At CKEY, 1977
At Citytv, 1994
Dan Haber was born at a very early age, but soon grew out of it. Before that happened, though, he developed a life long love of radio and was determined to work in it. That goal came true in 1977 when he got his first paying job while still in college, as a network news editor at CKEY in Toronto (Dave Mickey's alma mater...) After 3 years there, he moved on to CFTR, still in its heyday as the top Top 40 rocker in the city. That's where he produced and contributed to the award-winning, Canada-wide documentary news program "Sunday Sunday".
From there, it was on to CJCL, where as he says, he "did everything except engineering"--with a nightly on-air shift, producing a sports talk show, writing news and even working on spots--and all "for the bargain price of one pay check!"
Finally, he ended up at Citytv in Toronto, as their Newsroom's senior graphics guy and chief headline writer. (His two favorites: When Princess Di gave birth to Prince Andrew: "INTO EVERY REIGN, A LITTLE LIFE MUST FALL"; and the night before the Oscar nominations came out: "THEY'D LOVE TO BE AN OSCAR-ADMIRED WINNER").
While Dan's first love remains radio, after 15 years with Citytv, he accepted the position of Managing Producer for the newsroom's website.
Dan was a Charter Contributor to the Repository with the classic Dave Mickey aircheck (below). Thanks, Dan!
[Descriptions by Dan Haber]
George "Hound Dog" Lorenz, WKBW Buffalo, 1958 (3:28)
...Oh, Lawdy, lawdy, lawdy Miss Clawdy - Hey! Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis...
If Alan Freed was the Father of Rock & Roll Radio, then George "Hound Dog" Lorenz was certainly the Uncle.
The Hound was one of the very first to play Rhythm & Blues records on a regular basis in the early 50s, a fact that won him fans with the kids, and enemies with some grown-ups. But to paraphrase Danny & The Juniors, "Rock & Roll Was Here To Stay"--and Lorenz was one of the people who guaranteed it. This Memorial Day check from 1958 proves the Hound was a big Elvis fan. And that there were many who were also big Hound fans--including Sam Cooke and The Playmates, who can be heard here doing promos for his show. If you love Top 40 Radio, you owe this man a debt of gratitude. He was one of the first. And those who knew him will tell you---he was one of the best, as well.
TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10Khz)
Dave Mickey Show, CKEY Toronto, June 1963 (01:18:39)
There were all kinds of "Mickey's" popular in 1963. There was Mickey Rooney (in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), Mickey "Guitar" Baker, Mickey Spillane, and even the Miracles' "Mickey's Monkey". But the number one "Mickey" in Toronto back then was named Dave, and he ruled the airwaves with the kids on CKEY.
Playing the hits from the "Silver Dollar Survey", the motor-mouthed Mickey wasn't much older at the time than the audience that tuned in every night. Sometimes the pace got so outrageous, it became clear even HE didn't know what he was saying (as is apparent in his School Track & Field Announcement). Besides the pace, you'll hear some classic jingles in this aircheck--and a few bizarre signs of the times, as well.
What music format today, for example, would proudly declare in a singing I.D. that "Everything Stops For the News"? And you'll hear a reference to the infamous CKEY News Beacon billboard--the idea being that if you pass one--and the light's blinking--you should immediately rush to turn on 'EY for the latest bulletin. Needless to say, the light was always blinking, even when the news wasn't always breaking.
The station was owned by the legendary Jack Kent Cooke, but it eventually lost its rock audience to the dominant 1050 CHUM--a dominance the latter station kept for almost 30 years. It also lost Dave Mickey and his "Boobie Club", who moved down the dial to the Nifty 1050--and for reasons now lost to history--ended up getting fired one night on the air! (Anybody got THAT aircheck???)
When Cooke sold the station, its Silver Dollar Survey turned a shade of gray--becoming a hugely successful beautiful music station. But time and change took its toll on the AMer (now at 590), and they tried everything to stay afloat--Oldies, Talk, & finally--a Country & Western format. Nothing worked. And not long after, no one worked either. The frequency was sold and the station ceased to exist in the mid 90's. Fittingly, its call letters were picked up by a rocker in Niagara Falls, Ont.
As for Dave Mickey, he resurfaced in the 80's as David Marsden, the slow-talking mellow-voiced force behind CFNY Toronto, one of the first
of the truly alternative formats in North America. But to a legion of
60s radio fans, he'll always be remembered as the Motor Mouth of Metro.
And a talent that was never "Mickey" Mouse.
ORIGINAL DEBUT: OCTOBER 20, 1996 (RA 2.0)
RE-ENCODED SEPTEMBER 27, 2003: TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (10 Khz)
Bootleg Top 40, 1971 (58:33)
"This album is a promotion of SSS RECORDS and is NOT FOR SALE"
I'm not sure how this LP (remember those??) managed to fall into my hands, but it passed through CFTR sometime in the early 80's, and I made sure to get a copy. It's filled with 50 airchecks of some great talent on some legendary radio stations. Guys like Dan Donovan on WFIL in Philly, Norm Gregory on KJR in Seattle, Dave Williams on KROY in Sacramento, Larry O'Brien on WCFL in Chicago and many more. It was a promotion of SSS Records, and was produced and edited by Mike Suttle. And it's not only a classic - it's a class act, as well.
Note: The original "Bootleg Top 40" included 50 airchecks. Due to poor technical quality, Magic Christian on KCBQ is not included here.
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Rock 'n' Roll Radio Rewind (1970's) (31:39)
... From the mid-America mother ...
Someone was awfully busy with a blade. Only problem is, I'm not sure who. In fact, though I've called this the "R&R Radio Rewind", I'm not sure what it really is. Somebody "out there" will know its true origin.
This was given to me in the mid-70's by Ken Wilson, who was then a year ahead of me in college. He never told me where it came from or who was behind it. But it was unquestionably someone who loved Top 40 radio.
It begins with an extensive jingle collage featuring such stations as WPIX-FM, WCBS-FM, WOR-FM, KKDJ, CKLW, WCFL, WIXY, KCBQ, WKNR, WQXI, KYA, WQAM, KTSA, KDWB, WRKO, KJR, KHJ, WKBW, WIBG, and WABC. And that's just to name a few!
From there it segues into snippets of airchecks from the people who made the medium well done: Wolfman Jack on KDAY, Dan Ingram on WABC, Tom Shannon on CKLW, Larry Lujack (with the Clunk Letter Of The Day) on WCFL, John Landecker on WLS (where he plays all the jingles for every jock on-air there at the time), Hy Lit on WIBG, and even some classic Jackson Armstrong on WKBW. And that only covers a small part of what's here.
And while a few checks contained here appear elsewhere on this site (most notably "The Bootleg Top 40, Vol. 1"), most of this is original. Just like the true originals who appear on it. My two favorites: Mel Blanc does Sylvester the Cat I.D'ing KDAY, Santa Monica, and a wonderfully suggestive promo for WXLW Indianapolis, giving away "a ball an hour".
There's too many to list individually, but here are some highlights.
KDAY Santa Monica--Mel Blanc I.D., WABC New York--Cousin Brucie I.D., Murray the K Promo, WABC New York--"Secret Word Sweepstakes" Promo, WXLW Indianapolis--"Ball An Hour" Promo, WLS Chicago--John Landecker sounds the "Horn Of Leaving", KKDJ Los Angeles--Contest Promo, WCFL Chicago--Larry O'Brien, CKLW Detroit--"Instant Rip-Off Weekend" Promo, WABC New York--Dan Ingram, WMCA New York--"Good Guys Sweatshirt Giveaway" Promo, WAPE Jacksonville--Jay Thomas & Larry Dixon, WKBW Buffalo--Jackson Armstrong (A Classic Check), WFIL Philadelphia--Dan Donovan, WIBG Philadelphia--Joe Niagara & Hy Lit, WCAM, Camden NJ--Jerry Blavat, "The Geator with a Heater", KDAY Santa Monica--Wolfman Jack, WRKO Boston--Tom Kennedy, KCBQ San Diego--Charlie Tuna, WCFL Chicago--Larry Lujack (With "Super Jock" Jingle & "Clunk Letter Of The Day"), WLS Chicago--Bob Sirott, WKNR Detroit--Various, CHUM Toronto--J. Michael Wilson & Rodney The Rodent, CKLW Detroit--Jingle Montage, WWWW Detroit--Chuck Richards, CKLW Detroit--Tom Shannon And Now Ladies & Gentlemen ...Various Drake Top Of Hour I.D.s: Includes CKLW, KFRC, WOR-FM, CHUM, KHJ, WIBG & WRKO
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TM "Interkey" Demo, 1973 (7:21)
... a spontaneous transitional agreement will occur ...
According to TM, this is where the future of jingles was supposed to be going, And to prove it, they open by running through a history lesson of singing I.D.s from the past. As it turned out, this was not the "last jingle package you'll ever need". But it certainly is a perfect sample of where rock radio was heading in 1973.
(© Copyright 1973, TM Productions)
"How come I got my opening theme at the end of the show?"
Some legends are born. And some are born legends. Joey Reynolds is both. While still in his teens, he began a radio career that everyone knew would take him far. And it did--all across the Eastern Seaboard on his 50K hometown monster, WKBW-AM 1520 in Buffalo, N.Y. Some of his bits from those days are legendary--including calling Long Distance information, asking for "Memphis", and then proceeding to lead a confused operator through the words to the entire Johnny Rivers song. (OPERATOR: Sir, if you could just tell me where she lives... REYNOLDS: Her home is on the south side, high above a ridge, just a half a mile from the Mississippi Bridge.)
It was this kind of inspired lunacy that made all Buffalo listen when Reynolds was invited home to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of WGRQ-FM in Christmas of 1973. And he didn't disappoint--proceeding to tear the format to shreds and ad lib like crazy on the air for 3 hours. This is the last 30 minutes of the show, and if anything, it shows he was just getting revved up!
A couple of quick notes about references in this aircheck--"Q-Tips" were the station's name for P.S.A.'s. Clint Buehlman refers to a long time morning man who owned the market for years on WBEN-AM in Buffalo. Liz Dribben, George Hamberger, Stan Roberts and Danny Nevereth (who's still around on WHTT) were all local market radio personalties. WUFO is a low powered AM soul station in the city. And "Meet The Millers" was a classic locally-produced cooking show that ran seemingly forever in the Buffalo TV market in the late 50's and 60's.
Finally, a word about his theme song--yep, that IS Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons singing it. And they must have busy in the 60s, because they also did Cousin Brucie's elsewhere on this website. WGRQ is now WGRF, a heavy-70's classic rock station. But for this one magic night in 1973, it was a time to turn back the clock, and let a local legend be re-born.
"From the album 'She criticized my apartment, so I knocked her flat'."
Another great hero, "The Real" Bob James was as entertaining as they got on one of the great old rockers, WGAR-AM, a 50K boomer from Cleveland. This station housed some of the best talent (including a fresh from California early Imus-In-The-Morning), and Bob James fit right in. Another of those throwbacks to the early days, this combined aircheck features lots of crazy voices and hilarious bits, everything a Top 40 jock should be. Their tag line used to be "WGAR Means Music And More". Anyone can play the music. But this guy was definitely "The More".
Before there was Howard Stern, there was The Greaseman. Or maybe that should be because there was the Greaseman, we now have Howard Stern. Either way, this guy was on the air in the 70's sending out a remarkably uncensored brand of humor over the 50KW signal of The Big Ape in Jacksonville.
Given the state of radio back then, some of the stuff he got away with is simply unbelievable--especially in morning drive. This was "shock jock" territory before they coined the term. Listen to this radio magician if you dare, but be aware: some of his tricks are definitely NOT for kids.
The Greaseman, WAPE, Jacksonville, 1979 (03:44)
"...And the cello player goes wild..."
More of The Greaseman and his irreverent humor on WAPE, Jacksonville, Florida.
Jay Sorensen, WNBC, New York, 8/11/88 (15:25)
"What had America's Favorite Hits?"
In the years before WNBC became a thing of the past, Big Jay Sorensen took to the air overnights and turned the station into--well, a thing of the past. Lamenting the great old days of WABC, he basically recreated that format, complete with reverb, patter, and PAMS jingles--including the famous Chime Time I.D., redone for the great 66. This guy was definitely one of us. He once played every jingle in that package in a 7-minute marathon around 1:30 in the morning. It was better than any song!
One of the centerpieces of the show was the "Record Pig" contest, a nightly tough trivia question. You'll hear a lot of that here, and frankly I can't remember the correct solution to this night's question, "What had America's favorite hits?". But after listening to this aircheck, I suspect the answer may well be Big Jay Sorensen himself.
DJ Reunion WCBS-FM, N.Y., 1989 Part 1 (47:16)
"...Life without echo is no life at all..."
It's such a great idea, how come no one else does it? Once a year, WCBS-FM used to organize a Disc Jockey Reunion, where they'd bring back all the greats from New York's past (mostly WABC & WMCA), and let them do whatever they wanted for an entire weekend.
And that explains the legends on this aircheck, a who's who of the pantheon of New York Radio. Names like Cousin Brucie, Dan Ingram, Jack Spector, Charlie Greer and Dean Anthony. It's hard to say what a line-up like this would cost them in real life. Here, it just cost them a weekend. But what a weekend!!!
Part 1 includes: Alan Freed, Paul Sherman, Mad Daddy (on WINS, 1963), B. Mitchell Reed, Jack Spector (on BMR), Harry Harrison (roasts BMR), Dan Ingram (live show!), Dan Ingram's mom & wife, Ron Lundy, Rick Sklar, Charlie Greer, Bob Hart, PAMS jingles, and more!
Part 2 includes: More of Dan Ingram on the WCBS-FM Reunion, Dan Ingram WABC airchecks, Charlie Greer, Herb Oscar Anderson, Dean Anthony, Jack Spector.
Part 3 includes: Jack Spector, Cousin Brucie (at 09:10), Napoleon XIV and Scott Muni with thousands of teenagers on Park Avenue.
Part 4 includes: Cousin Brucie and Herb Oscar Anderson discuss the Beatles, Charlie Greer.
Reel Top 40 Radio Repository ©1996-2008 REELRADIO INC.