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G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 64Kbps STEREO (10Khz)
PLAYMurray The K, WOR-FM New York, October 8, 1966 Pt. 1 (RESTORED) (01:04:21)
Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (23:43)

. . . This meeting of The Swingin' Soiree is now in session! . . .


WOR-FM became the nation's first FM commercial rock station on July 30, 1966, but due to a strike, the station's newly hired air talent was silenced. This left the station to function with minimalist breaks from nameless staff announcers, and a lot of segued music, jingles (from CRC) and commercials. On October 8th, the new format went live for the first time with Scott Muni (9am-Noon and 3pm-6pm), Johnny Michaels (Noon-3), Murray The K (6pm-Midnight) and Rosko (Midnight-6am). Morning drive was a simulcast of WOR-AM's "Rambling With Gambling."

While WOR-FM was the first commercial album rock station (predating KMPX), it started out as a Top 40 station with a longer playlist and a more adult presentation than its AM counterparts (WABC and WMCA.) The more progressive and psychedelic sounds just weren't out there yet, other than a handful of tracks from acts like The Byrds, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. By the following spring, there was a lot more album material worth playing, and WOR-FM evolved into the first FM Progressive Rock station.

The evening of October 8, 1966, Mike Ferriola recorded Murray The K's first show from a mono FM table radio, and manually scoped it on the fly as he recorded it. The full show ran six hours, and Mike scoped almost 3 hours of the show. I restored the music and as many of the original commercials from that night that I could find. I also restored a number of the original jingles (you can tell which ones because they're in stereo.) In addition, I had the last few minutes of Murray's show from a previous restoration that I had done, and I've added that to the end of this three-part exhibit.

For reasons unknown to me (perhaps Artie Altro could fill in the information gaps), Murray voicetracked his first show earlier that day. He left tracks with an engineer to assemble for that night's show. There were many technical errors that night, including the audible sounds of tape rewinding. I successfully resisted the urge to correct the errors and tighten up the show. Everything you'll hear is true to the original broadcast, warts and all. In any case, this is more of that first broadcast than has ever been available since the night it first aired.

COMMENTS FOR Murray The K, WOR NY October 8, 1966 Pt. 1

G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 64Kbps STEREO (10Khz)
PLAYMurray The K, WOR-FM New York, October 8, 1966 Pt. 2 (RESTORED) (59:34)
Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (22:17)

. . . I had made an erroneous statement, one of many, I'm sure, that will be coming . . .


Here's Part Two, the second hour of Murray The K on WOR-FM from October 8, 1966. Scott Muni and Johnny Michaels join Murray for a few minutes.

Joe Maguire was the VP of Engineering at the RKO Radio Networks through the Eighties. Before that, he spent many years at WOR & WOR-FM/WXLO. He shared some of his memories of the early days of the station:

"The word has come down — 24 hour simulcasting will end. A separate radio station must be created. Let's do music." "What's that?" Anyway, it was necessary to build a new facility. Music was, after all, recorded stereophonically.

Forget the transmitter. Forget the STL. "We need a studio to play music." "What's that?"

"Find some spare space in the building. Any old closet will do." Second floor? "Yeah - keep it away from AM." And WOR-FM came to be.

Planning and construction went forward. Equipment was ordered and walls were built. Control rooms (2) were to be about 10 x 25 feet. Studios (2) were about 8 x 10, separated by a narrow corridor, and placed in between the control rooms. Acoustics? Keep the volume down! Wiring was put in to connect to the WOR-AM Terminal Room on the 24th floor so we'd have air monitors and feeds to the transmitter.

We didn't have much time and the GE stereo consoles had not arrived. It was decided to construct one console on our own so we could meet the deadline. We needed a wooden box the exact size of the GE board so we could put the rest of the furniture in place. A blank rack panel with pots and program keys would be mounted in this wooden box so it would actually look like a console. We had to have six cart machines, two turntables, two open reel machines, tie lines from AM, and, of course, two mics. No way would all those Daven pots fit in a 19" panel. Remote starts wouldn't fit either.

So it went like this: Three carts per pot; open reels shared a pot; turntables shared a pot (cueing off line); one pot for a tie line; and one for a mic. Ok, but now we needed a line level feed and, oh yeah, we had to handle two channels of audio. Enter two RCA field amps (remote mixers). One became the left program channel, the other obviously the right. The field amps fed the 24th floor and a couple of Volumaxes before the signal went to the transmitter.

Our first spots were Pepsi and they were either $1 or bonused from AM. They went to $5 pretty quickly. No one took it seriously. Especially at WOR-AM. The rest is history... We went on the air in June forty years ago. In phase? Might've been. Balance? Looked ok leavin' here. Quality? Actually it was pretty good.

But it was only music.

COMMENTS FOR Murray The K, WOR NY October 8, 1966 Pt. 2

G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 64Kbps STEREO (10Khz)
PLAYMurray The K, WOR-FM New York, October 8, 1966 Pt. 3 (RESTORED) (01:16:16)
Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (18:13)

. . . thinking man's stereo . . .


In Part Three, we hear more evidence of the musical influence of Murray The K and WOR-FM in the #1 radio market, circa 1966. Several of the records played in this hour are barely documented. For that matter, does anyone remember DevilShake? What the heck were they thinking?

Kudos to Master Restorian and Contributor Rob Frankel for recovering all the parts of this rare recording.

COMMENTS FOR Murray The K, WOR NY October 8, 1966 Pt. 3


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