Mitch Craig

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...

WRQX (Q107) – Washington, D.C. – 10/1/88 – Uncle Johnny Walker

107.3 FM in Washington, D.C. has been Hot AC as “Mix 107.3” since 1990. But in the 12 years prior, it was CHR/Top 40 as “Q107”. This sample from October 1988 – recorded during the station’s “Top 10 at 10” countdown – demonstrates the dominance of hairband acts on the pop charts at the time. Thanks to Robyn Watts for contributing this aircheck. Our sister site, Airchexx.com, also features a pair of Q107 samples: Uncle Johnny, 12/26/83 Celeste Clark, 12/26/85

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.  

KOY-FM (Y95) – Phoenix – 1992 (featuring Mitch Craig sweepers)

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 a station composite from early 1992 (most likely originating from an official version, but edited by yours truly), when it adopted a policy of playing “no hard rap”. (Ultimately, this decision may h...

WBSB (B104) – Baltimore – 5/18/90

Throughout the 80’s, WBSB/Baltimore established itself as one of the top-rated stations in Baltimore. But, like many of its peers in the format, B104 struggled to adjust to changing pop music tastes in the early 90’s. This aircheck was recorded in May 1990 — shortly before the station adopted a policy to no longer play rap or any hard rock. In February 1992, B104 was shelved in favor of “Variety 104.3”, with a Hot AC format. Check out the audio of the flip on our sister site, The Format Change Archive — and see this Baltimore Sun article for more details on what led to the change.

Northern/Central Indiana CHR Composite – March 1993

From on or near St. Patrick’s Day 1993, this is a sampling of WNDU South Bend, WZWZ Kokomo, and WZPLIndianapolis. This is taken from my personal mix tape collection – recorded on a road trip from southwest Michigan to Indianapolis, and back. Please note that the logos shown are not necessarily the ones that were being employed by the stations at the time this aircheck was recorded. This is definitely true for WZWZ, which resided on 92.7 FM and called itself “Z93”.

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”.

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&#...

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