Dance CHR

KNHC (C89.5) – Seattle – 1/14/98 – Bob Michaelson & Trent Von

For more than 40 years, KNHC – owned by Seattle Public Schools and operated out of Nathan Hale High School – has been one of the best examples of non-commercial, student-run radio done right. For the majority of that time, it has focused on dance music, making it the longest-running (and one of the very few) stations of that format in the United States. This montage of the station was recorded 14 years ago today, in the midst of its transition from “C89″ to “C89.5″. It features both regular programming and the “Drive at Five” mix show.

WBPM (B94) – Kingston/Poughkeepsie, NY – 12/21/98

WBPM (B94) in New York’s Hudson Valley is one of the most unique stations I’ve ever heard. Musically, it offered an unfocused Rhythmic CHR format that featured many not-so-mainstream Dance selections.  Production-wise, it used dated jingles and sweepers — presumably from the station’s glory days in the 1980′s — voiced by the legendary Charlie Van Dyke. This montage of the station was recorded 14 years ago today.

KNRJ (Energy 92-7 & 101-1) – Payson/Phoenix, AZ – 10/28/08 – Beau Duran & Pistol Pete

  In January 2001, Big City Radio launched all-Dance formatted “Energy 92-7 & 5″ on a trio of signals in suburban Chicago. A year and a half later, Sierra H Broadcasting debuted the very similar “Energy 92-7 & 101-1″ on KAZL (eventually KNRJ) in Payson, AZ — with a simulcast on 10-watt K224CJ in Phoenix. With Big City Radio in financial dire straits, Energy 92-7 & 5 ended in early January 2003. But its Arizona spinoff managed to survive for 6 years — which is about 5 1/2 years longer than most people would probably have predicted. This aircheck was recorded four years ago today and three days before the station signed off. It starts with a sample of the “Resurrection Flashback Lunch” and then transitions to regular programming. Please note that this montage was...

WKTU (103.5 the New ‘KTU) – New York – October ’97 – Broadway Bill Lee

  In February 1996, Country WYNY flipped to WKTU, offered what we now call a Rhythmic AC format, and went from worst to first in one rating book – an absolutely remarkable feat for any radio station, particularly in America’s #1 market. This is a sample of the station about 18 months after it debut. While this aircheck was being recorded, host Broadway Bill Lee (along with an assortment of lucky listeners) was on-site at a Virgin Megastore for a Janet Jackson CD release party.  

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/4/95 – George McFly

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. It’s hosted by longtime station personality George McFly and (partially) voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig.

KNRJ (Energy 92.7 & 101.1) – Phoenix – 10/29/08 – Beau Duran

In January 2001, Big City Radio launched all-Dance formatted “Energy 92-7 & 5″ on a trio of signals in suburban Chicago. A year and a half later, Sierra H Broadcasting debuted the very similar “Energy 92-7 & 101-1″ on KAZL (eventually KNRJ) in Payson, AZ — with a simulcast on 10-watt K224CJ in Phoenix. With Big City Radio in financial dire straits, Energy 92-7 & 5 ended in early January 2003. But its Arizona spinoff managed to survive for 6 years — which is about 5 1/2 years longer than most people would probably have predicted. This is an aircheck of the final “Resurrection Flashback Lunch”, recorded two days before the station signed off.  It includes an amusing legal ID – voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig and based on the “top-top-top” style o...

KXMG (Mega 93-3) – Austin, TX – 2001

Mega 93-3 was a great-sounding but short-lived Dance CHR, serving the Austin market from 2001 to 2003. Its spirit lives on via the HD2 signal of KBPA 103.5 FM as “Mega HD2“. More information can be found on the Wikipedia pages of KBPA and KGSR.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/6/97 – Roxanne

This is a montage of Chicago’s longtime Rhythmic CHR on a Monday night in early 1997. It’s hosted by Roxanne (Roxanne Steele), who at the time had just joined the station after being on the air at Phoenix’s Power 92 (KKFR). She enjoyed a 12-year run at B96 before moving to sister station WCFS (Fresh 105.9) for a brief period and then onto her current home — 96.3 WDVD in Detroit. At this time, B96 was heavily promoting the return of Eddie and Jobo, who had been on the station previously from 1984 to 1994.  More information can be found on Wikipedia. The aircheck was made near the end of an era in which B96 placed a heavy emphasis on Dance music; it actually begins with a sample of the “10 O’Clock Remix” hosted by DJ Markski. In the months that follo...

WQHT (Hot 97) – New York – August 1990 – Howard Hoffman

High-energy radio at its finest! Includes a commercial voiced by a member of the Hot 97 Sales department.

WKIE/WKIF/WDEK (Energy 92-7 & 5) – suburban Chicago – 1/6/03 – Chris Shebel

This montage represents approximately the final ~50 minutes of suburban Chicago’s Dance CHR, “Energy 92.7 & 5” (WKIE Arlington Heights, WKIF Kankakee, WDEK 92.5 DeKalb). It occurred just a few days before what would have been the station’s two-year anniversary. Included are goodbye announcements from several of the station’s on-air personalities.  Also featured are commercials for soon-to-be-former competitors B96.3 (WBBM-FM) and 103.5 Kiss-FM (WKSC) promoting themselves to Energy’s audience. The audio heard here was recorded from Energy’s webcast.  While the sound quality is less than ideal (but listenable) — it actually represents the sign-off as it was meant to be heard.  After Program Director Chris Shebel said “g...

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