The NY Radio Archive

WABC 770


Just about anything you'd ever want to know about WABC Music Radio can be found on Allan Sniffen's Musicradio site (link below). But every once in a while, we might find something unique that we'd like to share and we'll post that here.

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wabc jocks


WABC 770


WABC-AM: 1961


SURVEY: March 2, 1961

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

This is right around the time I started collecting singles, Blue Moon and Runaway being among the first singles I purchased. A big playlist and lots of different types of music although I can't say I loved hearing either "Calcutta" (Lawrence Welk) or the "Theme from Exodus" (Ferrante & Teicher) over and over again. But sprinkled among the lesser tracks are Ben E. King, the Shirelles, the Miracles, Etta James, Chuck Jackson, the Drifters, Gene McDaniels and Ray Charles. There was plenty to like. And then there was that Touchables novelty record by Dickie Goodman which I thought was very funny when I was ten years old.

While Scott Muni was already there, Dan Ingram and Bruce Morrow hadn't yet joined the station. And note that there was no advertising on the Survey as yet. It was still pure.

Survey Survey

SURVEY: June 16, 1961

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey wasn't circular, but this particular one had been cut down for display purposes, so this is partial

There's pretty good music on this survey and it's actually more rock and R&B oriented than the one just three months earlier: Gary U.S. Bonds, Ben E. King, the Cleftones, Del Shannon, Rob Orbison, Bobby Lewis, Ernie K. Doe, early Gladys Knight, the Everly Brothers, the Drifters, the Marcels, etc. I'd listen to that now and in fact, I bought a lot of those singles as my first records.

Survey

SURVEY: WABC 77 Silver Dollar Survey

Week ending December 30, 1961

To this day, I don't know what silver dollars had to do with anything. Note that the WABC jocks had become the "WABC Good Guys" (which WMCA also inexplicably used), which they were from December 1961 through Spring, 1963, but Dan Ingram and Bruce Morrow were now part of the team and WABC was quickly becoming the classic WABC that we think of today.

Note that advertising had arrived to the Survey, although at least there was a tie-in to the music. And by today's standards, "Chubby" Checker wasn't all that fat.

WABC Survey December 30, 1961 WABC Survey December 30, 1961


WABC-AM: 1962


SURVEY: WABC 77 Silver Dollar Survey

Week ending November 3, 1962

Contributed by Terry Morgan

The Beatles had released "Love Me Do" in England just 22 days before this survey was released. While there were a few dogs, there was also some really good music on this survey. We've got Sam Cooke, Chubby Checker and The Four Season each on there twice, rounded out with Carla Thomas, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Joey Dee, Brook Benton, Johnny Mathis, and Stan Getz with Charlie Byrd, among others. You've got "Big Girls Don't Cry" jumping from position #39 to #4. And we've got what would become rock canon: "He's A Rebel", "Monster Mash", which was always fun to hear, especially around Halloween; "Green Onions", "Return to Sender", "Let's Dance", "Beechwood 4-5789", "Stormy Monday" and "Bring It On Home To Me". I'd listen to most of that anytime!

WABC Survey December 22, 1962

SURVEY: WABC 77 Silver Dollar Survey

Week ending December 22, 1962

The Beatles would release their first UK album just 90 days from the ending date on this survey and had already released "Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You" (Parlophone R4949), but in the U.S., "Pepino the Italian Mouse" was #4. It was inevitable that the Beatles would win the music revolution.

So let's look at what critics today would still consider to be great records: "Return to Sender", "Up on the Roof", "He's A Rebel", "Desafinado", "You Are My Sunshine", and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", but only three of those could be considered to be rock records. Just about everything else was pretty weak in retrospect, even the ones that scored big hits, like "Do You Love Me".

Note that the ZIP code hadn't arrived yet and phone numbers still had alphas ("LUdlow") and represented neighborhoods. Seven-Up was sold in glass bottles. Cousins (the rubber stamp) was one of at least three major record stores in that area of the Bronx and lots of other retailers and the nearby Alexander's department store sold records as well. Not having an Amazon was not a hardship - you could buy your favorite music everywhere and it was a lot of fun making those pilgrimages to one's favorite record store to buy what was new, to pick up a survey, to peruse Billboard or Cashbox or Record World and just hang out. That was socialization back then. Today we define socialization as sending 140 characters of text to people you might barely know.

WABC Survey December 22, 1962 WABC Survey December 22, 1962


WABC-AM: 1963


SURVEY: WABC 77 Silver Dollar Survey

Week ending January 5, 1963

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

A survey from early January in 1963. Not much of a change from December, with "Pepino, the Italian Mouse" as the #1 song. We really needed the Beatles, but we'd have to wait until the end of the year.

WABC Survey January 5, 1963 WABC Survey January 5, 1963

Dan Ingram's Sales Tips

Billboard: Feb 23, 1963

An interesting Billboard article about Dan Ingram and "live ad reading"

Ingram

WABC-AM DJ Membership Cards

circa early 1960's

Contributed by Tony Palazzolo

Many WABC-AM DJ's had fan clubs. You didn't get much by being a member - mainly just a membership card, but to young radio fans, it was a lot of fun and garnered station loyalty. Today, the station would use that list to sell names to marketing organizations. But back then, marketing naivite made it very ethical.

WABC Membership Cards

AIRCHECK: Rare Scott Muni

circa 1963

As we know from the Rewound shows, airchecks of Scott Muni are extremely rare. This is just a few segments and very short, but it gives us an idea of what Scott sounded like in his WABC days.

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Link to aircheck

SURVEY: December 21, 28 1963

Contributed by Mark Katz

Just before the explosion. Aside from the Impressions, Lenny Welch and Marvin Gaye, there wasn't much good here to listen to. Even the songs from the Beach Boys and Dion were among their lesser offerings.

WABC Survey December 21, 1963 WABC Survey December 21, 1963


WABC-AM: 1964


SURVEY: January 4, 11, 18, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles aren't listed on the January 11th survey, but from the January 18th survey, we can see that they were actually at #35 the previous week. And Dusty Springfield shows up on the 18th as well.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: February 1, 8, 15, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles chart 3x on February 1st and even "My Bonnie" makes an appearance on February 15th.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: March 28, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles chart nine times(!) and The Searchers and the Dave Clark Five also chart. The Temptations are also on there with a still great-sounding track. And who does WABC choose as the next pick hit? Vic Dana singing "Shangri-La. In spite of the evidence before their eyes, they still didn't know what was happening.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: July, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles only have one track at the beginning of the month- "Love Me Do", originally released in 1962. The Four Seasons are back on top. The Drifters and Impressions have some great tracks. By July 18th, The Beatles chart four tracks from "A Hard Day's Night". By the 25th, they're also playing "Matchbox" and "Slowdown" (sic).

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: August 1, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles still dominate but only "A Hard Day's Night" is in the top 14. The Rolling Stones chart. And "The Girl from Impanema". That was one of the things that was great about top-40 radio: if it was a hit, it got played regardless of genre.

WABC Survey

AIRCHECK: The Beatles on WABC

August 28, 1964 and August 13, 1965

Bruce Morrow with the Beatles

While most top-40 radio stations in the U.S. ignored the Beatles when the first early singles were released starting in early 1963, everyone jumped on the Beatle bandwagon by the time the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in February of 1964. Nine singles had been released in the U.S. by the time the show aired:

My Bonnie b/w The Saints by Tony Sheridan and the Beatles (Decca 31382) on April 23, 1962.
Love Me Do b/w P.S. I Love You (Capitol of Canada 72076) on February 4, 1963.
Please Please Me b/w Ask Me Why (Vee Jay VJ498) on February 25, 1963.
From Me To You b/w Thank You Girl (Vee Jay VJ522) on May 27, 1963.
She Loves You b/w I'll Get You (Swan 4152) on September 16, 1963.
Roll Over Beethoven b/w Please Mr. Postman (Capitol of Canada 72113) on December 9, 1963.
I Want To Hold Your Hand b/w I Saw Her Standing There (Capitol 5112) scheduled for January 13, 1964, but moved to late December when the hype started.
My Bonnie b/w The Saints by Tony Sheridan and the Beatles (MGM K13213) on January 27, 1964.
Please Please Me b/w From Me To You (Vee Jay VJ581) on January 30, 1964.

While WMCA also got some Beatle exclusives and WINS' Murray the K actually roomed with the Beatles in Miami and proclaimed himself "the Fifth Beatle", one of the reasons WABC got so much attention from the Beatles is reportedly because they thought that the "American Broadcasting Company" was the U.S. equivalent of the BBC.

What's remarkable in these excerpts from when the Beatles returned in August of 1964 is how much WABC's Bruce Morrow and Scott Muni (with Dan Ingram back in the studio) were able to manipulate the crowd, largely comprised of 12- to 15-year-old girls. Those same teeny-boppers are now 62 to 65 years old (as of 2014). WABC broke format to cover the Beatles, something which most stations would never do today--they'd be too afraid of losing audience to those who might not like the concentration on one group and the lack of continuous music. And the type of interactivity - with the girls listening on transistor radios reacting to the DJ's requests for reaction is not all that many steps away from the instant reaction of tweeting and messaging today.

There were actually only a few thousand girls out there, which might not even garner news coverage today. But it was a big deal then. They were quite noisy and getting them to chant "WABC, WABC" was probably an incredible sales promotion for the station.

What's also unique here is one of the first uses of wireless microphones.

The second segment is actually coverage from WABC-TV. The third segment is from the August '65 visit. By this time Scott Muni had left WABC and Dan joined Brucie on the remote. The Beatles had become far more sophisticated by this time. Note when Bruce asks Ringo to read the inscription on a listener-designed medallion, Ringo thinks it's a promo for the station and won't mention the call-letters.

Recording notes: I personally recorded these on a Wollensak mono tape recorder tapping the loudspeaker of a table top radio with alligator clips. Unfortnately, I was about 30 miles out of NYC at the time, the radio wasn't that great and there is a fair amount of static and whine. The TV recording was accomplished with a cheap dynamic microphone.

mp377WABC August 28, 1964 mp3WABC TV-7 August 28, 1964 mp377WABC August 13, 1965

SURVEY: October 24, 31, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles have fallen off of WABC's Survey. But we have Roy Orbison, Manfred Mann, Jeremy & Clyde, The Shangri-Las, Martha & the Vandellas, The Supremes, Gene Pitney, The Searchers, the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, The Impressions, The Kinks and The Animals. Plenty to listen to and much of it became canon. And on October 24th, WABC finally chooses a truly great Pick Hit.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: November 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

Not bad music, but it didn't change much over the month.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: December 12, 1964

Contributed by Mark Katz

Beatles back on the chart with "I Feel Fine" and "She's a Woman" and former Pick Hit "She's Not There" is #1.

WABC Survey

PRESS: WABC Gets Lion's Share of Audience - Here's Why

Billboard: December 12, 1964

A lengthy article detailing why WABC was so successful. Well maybe not the real reasons, but the reasons they liked to promote. One interesting note is that when the station ran a Beatles promotion asking listeners to submit an art design for a medal, they received over 50,000 entries. Wow.

The article includes photos of Herb Oscar Anderson, Dan Ingram, Scott Muni, Charlie Greer, Bruce Morrow and P.D. Rick Sklar.

WABC


WABC-AM: 1965


SURVEY: January 16, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

Righteous Bros. with their biggest hit and Phil Spector's incredible prooduction.

WABC Survey

PRESS: Scott Muni Leaves WABC

Billboard: February 6, 1965

Billboard reports on WABC deciding not to pick up Muni's option. Legend says this stemmed from a dispute Muni had with Rick Sklar over a Four Seasons recording.

Muni

SURVEY: February 20, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Eight Days a Week" in its second week on the Survey and The Kinks.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: April 10, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Nowhere to Run" and "Shotgun", The Moody Blues and The Kinks. But also a lot of junk.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: May 22, 29, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Ticket to Ride", "Help Me Rhoda" and "Wooly Bully".

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: June 5, 19, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Mr. Tambourine Man" and The Animals cover of "Bring It On Home To Me". On the 19th, "Satisfaction" starts to appear.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: July 10, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

Elvis is back on the charts.

WABC Survey

PROMO: The WABC "Order of the All-Americans"

August 13, 1965

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

In the above 1965 aircheck, Cousin Brucie tries to get Ringo to read the inscription of a "medal" created by WABC for the Beatles. Ringo (in spite of supposedly being not the brightest Beatle) immediately understands this is a promo and refuses to say "WABC". Bruce frantically responds, "It's not a promo!" Cracks me up every time I hear it. In any case, thanks to contributor Kimball Brandner, here's a photo of the medal.

medal

SURVEY: August 7, 14, 28, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Help", In the Midnight Hour" and "California Girls".

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: September 4, 18, 25, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

James Brown, Ramsey Lewis and The Yardbirds.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: October 2, 9, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

Dylan and The Turtles

WABC Survey WABC Survey

AIRCHECK: Charlie Greer [scoped - mono]

Sunday, October 3, 1965 (35:56)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

We mostly remember Charlie Greer doing overnights, but he did mornings from late 1965 before returning to overnights around 1968. While the sound of this aircheck is horrible, the production and pacing is unbelievably superb. Since WABC was a full-service radio station and we get to hear the news, we learn that the workers at the NY Times were on strike, we were a month away from the mayoral election with John Lindsay, Abe Beame and William F. Buckley running (Lindsay won), it was a cold 43 degrees, cigarettes were still being advertised on the radio, banks paid 4.25% interest on savings accounts and Pope Paul had just returned to Italy from New York, almost 50 years to the day that Pope Francis returned to the Vatican from New York. And Peter Jennings announced the news.

In this particular segment, we surprisingly don't hear any Beatles music except within a promo, but we do hear Dylan's "Positively 4th Street", a pretty radical recording for WABC-AM. And not too long after, we hear Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe" as performed by The Turtles, which was a big top-40 hit. We also get to hear how diverse WABC-AM was at the time with Ramsey Lewis' piano instrumental of "The In Crowd". And lots of commercials, but short stop sets.

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Greer(37:46)

SURVEY: November 6, 13, 20, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Positively Fourth Street" - amazing that top-40 radio played this

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: December 4, 18, 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Rascals appear

WABC Survey WABC Survey

AIRCHECK: WABC "What Goes On" Exclusive

December, 1965

The Beatles did much to revive the excitement of AM radio. What many American fans didn't know at that time was that Capitol Records completely reconfigured the official UK releases, to the consternation of producer George Martin and the Beatles.

This was done for several reasons: pop albums in the U.S. tended to have 12 tracks while UK albums had 14 tracks. Issuing albums with only 12 tracks reduced royalty costs and enabled a louder recording. In the UK, the Beatles had a policy of not including singles on albums and also not releasing singles from albums after they were released. In the U.S., it was common for albums to always include recent hit singles. In addition, because the first Beatles album was issued in the UK in 1962 and Capitol didn't release Meet the Beatles until late December of 1963 and Capitol wanted to release the latest material (and the tracks from the first album had been leased to Vee Jay since Capitol had refused to release it), they were always behind on issuing tracks. And American "producer" Dave Dexter wanted to take credit for producing Beatle albums even though he had originally rejected releasing the Beatles in the U.S. His level of production amounting to adding unnecessary echo to the U.S. releases, making minor mix changes and taking the original 3-channel master tapes, which were never intended for stereo and making rechanneed "stereo" versions out of them.

Rubber Soul, the sixth official album in the UK, was released on December 3rd, 1965 in the UK and on December 6th in the U.S.

rubber soul rubber soul

rubber soul rubber soul

The US and UK versions of "Rubber Soul"

However, the UK version of Rubber Soul had a different track configuration and contained four songs that Capitol would hold for Yesterday & Today: "Drive My Car", "Nowhere Man", "What Goes On" and "If I Needed Someone". Yesterday & Today would not be released until June of 1966.

WABC got a copy of the UK release and started playing "What Goes On" as an exclusive. As you'll hear in the aircheck, they plastered Dan Ingram's voice all over it so that a competing radio station couldn't steal it. The mystery is why they chose the weakest of the four songs to play. Any of the other three unique songs from the UK release would have been a better choice.

When Capitol contacted the Beatles and asked for a cover photo for the Yesterday & Today album, the Beatles sent the now infamous "Butcher" cover as a statement about Capitol "butchering" their releases. However, in the U.S., it was merely interpreted as bad taste and the cover was quite controversial. Capitol had to pull it and replace the sleeve with a simple photo of the Beatles standing around a trunk. Versions of the album with the original cover are quite valuable. One original sealed copy recently sold for $15,000.

Yesterday and Today Yesterday and Today

The original Butcher cover and the re-release.

While the Beatles UK catalog represents the "canon", the American Capitol Beatles catalog was re-released on January 21, 2014. The boxed set contains both Yesterday & Today album covers and each disc contains both the mono and stereo mixes.


Meanwhile, here's how WABC presented their exclusive (sorry for the hum):

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What Goes On

Year End SURVEY: 1965

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1966


SURVEY: January 1, 8, 15, 29, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Byrds and Simon & Garfunkle. "Daytripper" (sic) on the 8th. No Pick Hits on the 15th and 29th.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: February 5, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle, The Kinks and Stones in the top four. Not bad, although there was also some lameness.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: April 16, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

At least ten of the top 14 were great songs. Plus the Isley Brothers before they split Tamla.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: June 11, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

A little bit of everything.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: July 23, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Yardbirds show up. One week later, WOR-FM would start broadcasting rock.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: August 6, 13, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

Paperback Writer below the top 14.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: September 3, 17, 24, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz & ZoetMB

Some good music here, including music that was getting played on WOR-FM, but a good as the music was, it must have been incredibly boring to hear those same tracks over and over.

Survey Survey Survey

SURVEY: Octobere 1, 8, 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

Not terribly different than what WOR-FM was playing, where the DJ's showed up on October 8th

Survey Survey

SURVEY: December 31, 1966

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of December 31, 1966.

Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1966

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1967


SURVEY: January 14, 28, 1967

Contributed by Kimball Brandner & Mark Katz

"Gimmie Some Lovin' on the 28th.

Survey Survey

SURVEY: February, 1967

Contributed by Kimball Brandner, Mark Katz & Dr. Zoet

The good: Stones, Monkees, Spencer Davis, Rascals, Blues Magoos, Mitch Ryder, Cannonbal Adderley, Aaron Neville, Donovan, Lovin' Spoonful, Wilson Pickett, Beatles and James Brown. Lamer: The Casinos, Royal Guardsman, Herman's Hermits, Tom Jones, The Seekers, Gary Lewis.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEY: April 1, 8, 1967

Contributed by Mark Katz & Kimball Brandner

We're seeing some tracks that would also be played on WOR-FM, but some of them have been at the top of WABC's playlist for several months: Penny Lane, Happy Together, Dedicated to the One I Love, I've Been Lonely Too Long, Bernadette, Ruby Tuesday, Sweet Soul Music, I'm a Man, Strawberry Fields Forever, and (My) Back Pages

Survey Survey

SURVEY: May 6, 1967

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of May 6, 1967.

Survey

SURVEY: June 24, 1967

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of June 24, 1967.

Survey

AIRCHECK: Dan Ingram [scoped - mono]

WABC-AM 770: Saturday, July 22, 1967 (35:56)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

A typical Dan Ingram show, full of shtick and fun. The question was, with an increasingly fractured society and music starting to reflect that, did it still work? To many, it didn't and those people would switch to WOR-FM (and to WNEW-FM just three+ months later), but for many it did work and would continue to work until WABC's demise 15 years later.

One surprise here is that the station was still playing Janis Ian's "Society's Child", a controversial song in its day about a relationship between a white young girl and a Black young man. I was under the impression that WABC-AM stopped playing the song after some listeners protested. In some respects, we've come a long way, but if you listen to the newscast item about minority protests, it sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday and nothing has changed.

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Ingram(35:56)

SURVEY: August 12, 1967

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of August 12, 1967.

Survey

PRESS: "The Situation is Intolerable" - Rick Sklar

Village Voice - Sept. 7, 1967

"Rock is UN-ruly and all censors are barbers."

A commentary on censorship in radio by Richard Goldstein.

Sklar-Goldstein

Chuck Leonard Profile

Billboard: Oct 28, 1967

A Billboard profile of the great Chuck Leonard

Leonard

SURVEY: November 18, 1967

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of November 18, 1967.

Survey

AIRCHECK: Bruce Morrow [scoped - mono]

WABC-AM 770: Wednesday, November 29, 1967 (27:07)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

Cousin' Brucie from the end of November, 1967 with WABC completely ignoring what was starting to happen on FM. This was a month after Rosko had joined WNEW-FM, just about two weeks after Jonathan Schwartz had joined and still 19 days before Muni would join. And WOR-FM was several months into the Drake format.

Interesting here are spots for all the brands that no longer exist, including Miles shoes, Gimbels department store and RCA TV sets (which they were giving away in a contest). Also interesting is that about half way through the aircheck, Bruce plays a track from a local high school band as part of a contest. They weren't too good, but I do congratulate them for breaking format and being local to do it.

Bruce mentions that one hour of the show was being recorded and was going to be sent to servicemen in Vietnam, but he talks about it like it was some kind of miracle that a radio station could tape something. And why only one hour? Bruce always did seem to be on another planet when he tried to talk seriously about anything.

Note: The audio quality improves greatly a few minutes into the recording.

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Cousin' Brucie

SURVEY: December 30, 1967

Contributed by Mark Katz

Some psychedelia

WABC Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1967

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1968


SURVEY: January 6, 20, 27, 1968

Contributed by Mark Katz

"Chain of Fools", "She's a Rainbow", "Hello, Goodbye".

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: February 3, 10, 24, 1968

Contributed by Mark Katz & Kimball Brandner

The Queen of Soul is the Pick Hit on the 24th!

Survey Survey Survey

SURVEY: March, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of March, 1968. Very tight playlist...a few decent songs. No signs of progressive rock as yet.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEY: April 7, 14, 21, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the week of April 7, 14, 21, 1968. What's interesting here is that if you compare the April 7 survey to the survey from April, 1967, there are actually somewhat fewer FM songs in 1968. 12 out of the 21 songs listed were FM hits.

Survey Survey Survey

SURVEY: May 11, 18, 25, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner & Mark Katz

Note the survey format change on May 18th

Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: June 1, 15, 22, 29 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner & Mark Katz

Pick hits from The Doors, the Stones, The Monkees and Wilson Pickett

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: July, 1968

Contributed by Mark Katz & Kimball Brandner

Horses, Picnics, Matchsticks, Angels & Darkness. July 20th would be the last survey with a Pick Hit.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: August 3, 10, 17, 31, 1968

Contributed by Mark Katz & Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of August 17 and 31st, 1968. The survey for August 31st includes many tracks (with the exception of the Vogues) that a progressive rock station would be playing including some that would become part of the rock canon, such as tracks by the Rascals, the Doors, Cream, Donovan, etc. “Love Makes A Woman” was one of the great soul tracks of the era. The only problem was they didn't go very deep.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: September, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

"People Got To Be Free", "Sunshine of Your Love", "Born To Be Wild", "Hush" - it was almost like FM. Of course there was also pop and bubble gum and some pop.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: October 5, 12, 19, 26, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of October 1968. What a mix of music! How do you transition from Harper Valley PTA to Fire or from Hush by Deep Purple to The Vogues? But it was diverse: a bit each of soul, pop, british rock, psychedelia, doo wop (almost) and rock.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: November, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for all the weeks of November 1968. Once again, an interesting mix of music. There's only a few tracks that wouldn't fit on a progressive rock station, but the question remains: would the same listener who wanted to hear Little Green Apples and Chewy Chewy also want to hear Janis Joplin sing Piece of My Heart and Fire by Arthur Brown?

I was working in college radio at this point and we had the same battle. In fact, it was Chewy Chewy that started the argument. And the Ohio Express lost that argument.

Survey Survey Survey Survey Survey

SURVEYS: December, 1968

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for weeks of December 1968.

Survey Survey Survey Survey

AIRCHECK: Dan Ingram [scoped - mono]

WABC-AM 770: Saturday, December 28, 1968 (17:23)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

Here's a bit of Dan Ingram sitting in for Roby Younge doing the annual review of the best 100 songs of the year. While this show sounds dated compared to what was happening on FM by the end of 1968, WABC-AM was stil a powerhouse, achieving ratings in the 9 to 10 range.

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Dan Ingram

AIRCHECK: Chuck Leonard [scoped - mono]

WABC-AM 770: Tuesday, December 31, 1968 (16:20)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

Chuck Leonard getting stuck working New Year's Eve and playing some of the year's best songs, of which there were many. Chuck's enthusiasm always came through the radio.

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Chuck Leonard

Year End SURVEY: 1968

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1969


SURVEY: January 18, 1969

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of January 18, 1969.
Some soul, some country, some pop, some rock. "Chewy, Chewy", "Cloud Nine" and "Going Up The Country" on the same playlist. Amazing.

Survey

SURVEY: March 29, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

Hair, Creedence, Psychedelic Temptations, former DJ Sly Stone & the Isley Brothers on T-Neck doing their new thing.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: May 31, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

Booker T & Getting Back

WABC Survey

SURVEY: June 14, 21, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

Pinball Wizard, & Elvis back on the charts.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

MARKETING: circa 1969

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

An interesting marketing campaign to advertisers from around 1969. We're guessing at that date by the D.J.s in the campaign, by the hairstyles and by the graphic treatment. It could have been as early as September, 1968. (If anyone knows better, let us know. We originally thought this was 1971, but restorian Rob Frankel reminded us that Roby Yonge was let go in October '69 over the "Paul Is Dead" controversy.)

A few comments: Ron Lundy is promoted as appealing to the "modern woman", but they show a vintage drawing of a woman from the 1800s or even earlier. A quote from an AAAA executive claims Bruce Morrow is "...thought provoking." Bruce may have a lot of great qualities, but thought provoking is not quite one of them. And why exactly is he growing out of a plant?

Anyways, at a time of radical changes in society and on the radio, this was a campaign definitely designed to give traditional advertisers comfort while also providing a tiny bit of psychedelic appeal by virtue of the color solarized photo treatment.

Promo Promo Promo Promo
Promo Promo Promo Promo
Promo Promo Promo Promo

SURVEY: August 2, 9, 16, 23, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

The honky tonk woman gave peace a chance and Bubble Gum starts its dreaded climb up the charts.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: October 27, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Beatles come together for the last time.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: November 17, 24, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

Is that all there is?

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: December 22, 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

I guess Rick Sklar didn't know what Led Zeppelin was singing about.

WABC Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1969

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1970


SURVEY: March 2, 1970

Contributed by Mark Katz

Give me a little more time to celebrate at the Psychedelic Shack because the thrill is gone.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: April 6, 1970

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of April 6, 1970. Nothing very wrong with the songs they were playing, but at a time when there was so much great music and so many great album tracks, there just wasn't enough. And if you look at the Bonus tracks, it's evident that when WABC didn't have singles sales charts to rely upon, it wasn't very good at picking the right tracks to play.

Survey

SURVEY: June 8, 1970

Contributed by Mark Katz

Mama told me to get ready to save the country.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: July 6, 13, 20, 1970

Contributed by Mark Katz

Maybe teach your children the summertime blues

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: August 17, 1970

Contributed by Mark Katz

Looks like they finally decided to expand the playlist a bit to a big 34 songs.

WABC Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1970

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey
WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1971


SURVEY: January 18, 25, 1971

Contributed by Mark Katz

Lennon, Led Zep, Elton, Santana, Harrison.
WABC finally disovers the LP!

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: February, 1971

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of February 1, 8, 15, 1971.

Feb 1: Dawn, Perry Como, George Harrison, Santana, The Partridge Family, Stephen Stills, James Brown and Barbara Streisand on the same playlist. Even a public radio station wouldn't be that daring today. Back then it seemed lame.

Feb 15: Did they have some kid composing the survey? There are typos everywhere: That group the BeGees, Creedance Clearwater and I didn't know that Sly Stone was on Solumbia Records. Don't know if they were really playing all those albums, but Abraxas, Sly, Elton John, Joplin, Creedence, Chicago, George Harrison and Grank Funk Railroad would all be played on FM as well.

Survey Survey Survey

SURVEY: March 1, 8, 15, 22, 1971

Contributed by Kimball Brandner & Mark Katz

Perry Como. Wow. I wonder how that sounded coming out of Grank Funk Live (or vice-versa).

Survey Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: June 7, 14, 21, 1971

Contributed by Mark Katz

Joplin, Carole King, Stones, CSN&Y, Ringo and doggy nights.

WABC Survey WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: July 12, 19, 1971

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

Treat her like a lady in hot pants, friend.

Survey Survey

SURVEY: October 25, 1971

Contributed by Mark Katz

Imagine who is next in dixie, Maggie!

WABC Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1971

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey
WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1972


SURVEY: January 31, February 7, 1972

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the weeks of January 31 and February 7, 1972.

Most of the music is actually pretty good and almost all of it, except perhaps for the Osmonds and the Jackson Five track would be heard on FM progressive rock stations: Don McLean, Al Green, Melanie, Badfinger, Betty Wright, Nilsson - even Dennis Coffey from Motown's Funk Brothers studio band is on there with "Scorpio", which became canon among musicians (and probably wasn't played on WNEW-FM). And they claim to be playing tracks from the Concert for Bangla Desh, the Stones' Hot Rocks, McCartney, Led Zeppelin and Carole King. The only problem was the fidelity of AM radio and the constant repetition.

Note the survey format change. It no longer says WABC at the top of the survey.


Survey Survey

SURVEY: April 3, 1972

Contributed by Mark Katz

American Pie: did WABC play the long version? Doubtful. And the Concert for Bangla Desh.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: August 7, 14, 1972

Contributed by Mark Katz

Back in April, we had Ultra-Super Singles and Super Singles. Now we just have Super Singles and Singles. And a reduction in the number of albums listed in spite of the fact that 1972 was still a great year for albums.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1972

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey
WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1973


SURVEY: January 15, 22, 1973

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of January 15th and 22nd 1973. Note that aside from the small number of tracks and LPs listed, almost all of the acts would also be played on progressive rock stations. We don't normally think of WABC as the place to hear Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, Loggins & Messina, Moody Blues and Carly Simon. Sounds like an adult rock FM station. But if the playlist was a tight as the survey, it could have been excruciating to listen to. And do you really want "WABC Chime Time" after playing Jethro Tull?

Survey Survey

SURVEY: March 26, 1973

Contributed by Mark Katz

Elton, Carly, Wonder, Bowie, Flack, Four Tops, but also Vicki Lawrence, Dawn, Anne Murray

WABC Survey

SURVEY: May 14, 1973

Contributed by Mark Katz

Frankenstein only comes at night in Geoorgia.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: June 4, 18 and 25, 1973

Contributed by Mark Katz & Kimball Brandner

Again, one can make the case that while the playlist is small, there is as much diversity as any FM station with acts as different as Edgar Winter, Clint Holmes, Barry White, Dr. John, Manu Dibango, Paul McCartney and even Perry Como. (Maybe that was the problem.)

Notice also that we have caught the survey at a survey format change. This is definitely an improvment: the call letters are restored, the photo of the DJ is larger and the little cartoon dreawings at the top are nicer than the design elements in the previous survey. But the typography still sucked.

Survey Survey Survey

MARKETING: "One of WABC's Many Faces" campaign, circa 1973

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

Here's another of the WABC advertiser marketing campaigns. We're not actually sure when this one is from either - it has to be somewhere between February 1970 when Jay Reynolds joined and August 74 when Bruce left, so we're guessing 1973.

Note how the copy pushes WABC as a national station.

Promo Promo Promo

Promo Promo Promo

SURVEYS: July 2, 9, 16 and 23, 1973

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of July, 1973. A little position movement, but not much new since June. Were they moving too slowly on new tracks?

Survey Survey Survey Survey

PHOTO: August, 1973

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

"Cousin Brucie is going to be buried by Wolfman Jack"

In August of 1973, Wolfman Jack was hired by WNBC to compete with Cousin' Brucie at WABC. In one of the great marketing pranks of all time, WNBC planted a "tombstone" outside of the WABC office building on 6th Avenue. They also issued thousands of miniature tombstone paperweights that declared "Cousin Brucie is going to be buried by Wolfman Jack." However, the Wolfman didn't beat Morrow and he left WNBC after a year when he was replaced by....Bruce Morrow. Bruce left WABC on August 7, 1974

Tombstone

SURVEY: September 24, 1973

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of September 24, 1973.

Survey

SURVEY: December 10, 24, 1973

Contributed by Mark Katz

Ringo's photograph of the Joker on the Yellow Brick Road.

WABC Survey WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1974


SURVEY: February 11, 1974

Contributed by Mark Katz

Two months later and much of the music is the same.

WABC Survey

SURVEY: April 1, 1974

Contributed by Rich Barbato

Were they really playing "The Lord's Prayer"? At least they were supposedly playing some Stevie Wonder. Sometime between mid-February and April 1, the albums disappeared. Really? And definitely a bastly inferior design for the survey printed on really cheap paper.

Survey

SURVEY: April 8, 1974

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

By this time, WABC seems to have pulled away from most of the acts that could also be heard on FM. While we've got some big singles from Elton John, Paul McCartney, Ringo, Billy Joel, Grank Funk and Stevie Wonder, it's balanced by a lot of far weaker tracks that we don't think much of today.

And the graphic design of the survey itself also looks pretty insubstantial, compared to the surveys from the 1960s. Almost as if the design of the survey also represented the importance of WABC.

And isn't a marketing claim like "...where the music sounds best!" kind of worthless in an age when FM was taking over and the market for high-fidelity systems was enormous? Wouldn't a promo like, "...just the music and jocks you love" have been a better approach?

Survey

SURVEY: May 6, 1974

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

Oh my my: the band is on the run, but don't worry about a thing.

Survey

SURVEY: December 9, 16, 1974

Contributed by Mark Katz

The Tin Man has been Kung-Fu fighting, but I can help.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

Year End SURVEY: 1974

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1975


PROMOTION: Ron Lundy by Jack Davis (1975)

Contributed by Myles Putman

In 1975, WABC hired Mad Magazine artist Jack Davis to create a series of caricatures of WABC DJs. This is the only one we've found so far, but we think it's a great portrait of a then-youthful Ron Lundy. We hope to locate some more.

Ron Lundy

SURVEY: February 24, 1975

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of February 24, 1975.

Survey

SURVEY: March 3, 10, 1975

Contributed by Mark Katz

Lennon picking up the pieces by doing an oldies.

WABC Survey WABC Survey

SURVEY: August 11, 1975

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The survey for the week of August 11, 1975. Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" is the surprise track here.

Survey

SURVEY: September 1,29, 1975

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the week of September 1st and 29th 1975. The 9/1 survey features the same tracks from three weeks before. That had to have been pretty boring, especially considering the short playlist.

Notice the new imaging on the September 29th survey.

Survey Survey


WABC-AM: 1976


Year End SURVEY: 1976

Contributed by Mark Katz

The year-end list of the 100 top hits of the year.

WABC Survey


WABC-AM: 1978


WABC SURVEY: May 8, 1978

Contributed by Rich Barbato

The survey for the week of May 8, 1978. There's some decent music on the survey: Wings, Clapton, Chuck Mangione, Parliament, Jefferson Starship, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Billy Joel, Natalie Cole and Meatloaf. But note the disclaimer: "WABC plays selected music from these lists". Did that mean they weren't really playing all the songs on the survey or did it mean that they were only playing selected tracks from the top albums, which would have made sense. If the former, then what was the point of the survey? If the latter, then why the disclaimer - even WNEW-FM didn't play every track from every album they chose to play.

Survey

WABC SURVEY: July 31, 1978

Contributed by Rich Barbato

The survey for the week of July 31, 1978. They're still playing much of the same music they were playing in May. There was no shortage of great music in those days. No reason not to move on new music faster.

Survey


WKTU went Disco on July 24, 1978 and turned the market upside down.

Ratings Fall 1978 Ratings Fall 1978

The Spring and Fall 1978 ratings. WKTU achieved a 1.4 in the Summer book and jumped to a 9.9 in the Fall once the Disco format started.

The general consensus today is that WABC over-reacted to the impact of Disco KTU. But obviously there was no impact until the first ratings book after the change was released.


PHOTO: Cousin Brucie

Contributed by Allen B. Shaw

Here's a nice photo of one very good-looking Cuz from ABC-FM programming executive Allan B. Shaw. Bruce was 43 when this was taken. Question: Why did Bruce wear his toupée in the radio studio?

Bruce


WABC-AM: 1979


WABC SURVEY: May 28, 1979

Contributed by Rich Barbato

The survey for the week of May 28, 1979. Note the new format for the survey which has the most professional design in decades. Looks like they finally got some design help. It's legible, has the right colors and decent typography. And a nice listing of the schedule on the back (although no pics of the jocks).

Many more songs are listed below the top 14. But it's mostly disco with a few other tracks thrown in. But there is Blondie, Bob Seger, Rickie Lee Jones, the Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick and Joe Jackson. Not bad.

This was 10 months after Disco KTU launched. Was this playlist the wrong thing to do? It actually was a nice mix of music. WABC probably couldn't have competed with WKTU by going all-Disco. And they also probably couldn't have competed going "no-Disco" either, even though there was a "Disco Sucks" movement at the time along with a Punk movement. But Punk on AM? Maybe: the relative poor audio quality of AM radio might have been a good match for the roughness of the Punk sound.

Survey

PHOTO: Dan Ingram & Ron Lundy circa 1979

Contributed by Allen B. Shaw

Ron's shirt hurts my eyes. That's a lotta' carts.

Dan, Ron


WABC-AM: 1980


WABC SURVEY: September 22, 1980

Contributed by Rich Barbato

The survey for the week of September 22, 1980. Well..this is confusing. They're skipping chart positions on the survey: there's no 21, 24, 27-29, 31-33, 35, 38-40, 42-45, 47 or 48 and the last track listed doesn't even get a chart position.

Stones, Cars, "Fame", Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, ELO, Pointer Sisters and promotion for a live concert. But no mention of any jock.

Survey

WABC SURVEY: November 10, 1980

Contributed by Rich Barbato

The survey for the week of November 10, 1980. Back to 14 charted songs and 26 other tracks. They're still playing "Fame". That must have been maddening.

Survey

TV SPOTS: Remarkable Mouth

Contributed by Bernie Wagenblast via YouTube

These TV spots for WABC were created in 1980 by Chuck Blore & Don Richman Inc. Also included are similar spots for other stations.


WABC-AM: 1981


SURVEY: March 9, 16, 1981

Contributed by Kimball Brandner

The surveys for the weeks of March 9, 16, 1981.
Note the longevity of many titles on the survey: 15 weeks for Blondie, 16 weeks for "Celebration", 23 weeks for "Lady" by Kenny Rogers. Didn't this get boring? The title with the least longevity ("Don't Stop the Music") had been playing for a month!

Survey Survey

AIRCHECK: Dan Ingram's 20th Anniversary [scoped - mono]

WABC-AM 770: Friday, July 3, 1981 (65:23)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

Dan Ingram

In this aircheck, Dan celebrates his 20th anniversary at WABC. By 1982, I didn't think much of WABC, but to their credit, they let Dan completely break format for this special show. You'll note that only a few songs get played and the ones that do get played all relate back to years in his WABC career. Newscaster Rick James reviews lots of historic events that happened during Dan's tenure, there are many phone calls from friends, family and stars and Dan plays many jingles, including some rarities and jingles made just for this anniversary show. There's also some airchecks within this aircheck, although many are incredibly poor quality.

You wouldn't know it from the aircheck, but in just over 10 more months, WABC's days as a music station would be over.

mp3Pt.1(26:25) mp3Pt.2(38:58)


WABC-AM: 1982


AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's Tribute to WABC [scoped - stereo]

WNEW-FM Sunday, May 16, 1982 (67:31)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

“When I'm on the air, I know if the Lincoln Tunnel is crowded; I know if the guy in the tollbooth has a stomach ache; I know when Mayor Koch has a headache and I used to talk to him on the air; I know who was missing - I helped the police; I knew if a toothpaste tastes good, I'd tell people....you know that's what radio is: live and dynamic and they just didn't understand this.” -- Bruce Morrow

On May 10, 1982, WABC(AM) ended it's 22-year run as a music station. The station started playing hit pop music primarily geared towards young people on December 7, 1960. Herb Oscar Anderson, Charlie Greer and Scott Muni were there at the beginning, along with Farrell Smith, Jack Carney, Chuck Dunaway and Bill Owen. Dan Ingram would join in July of 1961, Bruce Morrow that August, Bob Lewis in June of '62 and Ron Lundy in 1965.

Considering that WABC and WNEW-FM were owned by different organizations and that top-40 radio was supposedly the "enemy" of progressive rock radio, it was incredible that WNEW-FM paid tribute to WABC. It reflects the maturity and integrity of the station (although it was broadcast on a Sunday night when relatively few people listened.)

This aircheck comprises a scoped version of the first 80 minutes of the two-hour broadcast. It was put together by WNEW-FM's news director, Earl Bailey and features interviews with program director Rick Sklar, Bruce Morrow, Herb Oscar Anderson, Scott Muni, Bob Lewis and Dan Ingram as well as a number of great airchecks.

Note: The audio quality improves a few minutes into the aircheck

mp3Pt.1(25:06) mp3Pt.2(24:05) mp3Pt.3(18:20)


WABC 770 Schedules


These schedules are sourced from newspapers, Radio Guide, Richard Neer's book on FM radio, personal recollections of myself and DJs and various postings on the web, especially those of Vince Santarelli. Corrections welcomed. In some cases, the same dates are posted twice due to conflicting information from different sources.

1955-1960 Weekdays

1955-1960 Weekdays


1960-1982 Weekdays

1960-1982 Weekdays


1962-1976 Saturdays

1962-1976 Saturdays


1965-1976 Sundays

1962-1976 Sundays


1978-1982 Saturdays

1978-1982 Saturdays


1978-1982 Sundays

1978-1982 Sundays


WABC 770 Ratings


Here's a sample of WABC's overall ratings over time

WABC Ratings


More of WABC 770 can be found on Allan Sniffen's Musicradio pages: