Rhythmic

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – Nov 22/23, 1995 – Roxanne Steele

“Today’s Hottest Music is on Power 92”.  This aircheck, recorded on the night before Thanksgiving 1995, represents the sound of KKFR (92.3) Glendale/Phoenix that led the station to an all-time high 7.0 Arbitron share (12+).  At this time, Power 92 offered superb all-around music, air talent, and production values.  Hosted by Roxanne Steele (who later spent over a decade at Chicago’s B96).

WIOQ (Q102) – Philadelphia – 2/26/97 – Billy Hammond

“Q102, The Beat of Philadelphia” (102.1 WIOQ) on a Wednesday night during its Dance-leaning CHR days in the mid to late 90’s.  The station was a favorite among U.S. dance radio enthusiasts (such as yours truly) at this time. As a side note, while I loved the format, I wasn’t a fan of the station’s production values at this time. It just seems like they were trying too hard to make the station sound “hip”, for lack of a better term.  Just the humble opinion of your Webmaster!

WKTU (103.5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 7/5/96 (Top 300 countdown) – Geronimo

In February 1996, Country WYNY flipped to WKTU, offered what we now call a Rhythmic AC format, and went from worst to first in one rating book – an absolutely remarkable feat for any radio station, particularly in America’s #1 market. This is a sample of the station about 5 months after its debut (recorded 20 years ago today, over Independence Day Weekend 1996), when it aired a countdown of the Top 300 New York dance records.

CKDX (Power 88-5) – Toronto – 3/3/99

Recorded 17 years ago this week, this was one of at least three attempts at the Dance CHR format in the Greater Toronto Area during the 90′s. Like many Dance stations in the U.S. over the years, Power 88-5 was limited by its signal, which did not (and still does not) cover the full Toronto market. Please note that this aircheck was recorded from a low-birtate web stream.

WDRQ (93-1 The New ‘DRQ) – Detroit – 1/28/97 – JoJo

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. One was “93-1 The New DRQ” in Detroit, as demonstrated on this aircheck (recorded 19 years ago today). Includes the closing segment of Lisa Lisa’s afternoon drive show, followed by JoJo on the Radio. Features phone interviews in which callers mention the stations that they “made the switch” from, including listeners being placed in the “25-34 Women” and “25-54” categories. This was a fun station to listen to, highlighted by an all-around high-energy presentation. More information can be found on the WDRQ Wikipedia ...

WKTU (103.5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 12/1/96 – Al Bandiero

 In February 1996, Country WYNY flipped to WKTU, offered what we now call a Rhythmic AC format, and went from worst to first in one rating book – an absolutely remarkable feat for any radio station, particularly in America’s #1 market. This is a sample of the station about 8 months after its debut (recorded about 18 years ago this month.)

WFHN (Fun 107) – Fairhaven/New Bedford, MA – 5/30/99 – Jennifer Hart

“Fun 107” (107.1 WFHN Fairhaven/New Bedford, MA) certainly lives up to its relatively unique name, even to this day.  In the late 90’s, it was one of the best-sounding stations around, offering a Rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR format that even included a few dance/rhythmic classics.  Production-wise, the enthusiastic delivery of the voice guy (can’t recall his name — can anyone help?) and jingles were outstanding.  This aircheck is from an early evening in late May 1999. EDIT: The voice of the station was Pat Garrett. Thanks Jeremy Andrews for the info!

KHYS/KJOJ (Kiss 98.5, Kiss Again 103.3) – Houston – 5/8/97 – Charles Chavez

“Kiss 98-5, Kiss Again 103-3″ (KHYS/KJOJ) debuted on February 24, 1997 with a Dance-oriented approach targetted at Latinos, similar to Power 96 in Miami. Styles of music heard on the station included house, freestyle, bass, tropical, and R&B. While the station seemed to be making some progress in the ratings early, it never got to the next level. This brief aircheck was recorded about three months after its launch (18 years ago today). By about the same time the following year, Kiss would shift to a more Mainstream approach — essentially a more Rhythmic version of the heritage Mainstream CHR in the market, KRBE. The station threw in the towel altogether on 1/1/99 as it jumped on the “fad” format of the era — Rhythmic Oldies (better known as “Jammin’ Oldies”).

CKDX (Power 88-5) – Newmarket/Toronto, ON – 5/2/98 – The Chapman, Diamond Dave

“Dance Radio, Power 88-5” (CKDX Newmarket/Toronto).  Recorded 17 years ago today, this was one of at least three attempts at the Dance CHR format in the Greater Toronto Area during the 90’s.  Includes the end of the weekly “Power 30 Countdown”, and the start of the weekly “Club Freestyle” program. Some static towards the end. Like many Dance stations in the U.S. over the years, Power 88-5 was limited by its signal, which did not (and still does not) cover the full Toronto market.

WCXT (105.3 the Whip) – Muskegon-Grand Rapids, MI – 7-3-99 – Tim Hartley

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

KHYS (Kiss 98.5, Kiss Again 103-3) – Houston – 7/30/98

“Kiss 98-5, Kiss Again 103-3″ (KHYS/KJOJ) debuted on February 24, 1997 with a Dance-oriented approach targetted at Latinos, similar to Power 96 in Miami. Styles of music heard on the station included house, freestyle, bass, tropical, and R&B. While the station seemed to be making some progress in the ratings early, it never got to the next level. As heard on this aircheck (recorded 15 years ago today), by the summer of 1998, the station had shifted to much more of a Mainstream approach — essentially a more Rhythmic version of the heritage CHR in the market, KRBE. The station threw in the towel altogether on 1/1/99 as it adopted “fad” format of the era — Rhythmic Oldies (better known as “Jammin’ Oldies”).

KHYS/KJOJ (Kiss 98-5, Kiss Again 103-3) – Houston – 2-24-97

“Radio sucks! We’re just trying to suck a little less!” One of the sweepers heard on Dance CHR “Kiss 98-5, Kiss Again 103-3” Port Arthur/Freeport/Houston.  This aircheck represents the first 45 minutes of the station (scoped); please visit the Format Change Archive (specifically, //bit.ly/ejgBNt) to hear the actual sign-on (including the stunting that preceded it), along with more details on this station’s history.

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