1996

WMEE (Mix 97.3) – Fort Wayne, IN – 2/23/96 – Charly Butcher

Recorded on a foggy morning in late February 1996, this is a sample of the morning show (hosted by the late Charly Butcher) on Fort Wayne’s longtime Hot AC outlet. NOTE: The logo shown was taken from an archive of WMEE’s website dated December 1996. It does not reflect the “Mix 97.3” branding heard on the montage. Many thanks to Scott Fybush of Fybush.com for contributing this aircheck!

WIOQ (Q102) – Philadelphia – 3/17/96 – Bob Burke

From St. Patrick’s Day 1996, this is a sample of WIOQ during its Dance-leaning CHR days. The station was a favorite among U.S. dance radio enthusiasts (such as yours truly) at this time. Voiced by the late Keith Eubanks.

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!

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.    

KHTS (Channel 933) – San Diego – October 1996

“The New Beat of San Diego” – this aircheck, from October 1996, represents the sound of Channel 9-3-3 in its earliest days. It offered an outstanding music mix, talent, sweepers, and all-around production values. IMHO, this is what a Dance CHR station should sound like, and it’s the best I’ve personally ever heard. However, the masses did not agree  – KHTS evolved to a more conventional Rhythmic CHR in early 1997.  

KISF (107.3) – Kansas City – 7/3/96 – Jason Justice

Per Wikipedia, 107.3 FM in Kansas City began evolving from Top 40 to Modern Rock in late 1994, yet chose to kept the “Kiss” name (albeit shifting from “Kiss 107.3” to “107.3 Kiss-FM”). The imaging and presentation was also reminiscent of its previous format.  The station had adopted a more common modern rock approach by the summer of 1995. And by a year later, when this aircheck was recorded, the moniker was simply “107.3”.  

XETRA-FM (91X) – Tijuana/San Diego – 7/15/96 – B.C.

Broadcasting from Tijuana, Baja California and serving the San Diego, California market, 91X has been one of the longest running Alternative/Modern Rock stations heard in the United States. This is a sample of the station from the mid 90’s, around the time when – per Wikipedia – the marketing and operating rights were acquired by Jacor Communications (later Clear Channel Communications). 91X is currently operated by Local Media San Diego, LLC.  

WLUW (Energy 88.7) – Chicago – 11/22/96 – Jammin’Down JD & DJ Revel

“Club Jam” was a Friday night 8-hour dance music program that made its debut on Loyola University’s WLUW (Energy 88.7) in 1993. Please visit the archived JamTraxx Media Website for more information about the history of this program.  

KBZR (The New 103.9) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 10/30/96 – Krazy Kid Stevens (DEBUT/FIRST DAY)

On October 30, 1996, at 3:30pm, following more than six months of stunting, KBZR officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station”. Shown here are the following: (1) YouTube video: A news story about the debut that aired on the 10pm newscast of local Phoenix TV station KTVK (Channel 3). (2) Aircheck (below the video): the actual sign-on along with a mix show that immediately followed. Please visit Formatchange.com for more details about the history of the station.

WLKT (104.5 the Cat) – Lexington, KY – 6/8 & 6/10/96 – Shane Collins

“We’re in the tune in your head…Lexington’s new 104.5 the Kat.” In the early to mid 90’s, as the CHR format disappeared across the U.S., the idea of a single station offering multiple genres of music had become foreign in many areas. This is presumably why WLKT heavily employed the slogan “Music for All People” on this aircheck (which I believe was recorded not long after the sign-on) — and you will hear, they did a great job of living up to that promise. Note that this aircheck consists of several segments recorded on two separate days (not a single continous recording), so certain songs are heard twice.

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