circa March, 1954
"The Moondog Show!"
This aircheck is actually from about six months before Freed joined WINS. The interesting thing about Freed's airchecks is that you don't hear a lot of tracks that we now consider to be part of the basic rock & roll canon. And even though he's yelling a bit, without jingles and formatics, his sound is far more progressive than what came to be known as top-40. Note that he always credited the record label when back announcing the tracks.
Alan Freed leaves WINS
Billboard: May 12, 1958
I had always thought that Alan Freed left WINS due to the payola scandals. But this article claims that Freed resigned because the station didn't support him after a riot took place in Boston at one of Freed's shows.
Billboard: July 2, 1962
The WINS Top-40 format. Note Murray the K's 25.9 rating. It was a lot of fun when everyone was listening to the same thing.
Murray the K
It's well known that Murray the K took over hosting Alan Freed's shows at the Brooklyn Paramount, later moving to the Brooklyn Fox, but he later ingratiated himself with the Beatles and promoted many rock and roll shows, like this one in Connecticut, an early concert with the Rolling Stones.
WINS at the New York World's Fair
Billboard: October 24, 1964
Back when stations actually cared about big events in the community, air personalities made appearances like this one at the New York World's Fair
AIRCHECK: Mad Daddy (Pete Myers) [scoped-mono]
Friday, October 30, 1964
contributed by Rich Barbato
While the audio quality is pretty poor, this ia a great historical document of how some top-40 radio used to be. This is Mad Daddy (Pete Myers) doing his speed-talking thing, with lots of echo, Monster Mash type bubble sound effects, a lot of bad rhyming raps and some long jingles, but also some pretty good music. This one came to us pre-scoped.
This was exactly three years before WNEW-FM started playing rock.
Mad Daddy (12:40)
Murray the K leaving WINS
Murray the K leaves WINS months before it goes all-news
New York Times: January 30, 1965
Billboard: February 6, 1965
Murray the K: The Fifth Beatle
"Does anybody out there realy understand what it means that Murray the K is the Fifth Beatle?"
Tom Wolfe's "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby" was originally published in June of 1965. A collection of essays on modern culture, one essay was about Murray the K. Who knows - maybe having a high culture icon like Tom Wolfe write about a pop culture self-promoted icon like Murray the K is what brought Murray to the attention of the executives at WOR-FM a year later.
Wolfe writes that Murray was 38 when this was written, but Murray was born in 1922 and this had to be written sometime between 1964 and 1965, so Murray was actually 42 to 44. (Displayed is just the first page of the essay. You'll have to buy the book to read the rest.)
1010 WINS Schedules
These schedules are sourced from newspapers, Radio Guide, Richard Neer's book on FM radio, personal recollections of myself and DJs and various postings on the web, especially those of Vince Santarelli. Corrections welcomed. In some cases, the same dates are posted twice due to conflicting information from different sources. This one, obviously incomplete, shows how WINS evolved as a music station before turning to all-News. Thanks to Stewart Tick for some updates.