Musicradio WABC Memories and Stories I
These are a few of the comments that I have received from those who have a memory or a story about Musicradio WABC. Great stuff! If you have something to contribute to this page, E mail it to me! The most recent letters are at the beginning.
Added February 1, 1997:
Tim Whitehead wrote:
I just found your web site this evening and did it ever bring back memories! Even though I'm from Tennessee I grew up listening to 77 WABC New York. The signal came in loud and clear about 90% of the time (thunderstorms could mess things up sometimes) once the sun went down and the clear channel came through on the skywave. I remember as a kid playing around one night with a transistor radio and discovering that I could pick up stations from all over. WABC must have been one of the first that I found. Over the years I found others, most notably WLS and WCFL in Chicago and I vividly recall the ratings war between these stations and how they fought over legendary DJ Larry Lujack, but to me WABC New York was always number one. Compared to it the local Top 40 stations in my area just didn't measure up, even though one of them (the ABC affiliate) had jingles that were copies of WABC's. I used to look forward to winter, because it meant more hours of darkness and thus more hours of listening to WABC.
Of course, those days are now gone and my student workers (I work at a university) can't even remember a time when music was on AM.A few years ago I spotted Rick Sklar's book in a local bookstore and purchased it. By then WABC (like all the great Top 40 stations) had gone to talk. Not long after that I read in Billboard that Rick Sklar had died, and remembered all the great times he brought me while growing up. I look forward to visiting your site often. I can't wait till you are able to include the section with the weekly WABC playlists!
Jeff Levine, Program Director WBAB Long Island NY wrote:
Wow- you've got a terrific site.
WABC was truly an amazing radio station. As a young child, many of my earliest memories revolve around WABC (I can tell you exactly where I was listening to the final 2 songs of the top 100 of 1969 countdown, etc.)
As an adult, WABC continues to inspire me- many of the best ideas I've had at WBAB were modernized versions of things I learned from WABC.
I was blown away by the amount of material you had available.You did a great job. I may have a few tapes to add to your collection, I'll look first chance I get.
Thanks for the memories.
Norm Barrington wrote:
I live in the UK but WABC had a great impact here in the 60s & 70s because all our pirate radio stations (including the one I was on) use chopped up WABC jingles, or even left the instrumental versions un-chopped! So we got to know WABC by remote as it were.
The UK pirates, (especially Swinging Radio England, and Radio London) based their format largely on WABC, and this whole thing was totally new to UK listeners who had never hear top 40 radio before, let alone a jingle!
PS Congrats with your excellent site. This is what the WWW should be about.... CONTENT!
Norman Barrington's Radio Pages
Rodger Skinner (a/k/a John Paul Roberts WQAM-Miami) wrote:
Great WABC page, Allen. I really enjoyed it. Never made it as far as WABC (only WQAM Miami in late 60's).
A sad, but true story....
When the rumors were flying about Paul McCartney possibly being dead, with the album clues, etc. I was talking it up on WQAM and was on the phone with my friend Roby Yonge, doing the same on WABC. Heck, it was even mentioned on the CBS network television news.
Anyway, I heard Roby get fired by Rick Sklar over the phone. I heard someone yelling Roby and the line went dead. I could hear WABC even here in Florida and next thing the newesman was doing the show. I later called Roby at his NY apartment and he told me the bad news.
Roby was a great talent, but his career and life went downhill from that moment on..he is now indigent, living in a rundown Miami motel, never able to reclaim the glory days of WABC.
I later was fired from WQAM over the same story, because I missed a pep-rally at a high school after being up all night chasing down McCartney who was visiting in Miami,but fled when we approached the house he was in (the same house where the Beatles stayed in Miami during their 1964 tour).
Just a little bit of trivia from someone who lived it.
Rodger Skinner (a/k/a John Paul Roberts WQAM-Miami)
Rodger's Favorite Things
Steve Marinucci from the Abbeyrd's Beatle Page wrote:
Allan: As a big fan of WABC when I lived in the New York area, I want to thank you very much for your page. I intend to add a link to it right away.
I was listening the night "The Order of the All-American" was given live on the air and as a big Beatle fan at that time I was thrilled. I remember Cousin Brucie reporting from the streets around the Warwick as the fans were awaiting the Beatles arrival.
I just downloaded all the Beatle related clips, but I want to download more.
Anyway, thanks very very much....and come visit my page sometime...
Scott Ealy wrote:
Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your site. I just found it today, and it really means a lot to me.
I was born in 1960 and grew up listening to WLS in Chicago, but sometimes tuned in such greats as WABC, CKLW, or - my favorite - 15 'LAC - from Nashville, Tennessee.
I am glad to see some stations still playing true Top 40. I hear a station out of Terre Haute, MIX 100.7 FM, which I feel does an excellent job. I believe their Arbitron numbers are strong. Maybe number one cume?
I am an attorney in rural Effingham, IL, but have worked radio in places such as Jackson, Miss., and Peoria, IL. While in law school a couple of years back, I wrote a somewhat length paper on the new segregation of artists by race in certain formats, which strongly is related to the demise of top 40. I would be glad to send it to you sometime.
My goal is to someday own a CHR station in Jackson, Mississippi. I believe that it would do a lot of good there.
Well, thanks again for your Website.
Scott R. Ealy
Lyn Dowling wrote:
In my own case, my radio of the time was a leather-covered, Sears-Roebuck special, and the numeral "7" on its dial had been completely erased from use by the time its era was up. I slept with that uncomfortable box under my pillow every night for years, from the time I turned 12 years old until I went to college.
We were what they then called "Beatle people," and the main reason for sleeping with the likes of Charlie Greer and Chuck Leonard in your ear was that you never knew what was going to happen, what record was going to premiere, who was going to pop up live on the air. It had happened more frequently with Murray Kauffman, but one never knew.
One did know what would happen if the All-Americans were to turn up in your neighborhood, however. Being from northern New Jersey, I recall an appearance by Bruce Morrow as causing near riots in Passaic. I also remember Dan Ingram and Chuck Leonard greeted with a remarkable ovation on the streets near Gracie Mansion. The occasion was the Mets' victory parade in 1969.
I cannot imagine life as it is for young people now, cannot imagine not having that "other" medium that seemed ours alone. I cannot fathom being unable to measure my life in terms of its popular music. I know exactly where I was when "P.S. I Love You" and "She's A Woman"/"I Feel Fine" were first played in 1964, and I remember the misery of hearing from the men at ABC that "Let It Be" was the end.
The irony is that we, the generation who could change anything with the power of our voices, allowed WABC and all AM radio to be stilled. The real voice of our youth -- not screaming in the streets, but innocent elation over the airwaves -- went dead and all we could say was "that's too bad."
It is, for the people who have followed us. They'll never know. Perhaps sites like yours will at least give them an idea.
Gregg Terreson wrote:
It is 1:25 in the morning here in Seattle and I have just spent the last hour and a half listening to all the airchecks of Dan Ingram and all the others.
In fact, my 11 year old daughter woke up and came out to listen and I tried to explain to her the excitement of WABC.
Like you, I grew up in the New York area listening to WABC - in fact I still have with me the Top 100 listings from 1966 to 1981, every Top 20 listing from 1967 to 1970 - neatly listed in a book. I remember rushing on Tuesday afternoons to get my paper route done to get home in time to hear Dan Ingram introduce the new Top 20. I even have some of those survey sheet you could get in the stores.
Thanks for a great web page - it brings back incredible memories. Maybe you can find others who can post the Top 100 lists of each year or even the weekly Top 20 or Top 14 lists.
Bob Alfano wrote:
Great Page! I love it, and I collect WABC Jingles, and Dan Ingram Airchecks as well. We should talk :)
I am a weekend air personality at an Oldies Radio Station on Long Island, B-103FM. I grew up listening to WABC, and Dan Ingram was my radio Idol. I was lucky enough to be a guest in the Studio at 1330 Ave Of The Americas a few times. First, in 1976 as guest of Chuck Leonard, and the next 3 times or so in 1978 as guest of Bob Cruz. Seeing those photos brought back some great memories!!
Thank you for putting this page together, and let me know if you need more jingles, or airchecks from WABC. I have a VERY Deep collection of WABC Jingles from the early 60's thru the late 70's. They are of excellent quality due to my radio connections.
Bob's Home Page
Bruce Chwalek wrote:
Wow! What a find on the Internet tonight.
I grew up in Oswego, N.Y. and listened to WABC, Cousin Brucie. I attended the State University of New York College at Delhi, in the Catskill Mts. Our fraternity listened to WABC all the time, especially Cousin Brucie. It was my favorite radio station.
Thanks for all the work on your page. You'll never know what it meant to me to reminisce over your info. I remember how exciting it was going to NYC the first time. I've been there a few times, to see the Rangers, Yankees, Mets etc. I'd like to take my wife there someday. She is from Indiana. She would always hear me talk about Cousin Brucie being the greatest DJ etc. It was so great to share it with her.
Although I moved away to the Midwest in 1970, I still get emotional when I think of NYC, WABC etc.
Once again, thanks so much for helping relive some great memories. I have just scratched the surface of your web page so I may drop you another line.
Dale R. Patterson from the Rock Radio Retro Retrospective Alive Page wrote:
Allan, your web page is tremendous - the best personal web page on a specific radio station on the Internet.
In Toronto, where I live, we can pick up WABC as clearly as a local station at night and in my younger years I listened to all the great nighttime d.j's like Cousin Brucie, Chuck Leonard, the late Charlie Greer. Of course, I never got to hear daytime types like Ron Lundy unless I actually visited New York. It was the best top 40 radio ever,hands down, and richly deserves the treatment you have given it.
I, too, have started a radio web page. It is called Rock Radio Retrospective Alive!
Dale R. Patterson
Rock Radio Retrospective Alive!
Gregg A. Montgomery wrote:
Great history on great jocks, a time in radio before FM signals keep great jocks regional. I keep trying to explain to my 13 year old son how it was in 60s and 70s on 50,000 watt stations. It was a real golden age for me here in Dayton OH.
Bruce Morrow aways a mainstay here. My 69 Mustang will always have the antenna up, and a pushbutton locked on 770 WABC.
Gregg A. Montgomery
Michael Phillips, a former WABC studio engineer wrote:
A friend of mine told me about your page. My name is Michael Phillips and I worked there from summer 1974 till 1979. In fact Bill Epperhart is an old friend of mine. I found it very interesting to find myself in one of the pictures of studio 8A. I am the one standing next to the board in the George Michael picture (the first one). George Musgrave is on the board.
That picture alone brought back some great memories. I dont have any pictures. I am currently working at Radio Today Entertainment as a radio show producer/engineer.
I'll write back with some stories at a later date.
Thanks for the memory!
Michael A. Phillips
Rick Stacy wrote:
This is Rick Stacy former PD and creator of Power 99 WAPW & 99X Atlanta, Y-106 Orlando....I'm did afternoons in Los Angeles and I'm currently doing mornings for Jefferson Pilot in Denver.
WABC is the reason I do what I do today. I see my autographed picture of Dan Ingram and I'm reminded why I got into this business because of what it brought to many people, an escape, a fun place to be anytime.
Thank You so much for this Website and all the info and airchecks. I have some stuff from the late seventies and early eighties that I will download to you shortly.
John Yanagi wrote:
Fantastic WABC pages. I just found your page today, just 3 hours before your radio program on Spectrum. Great to hear it there too.
I grew up in Morris County, NJ, and listened to WABC in the early 70's. I have such fond memories of WABC which I'll talk about in detail another time if you really do want comments for your page.
I've looked around the net before and really never found any real WABC page, and even fewer clips (there are a few at www.reelradio.com). So, I decided that I was going to put up a few of my clips... I just put the first up today! AND THEN I FOUND YOUR PAGE! Wild. (what do they say about great minds?) I put a link to your page.
Anyway, take a listen to mine. If you're interested, I'd be happy to share them with you. However, I caution you... I was a 12 year old with a cassette recorder in '72. :-)
Thanks again for your site. It's a blast! (I couldn't believe Palisades Amusement Park!) :-)
John Yanagi - Stanhope, NJ
Welcome to the Seventies Page
John Rook, former Program Director of WLS Chicago and KQV Pittsburgh wrote:
Many thanks for the great pages on WABC & my dear friend Rick Sklar.
Starting in 1964 Rick and I worked together at ABC, Rick at WABC, me at WLS and KQV. Virtually all of the beatle exclusives heard on WABC came from my contacts in England....we used to feed them to Rick at WABC, right after they were heard first on WLS or KQV. I also did morning and afternoon drive at WABC during the long AFTRA strike of 1967. It was during this strike that the more music concept was born at WABC...we just shut up and played the hits. Interesting how during the strike, the ratings for WABC actually defeated WMCA for the first time. Thus, was born the more music concept at WABC. Also, it was during this strike that GM Wally Swartz, radio president Hal Neal and ABC president Leonard Goldenson all discovered DJ's could run their own board...without engineers....something that spread throughout the ABC group of stations....
Rick was a great friend, we communicated regularly throughout the years, right up until his death in 1992. We both learned from each other, during top 40's infancy....
Again, many thanks for remembering Rick..and WABC....it sure brought back memories for me.
USRadio Home Page
Added December 30, 1996:
Cousin Bruce Morrow wrote:
Nice Job. I received some EEEEMail that linked me to your unofficial site. You did your homework, congrats!
It's really nice to know that we have friends that will never forget what has become known as the greatest top-40 radio station in the world. We are all still very proud of our association with 77-WABC.
Bob Shannon (afternoon Disc Jockey on WCBS-FM NY) wrote:
Allan, I've urged others to put up a WABC page, but they said it would be like pulling teeth :-). Guess you were the natural guy for the job.
Seriously, I just took a brief look (brief, only because I don't have time right now to check out ALL of it...what an amazingly thorough job!). The amount of work you've put into this is just incredible. I'm sure Harry and Dan and Ron and Brucie would be equally impressed.
I'll certainly bookmark your page and refer to it often.
"Be Seeing You"
John Meagher (WABC morning news anchor from 1968-1983) wrote about the WABC News department:
Ah, nostalgia! You have a remarkably complete set of stats...and congrats!
I worked in the newsroom from 1968 until 1983 where we used to joke that every time the ratings dipped one scintilla....Rick Sklar would drop another newscast!
Bob Hardt (afternoon news anchor) has been working for ABC Net Radio since 1979, I believe. He and I live about three miles apart and talk frequently
Of the Olde WABC Newsroom......former street reporter and all-round good guy Gus Engelman - now teaches journalism at NYU and lives with his wife in Butler NJ.
Writers Webb Kelly and Joe Weill have passed on. So has Paul Glynn, I understand. No idea where writers Hill Edell or Roy Wallace have gone.
I am told that former writer/editor Bill Arp may still work at ABC TV in some capacity.
Former News Director Paul Ehrlich is still around, although we rarely have a chance to get together.
Bob Hardt (WABC afternoon news anchor from 1968-1979) wrote:
Just a quick note to say thanks for your WABC page on the web. A co-worker at ABC Radio in NY called my attention to it this week and I just took a look. It brought back more than a few happy memories of my years as the station's afternoon news anchor (1968-1979); or as my friend Dan Ingram dubbed me: the world's skinniest newsman!
My network newcasts are now heard evenings on WABC and it's great to be back on 770kHz again. I'd love to chat with you someday about the station when we both have some time to kill.
Rick Sellers, GM at WMT AM/FM in Cedar Rapids, Iowa wrote:
Rick Sellers here, GM at WMT AM/FM in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I listened to WABC after sunset in my hometown of Akron, Ohio back when Charlie Greer was morning personality at hometown WAKR (1590) and was amazed that I could still hear him when he was moved to overnights from middays at WABC, whose signal was great after sundown in northeast Ohio.
Later, in college, I'd stay up probably too late and study, listening to all those Dennison spots come wafting nearly 700-miles to my portable radio sitting on my dorm room window ledge...and finally, when my folks moved to suburban NYC (Berkeley Heights, NJ) where I could listen to WABC all the time when I visited home, or even better, catch all the clear audio sans reverb on then-WABC-FM in 1966. Your website recaptures all those glorious memories and 'aura' that WAS 77-WABC.
I was home visiting the folks in October, 1965 when the great power blackout struck, but our power remained on out in New Jersey...permitting me to roll tape on some of the greatest ad libs in the history of not just WABC, but also WOR, WNBC, and others. Ingram was out at the AM transmitter site in Lodi while Bruce Morrow and others were running batteries and candles low in the Manhattan studios. I donated several hours of dubbed tape of all this to the Museum of Broadcasting in NYC, but still have the "masters" if you'd like to hear the station when the music "temporarily died...."
One of the greatest quotes ever from Ingram happened when the news guy in New York asked Dan how he felt without his turntables, etc...and Ingram replied "It feels like graduation day!"
Our radio stations have a website I think is unique and far different from any of our area competitors:http://www.wmtradio.com Check it out when you have time, I even have a page since I still do a one hour afternoon air stint on our full service AM.
Sklar, I am sure, is smiling.
Allan Handelman wrote:
I love this!
When I get a chance I will tell you more about myself. But for now let me say "thank you", from the many of us transplanted New Yorker's. Those who grew up with the Music Radio 77 and moved away. I remember rushing home from school so I could start taping Dan Ingram. I was making air-checks before I knew what they were. WABC and Ingram is the main reason I'm in radio today.
Well I got to go now but please keep in touch. My homepage is www.handelman.com
Hope to talk to you some time.
P.S. I got my High school into the "Principal Of The Year Contest". We were in first place most of the contest. Until South Orange High School knocked us down to 2nd place. My school was Patchogue Senior High School on Long Island. The Year was 1968. We hated the principal! All we wanted was the DJ award assembly.
Chris P. Mezzolesta wrote:
What memories....I go back almost to the womb with Musicradio WABC!!! (born 1964 in Long Island), almost from the get-go I remember Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, man oh man, shaping my musical tastes, and what an education! And fun, as you said. Never be anything like it, ever again.
How fortunate that you have the pix and the memorabilia! I swear I had one of those peel-off thingies...Was archiving old cassette recordings of mine to MiniDisc before trashing them, and came across one short but precious aircheck of WABC, probably Ron Lundy with that glorious reverb intoning something like "62 WABC Dee-grees" ...and yes, that chime! The sung "Double-u-A-B-*C*!", DINGGGGGGGGG!!!!
Whew, emotional...Wish I had been there for the end of it but I was getting preoccupied with leaving for college that August and it blew right past me...as I recall reading, the last tune they played was "Imagine"...
Thanks for doing this, why not try emailing those guys over at WCBS-FM and invite them to the page!!
Mike McKay (a former WABC Disc Jockey) wrote:
I just came across your website and enjoyed reading about WABC. You know a heck of a lot more than most people who even worked there - me for instance! I grew up in Brooklyn listening to WABC in the 60's so it was a dream come true when I was hired to do weekends and swing for them in 1979. The following year when the Yankees were signed up, I moved to evenings following the games and later when Art Rust and Dr. Judy joined the staff for some talk elements I moved to all nights where I was when it all ended in May, 1982. What a day that was.
After the change, Johnny Donovan and I stayed on as staff announcers. I left in 1984 to host the RKO Networks show NIGHTTIME AMERICA. Later I spent a couple of years in Salt Lake City where I was a program director. Then it was seven years in Indianapolis (where Jay Reynolds had returned - although at different stations). Currently I am at Oldies 98.9 WKLX in Rochester, NY. It's a crazy business, and rough on the family at times, but we love it.
Thanks for your historical account of the greatest top 40 station ever. I am pleased to have played a role in it and to have been rememered in your website. Feel free to use any of this info for updates and keep in touch.
Howard Hoffman (a former WABC Disc Jockey) wrote:
Great page! Brings back some great memories from the days when I listened to WABC when my mom would let me...
Just FYI, I have a link to your site from my site (www.netcom.com/~hoho) and I've told my pals about it. WABC was obviously a big part of many of our lives and I'm glad you give its memory such a well-made tribute.
Howard Hoffman's Waste of Cyberspace!
Jay Campbell wrote:
Great site. Found it from your radio newsgroup posting. You give true meaning to the term fanatic... but I mean that in a positive way!
I, too am a great fan of radio. Was an avid listener of WABC as well as WMCA as a kid. I also enjoyed talk radio-- Gene Shepherd on WOR.
For several years I co-hosted a call-in talk program on WMCA (1986-1992) called "Your Own Success". We were on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.
Thanks for bringing back the old radio memories.
Bernie Wagenblast (who was Dan Ingram's traffic reporter on WABC) wrote:
I enjoyed looking at your WABC Musicradio 77 page. I was lucky enough to be a very small part of WABC in the late '70s and early '80s as the Shadow Traffic reporter, Jack Packard on Dan Ingram's morning show.
Dan picked the name based on a character in the old-time radio show "I Love a Mystery." The reason for the "air name" was the fact all of the Shadow Traffic reporters did more than one station. While I doubt there were too many people who listened to WINS (my other NYC station) and WABC, they wanted to have a unique traffic reporter who was only on 'ABC.
While it may not have been the peak of WABC's popularity, it was a lot of fun being a small part of the station. I look forward to checking out your site in the future.
Randal J. Miller wrote:
I stumbled across your WABC Musicradio website tonite, and I must say all of the things you said about WABC, I can say about WLS. I grew up in Shelbyville, Illinois, about 4 hours from Chicago, and could pickup WLS. I remember Chuck Weber, Chuck Buell, Larry Lujack, Bob Sirott, Kris Eric Stevens, John Landecker, and Yvonne Daniels. With both stations owned by ABC, I suspect the jingles and format was identical. From your web site, I certainly think it was.
What a great station WLS was in the 60s and 70s, growing up listening to the "Big 89!" I have the same feelings about WLS, that you had about WABC. Those were great days...days that will never come back, but great memories just the same. Keep on rockin'...
Randal J. Miller, President, Miller Media Group Radio Stations
Terry Morgan wrote:
Congrats on the WABC Website. It's about time WABC Musicradio received recognition! I remember my first listening experience to WABC. I hated rock & roll (I was 11) but was a radio freak. I remember listening to WOR's Music from Studio X with one of the Gamblings. It was easy listening fare. By accident, I hit the tuner and it slipped to 77 and Cousin Brucie. What a sound! It was the last week of 1961 and I was hooked! The music was secondary, although I grew to love R&R. But WABC was great and this was before Rick Sklar and the reverb!
I did place some of my memories on the 440 International website, but the thing that I'll always remember about WABC was that they were the original Good Guys in NYC. To this date, I can't believe how few people remember the WABC Swingin' 7 Good Guys and how WMCA successfully ripped off the concept. WABC had the Good Guys first in NY by a few months and both stations used the slogan at the same time for over a year. WABC used it from the fall of 1961 until early 1963.
To show you the power of "The Friendly Giant" (one of the many slogans used by WABC), up and down the eastern seaboard, Top 40 stations were calling their jocks the Good Guys and had WABC-styled jingles from PAMS and had news at 55 (sometimes calling it Action Central News).
There is a jingle that Chubby Checker did for WABC in late 1962 to the tune of the Limbo Rock, where he identifies the WABC jocks. It ends with "and then comes Charlie Greer.. now the real Good Guys are here." The problem was WABC didn't promote themselves as the Good Guys and WMCA won the battle by default. Probably one of the few times WMCA did beat WABC.
Roy C. Pollitt wrote:
Just "found" your page on WABC. A CLASSIC!
Thanks for all the info and the memories. I am 46, but I still get misty when I think of the great memories of those days, and that they will never happen again.
Roy C. Pollitt
Carlos Drivetime Air Talent 96.4FM BRMB Birmingham England wrote:
I have just spent nearly an hour enjoying the various pages on your WABC site, it's brilliant. I am a 30 year old DJ in the UK and when I started my career at my first station at the age of 15 the inspiration came from the airchecks and jingles I'd heard of this legendary station.
I still regularly visit New York and dream of actually living in the city in the 60's or 70's and listening to world's radio history makers. Thanks for the insight !
Carlos Drivetime Air Talent 96.4FM BRMB Birmingham England.
Jim Walsh wrote:
I first stumbled across WABC while attending college in the spring of 1975. It's scary to think what course my life had taken hid I not discovered the magic of Dan Ingram and the Big 77. God forbid, I might be somewhere working for a living!
Jim Walsh PM Drive host WASK-FM Lafayette, IN
Jeffrey Heller from Maccabim, Israel wrote:
Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed your WABC trip down memory lane. Like you, I grew up listening to WABC. I've printed out your pages and will try to get my MTV-crazy 14-year-old daughter to read them so she can understand what I've been talking about all these years...
Anyway, you're right about WABC's powerful signal. I remember landing in Miami one winter vacation and turning on the rental car radio, only to hear Cousin Brucie loud and clear.
There was a moment up at summer camp in upstate New York when my puny transistor had trouble pulling in the signal -- soon remedied when a counselor took some wire, and connected the antenna to the metal bedframe.
You might want to point some readers to the opening sequence of the Matt Dillon movie "Flamingo Kid", which features the 77 WABC promo heard against the backdrop of a B1960s Brooklyn street.
I've lived overseas since 1969 and was overjoyed last summmer when I discovered during a visit to Long Island that Dan Ingram was on WCBS-FM. It made being stuck on the Long Island Expressway bearable.
Jeffrey Heller, Maccabim, Israel
John Pinckney wrote:
Here's a WABC story you may have or may not have heard about:
Back in the 1960's, Rick Sklar noticed that the WABC signal was starting to become variable. He had their Chief Engineer, Winston H. Lloyd check it out. Turns out Copper Thieves were stealing the radial wire from the WABC antenna site in Lodi, N.J.! With an inefficient ground system, the WABC signal was doomed. (At this time, copper prices had skyrocketed!)
Upon hearing about this, and hearing the explanation of why this was going on, Sklar got the $$$$ to have the ground system rebuilt, and hired armed guards to protect it!
Philip Speranza wrote:
Being a fan of WABC as well as a fellow webmaster I want to commend you on jarring my memory. Alas the only memorbilia I saved from Music Radio 77 is my $25,000 button and a cassette of the tribute show WNEW-FM did to honor WABC. I have read Brucie's and Rick's books but now I have your homepage. I must salute you for that.
Keep up the good work. Yes Dan Ingram was the best. Remember when WNBC did their Time Machine on weekend and Dan Taylor did his whole show in Dan Ingram voice?
James W. Habron, Jr. wrote:
My lord, the feelings of nostalgia at coming across this page nearly moved me to tears! To this day, Chuck Leonard's and Johnny Donovan's voices resonate in my brain, as well as the jingle to the "Dan Ingram show."
My family lived overseas, but the first thing I'd do when we arrived back in the States for a visit is tune into WABC. I got my own room at my grandparent's house because I'd drive people crazy listening to the radio. And yes, they played a little of everything - there were no rock, pop, soul, r&b, "alternative" distinctions.
While it's great that much of the 70's music is available on CDs(the classic as well as the not-so-classic), they just don't sound the same without the "Double-U, AAAAAAAAA, BC" touch. Thanks for paying homage to this great institution.
Robert Cauttero wrote:
What a fantastic web site. You have brought back such fond memories... WABC was such a big part of my youth. Music has never sounded as good as it did on my little transistor radio.
Joe Flaska wrote:
This site is absolutely fantastic. Many thanks for sharing your collection of goodies. I was a fan of WABC even though I lived in Allentown PA at thetime. I have several air checks (and some of Dan Ingram's screwed up songs), but the quality is not good as the signal was not strong where I lived.
I have spend several hours listening to your collections on here and it really brought back a lot of memories. I was amazed to be able to hear "the end". I always wondered how they went out, and now I know. Pity.....we lost a great sound and traveling companion.
Again, thanks for sharing this with us.
David C. Scott wrote:
Last evening I ran across your "Musicradio WABC" website and it is just
fantastic! You really did a terrific job of capturing the essence of the old WABC. Your
excerpts immediately snapped me right back to my teen age years in Fairfield, CT where I
listened to WABC, WINS and WMCA by the hour. You may remember that all three of New York's
major Top 40 stations
in the early to mid '60s had their own kind of well, for lack of a better word - "ambience." WMCA had its own kind of "home town New York" character, WINS resembles a lot of other big city stations around the country, and, WABC did have that distinctive quality that you described with its non-stop reverberating sound. I was listening to Bob Dayton on August 6, 1965 when he made his "Happy Birthday Baby" remark. If I remember right, when the song was over, he was *gone*! Never to be heard on WABC again.
Oh yeas, Dan Ingram was truly a great radio personality. I think I would agree with you that he was probably the greatest disk jockey of all time - bar none. I think that one of the most memorable of his one liners for me, even to this day was: "I can't take my eyes off of you since I made you the new cashier." This, he said one day as he was introducing Frankie Valley's(sp) 1966 song, "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."
How many of us who were teenagers in the Tri-state area in the early to mid 1960's will ever forget the many evenings with Cousin Brucie on the radio as we engaged in every kind of youthful activity. While I was a senior in high school, a friend of mine and I formed a art group for students from around Fairfield County, where they could exhibit their work. Cousin Bruce announced our first exhibition for us over WABC and as I recall, the show was packed.
Last June I went back to Fairfield for my 30th high school class reunion and while I was there and in New York City I heard Cousin Brucie on WCBS-FM and he sounded just like he did on WABC 30 years before.
I think my most touching memory of Cousin Brucie's program was in 1967 when the song "Live for Today" was popular. Cousin Bruce gently, and caringly told his young audience that they should disregard the lyrics of that song and try to dothe best that they could in school to make the most of their lives.
I lived in Connecticut and New York from 1961 to 1975. During those years I listened to almost all of the WABC disk jockeys that you featured on your web site. Before that, I lived in Detroit and after that I lived in San Francisco. There were no radio personalities in either of those places that compared to Dan Ingram or Cousin Brucie.
David C. Scott
Barry Einstein wrote:
What a surpise to see a website devoted to WABC MusicRadio!
I grew up in Albany NY and was always captivated by New York City and WABC in particular!
I used to listed to WABC everychance I got as a youngster and have vivid memories of listening whwnever I was in the family car, since the car radio could pick it up clearly, and on my old transistor radio in the evenings when the signal would come in!
I even wanted to become a "DJ" and write to WABC, receiving a full set of photos and bios from the staff (around 1964)
Time has marched on of course, and I now live and work in NYC. WABC MusicRadio has departed, but many fond memories remain.
Your efforts have been noticed and it's nice to know that there is a place where one can remember what once was!
Bill Smith of Rochester, NY wrote:
All I can say is: when I read your page about the late great WABC I thought, "Here is a kindred spirit." You have created a site I wish I could have, only you have much more information about it than I do. I downloaded many of your sound files as a way of being able to explain to my wife what I've been talking about all these years. Thank you so much.
By the way -- I first started listening to WABC regularly in the late spring/early summer of 1965. Your wav file "gogo.wav", representing a promo of what WABC was playing that week, was from the very week I have remembered all these years as my earliest recollection of WABC-- Freddy and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Gary Lewis & the Playboys. To this day (and to the complete bewilderment of my wife) I prefer the sound of music on AM to anything on FM, due to listening to the greatest station of them all.
If there were a Nobel Prize for internet sites, you would be the first winner. Keep it coming and thank you (from someone who used to listen under the covers to Brucie's new top 20 every week and still has his Cousin Brucie picture) for bringing alive once again the greatest of radio experiences: 77WABC.
Happy New Year, Bill Smith
I grew up listening to WABC. I fell asleep at night to Dennison's Clothes commercials and awoke to Hello Again sung by HOA. Without Scott Muni and Cousin Brucie, I could not have dug through my homework. And Big Dan Ingram always took the edge off a hard day at school with his offbeat humor.
I still remember vividly, the night Roby Yonge locked himself in the studio to play clues to Paul McCartney's death. You could hear the guards banging on the door in the background. Suddenly, after one of the songs, Roby was gone and replaced by the station manager or someone who apologized for his actions and then continued with "station format". Now, THAT was radio!!
When my family moved to Florida, I would wait until sundown when the ionosphere would shrink and allow ABC's signals to reach us. I was still able to enjoy the station from afar. One day, I could no longer hear my favorite DJ's. I didn't understand why until I visited NY and discovered ABC had changed its on air staff. Bruce went to NBC. I was disheartened. It was the end of an era for me. When I think of the best times of my life, there is always a WABC station jingle in the background. Conversely, when I hear these old jingles, I think about the best times of my life!!!
I just wanted to say I was very touched by your Web page regarding WABC. I used to sit in front of my AM clock radio in the early 70's imitating the DJs... maybe this is the reason I have been interested in radio all my life. I would come home from grade school and mothers... grandmothers... and everyone else had WABC on. It WAS New York. And need I say... it kept people together... like a war or disaster would bond people, so did WABC, but on a more permanent basis.
I have moved on to become Programming Coordinator of Hot 97 in NY, and helped it gain number one status. I am now finally a Program Director of KISS in Birmingham AL. WABC introduced me to this business.
My friend Charles Hollon did a character voice and was friendly with Howard Hoffman. Do you remember the "Bensonhurt Bomber?". I still have a tape somewhere.
I had this great autographed Rockin America book... loaned it to someone and they lost it.. it had autographs from everyone from Rick Sklar to Harry Harrison to others waiting on line at the book signing that day.
Thanks again for the memories... Looking forward to seeing and hearing the rest of your page.
WABC had the highest audience share of any single city broadcast commercial radio station. That is an honor that will never be repeated.
Keith Isley wrote:
I just spent the past hour or more listening to the WABC airchecks on your page, and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed them. Although I did not listen much to WABC during that era (grew up in North Carolina and usually DX'ed the Chicago Top 40's, and WABC only once in a while), I was well aware of the station after starting work in the radio business in the early '70s.
In the 1980s I was PD at a Miami Top 40 station, and I had Rick Sklar as a consultant in 1985. (By that time he had left ABC was in business for himself.) He had some wonderful stories to tell. As a matter of fact, the station's chief engineer was a WABC enthusiastist who had a collection of WABC airchecks--including the 1968 strike tape, with Rick Sklar doing a newscast, that you have on your page. We played that aircheck for Rick and, believe it or not, it was the first time he had heard it!
He gave me an unscoped aircheck of Dan Ingram from 1965...about a 30-minute tape...which was unique because it was recorded from the studio program line--not from an air monitor--and, thus, had no reverb. (Without the EMT reverb, it was a decidedly different-sounding station.)
Anyway, I appreciate your efforts!
WRMA & WXDJ
Kevin Goldman wrote:
What a great website. I've spent hours exploring it. I am 42 years old and grew up in Brooklyn. NY and, truth to tell, used to hang out outside 1330 Avenue of the Americas and wait for the great WABC d.j.s to emerge from their shifts.
I got to be a good friend of Roby Yonge and Dan Ingram. In fact. I just spoke to Roby who is living in Miami and enjoying life.
I would love to know if anyone has tapes or any stuff from the old WABC-FM days. WABC-FM when it broadcast "the best of broadway" and on Saturday nights featured shows hosted by Bob Lewis ("Some Trust in Chariots"), Dan Ingram ("The Other Dan Ingram Show") and Chuck Leonard.
Tom Twine wrote:
It is the piece-de-resistance (which, as Dan might say, looks really dirty if your computer doesn't let you put in the accent marks...)
Spent the better part of two mornings checking out the masterpieces in your museum. Every time I hear Les Marshak announcing another TV awards show, I shall always remember that he was the guy Rick Sklar hastily put on the air when he fired Roby Yonge! And I'll always enjoy tartar sauce made from real tartars.
Thanks! And if I ever come across my aircheck of Ingram doing the Top 100 of 1971 (recorded in Virginia), I'll try to find some way to send it to you.
Jim Peyton wrote:
I can't tell you how cool it was to see your WABC Web site. I grew up in NY in the late 1960's and 70's and MusicRadio 77 was the background music for much of my life at the time. While it may not be 'cool' to reminisce about Top 40 radio, for those of us in the 35+ age group TOP40 was the intro to a wide array of music. Where else could you hear Bob Dylan, the Platters, Jefferson Airplane and Herman's Hermits on the same station -- even (if memory serves me correctly) on the same day! Today's segmented radio formats rarely cross over and that's a shame.
The station promos brought back lots of memories...I only wish it had some of the Dennisons and Playland commercials..
Well I'll write again...just wanted to say congratulations and thanks!
"Cuervo Jim" Peyton
Brian Leonard wrote:
Hi! I just checked out your web site--it's great that you've done this! The only time I got to listen to WABC before I was 15 was when my brother would come home from college and we'd ride around in his car, listening to Cousin Brucie play The Beatles and The Supremes. When I was 15, I got a radio which would pick it up, and I listened to WABC, CKLW, and the only half-decent local station, WMLP.
By the time I moved to NYC in 1978, Top 40 and my musical tastes had grown apart, and I rarely listened to WABC--but I remember donning a walkman at work to listen to the last show in 1982, and I taped the WNEW-FM tribute (which I still drag out & listen to occasionally).
I now live back in my home town in PA, but it's good to know that so many of the old DJs are on WCBS-FM. I'll have to also check out the CKLW and Palisades sites when I can. My friend Mike always thought that if you walked into Palisades with a dime stuck to your forehead, you'd get in and ride for free ("WEAR a dime, buys the most")!
In NYC, I listened to WNEW-FM most of the time and really got into Vin Scelsa's show--I belong to his mailing list and get to hear tapes of his shows occasionally. To me, he and DJs like him were the natural step after the Ingrams and Brucies--personalities who were able to play the music they really wanted to play. Too bad Vin is perhaps the last of that breed. I hope you appreciate his show as well.
Well, that's enough EEEEEE-mail for now! W-A-Beatle-C Chime Time is 4:15, and I gotta get outa here! Thanks again for putting this on the Web!
Al Randall of Q 92 in Montreal wrote:
Just got through my evening on your page..brings back memories of thosedays when I'd sniggle up close to the radio and try to pull in Brucie in Montreal. On a clear night, you could hear forever..if the atmospheric bounce was just right.
It seemed to be a toss up between Brucie and Joey Reynolds at WKBW in Buffalo, but Brucie usually won hands down. It was primarily the 'ABC jocks who made me want to get into radio..sorta gave me broadcast "leukhemia" as it were...and once it's in the blood, it NEVER leaves.
Thanks for your great page, and all the memories.
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