Tesh and Delilah millions of dollars. WNIC was #1 in the ratings before Harper moved to Magic and split the station's audience.
I heartily second your opinion, Kratos.

WNIC was H*** as Detroit FM radio started to become more formatted. WKNR Stereo Island was first, then the WKNR-FM calls were retired for WNIC and Detroit’s Nicest Rock.

I’m not sure but I think Harper came to WNIC in 1978. (I think after the St James and Harper show broke up on DRQ. My memory is fuzzy on this.)

The Harper/Gannon Breakfast Club was legendary. Did they team up in ‘82?? I can’t recall the exact year.
From my own knowledge of Detroit radio, Jim came to 'NIC in 77 or 78, left to help start WDTX as a part owner and program director with Mike Bradley, then both eventually went back to WNIC. Gannon was there before, during, and after Harper's tenure at WDTX before leaving for good in the early 90s.

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radiojunkie2002
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by radiojunkie2002 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:41 pm

If you remember,

92.3 the Wave WVAE 1988-1989
smooth jazz, alternative soft pop, variety

99.5 The FOX WDFX, 1990, 91,92
The best Hit station with lots of energy.
till becoming "wow-fm"

and
Joy 97, WJOI- 1990-1994 (before Star 97)
..when they played soft easy pop hits from 60s-thru the 80s.
(Carpenters, Manilow, Eagles, Kenny Rogers, Beatles, etc)

These had more music and less DJ talk.



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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by JackAttack FM » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:44 pm

The Big 8  CKLW in the 70's.
Hands down.
Best rotation anywhere.
And they literally made or almost every popular jock and newscaster in the market there for the next 30 years except for JP.
(I was kind of interested in CKLW in the early 90's when they left the big band music and were transitioning to Talk)

96.3 from the 90's until about 2007.

98.7 WLLZ Detroit's Wheels.

WJR, Basically the whole JP and "full service" era, maybe up to 2000.

95.5 From the "Cozy" WCZY era into Q95 up until about 1997.

97.1 Joy97 WJOI. You heard this in a lot of barber shops.

99.5 The Fox

105.1 WQRS Classical and Detroit Sports

WWJ in the 1990's
Tater wrote: #1: Oldies 104.3 WOMC (circa 1995  through 2006

#2: WDFN Sports Radio 1130 The Fan (1994 circa 2007)

#3: 106.7 W4 Country (the original W4 Country)
I agree with every one of these.

And I couldn't disagree more with 1027BrianFM's picks.

Jim Harper BTW was, to me, the most uninteresting morning show host in this market.



Marcus
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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Marcus » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:10 pm

96.3 WHYT from 1986 up until 1992. - A good mix of Urban Contemporary, Top 40, and Dance Music.
102.7 Z-Rock in 1992 and 1993 - Started out good and was different than the competition, at least for the awhile
105.1 The Edge - One the best Alternative radio stations ever. Greater Media didn't give it enough of a chance.



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Re: Best Detroit stations of all time

Post by Bobbert » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:48 pm

I'd be happy to return to the 80s, with full-time classical music on WQRS, great talk radio on 1270 with David Newman and Mark Scott, nearly everything on WJR (Tigers, J.P., Mike Whorf, Jay Roberts, Sketches and Comments), Famous Coachman putting me to bed every Saturday night on WDET, Dick Purtan in his prime, Joe Donovan's exciting college football reports on WWJ on Saturdays in the fall, Holy Hubert Lindsey on Sunday nights on WMUZ, Bruce Williams.



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