This morning, starting at 6:00 a.m. WABC radio (770 AM) is tossing out its right-leaning talk format for WABC Rewound - twelve hours in favor of how it sounded in its music radio top 40 glory days of the 1960s and 1970s for the eighth straight year. We always loved the retro sound, even though we weren’t around to hear it when it was new, so we definitely will enjoy hearing how radio sounded back when mono AM radio was king – complete with jingles, news, and commercials.
You may be familiar with the music and some of the disc jockeys, like Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow, if you have listened to WCBS-FM before it got hijacked by corporate bean counters and shifted from its oldies format to its programmed in Texas with all of its sister stations Jack-FM format two years ago.
The schedule ranges from portions of programs from 1968 to 1981:
6 a.m. - Ross & Wilson, Ron Lundy, Johnny Donovan from 1981
7 a.m. - Top 100 of 1967 Part 1 – Bruce Morrow and Chuck Leonard
8 a.m. - Harry Harrison from 1976
9 a.m. - Dan Ingram from 1966 and 1978
10 a.m - Roby Young from 1968
11 a.m. - George Michael from 1974 Part 1
12 p.m.. - Top 100 of 1967 Part 2 - Chuck Leonard andCharlie Greer
1 p.m.. - George Michael from 1974 Part 2
2 p.m.. - Dan Ingram from 1973
3 p.m.. - Dan Ingram from 1975 Part 1
4 p.m.. - Dan Ingram from 1975 Part 2
5 p.m. - Bruce Morrow/Chuck Leonard from 1974
6 p.m. - Rewound Talk Show hosted by Mark Simone
Interestingly, the many of the tapes do not come from the station’s own archives. Instead most of the vintage tapes come from hobbyist aircheck collectors who have a thriving trading community that trades recordings from stations throughout North America and the world. So what is offered is a bit random, since it is just what someone happened to tape and was in good enough condition to broadcast.
WABC Production Director, and former disc jockey at the station, Johnny Donovan is the producer behind all the efforts and Allan Sniffen who has an extensive website about the station’s Musicradio 77 days, complete with vintage ads, documents, photos, and jingles contributes the online portion with a message board about the annual show and the old station.
1970s vintage "Music" sticker, from WABC-AM website