Matt Seinberg at home during College
Matt Seinberg at home during College

WPLJ Dudes
WPLJ dudes, (clockwise): John Zacherle, Bob Marrone, Pat St. John, Jimmy Fink

Matt Seinberg and Johnny Dark at WFLC-FM, 1998
Matt Seinberg and Johnny Dark at WFLC-FM, 1998

The Matt Seinberg Big Apple Airchecks Collection

Matt Seinberg can trace his interest in aircheck collecting to Planview, Long Island, on an afternoon in 1975. While watching cable TV at a friend's house, they got to the "What's On" channel and heard WNYT, the radio station for the New York Institute of Technology.

They called the DJ, Greg Monti, who turned out to be the GM. Greg and his friend Dave Haber became fast friends with Matt, who ended up going to NYT, joining the radio station, and getting his own Top 40 show on Sunday afternoons.

Matt's interest in airchecks came from both Greg and Dave, who had been collecting for quite a while. He started slowly and built up a network of contacts across the country. He also became friendly with a number of New York City DJs at stations like WABC, WPLJ, WYNY, WNBC, 99X and others.

Some of his favorite people include Allen Beebe, Johnny Dark and Batt Johnson. They all arrived in New York City in 1977, and he has remained in touch with them 25 years later. Matt has also met Pat St. John, Jimmy Fink, Bob Marrone and John Zacherle of WPLJ, and has had the privilege of meeting Dan Ingram on several occasions.

Matt has enjoyed trading airchecks with Bob Gilbert in New Hampshire, Bill Dulmage in Canada, and as well as the late Mike Miter of Ontario Canada, and the late Tim Benko of "Windy City" Airchecks.

Matt has never traded some of his airchecks, and he hopes to share some of them here. He intends to send more material to REELRADIO as time allows, and says, "I hope y'all enjoy them!"

Visit Matt at Big Apple Airchecks on the web!

The Repository thanks Matt Seinberg for sharing
The Big Apple Airchecks Collection!

[Descriptions by Uncle Ricky]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (16 Khz)
Jay Thomas, Lee Douglas, 99X New York, Fall 1976 (29:13)

. . . blame it on Imus . . .

The rivalry demonstrated here between morning guy Jay Thomas, and midday guy Lee Douglas is somewhat reminiscent of the long-time on-air battle between Ron Riley and Clark Weber at WLS a decade earlier.

This composite was assembled between September 22 and October 21, 1976. Dick Sloane is featured filling in for Thomas in a brief segment (at 24:37) and the voice of Terry Nelson is heard on 99X X-Van $10,000 promos. Also featured: the voice of then 99X General Manager Erica Farber (CEO/Publisher of Radio and Records) with a time-tested promotional gag.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (12 Khz)
The Unknown Disc Jockey, WNBC New York, April 30 1978 (30:24)

. . . make you hum like a ten-penny finishing nail hit with a greasy ballpeen hammer . . .

He's identified as The Unknown Disc Jockey, but only the deaf won't immediately recognize Jack Armstrong on this aircheck of WNBC from April 30, 1978.

Whether this was done for the fun of it, or due to some contractural restriction, we don't know. Jack's alter-ego The Gorilla even calls him "Jack", once, but otherwise, this great performance is credited to some guy with a bag on his head — or so we are told.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7 Kbps (10 Khz)
WABC New York, Composite, January 1978 (45:34)

. . . The most listened-to station in the nation . . .

Chuck Leonard begins this expansive composite with his overnight show on New York City's WABC, recorded on January 18, 1978. Bob Cruz follows (at 6:33) and Harry Harrison's morning show is prominently featured beginning at 10:42. At 20:56, The always popular Ron Lundy is heard on his midday program. Unfortunately, the Cruz, Harrison and Lundy segments were dubbed out of alignment and the otherwise good fidelity suffers.

Fortunately, the tape path straightens out a bit (if not completely) by 25:19 for a fabulous Dan Ingram afternoon drive segment. Not to be outdone, George Michael is fantastic, and you can hear his 7PM show beginning at 32:03.

I Love New York was the big promotion at WABC during this composite, which continues on January 20, 1978 with Steve O'Brien at 36:36. It concludes on January 21, 1978, with a bit of Johnny Donovan (at 39:51).

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 64.1 Kbps (16 Khz RA8 STEREO)
WKTU Disco 92 New York, Composite, February 1979 (40:15)

. . . Dance, Dance, Dance . . .

Here's the station and format that inflicted some serious damage on WABC in 1979. Recorded on February 9, 1979, this stereo composite of WKTU Disco 92 opens with the Wake Up Crew, headed by soft-spoken Paul Robinson and featuring newspersons Peter Newman, Ann Tripp, and Melanie Shorn.

I was surprised at the low-energy, sugary approach of the Disco 92 daytime staff. Notice the voice similarity to Robinson of midday guy Dave Mallow (13:28) and afternoon driver Ken Hayes (15:23).

That easy-going Gucci Guy Uptown Sound is replaced in the early evening with the deep, latino-flavored voice of Paco (18:28) and a very polished newswoman named Needa (Anita?) Basin. (Our apologies for misspellings, I welcome corrections. No reference material was available.) That smooth disco boy sound is back (at 24:01) with Randy Place, who rounds out the evening with an introduction to Studio 92, featuring three hours of uninterrupted music which was featured 11PM - 2AM, six nights a week.

The composite continues on February 10, 1979 with "The Disco Kid", G. Keith Alexander (26:55), followed by the honey smooth sound of Mary Thomas (at 29:20), and Trip Reed (at 33:33).

Then, recorded on February 11, 1979, you can hear Peter Allen Burkhart (35:59) who reads his own news, and a nice Italian boy from Jersey, Joe Guarisco, recorded on February 12, 1979.

New York's music radio audience had been slowly migrating to FM for several years. But who would have thought that such a low-key approach would be a giant killer?

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 16.2 Kbps (10 Khz)
Don Imus, WNBC New York, September 3, 1979 (20:12)

. . . Sure, he doesn't say disgusting things on the air any more, but wait 'til the numbers come in . . .

Here's Don Imus on his first day back at WNBC in New York, after being banished to Cleveland to play (of all things) country music.

Newsman Charles McCord is featured, along with Imus bits for The Right Reverend Billy Sol Hargis and Imus In the Morning Vice-President and General Manager Geraldo Santana Banana.

Imus sounds genuinely happy on this one.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10 Khz)
WABC New York NY March 1981 (20:33)

. . . the biggest Pips in show business . . .

Contributor Matt Seinberg writes that this was a composite of WABC airchecks he put together in March of 1981. This was apparently a "new" WABC, featuring New York Yankees baseball games!

Uncle Ricky recommends the Dan Ingram, Howard Hoffman (also here!), and Mike McKay segments. The Ingram and Hoffman segments also offer better fidelity.

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The Matt Seinberg Big Apple Airchecks Collection
has been part of REELRADIO since September 8, 2002.

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