This is a sample of Philadelphia’s longtime CHR, hosted by one of my favorite personalities of all time — Terry “Motormouth” Young (who was most famous in the market for his time at Hot Hits! 98 WCAU in the early 1980’s.) In early 1998, after several years with a pronounced Rhythmic lean, Q102 moved in a more Mainstream direction. However, as heard on this aircheck, the station still had quite a few few dance selections (mostly recurrents/classics) in rotation at this time.
At the start of the 90’s, as mainstream pop music became much more fragmented, many formerly “Mainstream” CHRs chose to lean towards either Adult Contemporary or Rhythmic/Dance music. WPST, along with some of its other neighbors in the Philadelphia region like “Y102” WRFY Reading and WSTW Wilmington went in a Rock 40 direction. When was the last time a station ran an all-request show at 3am?
WBLI was (and may still be) an upbeat, fun-sounding CHR outlet, offering Long Island a locally focused alternative to similarly formatted stations from New York City.
This is a montage of Albuquerque’s longtime Rhythmic CHR at the height of the boy band/girl band craze, when it had a very Mainstream CHR-sounding approach. (The logo shown above is not necessarily from the era when this aircheck was recorded.)
“So hot, it’s cool…Thunder 107” — This aircheck represents a great example of small market Mainstream CHR in the early 90’s. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a period of multi-year struggle for the CHR format as a whole. During the first ~15 seconds, there is some static that drowns out some of the audio.
During the mid-90’s, KIDR (740 AM) in Phoenix was one of several radio stations across the U.S. affiliated with the childrens’-targetted “Radio AAHS” network. Ten of these stations were owned by Radio AAHS. By January 1998, with Radio Disney having launched its own competing network, Radio AAHS ceased operations. They put the ten stations up for sale (KIDR had joined this group not long before the sale was announced). Until a buyer was found, the affiliates (both the AAHS-owned and non-owned stations) aired a mix of random music and paid programming for 12 hours (4am-4pm PT), and all-dance “Beat Radio” for the remaining 12 hours (4pm-4am PT). In May of that year, KIDR program director Matt Miller elected to begin airing an hour of locally originated prog...
This is a sample of 106.1 FM in Tallahassee during its run as a Rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR. The exact date of the aircheck is unknown, but per comments made by the air personality, it was apparently recorded on a weekday holiday. The WWLD call letters were in place from 3/29/96 to 10/15/96. At that point, they became WUTL. However, it is unclear whether a format change took place at the same time. The station definitely flipped to Rhythmic Oldies in March 1999.
By the late 80’s, it seemed that many CHRs in the United States began leaning towards either hairband or rhythmic music. Power 102 was an exception – as this aircheck suggests, the station was more of an AC/Classic Rock/CHR hybrid. According to Wikipedia, along with Robyn Watts (who contributed this aircheck), the station held the KPXR call letters from 1986 to 1994. However, the station did not adopt a CHR format until sometime in 1988. The station is now KDBZ “Oldies 102.1”.
K-Live 105 was a relatively interesting small market Midwestern Mainstream CHR. The station is now known as Y105 (still with the KLYV calls.)
One of America’s heritage CHRs (the longest with the same calls/nickname according to Wikipedia) is Miami’s Y-100 (100.7 WHYI). At the peak of the boy-band/girl-band era, here’s a segment from the summer before the start of the new millennium. This features host Rich Rodriguez telling hopeful contest winners that he’s looking for caller #1007.