96.3

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.

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!

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – Memorial Day 1996 (5/27/96) – Julian Jumpin’ Perez, Tim Spinnin’ Schommer, Candi, Brian Middleton, Bobby D (mixer)

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This montage, recorded at the peak of that era, is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. The aircheck was recorded in the midst of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls 1996 playoff run, preceded by a record-setting 72 win regular season. It includes several references to the team and a variation of “The Roof is On Fire” by To Kool Chris, titled “The Bulls Are On Fire”. Special thanks to Steven Ratz, formerly of Dance Music Authority (DMA) Magazine, for contributing this aircheck.  

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/31/95 – George McFly & Frankie Hollywood Rodriguez (Top 96 of ’95)

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This aircheck, recorded at the peak of that era (and 18 years ago tonight), is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. You’ll hear the end of the “Top 96 of 1995” year-end countdown, followed by an outstanding montage counting down the final 3 minutes of 1995, leading into 1996. The hosts are longtime station personalities George McFly and Frankie “Hollywood” Rodriguez. And at the end of this aircheck  are snippets of programming that aired prior to the aforementioned countdow...

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 8/13/97 – Terry Foxx

Musically, 1997 was a year of transition for B96. In comparison to previous years, the station began phasing out much of the Dance music that had defined its sound over the prior decade or so. Yet, at this time, B96 still positioned itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat”, fueling the launch of a suburban competitor earlier in the summer.  

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 3/16/97 – Julian Perez, Tim Schommer, Candi

During the 1990’s, Chicago’s B96 was one of the most unique Rhythmic CHRs in the U.S. This is a montage of the broad-based, personality-heavy “Street Flava” program.  

WHHH (Hoosier 96) – Indianapolis – 10/29/91 – RJ Miles

After having been granted the call letters WHHH a couple of months earlier, 96.3 FM in Indianapolis hit the air on October 28, 1991 — making it the first new FM signal in the market in over 25 years. This aircheck was seemingly recorded overnight following the station’s first full day.  A video of the actual sign-on is posted on Youtube (the logo shown above is a screen shot taken from that video.) In these earliest moments, the station referred to itself multiple ways: “Hoosier 96” “Hoosier Hot 96” “Hot Hoosier 96” “Hot Hoosier 96.3” “Hoosier Hot 96 Dot 3” “Hoosier 96, WHHH” “Hoosier 96 Dot 3, WHHH” “96 Dot 3, WHHH” Today, the station calls itself “Hot 96.3” and offers a...

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/27/96 – Coco Cortez

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This aircheck, recorded at the peak of that era, is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/31/97 (TOP 96 OF 1997) – Roxanne & Brian Middleton

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, Chicago’s B96 offered a Dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula. However, as reflected on this aircheck, by 1997 the station became more of a broad-based Rhythmic CHR, featuring less Dance hits and more R&B, hip-hop, and pop selections. Even a handful of rock-oriented tunes more common to Modern AC stations were featured on B96’s playlist.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/24/96 – Brian Middleton

During a significant portion of the 1990’s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This aircheck was recorded on Christmas Eve 1996 and features both regular and (midday) mixshow programming, all under the label of “The At Work Dance Party”.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – Nov ’96 – DJ Markski

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This aircheck, recorded in the midst of that era (on a couple of Friday/Saturday nights in November 1996),is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. It focuses on the Eurodance genre (arguably at its peak) via mixes from DJ Markski. Please note that this montage is more music-heavy than what you’ll normally find on the site; this was done intentionally to highlight the depth of the musical selections, and also because – as is the norm with mix shows – there was minimal non-music material.

WHYT (Power 96) – Detroit – 7/21/89 – Electrifying Fogel

This is a sample of Detroit’s Power 96 when it was still a pure Mainstream CHR, and a couple of years before (per Wikipedia) Modern Rock 89X entered in the market and took away a large portion of the teen & young adult audience. IMHO – and I say this as someone who wasn’t living in Detroit at the time and (outside of Wikipedia) is unfamiliar with the competitive landscape there at the time – Power 96’s approach at this time strikes me as being surprisingly conservative considering that it served a large, ethnically diverse market. Many thanks to Rich Marino for contributing this aircheck.

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