MI

WKBZ (Power 95.3) – Muskegon, MI – 7/26/98

For a few years in the mid to late 90’s, WKBZ-FM offered an Urban Contemporary format branded as Power 95.3. According to Wikipedia, a few months after this aircheck was recorded, ownership of the station was transferred to Grand Valley State University. Subsequently, it became a simulcast of another station owned by the institution.

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.

WVKS (92.5 Kiss-FM) & WDRQ (93.1 DRQ) – Toledo, OH / Detroit, MI – 8/27/98 & 8/28/98

Recorded 16 years ago this week, this is a montage of a pair of CHR stations that served neighboring Midwestern markets. At this time, Toledo’s WVKS (92.5 Kiss-FM) aired its “Club Kiss”  (which was really the syndicated Hot Mix product) dance mixes nightly – this brief sample of the station was recorded on a Thursday night during that program. Following the “worst-to-first” success of New York’s “103.5 The New ‘KTU” in 1996, a number of stations around the U.S. attempted similar formats (essentially Rhythmic AC) in their markets. Among these stations was 93.1 FM in Detroit, which brought back the WDRQ call letters after a 10+ year absence. The station initially positioned itself as “Detroit’s Dance Music Station”, offering a mix of currents and classics from the gen...

WSMK (99.1 THE FOX) – SOUTH BEND, IN – 6/13/97 – LARRY DALEY

According to Michiguide.com and Wikipedia, WSMK 99.1 FM has offered various flavors of rhythmic formats since its inception. Reviewing the station’s past Websites via archive.org, it appears that the station has generally had an Urban lean over the years. However, for a period in 1997, it began playing Dance music – including a nearly all-Dance playlist at night, positioned as “Fox After Dark”, as heard on this aircheck.

WFAT (96.5 The Fat One) – Kalamazoo, MI – 6/8/98

According to Wikipedia, the WFAT call letters lasted a decade and a half on 96.5 FM in Kalamazoo, yet represented a wide variety of formats. This montage (recorded 17 years ago today) is a sample of the station’s brief attempt at a format that appeared to be a hybrid between Mainstream CHR and Hot AC.

WSNX (104.5) – Grand Rapids, MI – 6/1/98 – 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 17 years ago today.

WSNX 104.5 – Grand Rapids, MI – 8/14/98 – Keith Curry

WSNX was one of the standout CHRs of the mid/late 90′s.  This sample of the station (recorded 16 years ago today) was during Friday night mixshow programming, when the station branded itself as “Party Radio 104.5, WSNX”. The music featured on this mix is more reminiscent of what would have been heard on a similarly formatted station in a larger market. (Perhaps the station took a page from the playbook of Chicago’s B96, which was audible in some of the same areas of West Michigan as WSNX.) This was a “live to air” program hosted from a club named The Orbit Room.  On this particular evening, the boyband 98 Degrees was making an appearance at said venue.

WKFR (103.3) & WSNX (104.5) – Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids, MI – 8/15/97 – Dr. Dave Michaels & Keith Curry

Recorded on the same evening (16 years ago yesterday), this is a sample of longtime CHR stations serving neighboring markets in West Michigan. Both stations were offering Friday mixshow programming when the airchecks were being recorded; WKFR referred to itself as “Club 103” while WSNX branded itself as “Party Radio 104.5, WSNX”.

WDRQ (93.1 DRQ) – Detroit – 7/25/98 – Special Ed

Our apologies for the frequent doses of static heard throughout the first few minutes of this aircheck. Following the “worst-to-first” success of New York’s “103.5 The New ‘KTU” in 1996, a number of stations around the U.S. attempted similar formats (essentially Rhythmic AC) in their markets. Among these stations was 93.1 FM in Detroit, which brought back the WDRQ call letters after a 10+ year absence. The station initially positioned itself as “Detroit’s Dance Music Station”, offering a mix of currents and classics from the genre. Airchecks from this era of the station can be found on our site’s main WDRQ page. However, by the summer of 1998, the station was employing the slogan “Today’s Hit Music” as it offered a more mainstream, subdued presenta...

WCXT (105.3 the Whip) – Muskegon-Grand Rapids, MI – 7-5-99

This is a brief sample of West Michigan’s Dance CHR “105.3 the Whip” during its few nights on the air. Check out //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHTS for more information on the history of this station.

WSMK (99.1 the Fox) – South Bend, IN – 8/14/97 & 12/29/97 – Jeff Ryder

According to Michiguide.com and Wikipedia, WSMK 99.1 FM has offered various flavors of rhythmic formats since its inception. Reviewing the station’s past Websites via archive.org, it appears that the station has generally had an Urban lean over the years – and this is demonstrated on the first 3 1/2 minutes of this aircheck (recorded on 8/14/97). However, at some point between then and late December of that year (as heard on the latter half of this montage), the station began including dance music on its playlist. It adopted the slogan “Michiana’s Dance Beat” – perhaps taking a page from WBBM-FM “B96”, which positioned itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat” (the station is audible in at least some of the areas where WSMK has cover...

Beat Radio (on KIDR-AM 740 Phoenix) – 1998

During the mid-90′s, KIDR (740 AM) in Phoenix was one of several radio stations across the U.S. affiliated with the childrens’-targetted “Radio AAHS” network. Ten of these stations were owned by Radio AAHS. By January 1998, with Radio Disney having launched its own competing network, Radio AAHS ceased operations. They put the ten stations up for sale (KIDR had joined this group not long before the sale was announced). Until a buyer was found, the affiliates (both the AAHS-owned and non-owned stations) aired a mix of random music and paid programming for 12 hours (4am-4pm PT), and all-dance “Beat Radio” for the remaining 12 hours (4pm-4am PT). This is a sample of Beat Radio, recorded at some point during its 8-month run from February to October of that year. Much more detailed information c...

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