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Thread: Top 40 am history question

  1. #1
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    Top 40 am history question

    Hey Guys:

    I was going through the history of Top 40 AM's and I can't figure out the timeline for 2 stations.

    I have for WPLO 590 Top 40 from July 1, 1959 to Jan 15, 1966, WAKE 1340 December 1, 1955 to Oct 14, 1965, WYNX 1550 June 4, 1965 to Oct 11, 1965.

    Could anybody help me with the exact dates for WQXI 790 and WFOM 1230.

    WQXI Top 40 Start___________ End___________ change to oldies.

    WFOM Top 40 Start___________ End____________ change to religious.

    I do know 790 was Top 40 when WPLO went Top 40 in 1959 from a billboard article saying that WPLO will be in the Top 40 race with two other similar formatted stations WQXI and WAKE.

    Thanks for the help
    T.J.

  2. #2
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    I don't know the answers, but the best source of Atlanta radio history by station that I know of is this: http://users.ece.gatech.edu/~mleach/radio/. It's written by the late Marshall Leech, who was a professor at Georgia Tech.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyFreeman View Post
    who was a professor at Georgia Tech.
    That explains his backhanded digs at the conservative talk AM stations then.

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    Both were top 40 when I moved to town in '81

    WQXI was the first with AM stereo.

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    You should also include WIIN 970 in your list. IIRC they were top 40 in the 1970s, and maybe the 1960s (they also did AOR for a time). At some point (c. 1977?) they were bought out by the owner of 96 Rock and converted to an AM side for 96 Rock, which lasted until c. 1988 when they were sold off and became WNIV.

    WIIN had American Top 40 and Ross (Brittain) & Wilson before Z-93 did.
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

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    Hey Jabba 17:

    You are right. I forgot about WIIN "WIIN 97" was Top 40 from Nov 4, 1968 to 1973 when it went Progressive Rock then NIS News on July 30, 1975 then Standards on May 29, 1977 then to a simulcast of 96 ROCK in May 1978.

    Would anybody know the exact date in 1973 WIIN went P/R.

    Thanks

    T.J.

    P.S Thanks Roddy for that link. I have been using that site. Good info but I am looking for exact dates on format changes.

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    I moved to Atlanta in June of 1974. At the time, WFOM and WQXI were both Top 40 and WIIN was still Progressive Rock and daytime only. That was the first time I heard Ross Brittain.

    Hope this helps!

  8. #8
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    If 970 was playing standards for a time before the 96 Rock simul, was that Don Kennedy's doing?
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebeach33445 View Post
    I was going through the history of Top 40 AM's and I can't figure out the timeline for 2 stations.

    I have for WPLO 590 Top 40 from July 1, 1959 to Jan 15, 1966, WAKE 1340 December 1, 1955 to Oct 14, 1965, WYNX 1550 June 4, 1965 to Oct 11, 1965.

    Could anybody help me with the exact dates for WQXI 790 and WFOM 1230.

    Thanks for the help
    T.J.
    When I moved to ATL in 1957 (Woooo - old guy!), I listened to WAKE in the daytime and Paul Drew on WGST* (or listened to WLAC in Nashville) at night when WAKE dropped power from 250w to 100w. Paul Drew was the only Top 40 show on WGST, which was owned by Ga. Tech and mostly MOR/variety and ABC affiliate and Tech games (This was the only station that I heard the basketball PBP announcer called the mid-court stripe the "time line".)

    WQXI was kinda MOR leaning toward country and aired Crackers baseball with PBP reenactments for away games (I think the PBP announcer's name was Hank Morgan(? - remember - old guy here).) Before "Quixie", WQXI's slogan was "The People's Choice" (Matter of fact, when I was a kid looking at the radio listings in the newspaper, I started trying to "pronounce" the call letters as if they were words (because of "WAKE"), and was visiting WQXI one day because they were located in an old house within bicycle riding range of my home. I said to the receptionist, "Why don't you call yourselves "quixie"? A couple of months later, they started doing that and adding "in Dixie" to it. (It was also about the same time WQXI went full-time Top 40.)

    Many times, I have thought about that day and said to myself, "If I were a little older, just maybe I would have known something about copyright laws." I couldn't prove it anyway, and there were no witnesses, so ... whatever (I just bet the receptionist told management, "Why don't we call ourselves ‘quixie’? Wouldn’t that be cute?” Can't prove that, either...)

    I remember this happened after WAGA changed to WPLO because I could never come up with a word for "PLO" (except maybe "exPLOsion", which I dismissed at the time. (Also, they were already calling themselves "Radio Atlanta"). Of course, you can guess what I called WERD.

    I got sick and tired of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” because WQXI played it every third record, so I started looking around the dial. It was about the same time Big High Baby moved to WPLO (which ran an (unrelated) short-lived unsuccessful promotion about being “all American” – playing no artists from the UK (Boy, THAT bombed!).) I found this new daytimer in Smyrna (WSMA) which played “She Loves You” about as many times as Quixie played “Hand”. The station owner picked up the record on a visit to London and didn’t care if the record had not been released in the USA. WSMA was small and easy to visit (I was driving a car and driving my mother crazy by then.). Vic Aderhold (Ricky Lane from WAKE) was later hired as PD there (about the same time they moved their studio out to a trailer beside the transmitter tower) and told me about his plans to change the call letters to WYNX (“winks”). (WDYX in Lawrenceville was the only contestant to WSMA’s call-letter change.) So WSMA was Top 40 before WYNX (I think 1963?).

    The only thing I remember about WFOM was they played TONS of commercials. No money problems there. I didn’t listen very much because I didn’t live in Marietta, and there were so many other choices at the time. The Atlanta market was one of the best in the nation then; as a result its audience grew to demand a level of broadcasting quite above other major markets – a demand that corporate radio has not been able to meet (or figure out why).

    Hope all these ramblings help. The main reason I posted was to ask if the Top 40 format still existed exclusively by the time Z93 (FM) hit the air, or had the format started splitting up into CHR, MOR, etc. (I didn’t live in ATL ’66 - early 70’s.) Maybe some other old guys can help.

    *which may have been a little later than 1957.

  10. #10
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    I know WGKA sold out WGKA-FM in 1968...and IIRC they started moving from classical to MOR after the sale. I don't think the buyer from Glen Kallon Associates(?) was General Cinema--there was an owner in between. When did they become WZGC and go top 40?
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

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