|Our thanks to Famous Amos who was not responsible for this historic broadcast but knew someone who knew someone!|
TOP STREAM 64Kbps (15KHz)|
WLPK - New York's Album King (44:11)
. . . I'm David Bufoony, Good Morning! . . .
[Description by Famous Amos]
Recently, the Internet's tubes have been buzzing about the possible existence of an aircheck, made in New York City circa 1980, of something called "WLPK, New York's Album King". As there has never been a WLPK in New York City, this could not possibly be a "REEL aircheck" could it?
Oh, but it could. And it is.
About 30 years ago, a disgruntled ex-employee of ABC's 95.5 WPLJ, at the time "New York's Best Rock", was also one of Flushing, Queens' most persnickety pirates. When he found out from some of his ABC engineer friends that WPLJ was going to take a technical "smoke break" on an upcoming Sunday night/Monday morning you know, for "maintenance" he immediately mobilized his team of crazies, and history was forged! As well as counterfeited.
A quick yank of a few typical 'PLJ sides from his LP library, a tune-up of the military surplus FM transmitter (all the best pirates have one!) and most of all, some critical tweaks to the homebrew compressor, to emulate 'PLJ's um somewhat unique processing chain of the era and our hero was all set to aim his massive directional Yagi at Manhattan, and the Avenue of the Americas studios of WPLJ, and Rock. In stereo.
Only, this particular morning, WPLJ would become "WLPK", a brand new licensee who supposedly had thrown gobs of cash at ABC, for their popular mass appeal AOR station and whose shameless mission statement as the new tenant of 95.5 was to "kiss" the nether regions of every record company in existence.
Sitting in the 'PLJ control room on the 8th Floor of 1330 Avenue of the Americas, that morning, were the Union jock and the Union engineer, reading and killing time on the clock in a dead studio.
All of a sudden, on comes the air monitor..!
Standing by in another location were a couple more notorious New York pirates* (* = who to this very day do their own zany show on the internet!), poised and ready to TAKE PHONE CALLS from stunned New York radio listeners. This, they accomplished via the good old Phone Company "tie line"; I call the tie line number, you call the tie line number, and voila! We're connected.
These boys recorded the (voluminous!!) calls that came in from all over the New York metropolitan area, outraged that such crass fare had taken over from the venerable ABC and violated every sacred canon of broadcasting. Or something. These calls were later mixed-into this aircheck, so you can hear insomniac New Yorkers' real-time reaction to what's happening on "WLPK". About midway, you'll hear a caller purporting to be an ABC engineer (clearly, not in on the caper), giving them a friendly heads-up that the FCC was nasty business, and their phone number would be traced. Uh-unh. Blame the legendary New York Telephone, for the tie line.
Note that one of the more shocking features of this broadcast was the merciless lampooning of WPLJ's then-Program Director. It was this very parody that inspired a similar take on him a few years later, when the legendary Z-100 debuted in New York. That was the most famous radio war in NYC history and their in-your-face, cartoonish back of the hand to WPLJ and that poor PD had its origins right here!
This is the first mass-dissemination of "WLPK, New York's Album King" in 30 years. Like so many other Great Moments In Radio Goof Tape History, you will be quoting lines from this aircheck, for many years to come.
Mr. X captured the zen of WPLJ of the '70's, from the playlist to the sped-up turntables to the psychoacoustical house of horrors that was the audio processing (the breaths the panning!). You simply have to appreciate how WPLJ's unsuspecting all-night listeners, in the Number One market in the nation, were without warning exposed to something that sounded for all practical purposes like "New York's Best Rock" but with a little Time Spent Listening, they quickly realized that something was terribly, terribly wrong. Clearly, that was Mr. X a total nutcase who truly loved the medium of Radio, enabling him to parody a major market station so perfectly and devastatingly.
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