Brian James

WZZP (Fun 107) – Atlantic City, NJ – 5/15/98

The last Class B signal to debut in the Atlantic City market began testing in late February 1998. 107.3 WZZP was owned at the time by Spring Communications with a tower at the top of the Trump Taj Mahal casino. As the station got closer to debuting for good, the testing turned more towards stunting. There was a day of looping Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”, followed by Classic Rock billed as “ZZ 107” and later a turn towards CHR as “ZZ 107 – The Zipper”. Finally, or so we thought at the time, on April 25 the station began billing itself as “Fun 107” using the same branding as its sister station WFHN in New Bedford, MA. This stunt was much more prolonged than the rest, as many were under the impression that this would be the final for...

KDON 102.5 – Salinas/Monterey, CA – 4/24/98 – Maverick

This is a sample of Monterey’s longtime Rhythmic CHR, voiced by the late Brian James, during the late 1990’s. At the time, the station offered a relatively broad music mix – although perhaps too downtempo at times.  

KCAQ (Q-104.7) – Oxnard/Ventura, CA – 1/25/97 – Kat Torres

This is a sample of Ventura County’s longtime Rhythmic CHR (now found on 95.9 FM), voiced by the late Brian James. At this time, Q104.7 still offered a relatively balanced Rhythmic CHR format, featuring a mix of R&B, dance, hip-hop and rhythmic gold/oldies selections.

WGL-FM (Z-102.3) – Ft. Wayne, IN – 1/20/99

According to the Indiana Radio Archive and Wikipedia (pages linked below)… Z-102.3 debuted in January 1999, making this a very early aircheck in that station’s history. The call letters changed from WGL-FM to WCKZ in either March or April of that year. In March 2001, the station (and WCKZ calls) moved to 94.1 FM, and the format changed to Urban AC (supposedly with the new name “Z-94”). At the same time, 102.3 became the new home of WEJE (formerly on 96.3), with a Modern Rock format (possibly calling itself Extreme 102.3)…later becoming X-102.3 with the WXTW calls. Confused yet? Indiana Radio Archive – WGL-FM Indiana Radio Archive – WCKZ Indiana Radio Archive – WEJE Wikipedia – WGBJ

KZZP (104.7 ZZP) – Phoenix – 1999 – Karen Rite, Marino, Chris Cruze, Ron and Don

During the 80’s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. According to the station’s Wikipedia page, it “produced a long list of future stars in the radio business”, and offered a music mix that was adventurous for a Top 40 station. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991). Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. The station performed well, ranking #1 in key demos by 1998. However, by that point, Jacor (now Clear Channel) had taken ownership of KZZP along with KGLQ (96.9). On Labor Day Wee...

WEGX (Eagle 106) – Philadelphia – October 1991 – Bobby Willis

“Today’s best music mix…the new sound of Eagle 106”.  This is a great example of pure Mainstream CHR for its era, recorded just before Halloween 1991.

WSNX 104.5 – Grand Rapids, MI – 8/15/97 – Keith Curry

WSNX was one of the best CHRs of the mid/late 90’s, offering an upbeat music mix and outstanding jingles & sweepers, voiced by the late and great Brian James.  This was very impressive for a medium-sized market.

102.7 KIIS-FM – L.A. – July ’93 – Whitney Allen, John Murphy, Rick Dees

“It’s 7 O’Clock on the West Coast at KIIS…K-I-I-S, FM & AM, Los Angeles”.  Voiced by the late and great Brian James, that’s one of my all-time favorite legal IDs, and many variations of it are heard on this compilation from the Summer of 1993. At this time, in celebration of Independence Day, KIIS had a very amusing “Red, White and Balls Weekend” promotion that included liners such as “dangle your balls from your rearview mirror” and “just make sure your balls are visible.” At a time when many CHRs struggled to find success with the increasingly polarized nature of the format, KIIS elected to mix in a number of hits from years past – the station’s slogan at the time was “The Best Hits of the 80′s and 90′s.”

99.5 WZPL WZPL (99 1/2, ZPL) – Indianapolis – 5/31/97 – Jason Addams

This is a sample of the “ZPL Hitzone” mixshow from a Saturday night in May 1997.  This was a high-energy program broadcast live from an upscale beach-themed nightclub (now defunct) named Gators on the fourth floor of the Circle Center Mall in Indianapolis. At this time, the station’s primary voice was the late and great Brian James.

WKBQ-FM (Q104) – St. Louis – 4/22/96 – J.T.

This is a sample of the Gateway City’s longtime CHR station (at this point it was somewhat of a CHR/Modern AC hybrid) a couple of years after it moved from its longtime home at 106.5 FM. At one point, a legal ID voiced by the late and great Casey Kasem is heard, even though the station was featuring regular programming at that point.

WYTZ – Chicago’s Hot 94-7 – 4/17/91 – Greg Thunder

Chicago’s Hot 94-7 FM represented the high-energy, but short-lived aftermath of “Hell 94.7”, and the final (as of this writing) attempt of this frequency to compete with heritage Rhythmic CHR WBBM-FM (B96). Please visit this page (scroll about halfway down) for more details.

KZFM (Hot Z95) – Corpus Christi – 3/28/98

“Hit Music For All Generations” – voiced by the late Brian James, this is a sample of one of America’s longest-running Rhythmic CHRs.  

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