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Author Topic: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?  (Read 1483 times)

bandit957

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Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« on: December 25, 2018, 03:11:00 PM »

Prior to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and maybe even for a few years after, people used to listen to the radio much more than they do now. What stations did cool people listen to back in your day?

Around here, the big station was Q-102 (WKRQ), but they became such an overblown spectacle that they weren't that interesting anymore after about 1984. They got to have a very narrow playlist. So my favorite station in middle school was WCLU (CLU 132). Then later, I actually listened to Lexington's WLAP-FM (Power 94.5) a lot. It was an out-of-town station, but I lived far south enough that they usually came in pretty well back then.
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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 03:24:05 PM »

When I was a kid in grade school (late '50's/early 60's) the "hot" radio station (AM) that was always playing on playground portable radios -- at least in my L.A. suburb -- was KFWB, "Channel 98" (980 Khz).  Elvis (about every 5 songs or so), Chuck Berry, Everly Brothers, even some early Motown -- played around the clock.  But FM took over in the later '60's for the "cool kids"; KFWB changed to an all news/traffic format by about 1973. 
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nexus73

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 06:33:04 PM »

Oregon's top rock station during the Boss Radio era was 91 KISN (910 AM).  They had an 85% share of the PDX metro area radio market.  It was the very definition of mass market.  Today the callsign goes to a very low power FM transmitter broadcasting classic rock that cannot even be heard in the entire metro area.

Moving into the Seventies saw FM explode.  KPAM and KGON dominated in PDX.  KZEL was the big dog in Eugene.  You could now drive the entire Willamette Valley with great rock on your car radio.  The PDX signals were strong enough heading north that when they began to fade, you could pick up Seattle.  Driving along I-5 was fun in those days!

For us on the South Coast, there would be no FM until the 1980's.  On AM in Coos Bay we had KYNG, 1420, King Of The Oregon Coast, when it came to the Top 40.  It was only on-air during the daytime.  If you parked on the highest points of land here you could pick up a signal from KZEL in your car but it wasn't the best.  One friend put up a large yagi antenna in a tree, aimed it toward Eugene and added a preamp.  That let him get KZEL on his home stereo.  The rest of us depended on the cable company to bring in out of the area FM stations into our home.

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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 12:15:31 AM »

Growing up in CT in the 1980's, the cool kids listened to a few stations.  The kids who liked Top 40 type music listened to WKSS (KISS 95.7), while those who liked rock either listened to WHCN (105.9), or WCCC (106.9).  WKSS switched from the Beautiful Music format to Pop around 1984, and remains the same format to this day.  I actually went to school with the former owner of WKSS's daughter, and I still keep in touch with her (ironically, both our musical tastes are the polar opposite of what the station plays).  WHCN was sooooo much better in the 80's with the AOR format; you wouldn't hear the same 100 songs on continuous loop like you do today with the corporatization of terrestrial radio.  WKSS and WHCN are now both iHeart stations, and WHCN was emasculated in 2002 when it went from hard edge classic rock to a soft contemporary format (The River).  WCCC, the original home of Howard Stern's morning show, remained a great rock station until a little over 3 years ago when it flipped to Christian music.  Howard even made a cameo on the old format's last day.  WTIC-FM was somewhat popular, while those on the fringes of the area tended to listen to WPLR or KC-101 in New Haven.
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 12:36:56 AM »

I was crazy for WTIC-FM 96.5 of Hartford, back when it was CHR/Top 40 "96 TIC-FM". The T.O.H. station ID was voiced by the late Ernie Anderson (the voice of ABC television in the 1980s). It all went sour once they became HOT A/C "96.5-TIC" in 1994.

WKSS-FM 95.7 of Hartford/Meriden was so much better when they were locally owned as "95.7 KISS-FM", after switching from that format above in 1984 until they modified the name to "KISS 95.7" in 1989. A great example of a station that Clear Channel/I-Heart Media ruined.

WHCN-FM 105.9 of Hartford was much better as a classic rocker and with Picozzi and The Horn in the mornings. Today, it's  sappy female leaning Classic Hits "The River 105.9", owned by I-Heart Media.

I haven't listened to WCCC-FM 106.9 of Hartford since it became contemporary Christian "K-Love". The last year or so between the prior active rock format (much better) and today's CCM format made me take that preset off my Walkman.

WDRC-FM 102.9 of Hartford was better off as a classic hits station. After the oldies but before today's "102.9 The Whale" and classic rock. Picozzi in the mornings and Miss Klonk on middays are the only ones left from active rock WCCC-FM. Rob Ray is the only one left from WDRC-FM's classic hits format.

WPLR-FM 99.1 of New Haven is quite similar to WDRC-FM...classic rock. They were sister stations until a few months ago. They even simulcasted the Chaz and A.J. morning show from WPLR-FM.

Today's WMRQ-FM 104.1 of Waterbury, a.k.a "Radio 104.1" is OK...but the first go around as a modern rock station from 1994 to 2002 was a lot better. They were owned by Clear Channel, then sold off. Today, their current owner also operates WDRC-FM 102.9 and the low-power chain of Kool Oldies stations, such as WNTY-AM 990 Southington and low-power 96.1 of Meriden.
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ErmineNotyours

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2018, 01:04:44 AM »

KJR, Seattle.  Channel 95!  They played AM Top 40 into the 80s, until MTV came along in April 1982 and I abandoned them.  When I went back to radio a few years later, it was to new wave KYYX.

You don't know what you've got til it's gone, but I realize now how many DJ tricks KNBQ did.  For instance, one time one jock timed an announcement at the end of "Ghostbusters" like this: "KNBQ."  Ray Parker Jr.: "Louder!"  DJ: "KNBQ!!

Another time they were playing "Thriller," and at the end of the horn crescendo they took a call from a listener who said she was tired of the tricks they're playing with the end of "Thriller"  The DJ promised they would not play tricks with the end of "Thriller" any more.  Cue the Vincent Price laughter.  Now everything's automated and you don't have fun things like that any more.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act allowing multiple ownerships is not the only thing that killed fun radio.  The death of the vinyl single and the lack of a viable alternative lead Billboard and stations to disregard single sales as a basis for song airplay.  Now everything became an echo chamber of what consultants and researchers thought would least offend advertisers.  This lead to "I Will Always Love You" being number one for weeks on end, rather than anyone having the courage to circulate more songs.  It was that song and "Everything I've Done, I've Done For You" (the themes for two Kevin Costner movies  :banghead:) that drove me away from radio.  That and I was a few years out of college, when you start to put away childish things.  I volunteered at KZUU, Washington State University's student radio station, which opened up a world of better music to explore.
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davewiecking

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 02:18:19 AM »

When I was in HS, the cool people didnít listen to Top 40 radio; they listened to WHFS 102.3, with studios high atop the Triangle Towers.
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abefroman329

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2018, 08:58:20 AM »

In Atlanta, 99X (which had just changed formats from Power 99 when we moved there in the summer of 1993).
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2018, 09:51:20 AM »

In the Philly area, around the 80's and 90's: Q102 (102.1 FM, still lives on) and Eagle 106 (106.1 FM).  Both played a Top 40 format, although Q102 was more into dance and clubbing type music.  Eagle 106, while still being a strong station, decided to drop the format for something that have a very niche audience (I think it was Jazz or something) and was never the same since.  People still miss that station.
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bing101

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2018, 11:43:52 AM »

In San Francisco I remember KMEL was the stations Cool kids listen to in the 1990's when Tupac was big.
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ce929wax

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 12:35:58 PM »

Anyone who was anyone listened to WKFR circa 1996, but some people also listened to WBCT (B-93) which is a country station, and WRKR which is a classic rock station.  I listened to all three, as my musical tastes varied.  The only station I still listen to today is WRKR.

When I lived in Baton Rouge (1999-2000), the station was called 98.1 the Eagle, and they had this awesome morning show that I forget what it was called, but it was raunchy and funny.
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hbelkins

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2018, 01:24:34 PM »

WKQQ-FM in Lexington was the album rock station when I was in high school in college. But I always liked traveling far enough north or west that I could hear WQMF out of Louisville, or WEBN in Cincinnati. Both played harder rock than WKQQ, and WEBN was frequently praised by my classmates at Morehead State that were from Ohio.
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inkyatari

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2018, 03:06:59 PM »

Even though I hated the station, Chicago's B96 (WBBM) was what all the "cool" kids (people I didn't want to emulate,) listened to.

I called the station B Ninety Sucks.
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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2018, 04:22:11 PM »

In the Twin Cities, it was 101.3 KDWB. For a time there was also competitor Drive 105, but that flamed out. Wasnít my cup of tea so I listened to the old fogey stations like classic rock KQRS, sports talk KFAN, and WCCO.
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ErmineNotyours

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2018, 11:51:07 PM »

Even though I hated the station, Chicago's B96 (WBBM) was what all the "cool" kids (people I didn't want to emulate,) listened to.

I called the station B Ninety Sucks.

Just having "BM" in your call letters should be enough.
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slorydn1

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2018, 03:20:38 AM »

Even though I hated the station, Chicago's B96 (WBBM) was what all the "cool" kids (people I didn't want to emulate,) listened to.

I called the station B Ninety Sucks.

Agreed. For me during my late teenage/early adult years years I liked the Loop98 (WLUP-FM 97.9) and 105.9 (I think the call letters were WCKG-If its too loud, you're too old). Late 70'S /early 80's I had WLS-AM 890 locked in on my clock radio.
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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2018, 02:06:55 PM »

I don't know any cool people.
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abefroman329

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2018, 02:11:04 PM »

I don't know any cool people.
Oh, donít be so modest.
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steviep24

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2018, 06:34:50 PM »

Here in Rochester, NY back in the late 70's and throughout the 80's that would be 96.5 WCMF which was/is a rock station. Currently WCMF plays classic rock so they're basically the same now as they were back then. For the cutting edge people we had WUWU 107.7 that played New Wave. That station was in East Aurora but came in strong in Rochester. 107.7 FM is now WLKK and currently is a modern rock/alternative station.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 04:07:56 PM by steviep24 »
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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2019, 03:31:04 PM »

For the Greater Boston area from 1975 through 1982; it was WCOZ 94.5 FM which featured album-oriented-rock.  The station adopted the Kick-Ass Rock-and-Roll slogan circa 1977 and lived up to it.
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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2019, 11:09:54 AM »

Even though I hated the station, Chicago's B96 (WBBM) was what all the "cool" kids (people I didn't want to emulate,) listened to.

I called the station B Ninety Sucks.

Agreed. For me during my late teenage/early adult years years I liked the Loop98 (WLUP-FM 97.9) and 105.9 (I think the call letters were WCKG-If its too loud, you're too old). Late 70'S /early 80's I had WLS-AM 890 locked in on my clock radio.
I remember listening to Music Radio 89 WLS back in the 80s, but unfortunately, it flipped to News/Talk before my senior year in high school.
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bandit957

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2019, 11:14:14 AM »

I remember picking up WLS here at nights in the late '80s. I don't think it was top 40 anymore, but it still played music then. It sounded like it was only oldies by then.
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abefroman329

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2019, 11:30:59 AM »

I remember picking up WLS here at nights in the late '80s. I don't think it was top 40 anymore, but it still played music then. It sounded like it was only oldies by then.
Wikipedia confirms that WLS-AM was playing oldies in the late '80s.
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inkyatari

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2019, 11:35:26 AM »

I remember picking up WLS here at nights in the late '80s. I don't think it was top 40 anymore, but it still played music then. It sounded like it was only oldies by then.

On vacation we once got it at Fort Mountain State Park in Georgia.
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bandit957

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Re: Which radio stations did cool people listen to in your day?
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2019, 11:39:12 AM »

Occasionally, I'd come across a Billboard magazine and look at the articles on radio. Back then, Billboard printed the music surveys compiled by a few major top 40 stations. I remember in 1987, WLS still had a survey of current music and apparently still reported to Billboard as a top 40 station. But I don't think WLS was top 40 for much longer.

In fact, WLS might not have been real top 40 in 1987. I seem to recall that the music on the survey overlapped top 40 and AC.
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