The Daytona Beach/Spring Break trip had to be given away at the Bowl-a-Thon in March. The jocks got wasted and bowled, total pins only were counted, and the winner entry was the listener who came closest to guessing total pins. It was one of the first events that took the station into the community for entertainment purposes. Produced by Sam and Gary, this features Michael K. Murphy (now at WMVP), W. Clark Pettit (now farming in New Jersey), Michael J. Cheylewski, Sam and Keith Weinman, as well as Phil Hejtmanek.
Throughout the ’90s (when we first posted this) it was not uncommon to hear a radio station promote itself with a vignette of song snippets that were decidedly NOT of their format, followed by a song in their style.
In the late ’70s thru the mid ’80s, conservatism in radio dictated that drawing attention to your competition this way was a bad thing and this type of promotion was practically non-existent.
This spot, produced by Tom, took the former approach to sell what was then the only all “new wave” club in town, and perhaps to also take pot-shots at the local CHR station. Airwaves was located in the basement of ABC Liquors and featured a 6″ high stage.
WIDB held the “Beat Night” promotion there on Thursdays beginning with the club’s opening in Fall 1982, and the club played host to the Circle Jerks, Violent Femmes and Ministry among others in 1983, as well as being the late-night hangout for many of our staff. Does anyone know how long Airwaves stayed open?
Mike Murphy was a WLTL (La Grange) product who had an engaging personality and loved baseball. Originally a sports and news guy, he became an on-air jock. Just as many of us did, Murph unleashed his personality on his show. He had just been promoted from midday to mornings and – as you can hear from this excerpt from January 72 – no one was safe from his barbs, even his boss Sam Glick, who was in studio to take the next shift.
The new releases show continued into the 90′s with Jim Cooley, Music Director,
along with Chris Perry, Jeff Ruznic (?) and Lori Edwards.
Jim took his music seriously.
He was a member of the Blue Meanies, along with Bill Sollidor.
Chris Perry later took over for Jim as Music Director.
Here, on the New Releases show, February, 1991, Jim and the crew play an amusing spot for WIDB classified Valentines. Anybody know how popular these were?
The Goldrush was possibly the most successful program WIDB ever had. It was a live remote from Merlin’s, then the largest bar in Illinois, and put WIDB “on the map.” Merlin’s held 1500 people, and it was packed for every Goldrush.
By 1974, students who had been protesting and rioting less than 20 months before were now streaking naked thru campus and watching “All my Children.” They were less serious and looking for a good time. It seems ironic from today’s view, but even though most were under 21, there was a yearning for the simpler and more carefree days of our youth in the 60’s, only a few years before.
It is fair to say that the 1960’s generally looked forward to new things, and there was a great willingness to accept change in the name of “progress,” especially with popular culture and music. But by 1970, nostalgia began to creep in. Radio formats played 50’s hits and called them “oldies.” WIDB had a weekly oldies show as early as 1971 and WTAO aired such a show on Saturday afternoons in 1973 and ‘74.
Programmers at WIDB knew there was a great interest in 60’s hits, especially from The Beatles onward. As early as 1971, WIDB had a weekly oldies show. Until fall ‘72, weekends meant every other song was a 60’s hit. In the Fall of 73, WIDB began airing the “Solid Gold Sunday Night Special” where requests were recorded and played with the song. It was very popular.
To capitalize on this appeal, WIDB decided to have a “Sock Hop” at the Student Center. Heavily promoted on WIDB as an “Oldies dance party,” the “Sock Hop” drew 900 to Ballrooms A-D. But, of course, no alcohol could be served.