December

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...

WFMF (102.5) – Baton Rouge, LA – 12/26/89 – Hollywood

“102.5 WFMF” is one of the more heritage CHR/Top 40 stations in the United States – although, according to Wikipedia, it has strayed away from its format and especially its name multiple times over the years. Like many CHR outlets in that era, WFMF took a high-energy, dance-leaning approach. NOTE: The logo shown above is not necessarily the one used at the time this aircheck was recorded; it is likely from an earlier era.

Quote 864 – Hong Kong – 1/10/97

Most of the material on FMairchecks.com, to the surprise of no one we hope, was recorded from the FM band. The majority of the content here  also pertains to U.S. radio stations. Today’s posting is the exception on both accounts. This is a sample of Hong Kong’s “Quote 864”, recorded two decades ago. There is minimal non-music material – what made this station stand out (at least in comparison to what’s found in the U.S.) was its relatively diverse music mix. The majority of this aircheck was recorded during a mixshow named, simply enough, “Mix Party”.

KZZP (104-7 ZZP) – Phoenix – 12/20/99 – Karen Rite

During the 80’s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. According to the station’s Wikipedia page, it “produced a long list of future stars in the radio business”, and offered a music mix that was adventurous for a Top 40 station. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991). Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. The station performed well, ranking #1 in key demos by 1998. However, by that point, Jacor (now Clear Channel) had taken ownership of KZZP along with KGLQ (96.9). On Labor D...

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – 12/18/96 – Brian Simpson

During the mid-1990’s, under the direction of Program Director Don Parker, KKFR (Power 92) in Phoenix was at its peak, registering an all-time high 7.1 share (12+) in the Winter 1996 Arbitron survey. The station offered a broad Rhythmic CHR mix that focused primarily on dance and R&B music. In the Spring of 1996, KBZR (103.9 FM) in rural Coolidge, AZ began a six-month stunt focused on “old school” music that eventually led to a hip-hop/old school-friendly Rhythmic CHR format. At the end of October 1996, the station officially signed on as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station.” In its first full book (Winter 1997), KBZR (eventually KPTY) achieved a 2.9 share 12+ … which was absolutely remarkable considering that it was operating with a signal possibly as weak as 1,100 watts located s...

KJMN (JAMN’ 92.1) – Denver – 12/5/96 – Michael Hayes

JAMN’ 92.1 was a great-sounding but short-lived Rhythmic CHR station. According to the KJMN and KQKS Wikipedia pages, JAMN’ 92.1 debuted in March 1996 and lured away all/most of the airstaff (and even at least one promotion, as heard on the aircheck) from KQKS (which at the time broadcast on 104.3 under the name “KS104”). In November of that year, Western Cities (owner of KQKS) sold the station to Jefferson-Pilot, which also owned Mainstream CHR KHHT “K-Hits 107.5” — a station with a much more powerful signal than 104.3 (and 92.1).  In February 1997, KQKS and its Rhythmic CHR format moved to 107.5 under the name “KS107.5”.  An aircheck of KS107.5, recorded not long after its debut, is also available on this site. One month later, JAMN&#...

KZZP 104.7 FM – Phoenix – Rick Kurtis – 12/18/96

During the 80′s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. According to the station’s Wikipedia page, it “produced a long list of future stars in the radio business”, and offered a music mix that was adventurous for a Top 40 station. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991). Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. This is a sample of KZZP within its first year of its Modern AC approach, when the station was in its final months of ownership by Nationwide. Courtesy of John Davis, here is some...

KOY-FM (Y95) – Phoenix – November/December 1991 – Various Personalities

In the late 80′s, and the very early 90′s, Phoenix was one of the best markets for fans of the CHR format.  Nationwide Communications’ heritage KZZP found itself in a heated battle with The Broadcast Group’s Power 92 (KKFR) and Edens Broadcasting’s Y95 (KOY-FM). KZZP dominated for most of the 80′s.  But with changes in management, personalities, and pop music tastes — ratings dropped significantly in the early 90′s, leading to a format and name change in April 1991. Y95, capitalizing on the changes and later demise of KZZP, enjoyed ratings success at the start of the decade. This is an unofficial station composite of the station from the Fall of 1991.

Open House Party w/John Garbedian – from KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – 12/31/94

Recorded most likely on New Year’s Eve 1994, this is a brief sample of the long-running syndicated Saturday night program “Open House Party” as heard on KKFR (Power 92) in Phoenix. Included is a sampling of the “Satellite Mega Mix” segment.

WSNX (104.5) – Grand Rapids, MI – 12/29/97 – Brita, Fast Eddie

WSNX was one of the standout CHRs of the mid/late 90′s.  It offered an upbeat, recurrent-friendly music mix accompanied by outstanding jingles & sweepers, voiced by the late and great Brian James. Very impressive for a medium-sized market. This aircheck was recorded 18 years ago today and is absolutely one of the best in my collection.

WLUW (Energy 88.7) – Chicago – 12/27/97 – Jammin’Down JD

“Club Jam” was a dance music program that made its debut on Loyola University’s WLUW (Energy 88.7) in 1993. This is a sample airing of the program, recorded 18 years ago tonight.  Please visit the archived JamTraxx Media Website for more information about the history of this show.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/27/97 – DJ Markski

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. By the end of the decade, the station began taking a more conventional approach to its regular format, focusing on hip-hop and R&B hits. However, B96 still aired significant amounts of Dance during its mixshows — such as this segment from a Saturday night near the end of 1997 featuring Eurodance mixed by 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 m...

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