REEL TOP 40 RADIO REPOSITORY

Robert Sharp, 1984 Robert Sharp, KCFI 1984

KCFI

Super Jock

American Air Chexx

The Robert Sharp Collection

In the mid to late 60ís, there not being much for a kid to do on cold winter nights in Northeastern Iowa, Robert Sharp used his brotherís portable Zenith to discover what was outside his little world. Robert writes:

What I found was the wonderful world of Top 40 in the Midwest: KAAY, CKLW, and best of all, WLS. I was totally hooked; I wanted in.

At 18, I started at the campus carrier current station at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. My first show was cancelled due to a freakish April blizzard in 1973. Refusing to heed what was clearly an omen, I went on the next week, and later worked at KXEL-FM, KCFI (three times) and KWWL in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls market. In 1984 I moved on to Law School at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I have practiced law in Des Moines since 1987.

I havenít been on the air since 1984, but I do still occasionally have the desire to do a shift. Now when the urge strikes, I check in with Uncle Ricky at RT40RR. That usually soothes the itch; or makes it worse!

The Repository thanks Robert for sharing!

[Descriptions by Robert D. Sharp unless otherwise indicated]


The Ultimate Radio Trip (Edited) (40:36)

. . . it is a fact that the average DJ only works four hours a day, but worries the other twenty hours how long he'll be working only four hours a day . . .

I came across an ad in one of the trades in late 1975 or early '76 for American AirChexx, a "bi-monthly Trade Publication of the Contemporary Radio Industry" on cassette. I think a six-issue subscription was $25. I was still in school, working part-time in radio, but I scraped the money together for the first six issues. I reasoned that it would be a good resource tool to help me learn more about my chosen profession. (OK, I wanted some cheap entertainment, and a chance to steal some bits.) I still have five issues.

The first issue, Vol. 1, No. 1, featured "The Ultimate Radio Trip Ė From Boston in the Morning to San Francisco at Night." Two or three stations, Top 40, AOR or MOR, in each of the top twenty-five markets. The concept of American AirChexx was to feature a different market in every issue after number one. Subsequent tapes had Miami, San Francisco, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, but The Trip really whetted my appetite for more.

[This feature has been edited for presentation in the Repository and does not include all stations featured in the original version. Read COMMENTS for original corrections and other best-guesses.]

PLAY Introduction, Bill Todd
PLAY Bill Rossi, Dale Dorman, WRKO Boston
PLAY Frank Kingston Smith, WVBF, Framingham-Boston
PLAY Salty Brine, Mark Hanes, WPRO(AM), Providence R.I.
PLAY Mike Waite, Bill Silver, WPJB (JB105) Providence R.I
PLAY Don Imus, John Bohannon, WNBC New York
PLAY Terry Nelson, WXLO (99X) New York
PLAY Alan Stone, Jim O'Brien, WFIL Philadelphia
PLAY "Brother Lou Kreiger", WLPL Stereo 92, Baltimore MD.
PLAY Jay Christian, WDJQ (Q104) Baltimore MD.
PLAY Jim Elliot, WPGC Washington D.C.
PLAY Dr. Dave Dunaway, WHYI, Y-100 Miami FL.
PLAY "James Albert Dunlap", WQAM Miami FL.
PLAY Dan Neaverth, John Zack, WKBW Buffalo New York
PLAY "Sound Off", Harv Moore, WYSL (Y-103) Buffalo New York
PLAY Dr. Michael Sarzynski, WKTQ (13Q) Pittsburgh, PA.
PLAY Beau Raines, WPEZ Pittsburgh, PA.
PLAY David Collins, Gary McKee, WQXI Atlanta GA.
PLAY Dale O'Brien, Z-93 Atlanta GA.
PLAY Steve Kelley, WIXY Cleveland OH.
PLAY Jim Fox, WKRQ (Q102) Cinncinnati
PLAY Terry Thompson, WDHF Chicago IL.
PLAY Tommy Edwards, WLS Chicago IL.
PLAY Robert Murphy, WOKY Milwaukee WI.
PLAY Casey Van Allen, KXOK St. Louis
PLAY Scott St. James, KKSS, St. Louis
PLAY Jeff McKee, KDWB St. Paul Minneapolis MN.
PLAY Ray Sherman, KBEQ, Kansas City, Mo.
PLAY Mike Holland, KXYZ, Houston, TX.
PLAY Harry Nelson, Don Berns, KLIF Dallas TX.
PLAY Rob Steele, KTLK Denver CO.
PLAY Charlie O'Neal, KIMN Denver CO.
PLAY Willie B. Goode, KFMB (B-100) San Diego CA.
PLAY Machine Gun Kelly, KHJ Los Angeles CA.
PLAY Eric Chase, KIQQ (K100) Los Angeles CA.
PLAY Gary Lockwood, KJR Seattle WA.
PLAY Gary Cocker, KYA San Francisco CA.
PLAY Donn Sainte-John, KFRC San Francisco CA. (Six-Ten-Four KFRCB Superstar Convoy)
...and close (Bill Todd)

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WQAM Miami FL Composite, 1976 (4:50)

. . . Q - munication, for the people of south Florida . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

You wouldn't necessarily have known that WQAM in Miami had (very serious) FM competition from this composite. It was 1976 and the station was blasting highly produced, full-featured Top 40 radio - complete with the familiar reverb and news underscoring that ruled the airwaves a decade earlier. We're even treated to a few (short) jingles.

Narration from American Airchexx (Volume 1, #2, April 1976) names WQAM's program director at the time as Jim Dunlap, but no further details are provided. Included: Jim London and Charlie Fernandez, as well as newsman Roger Carey.

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Bill Tanner and WHYI Y-100 Miami, April 1976 (7:15)

. . . the secret to our success - predictable unpredictability . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Long-time PD and morning talent Bill Tanner opens this composite with a description of the Y-100 format.

Includes Bill Tanner, Robert W. Walker, Earl the Pearl, and others to be identified. (from American Airchexx, Vol 1 No. 2)

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 10Khz (20.7 Kbps)
KYA Composite, June 1976 (5:21)

. . . when Barbarino makes Kotter eat his own briefcase . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

This all-too-short, tightly edited and exciting composite of KYA, San Francisco in June of 1976 features Henry Winkler, Gary Cocker, Michael in the Morning, Christopher Kane, Steve Jordan, and Jack Brian(?).

(from American Airchexx Vol 1 No. 3, ©American Airchexx, 1976.)

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 16Khz (32.0 Kbps)
WQXI-AM Atlanta, Composite, 1976 (6:33)

. . . nitty gritty, low-rent rock and roll . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

This composite of WQXI-AM/Atlanta from 1976 includes an introduction by Program Director Jack Fitzgerald, morning guy Gary McKee, and shorter segments featuring midday talent Rhett Walker and afternoon driver Dickie Shannon.

The finale is Coyote McCloud and his classic China Grove show opener.

(from American Airchexx Vol 1 No. 6, ©American Airchexx, 1976.)

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 10Khz (20.7 Kbps)
WPEZ-FM Pittsburgh, PA. Composite, 1976 (6:34)

. . . This is my dog Shannon, he's been very still and his eyes have been closed for three weeks . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Program Director Charles Lake introduces this composite of Pittsburgh's WPEZ-FM from 1976. Lake says "we're not doing anything here that's terribly innovative", and while it is true that the formatics were fairly common for Top 40 stations of the period, only a few stations achieved this polished and near-manic level of energy on a consistent basis.

Unfortunately, the mix is so dense, and the edits are so tight that it is very difficult to identify the air talent featured. One name we recognize is Beau Raines, whom Uncle Ricky met when Raines consulted WFEC in Harrisburg in 1975. Also, we picked out Dennis Elliot and some guy named Big Jim. Our guests are encouraged to help us identify the rest of this talented crew via COMMENT (below).

(from American Airchexx Vol 1 No. 5, ©American Airchexx, 1976.)

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More to Come from the Robert D. Sharp Collection!

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