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WNEW-FM 102.7 (Pg 2)

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WNEW-FM 102.7: 1978

PROMOTION: 1978 Calendar

1978 (published Fall 1977)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM printed a calendar each year, which were sold to listeners with the proceeds going to charity. This is the complete 1978 calendar. (Click each image for larger versions)


"Happy New Year from everyone at WNEW-FM"
Tom Morrera, Dave Herman, Dennis Elsas, Alison Steele, Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa,
Richard Neer, Robin Sagon, Pat Dawson, Al Bernstein and Pete Fornatale.

Dennis Elsas: "He brings people together evening after evening"

Alison Steele: "The Nightbird since the beginning."



Pete Fornatale "A midday man for all seasons"

Richard Neer "In the wee small hours he marches to a different drummer"


Dave Herman "He wakes us with a musical smile"


Vin Scelsa "Night or day he never plays a turkey"

Scott Muni "He makes everyday a musical Christmas"

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale celebrating Elvis Presley [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 8, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

About five months after Elvis Presley died (on August 16, 1977), Pete dedicated a show to Elvis and his music. This show features interviews and tracks Elvis from his early years on Sun Records through his big hits on RCA Records.

mp3Pt.1(32:05) mp3Pt.2(29:02)

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Monday, January 23, 1978 (22:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of Dave's show from early 1978 featuring an "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue" set from Susan Tullipano, significant other of contributor Ken Tullipano.


AIRCHECK: Dave Herman

February, 1978 (04:23)

Dave Herman in his morning slot. While he plays music that would be expected on a progressive rock station, note the track he plays (at 2:56) of a very classic whom you would never hear on a Classic Rock station today and IMO, one of the things that made progressive rock stations, when they still had freedom and imagination and respected their audience, special.

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Monday, February 6, 1978 (19:23)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's Pete Fornatale in his weekday 10am to 2pm shift on a day that gave New York City a giant snowstorm. A nice set of easy-going music suitable for the morning.

Pete Fornatale

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, February 12, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin Scelsa with an interesting mix of dynamic music.

mp3Pt1 (26:57) mp3Pt2 (19:37)

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, February 12, 1978 (8:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a bit of Richard Neer, who followed Vin Scelsa on this day.

Richard Neer

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Tuesday, February 14, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman does his thing on Valentine's Day, 1978. Note the opening track. Think it would be played on any rock station today? This aircheck also features Robin Sagon.

mp3Pt1 (29:08) mp3Pt2 (24:34)

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's 3rd Annual Easter Show w/ Steve Goodman [slightly scoped-stereo]

Sunday, March 26, 1978 (57:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin's guest for this pre-recorded live-in-the-studio show was Steve Goodman and David Amram, who spend most of the show performing songs. This was a wonderful way to spend Easter.

Part 2 includes a spot for the Allan Freed movie biography, "American Hot Wax".

mp3Pt1 (26:13) mp3Pt2 (31:42)

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas with Mel Brooks [scoped-stereo]

Monday, March 27, 1978 (68:06)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dennis interviews the great Mel Brooks. Mel talks about the making of Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety as well as his days writing for Sid Ceaser and performing "The 2000 Year Old Man" with Carl Reiner. He also voices a spot for the Bottom Line (at the beginning of part two) that's quite funny.

This interview takes up 90 minutes of airtime. That would never happen today on commercial radio because PDs would feel that it was "breaking format" and that there'd be tune-out. They would rather play the same burnt-out track for the ten-thousandth time than do something a bit different and IMO, that's why radio is suffering today. It would also never happen because VIPs don't want to devote more than 10-15 minutes to an interview and all they want to do is plug their latest effort. So this is another example of both radio and the guest having great respect for the audience.

mp3Pt1 (22:24) mp3Pt2 (22:01) mp3Pt3 (23:41)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's "Best of Movie Rock" [scoped-stereo]

Monday, April 3, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

April 3, 1978 was Oscar night so Pete dedicated the show to rock music in movies. This included early Alan Freed movies, "Blackboard Jungle", the Elvis films, the Beatles movies and the Merseybeat copycats and the eventual evolution of rock songs being used as themes for all kinds of movies. Those included songs by the Beach Boys, John Sebastian and others.

mp3Pt1 (25:20) mp3Pt2 (21.57)

PROMOTION: "Beatles A to Z"

April 24, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM promotes Dennis Elsas' nightly show which will play Beatles A to Z for a week as well as a simulcast of the audio for Ringo Starr's NBC special of April 26, 1978.

Larger image

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale Welcomes Summer [scoped-stereo](44:28)

Sunday, June 18, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale plays great songs of Summer

mp3Pt1(22:34) mp3Pt2(21:44)

IMAGE: Alison Steele

Radio Guide - July, 1978

Radio Guide was a great improvement over FM Guide, but it didn't last very long. The full article is posted on on General Radio History page.


PROMOTION: Bruce Springsteen concert

Tuesday, September 19, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM promotes a live broadcast of a Bruce Springsteen concert from the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey.

Larger image

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM at the Bruce Springsteen Concert - Capitol Theatre [scoped-stereo]

Tuesday, September 19, 1978

Contributed by Dan McCue

WNEW-FM frequently featured live broadcasts of concerts, sometimes only broadcasting live from backstage and sometimes broadcasting the entire live concert. As per the above poster, in September of 1978, they broadcast an entire Bruce Springsteen concert from the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey.

WNEW-FM's tight association with Springsteen goes back to Bruce's big appearance at the Bottom Line in August of 1975.

While this recording took place at a Bruce concert and it is at the Capitol in Passaic, we don't know with 100% certainty that it was the September 19, 1978 concert, but we believe it is. This features Richard Neer and Pat Dawson along with promoter John Scher. They play an interview that Vin Scelsa conducted with Bruce and the E-Street Band that was recorded a few days before at Bruce's concert at the Palladium Theatre.

This Capitol concert was broadcast over a network of progressive rock stations of which WNEW-FM was the lead station.

Bruce Concert

November 23, 1978: Charity Concert at Madison Square Garden with Foreigner

AIRCHECK: Alison steele [scoped-stereo]

Wednesday, December 6, 1978 (30:21)

Contributed by David DiSanzo

Here's a nice Alison Steele aircheck that begins with the end of the Dennis Elsas show and includes news with Andy Fisher.

Alison Steele

PROMOTION: "Welcome Top-40 Graduates"

WNEW's 1979 Calendar: late 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This photo from WNEW-FM's 1979 calendar reinforces the image of WNEW-FM as a rock station for adults. It's therefore welcoming all those who "graduated" from listening to top-40 stations, especially AM stations.

WNEW-FM produced and sold these calendars each year with the proceeds going to charity. It was a great promotion that garnered station and air personality loyality while also doing some good.

Larger image

L-R: unknown, Dennis Elsas, Alison Steele, Richard Neer, Scott Muni, Dave Herman, Pete Fornatale, Vin Scelsa

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1979

PROMOTION: 1979 Calendar

1979 (published Fall 1978)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM printed a calendar each year, which were sold to listeners with the proceeds going to charity. This is the complete 1979 calendar. (Click each image for larger versions).

We don't know who picked the events included in the calendars, but they demonstrated a complete respect for the audience. The calendars included the birthdays of historical and literary figures, musicians who would never be played on WNEW-FM and even D.J.'s who had left the station and moved to competitors. What station would treat their listeners with such respect today?

For example, January includes the birthdays of Betsy Ross, FDR, Virginia Woolf and Benjamin Franklin and the death of Stephen Foster.March includes Lawrence Welk and J.S. Bach. May includes Thomas Pynchon and Mel Brooks as well as the date of Jonathan Schwartz' last show. June includes Zach's last show date.


"Thanks to all the listeners who contributed photographs. We only wish we could use them all."
"Dennis Elsas. When it comes to creating a memorable mixture of Rock and Roll music, Dennis pushes all the right buttons."
"Vin Scelsa. When he's not on the air, Vin can be found exploring the rare archaeological sites of New Jersey."

"Thanks to our family of listeners for these artists pictures."
"Richard Neer. A moment of peace and quiet between live broadcasts at the Bottom Line and other spots, starring for the WNEW-FM softball team and a hectic on-air schedule
L-R: unknown, Dennis Elsas, Alison Steele, Richard Neer, Scott Muni, Dave Herman, Pete Fornatale, Vin Scelsa

"Pete Fornatale. If there's such a thing as reincarnation, Pete will probably come back as a radio."
"Robin, Al, Tom, Meg, Pat and lots of good vibrations."
"Alison Steele. The night belongs to music and the bewitching flights of the Nightbird."

"Scott Muni. When WNEW-FM was asked to conduct a special ticket promotion for a Rolling Stones concert, over 400,000 postcards were received in just three days. That made Scott very happy."
"Dave Herman. Just set the dial to 102.7, pour a cup of coffee, and let New York's best morning man rock you awake."
"Thanks to our family of listeners for these pictures of just a few of the artists who make up the unique sound of WNEW-FM."

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas w/ Scott Muni

Monday, April 30, 1979

link: Dennis Elsas w/Scott Muni (off-site)

This was the last night broadcasting from the WNEW-FM studios at 565 Fifth Avenue before the move to 655 Third Avenue.

Once again, WNEW-FM demonstrated respect for the intelligence of its listeners by having a low-key, intelligent, reflective conversation describing memories about the studio without formatics or spots every 60 seconds.

This is another example of something you would never hear on a commercial rock station today, because of the fear of breaking format and the supposed resulting listener tune-out, even though it actually also served as a self-congratulatory promotion for the station. So the question becomes: Was this kind of programming wrong or have today's audiences become less intelligent, less patient and more hyperactive?

Some might say that such a conversation is "inside radio" and never should have been discussed on the air. But the move discussion was simply an excuse to brand the station as the rock station with the longest history and most credibility. Note that Elsas and Muni don't talk about all the great music they've played - they talk about all the artists who chose to visit the station. In addition, it humanized the air personalities by indicating that they were driven by the same kind of mixed emotions about the move as a listener might face when having to move their home, thereby creating an emotional link between the listeners and the jocks (and the station). This is why WNEW-FM had such high listener loyalty and resulting high advertising revenues even though it didn't always have market-leading ratings.

One might listen and think, "big deal, so they spoke about moving the studios for 15 minutes," but it wasn't that this one interview was so terrific--it was that this interview reflected the attitude of the station and the respect it had for the listeners (at least at this time.)

I believe that this is exactly the kind of thing stations should be doing today to provide differentiation and to compete with MP3 players and other alternative media.

Thanks to Dennis Elsas for making us aware of this interview.

May 22, 1979: Tom Morrera's First Overnight Show

July 31, 1979: Free James Taylor Concert at the Sheep's Meadow in Central PArk

August 31, 1979: Alison Steele's Last Show

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer

December, 1979

Neer later wrote the book "FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio"

Richard Neer

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1980

PHOTO: WNEW-FM DJs circa 1980


Clockwise from 12:00: Pete Fornatale, Dennis Elsas, Richard Neer, Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Tom Morrera and Dave Herman in the WNEW-FM record library.

Staff pic

PROMOTION: 1980 Calendar

1980 (published Fall 1979)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM printed a calendar each year, which were sold to listeners with the proceeds going to charity. This is the complete 1980 calendar. (Click each image for larger versions).

Unlike previous years, there were no photos of the DJ's shot especially for the calendar, probably a cost savings measure.








circa 1970's - 1980's

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A variety of WNEW-FM promotional t-shirts from the 1970's and 1980's

T-Shirts T-Shirts T-Shirts T-Shirts

T-Shirts T-Shirts T-Shirts

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with Peter Wolf [scoped - stereo]

Thursday, May 1, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM favorite Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band sitting in with Scott Muni and playing the role of disc jockey.

Note that this was about a half year before WNEW-FM started instituting some controls over the playlist and we hear a very dynamic set of music: some rock, some blues, some oldies, some pop, and some doo wop along with some talk about the artists, radio and Alan Freed.

mp3Pt1(29:46) mp3Pt2(30:00)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped - stereo]

circa Saturday, May 3, 1980

Contributed by Steve Ronzino

Scott Muni sounding in a good mood on this broadcast segment from the first week of May, 1980. We can't tell the exact date, but we know from the news item about hostages in the Iranian embassy in London that it's from that week.

Note Scott's remarks about the amount of mail he received when he asked the audience if they could listen to WNEW-FM in the office. Also note the promotion for the bikeathon. WNEW-FM was community oriented as well as having incredible loyalty from its audience.


AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 11, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

An almost complete "Here Comes Summer" show from Vin Scelsa. Part 2 features news with Mona Rivera.

mp3Pt1(24:50) mp3Pt2(21:24) mp3Pt3(11:04) mp3Pt4(25:10) mp3Pt5(18:13)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale with Chevy Chase

Early September, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Four years after leaving Saturday Night Live after only one season, Chevy Chase recorded a satirical record album and appeared on Pete's show. This aircheck is from sometime between September 6th and September 12th.

Chase talks about SNL, his post-SNL career, the making of the record album and he even gets into the format change on New York's WRVR from a jazz station to a country station. Among the tracks played is Chase's response to Randy Newman's "Short People".

Chevy Chase

PRESS: Pete Fornatale's Radio Love Affair

Good Times: November 4, 1980

“...I tend to be very protective toward this format, even though I'm a realist enough to look around me and see that the atmosphere has changed so pervasively.”

An article from the Good Times entertainment newspaper about Pete Fornatale and his 16 years on New York FM radio.

Fornatale article

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's “A Christmas Carol” (22:05)

Thursday, December 25, 1980

In 1980, WNEW-FM put together some old-fashioned radio drama with a presentation of “A Christmas Carol” featuring the WNEW-FM airstaff, including Scott Muni, Andy Fisher, Pete Fornatale, Dennis Elsas, Dave Herman, Tom Morrera, Vin Scelsa, Richard Neer, Jim Monahan, Dave Larkin and others. Even for Christmas, this was a gutsy move. Would anyone "break format" to do that today? Not even satellite radio would do so.

Xmas Carol

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1982



WNEW-FM created a calendar every year, with the profits going to charity. This was the cover of the 1982 calendar.


(Click for a larger version).

(L-R) Dan Neer, Vin Scelsa, Dave Herman, Scott Muni, Dennis Elsas, Pete Fornatale

PRESS: Scott Muni with Foreigner

Billboard: January 30, 1982

This photo was taken backstage at Madison Square Garden. This was still a time when radio was heavily involved in the concert scene and radio DJs frequently hosted concerts. Many can be heard on live concert recordings. This gave radio a cultural crediblity that it doesn't have today.


AIRCHECK: Murray the K Tribute [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, February 28, 1982 (Part 1: 24:46, Part 2: 23:51)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano


Murray the K had stints on WMCA, WINS, WOR-FM, WNBC and several other New York City radio stations, but he is best known for his tenure at WINS, his live shows at the Brooklyn Paramount and Brooklyn Fox, which he took over from Alan Freed, his self-proclaimed role as the "fifth Beatle" and for his pioneering work on the short-lived freeform WOR-FM.

Murray died on February 21, 1982 and a week later, WNEW-FM presented this tribute. Murray had never worked at WNEW-FM. Legend has it that an old dispute with William B. Williams kept him from moving to WNEW-FM when Scott Muni and Rosko moved from WOR-FM in the Fall of 1967. But every air personality at WNEW-FM was at least partially influenced by Murray the K.

This tribute is not the greatest production. It has some editing and logical flaws, but it was probably put together in a hurry. But having said that, the actualities and airchecks of Murray on this are quite wonderful and remind us what it was like when DJs were given the freedom and had the creativity to really entertain us.

Part 2 features Scott Muni, who tells us how he and Murray lived in the same NYC apartment building; Dave Herman, who owed his start in radio to Murray and who plays a long interview with Murray recorded around 1980, in which Murray talks about the legendary live progressive rock show he held at the RKO 58th Street theatre with The Who and many other groups; Pete Fornatale and Steve Leeds.

It's hard to believe that Murray left us 30 years ago this month (February, 2012) and that he would have turned 90 if he were still with us.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2

AIRCHECK: FM Magazine [scoped-stereo]

March 21, 1982 (37:15)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

We believe this show, which was produced by Earl Bailey and hosted by Robin Sagon, was broadcast on Sunday mornings. It's really too bad it was buried there because it was actually a pretty interesting show, but by 1982, WNEW-FM was less willing to break format during prime hours.

Part 1 is about the baby boomers. What's interesting is that the complaints expressed almost 35 years ago are exactly the same as those expressed today: that young people can't get jobs, that the existing jobs don't pay enough and that "this generation" will have to live worse than their parents did.

Part 2 has three segments: the first is about an organization dedicated to being "anti-preppie" (today it would be "anti-hipster"), the second is about the band, The Beat, and the third is about the Chicago City Limits comedy group.

mp3 Pt1(12:57) mp3 Pt2(24:18)

AIRCHECK: FM Magazine [scoped-stereo]

May, 1982 (49:04)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's another edition of WNEW-FM's "FM Magazine".

Part 1 is entitled "The Rocky Road of Rock & Roll" and is about the state of the business and how radio treated music way back in 1982. Substitute "web streaming", "sharing", "YouTube" and "downloading" for tape copying, and it could have been broadcast yesterday. What's really interesting is that radio programming today is using the exact same techniques it used back then. The music business itself was in trouble in 1982 as there was a big slowdown in music sales. (What would come to its rescue was the 1984 introduction of the CD for which consumers spent the next 10 years replacing their LP, cassette and 8-track cartridge collections.)

Part 2 is a retrospective analysis of the shootings of anti-war protesters at Kent State University in May of 1970.

mp3 Pt1(27:19) mp3 Pt2(19:48)

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's Tribute to WABC [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 16, 1982 (67:31)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

“When I'm on the air, I know if the Lincoln Tunnel is crowded; I know if the guy in the tollbooth has a stomach ache; I know when Mayor Koch has a headache and I used to talk to him on the air; I know who was missing - I helped the police; I knew if a toothpaste tastes good, I'd tell know that's what radio is: live and dynamic and they just didn't understand this.” -- Bruce Morrow

On May 10, 1982, WABC(AM) ended it's 22-year run as a music station. The station started playing hit pop music primarily geared towards young people on December 7, 1960. Herb Oscar Anderson, Charlie Greer and Scott Muni were there at the beginning, along with Farrell Smith, Jack Carney, Chuck Dunaway and Bill Owen. Dan Ingram would join in July of 1961, Bruce Morrow that August, Bob Lewis in June of '62 and Ron Lundy in 1965.

Considering that WABC and WNEW-FM were owned by different organizations and that top-40 radio was supposedly the "enemy" of progressive rock radio, it was incredible that WNEW-FM paid tribute to WABC. It reflects the maturity and integrity of the station (although it was broadcast on a Sunday night when relatively few people listened.)

This aircheck comprises a scoped version of the first 80 minutes of the two-hour broadcast. It was put together by WNEW-FM's news director, Earl Bailey and features interviews with program director Rick Sklar, Bruce Morrow, Herb Oscar Anderson, Scott Muni, Bob Lewis and Dan Ingram as well as a number of great airchecks.

Note: The audio quality improves a few minutes into the aircheck

mp3Pt.1(25:06) mp3Pt.2(24:05) mp3Pt.3(18:20)

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman's First Last Morning Show [scoped - stereo]

Friday, May 21, 1982 (53:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman started doing the morning show on WNEW-FM on May 22, 1972. That would last exactly ten years until May 21, 1982. This is that last morning show after which Dave would move to nights and later to the 10am spot. During the show, you'll hear Dave estimate that he played about 96,000 songs in those ten years. You'll also hear from Earl Bailey and Donna Fiducia.

But this insanity would not last long. Dave would return to the morning spot on November 12, 1986 and stay until 1991. And he'd even be back in that spot again after that. But that's another story.

mp3Pt.1(28:33) mp3Pt.2(25:13)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale on Dave Herman's last morning show [scoped - stereo]

Friday, May 21, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This short segment immediately followed the Dave Herman show above. Pete comments on how out of all the air personalities at WNEW-FM, he was closest to Dave because they saw each other every day.

Fornatale (03:29)

AIRCHECK: Alison Steele [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 18, 1982 (50:15)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

“I'll take you to undreamed of heights...”

Alison joined WNEW-FM on July 4th, 1966, a year and a half before the station became a rock format. When the station went rock in October of 1967, she held down an afternoon slot for a short time before becoming the "Nightbird" and taking over the overnight slot which she held until 1972. When Zacherley left for WABC-FM, Steele moved up to the 10pm-2am slot, which she held until leaving the station around 1979.

In October of 1982, to celebrate WNEW-FM's 15th anniversary, she returned to the station for one night. And in this remarkable aircheck, you can see how a superb FM DJ didn't just play a bunch of progressive rock tracks - she set a mood for the evening and literally takes the listener to "another place".

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 18, 1982 (9:59)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Turned out when Ken recorded the Alison Steele show above, he kept the tape running when it was over and picked up Dave Herman, recorded during the days when he was on at night. While not quite as engaged with the audience as he would later be as an amazing morning man, he plays a great selection of pumping rock.

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Jonathan Schwartz [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 21, 1982 (Part 1 27:16, Part 2 13:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's another 15th Anniversary aircheck of terrific audio quality courtesy of the amazing Ken Tullipano, this time of Jonathan Schwartz.

The show was broadcast on October 21, 1982, but appears to be a replay of a show originally broadcast on October 21, 1969, around the time of the station's second anniversary, but populated with 1982 spots.

That's confirmed by the fact that there's a spot for Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly", which was released in 1982. But several times during the show Schwartz announces that the date is October 21, 1969, so we think the station simply played back an old Schwartz show for the anniversary, since Schwartz was no longer at WNEW-FM at this time. He constantly repeats the date, so he must have known he was going to keep that night's show for posterity.

Contributor Ken Tullipano thinks that Schwartz was just “pretending” it was 1969. That would explain why he repeats the date so often.

During the show he reads a Joan Didion piece. (Can you imagine any rock jock reading a Joan Didion piece today?)

Among the highlights is another retelling of the "writing a letter to my girlfriend story". There's also a Crazy Eddie's spot with Dr. Jerry Carroll screaming in all his glory. Tracks include songs from Rhinoceros, The Incredible String Band, Carly Simon, Grace Slick and other stalwarts of the progressive rock era, but almost none of these tracks are those that you'd hear on a Classic Rock station today. Progressive stations of the time went deeper. But that's not to say that by 1982, they weren't striving for mass market advertisers - there's a very prominent and noisy Burger King spot.

Part 2 features “Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation” by Tom Paxton, another track that would never get played today, except perhaps on WBAI. The show ends with Schwartz's usual theme and then we hear Mike Harrison, which will continue on the next aircheck posting.

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AIRCHECK: Mike Harrison [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 21, 1982 (14:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Continuing the 15th anniversary celebration with Mike Harrison who did mornings in 1971 after Pete Fornatale moved to 10-2pm and before Dave Herman's tenure as Morning Man.

Mike returned to the station for a night in 1982 to help celebrate the 15th anniversary. As you'll hear from this aircheck, Mike liked to talk even more than Jonathan Schwartz did. But he does relate some interesting perspective on his time at the station and he plays some interesting, but now very obscure 1980's music. 1982 was about two years before the wide-spread commercial release of the CD format and note how he claims that no one is buying records. Sound familiar?


AIRCHECK: Rosko [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 25, 1982 (43:33)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Rosko (Bill Mercer) left WNEW-FM in March of 1971 to move to France. He returned to the U.S. and joined the short-lived WQIV from November 1974 to August 1975 and then he eventually moved to 92.3 when it became Disco KTU.

But in October of 1982, to celebrate WNEW-FM's 15th anniversary, he returned to the station for one night. And while he opened the show with his usual, "Do you want to take a mind excursion?", it was dry -- without the bass riff that he usually used. Maybe he just forgot to bring the cart.

While he sounds a little out of practice (and he almost IDs 92.3 at least once), this aircheck still represents a lesson in one-to-one communications with the listener. The 2nd part opens with Earl Bailey "interviewing" Rosko. Some of the other WNEW-FM jocks can be heard in some promo spots.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3

AIRCHECK: Zacherley [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 28, 1982 (49:28)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The incredible John Zacherley left WNEW-FM in mid-1971 to join WPLJ for a much bigger paycheck, but shortly after he got there, WPLJ went to a much tighter format and he lost the freedom to play what he wanted. Nevertheless, he stayed almost ten years, leaving in 1980. In 1982, he returned to WNEW-FM to help celebrate its 15th anniversay and to celebrate Halloween, which was always a special day for the "cool ghoul".

This aircheck, representing two hours of air time, appears to be from Thursday, October 28th, starting at about 8pm, when Meg Griffin was supposed to be on. At the end of the aircheck you can hear Pete Larkin sitting in for Dave Herman, who was under the weather.

Since this was an anniversary celebration, Zach plays a lot of music from WNEW-FM's early days, including the usual suspects: Dylan, Santana, Traffic, John Mayall, etc. But there's also more esoteric material, like Sea Train, which evolved from the Blues Project. And out of all the songs in the Beatles catalog, he starts the set with the one that probably got the least airplay of all and it sounds great.

There's a funny moment when Zach gives the call letters as WPLJ. He also recalls that when he first joined WNEW-FM, there were virtually no spots (but his original air shift began at 6am, when that time was meaningless for FM, since there was no FM in cars and he later switched to 2am in the days when there still wasn't very many listeners.) And speaking of funny, there's even a Crazy Eddie spot near the end.

The audio quality of this aircheck is superb - we hope that comes across in the stream. Goes to show you how much better radio sounded when there was less processing. And even though you can hear the surface noise of the LPs, it's kind of soothing (as I've mentioned before). We thank Ken Tullipano for this wonderful and rare aircheck. The only thing that would have made it better is if we didn't have to scope it.

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VIDEO: WNEW-FM 1982 (13:37 + 11:56)

circa 1982

Posted by radprog on YouTube

I came across this on YouTube which appears to be a cinema verite documentary about WNEW-FM. I'm not sure of the original source, but at least some of it seems to be also included in the documentary "Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio" (see the media page), although even though this footage seems to be labeled "Airplay", the production credits seem different than the Airplay documentary from Travisty Productions.

This includes some great footage of Dan Neer, Pete Fornatale, Scott Muni, Dennis Elsas and others.

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's Kazoo Band [scoped-stereo]

circa December, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This aircheck contains several excerpts of Vin Scelsa with "Rockin' Robin" and "Bayonne Butch" on the Kazoo, along with some music segments. The first segment starts with a McDonald's commercial. Bet Vin didn't like that much.

Kazoo (15:43)

AIRCHECK: 1st Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, Dec. 26, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete had always said that things began to change for the worse at WNEW-FM after John Lennon's death in 1980. As the station got bigger and the revenue became more important, it became more formatted and commercialized. It played little blues or folk music. In late 1982, Pete decided to move to weekends where he had more freedom. He began a folk music oriented show on Sunday mornings and called it Mixed Bag, after the first Richie Havens album.

Thanks to Ken Tullipano, we have the very first edition of Mixed Bag. Pete presents the rationale for the show and plays a great body of music, especially appropriate for Sunday mornings.

Part 1 features a great mix of music. About 5:30 into Part 2, Pete conducts an interview with Don McLean, who also performs. This continues in Part 3.

mp3 Pt1(30:25) mp3 Pt2(33:20) mp3 Pt3(17:25)

AIRCHECK: FM Magazine [scoped-stereo]

circa 1982-1983 (49:04)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Not much is remembered about this show. We suspect it was broadcast on Sunday mornings as part of "public service". These particular editions were hosted by newscaster Robin Sagon. It was a strange mix of political interviews combined with relevant music, interviews with rock stars and public service warnings.

Part 1 features interviews with G. Gordon Liddy, who was the chief operative in the Nixon White House responsible for the Watergate break-in, and Timothy Leary, the Harvard based psychologist who was a strong proponent of the use of psychedelic drugs. This "odd couple" was touring together on the college lecture circuit.

Part 2 features an interview with Nick Lowe, who was promoting his "Nick the Knife" LP release. It also includes features about how not to get ripped off at a gas station and how to avoid being a victim of crime in NYC, which if one believes this report, was plagued with violent crime in the 1980s.

mp3 Pt1(21:47) mp3 Pt2(27:17)

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