FM

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!

KAJM (Mega 104.3/99.3) – Payson/Phoenix, AZ – 8/23/02 – Alicia Torres, Alex Santa Maria (FREESTYLE FRIDAY)

For over two decades, 104.3 FM in Payson (now Camp Verde), AZ has targeted the Phoenix market with various formats that attempt to fill the void for Rhythmic Oldies. In its earliest days, the station called itself “Arizona Jamz” with a playlist and presentation that was excessively broad and overproduced. In April 2001, KAJM relaunched as “Mega 104.3 & 99.3” with a sharper focus and execution. This is a sample of Mega about 16 months later, during a period when Fridays featured a larger than normal dose of music from the Freestyle genre. Please visit this page on Wikipedia for more information on the history of the station.  

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.

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.  

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.

WJRZ 100.1 (JRZ-FM) – Manahawkin/Toms River, NJ – 12/20/91 – Dave Lavender

This is a montage of WJRZ from a period when it was featuring a mix of Adult CHR and Classic Hits, while sprinkling in an assortment of Christmas songs. The station would move back towards CHR about six months later. Please visit Wikipedia for information on the history of this station. NOTE: Most of this aircheck is also featured as part of the “Jersey Shore Sampler“.

WXYV (B102.7) – Baltimore – 2/7/99 – Melanie

In 1997, Baltimore’s WXYV flipped from Urban “V103” to Mainstream CHR as “102.7 XYV”. However, the station would be marred with inconsistency for the next couple of years. It would constantly change its lean from dance to hip-hop to alternative while searching for a gain in audience. In 1998, the name changed to B102.7 in order to prevent a competitor from bringing back B104 and at the same time connected the two CHR’s in Baltimore’s recent history. A newfound mainstream pop lean came in 1999 as it finally found some stability. In 2001, the station moved down the dial and flipped to Urban as “X105.7”. Left intact in this aircheck is a B102.7 commercial recruiting Account Executives.

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