Mainstream Top 40

Scott Shannon’s Rockin’ America Top 30 Countdown (Year-End 1989)

Recorded from Chicago’s WBBM-FM (B96), this is a very brief snippet of Scott Shannon’s Rockin’ America Countdown, highlighting the Top 4 songs of 1989. Included is a portion of a B96 jingle. Per Wikipedia, this program ran from 1984 through mid-1990 before going through a name and format change.

WZEE (Z104) – Madison, WI – 12/31/98 – Tommy BoDean

From New Year’s Eve 1998, this is a montage of Madison’s long-running hit music station. This station was (and presumably still is) the textbook definition of pure Midwestern Mainstream CHR. Many thanks to Blaine Thompson of Indianaradio.net for contributing this aircheck!

WRZE (96.3 The Rose) – Cape Cod, MA – 4/14/96 – OD

96.3 the Rose was a fun, upbeat station offering a well-rounded playlist and excellent imaging. Per Wikipedia, it debuted with a Mainstream CHR format in January 1993 – a time when the format was disappearing in many markets nationally – and survived until late March 2009, when it became a simulcast of Sports-formatted WEEI in Boston. Many thanks to Scott Fybush of Fybush.com for contributing this aircheck!

WDJB 106.3 (The Killer Bee, B-106) – Fort Wayne, IN – 2/23/96 – Scotty-T and Susan Morning Show

Per Wikipedia and YouTube, B-106 launched in September 1990 and enjoyed a 6.5+ year run as a largely successful CHR/Top 40 competitor to heritage WMEE 97.3. As heard on this aircheck, the station still sounded awesome, just a little over a year before its demise in April 1997. Many thanks to Scott Fybush of Fybush.com for contributing this aircheck!

KYOT (95.5) – Phoenix – Sep ’93 (stunting: Amer. Radio Museum)

  At Noon on September 2, 1993, following a sale from Edens Broadcasting to Sundance Broadcasting, CHR “Y95” ceased to exist on KOY 95.5 FM in Phoenix. For the next 24 hours, a stunt known as “American Radio Museum” would air on the frequency. According to Wikipedia, the stunt featured “loops of quotes from famous people and figures from American pop culture and history.”  This aircheck contains two sweepers from that stunt, along with one of the “special Arizona exhibits”. On September 3, 1993, “95.5 the Coyote” debuted with a format known as “Rhythm and Rock”.  This aircheck also contains a promo that aired during the early days of “The Coyote”, featuring feedback from the station’s listeners.  (Six...

WZJM (Jammin’ 92) – Cleveland – Summer 1995

WZJM offered a pure Mainstream CHR format through most of 1995, as demonstrated on this montage. Towards the end of the year, the playlist began leaning in a Dance/Rhythmic direction (as heard on THIS compilation of the station from June 1997) – it would remain that way until the station became a victim of the “Jammin Oldies” fad in March 1999. Many thanks to Mark Pfeifer for contributing this aircheck!

WQGN (Q105) – New London, CT – 2/17/96 – Alf

From the early days of the mid-90’s Mainstream CHR revival in the United States, this is a composite of a station that executed the format to perfection. Many thanks to Scott Fybush of Fybush.com for contributing this aircheck!

WFLY 92.3 (Fly 92) – Albany, NY – 3/31/96

Many thanks to Scott Fybush of Fybush.com for contributing this aircheck! According to Wikipedia, the WFLY call letters have been used since 1948, longer than any other FM in the Albany market. The station’s Top 40 format has been in place since 1979, although it has “leaned” in various directions over the years, as heard on this aircheck, in which it sounded somewhat Hot A/C.    

KXME (Xtreme Radio @ 104.3) – Honolulu – 2/13/98 – Jamie Hyatt

Jerry Clifton’s New Planet Radio launched 104.3 FM as a new signal in the Honolulu market on October 23, 1997. Per Wikipedia, its initial approach was a variation of the Mainstream CHR format — focused on hip-hop and modern rock — unofficially known as “Extreme CHR”. As heard on this aircheck, the station began emphasizing hip-hop over modern rock, and eventually became a full-blown Rhythmic CHR. The format employed by Xtreme Radio in its early days was brought to sister station KPTY Phoenix in June 1998, as heard here.

WZJM (Jammin’ 92.3) – Cleveland – 6/14/97 – Bobby Blaze

In 1997, WZJM was a fun-sounding station, as it offered a Dance & recurrent-friendly, Rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR format, making this one of my personal all-time favorite airchecks.  Please visit this page on Wikipedia for more information on the history of the station/frequency.

WIOQ (Q102) – Philadelphia – late 2001

For a period in the 1990’s, Philadelphia’s Q102 offered a (perhaps surprisingly) dance music-friendly CHR format, making it a favorite among dance radio enthusiasts. However, the station took on a more conventional CHR approach by 1998. This is a sample of the station approximately about 3.5 years after that change. While not focused on dance music any longer, Q102 remained a fun, rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR outlet.

WJMX 103.3 (103X) – Cheraw/Florence, SC – 4/21/04 – Dennis Davis

Per Wikipedia, the station currently known as 103X debuted in July 1979 on 103.1 FM, branded as “Z103”. It has generally remained with the CHR format in the 40+ years that have passed. As heard on this aircheck, at this point, 103X put an emphasis on rock, alternative and rhythmic pop selections, with less focus on R&B and hip-hop, in comparison to other Top 40 outlets at the time.

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