Mitch Craig

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.

KBOS (B95) – Fresno, CA – 10/13/90 – Jack Armstrong

This is a sample of Fresno’s heritage CHR from the start of the 1990’s. Quoting from comments made by FMairchecks.com contributor Robyn Watts on another B95 aircheck posted here: According to online records as well as back issues of “Billboard”, [KBOS] was on the air by the late 60s-early 70s with a Beautiful/Easy Listening format. Sometime in the mid to late 70s, the station switched to AOR, adopting the name “The Boss” in the process. In 1983, the station switched to mainstream Top 40 adopting the “B-95″ name. It went Rhythmic around 1987 after KPWR/LA had proven the success of the format. One interesting note: Jack Armstrong (yes, THAT Jack Armstrong!!!) did mornings at B-95 in the mid to late 80s before leaving California to go back to North Carolina. This aircheck was reco...

WBJW (BJ105) – Orlando – August/September 1989 – various personalities

This is a composite of Orlando’s longtime CHR station, recorded shortly before the station changed to Adult Top 40 (and later Hot A/C) as WOMX “Mix 105”. Many thanks to Rich Marino for contributing this aircheck.

WXXL (XL-106.7) – Orlando – 8/5/00 – Kid Cruz, Nikki Knight

This is a montage of Orlando’s longtime Mainstream CHR outlet at the start of the 2000’s. WXXL’s production values at this time were a throwback to a bygone era. The station was still employing the legendary Mitch Craig for voicework (seemingly several years after most CHR stations had stopped doing so). In addition, the station featured live legal IDs (including announcement of the current time!) read by the jock who was on-air during that daypart. Many thanks to Rich Marino for contributing this aircheck.

KOY-FM (Y95) – Phoenix – 12/23/88 – Tim & Willy

Recorded 27 years ago today, here is a sample of longtime Phoenix morning show radio duo Tim Hattrick and Willy D. Loon — better known as Tim and Willy — in what may possibly have been their first day together on the air, two days before Christmas 1988. Tim mentions that Willy was the “musical genius behind Jonathon Brandmeier” — Brandmeier hosted mornings on CHR rival KZZP earlier in the 80’s. Includes a request from a listener for “Girl I Know It’s True” by Chilli Fanilli.

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...

WXSS (103.7 Kiss-FM) – Milwaukee – 9/20/99

This is a sample of Milwaukee’s 103.7 Kiss-FM about a year and a half after its launch. The station represented one of the finest examples of Mainstream CHR I’ve ever heard, offering multiple hits from multiple contemporary genres, without any sort of “lean”. In addition, the duo of 1980’s style jingles and Mitch Craig voiceovers made this station almost one of a kind for its era.

97.3 Radio Forth – Edinborough, Scotland – 7/3/97

Recorded 18 years ago this month, here’s a sample of Scotland’s long-running CHR known as “Radio Forth”. Perhaps most noteworthy to those familiar with U.S. CHR radio is the station’s use of two legendary voice talents: Mitch Craig and Brian James. More information about the history of Radio Forth can be found on Wikipedia.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 6/14/98 – Tim Spinnin’ Schommer

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. This is a sample of the rather unique Sunday evening “Street Flava” program, which featured regular programming interspersed with Dance mixes from multiple genres, hosted by guest DJs.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 2/24/00 – Roxanne

  This is a montage of Chicago’s longtime Rhythmic CHR recorded on a Monday afternoon, in early 2000. It’s hosted by Roxanne (Roxanne Steele), who had been part of the B96 team since either late 1996 or early 1997, 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. Despite moving away from its Dance-leaning format in 1997, B96 inexplicably continued to position itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat”. The legendary Mitch Craig was still the voice of the station at this time.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/7/96 – Julian Perez, Tim Schommer, Candi

During the 1990’s, Chicago’s B96 was one of the most unique Rhythmic CHRs in the U.S. Recorded 19 years ago today, his is a montage of the broad-based, personality-heavy “Street Flava” program.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – Jan. ’94 – Frankie “Hollywood” Rodriguez

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. This montage features a sample of a classic dance segment on the “Street Mix” along with regular programming, and it’s hosted by longtime station personality Frankie “Hollywood” Rodriguez.  

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