The NY Radio Archive

WNEW-FM 102.7

1967 - 1972 - 1977 - 1982 - 1987 - 1992 - 1997 - 2000 - Schedules

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WNEW-FM 102.7 All Girls Format

In 1966, WNEW-FM adopted an "all-girls" MOR format that included air personalities Alison Steele, Nell Bassett, Arlene Kieta, Ann Clements and Margaret Draper. Here are some promotions and other epherma from that short-lived format, which launched just a few days after WOR-FM launched their rock format.

The Launch

June-July 1966

Contributed by Dan McCue

A press release from June 14, 1966 announcing the new "all girls" format on WNEW-FM. (Click for larger versions)

PressRelease p1 PressRelease p2

A WNEW-FM newsletter from July 1966 announcing the new "all girls" format and an article in the trades. (Click for larger versions)

PressRelease p1 Article

Margaret Draper in the WNEW-FM studios. (Click for larger version)

Polly Draper

And finally, a playlist for Draper's show from October 2nd, 1966, which looks like it was probably computerized (and remember, this was before micro-computers). 13 months later, rock would take over the format. (Click for larger version)


The Girls

FM Guide - August 1966

The WNEW-FM "girls" were featured on the cover.


Vive Le Difference!

FM Guide - 1966

An ad promoting the format.


DJ Nell Bassett

FM Guide - 1966

Nell Bassett, who was also a superb athlete and had prepared for the Olympics


WNEW-FM 102.7 Progressive Rock Format

In late Fall of 1967, when WOR-FM dropped free-form rock in favor of a Bill Drake format, WNEW-FM hired ex-WOR-FM jocks Rosko (Bill Mercer) and Scott Muni and added Jonathan Schwartz and Dick Summer along with Steele and Bassett. Bassett left soon after but Alison became "The Nightbird".

PRESS: The Announcement

October 18, 1967

A WNEW-FM press release annoucning that Rosko would be joining the station effective October 30th. Even though this was released on the 18th, I think this announcement was pretty much ignored by the press, because Rosko appearing on WNEW-FM on October 30th was a complete surprise to me. (But we're gong to research this and see if any of the NY papers picked this up.)

On the night of Rosko's premiere (October 30th), I was at the Village Theatre hearing Cream and the Vanilla Fudge. (Surprisingly, the Vanilla Fudge actually played better than Clapton and Co. that night.) Rosko was supposed to have been hosting the concert, but an announcement was made that Rosko would not be there that night because he was on the air at WNEW-FM. The crowd went nuts with joy.

OK, it turns out what I wrote above is partially incorrect. So much for memory. That show at the Village Theatre was actually on Friday, November 3rd. I guess I wasn't aware that week that Rosko had joined WNEW-FM. I heard it for the first time when I attended that concert on that Friday night. It must have been the same for most of the crowd, because they really did go nuts when they heard that news.


PRESS: The Announcement

October 28, 1967

Billboard's announcement of Rosko joining WNEW-FM. This probably hit the newsstands on October 21st.


AIRCHECK: The Beginning

October 29, 1967

Alison Steele announces that Rosko will be joining the next day


IMAGE: Alison Steele

circa 1967

An official autographed portrait of Alison Steele, courtesy of Kimball Brandner


AIRCHECK: Rosko [mono/scoped]

contributed by Rob Frankel

November 27, 1967

"Who'd ever think that they'd season space? Who would ever think it? But it's there. Right in the center of that bagel!"

Judging by the newscast, this aircheck representing about an hour of air time is from either November 27 or November 28th, about a month after Rosko joined WNEW-FM. While we're big fans of Rosko, he does seem a bit 'out of it' on this particular date. The music, however, is quite diverse with tracks from Captain Beefheart, the Cyrkle, Melanie, Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane, The Sandpipers, the Bee Gees, Miriam Makeba, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and other progressive/folk/rock/pop acts of the time. Note also how Rosko reads (actually ad libs) almost every spot, sometimes going on for almost two minutes.

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PRESS: Rosko Joins WNEW-FM

FM Guide - December, 1967

Rosko actually joined on October 30, 1967, but FM Guide always had long lead times.

Rosko Rosko

PRESS: WNEW-FM Format Change

Billboard - Dec 09, 1967

Billboard's announcement of the format change to full-time progressive rock after Rosko's show "sold out" the advertising.


WNEW-FM is going rock "all the way"

PRESS: Village Voice - Dec 14, 1967

WNEW-FM hired Rosko first. Alison Steele was already there. My records show that Jonathan Schwartz joined on November 16 (but if that's the case, this article was after the fact) and Scott Muni joined on December 18th.
"...the station will use two of its girls..." sounds a bit condescending to modern ears, but I guess the Women's Liberation Movement hadn't taken full hold yet.


Scott Muni & Jonathan Schwartz Join WNEW-FM

FM Guide - January, 1968

I believe that Schwartz actually joined the airstaff on November 16, 1967 and Muni joined on December 18, 1967.

From their "official portraits", they don't seem too hip, do they? They look like bar-mitzvah photos.

Muni Schwartz

A New Groove

FM Guide - 1968

An early promotion for the station


The Jocks

Village Voice - 1968

An early promotion for each DJ

Summer Schwartz Muni Muni

AIRCHECK: Rosko [scoped stereo]

circa March 16, 1968

contributed by Steve Ronzino

This aircheck is probably from March 16th or 17th, 1968, which was a weekend, which means the show (except for the news) was probably pre-recorded. It's a great sample of how WNEW-FM sounded in the early days - just 20 weeks into the format.

There's also a complete terrific newscast with news about Robert Kennedy's campaign starting in California, the war in Vietnam, prosecution of protestors and Israeli incursions into Jordan.

And along with tracks that have become part of the rock canon, there are some rarities that I don't even think contributor and music expert David DiSanzo would know.

Rosko (35:31)

Dick Summer joins WNEW-FM

FM Guide - July, 1968

Dick actually joined earlier in 1968, but didn't stay long. He was replaced by John Zacherley.



contributed by Rob Frankel


We don't generally think of early free-form/progressive rock stations having jingles, but most of them did and WNEW-FM was no exception. Thanks to Rob Frankel, here's a chance to hear those jingles, mostly in the raw.

These jingles are very laid back, but the melody of some of them is the same as used by Standards WNEW-AM. I guess if a listener never listened to the AM, it wouldn't matter and if they did, it would sound familiar.

At the time these originally aired, I think I was upset that WNEW-FM started using jingles. I think I felt that if they used jingles, other traditions from AM rock stations would follow. But they were used sparingly and as far as I remember, only a few of the following were actually used regularly. There's one downbeat one (that was obviously used to transition from uptempo to downtemp songs) that is so "down", it seems like it should only have been used if someone had died. In retrospect, some of them seem "okay", but WNEW-FM didn't use them for very long.

Thanks to Rob Frankel for supplying these. These versions are in mono, but I believe the originals were broadcast in stereo. The Chris Wood that we hear on these jingles is not a production engineer "testing" the jingles, as I originally surmised, but the member of Traffic.

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RECORDING: "About School" by Anonymous, read by Rosko

thanks to Rick S on YouTube

circa 1968

This is probably an LP recording, not an aircheck, although I suspect Rosko also read this on the air. This is a segment of a verse called "About School," which is a treatise about conformity. Rosko was great at reading this type of material and bringing great emotion to it. This would never be accepted on music radio today.

AIRCHECK: Bob & Ray's Music Factory [scoped]

contributed by Rob Frankel

October 20, 1968

"Do you like Tim Hardin?" Wally Ballou: "Tim who?"

This is a really strange aircheck of Bob & Ray hosting a progressive rock music show which played from 5-6 pm on Sundays.

It's hard to tell whether Bob & Ray were somehow under contract to Metromedia so they tried to fit them into WNEW-FM or whether it was something they wanted to do. One of the interesting things about the show is that it wasn't about hit music - none of the songs played in this sample are part of the progressive rock canon, although some of the acts were. Either some over-hip producer decided to make this show about obscurity (it almost sounds like a Rhino Nuggets compilation) or someone was pulling tracks out of the air.

But there's also a lot of psychedelic production work between the tracks along with some Bob & Ray characters, so a lot of planning went into the show. We even get to hear Rosko reading Gibran. This is really a trip, as they used to say.

mp3Bob & Ray

'Rosko': WNEW-FM's Big Gun

Billboard - October 12, 1968

An article about Bill "Rosko" Mercer, celebrating 13 months at WNEW-FM.

Rosko Bug Gun

Rosko: Fat-Free and Sassy

New York Times: January 6, 1969

A profile on Rosko from the New York Times Sunday Entertainment section.

"Management says I'm a guru, that I have a mystique. It's just the opposite. I am so simple."

Rosko Times

AIRCHECK: Alison Steele [scoped stereo]

February 11, 1969 (62:08)

contributed by Dan McCue

Alison Steele, the Nightbird, doing her flight till dawn, setting up musical moods and motifs that were suitable to late-night radio in the psychedelic sixties.

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Too Freaky?

FM Guide - 1969

1969 promotions for the station

Steele Steele

AIRCHECK: Jonathan Schwartz - "First Love"

circa 1969

WNEW-FM was more than a station that played rock records. In the early days, it gave its air personalities a great deal of freedom and that included the ability to read poetry or tell stories.

Alison Steele frequently read poetry as did Rosko, who read Gibran over sitar music. Jonathan Schwartz told carefully crafted stories. One, frequently repeated, concerned the policy over not bringing food into the studio. The one presented here is about a mailed letter and first love.

Jonathan Schwartz

AIRCHECK: Rosko - "The War" by Pete Hamill

circa Fall 1969

“They died in the muck and swamps of Vietnam and their blood is on our hands.”

As noted above, early WNEW-FM gave the jocks a great deal of freedom on the air. In this aircheck, Rosko reads a stinging anti-war column by (then) New York Post columnist Pete Hamill.

You would never hear anything like this on commercial music radio today. No one would be willing to stop the music for ten minutes and nor would they be willing to take such a strong political stand.


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale reading Woodstock spot

July or August, 1969

In the summer of 1969, Pete Fornatale sat in one night for Alison Steele. One of the first spots he read was for the upcoming Woodstock festival. Since Pete was new at the station, he didn't manage to record a regular aircheck, but he brought with him a small, portable recorder and sat it near the console and recorded himself. That aircheck did not survive except for this spot, which he transferred onto a cart. It also appears in some of the WNEW-FM Anniversary broadcasts, but here is the complete spot.

mp3Woodstock spot

AIRCHECKS: Jonathan Schwartz, Pete Fornatale, Zacherley (Scoped)

circa Summer or Fall, 1969

Some short (sloppily scoped) mono airchecks mostly from the Fall of 1969, but a good view into how the station began to mature. Note how most of the spots were actually quite off-beat, interesting or funny. I think this kept people listening during the breaks. Zach was sitting in for Rosko and does a funny bit at the beginning demonstrating how he couldn't do what Rosko did, but that was the point - each personality was distinctive.

Note during the Fornatale aircheck (sitting in for Zach), he plays a WNEW-FM jingle, which were short lived.

I originally thought I recorded these in Fall, 1968 on a quick trip home from school. While WBCN (Boston) was already on the air, my associates at the college radio station didn't believe that you could do a top-40 format on FM (not that I wanted them to) because their media professors told them that rock music wouldn't sound good on FM and that the pacing of AM radio didn't lend itself to the frequency response of FM (so much for the academics). So I recorded both the freeform and top-40 FM stations of the time as well as Murray the K on WMCA. Unfortunately, the aircheck of Kaufman didn't survive. The aircheck of Drake WOR-FM is posted on the WOR-FM page.

Since I originally posted these, Rob Frankel has pointed out that Zach mentions the special edition of Life Magazine concerning the Woodstock festival, so that aircheck had to be from late summer or early Fall of '69, not 1968. And since then, Lawrence A. Goldberg has pointed out that the Fornatale aircheck must also be from 1969 and he's correct because there's a spot for the film Putney Swope, which wasn't released until July 1969. So much for memory.

mp3Jonathan Schwartz mp3Pete Fornatale mp3Zacherley

VIDEO: Rosko on MyLai

posted by Rick S.

circa Fall, 1969

“We, all of us…wrapped in our…banalities…all of us must sleep tonight in the knowledge that we share in mass murder.”

This is another stirring Rosko reading against the war in Vietnam and specifically about the My Lai massacre. This massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians by U.S. troops in South Vietnam took place on March 16, 1968. The murdered civilians included infants, children, men and women and many of the women were gang raped. Only one soldier was convicted and found guilty of killing 22 villagers, but he only served three and half years under house arrest.

The video was added to Rosko's reading by Rick S., who posted it on YouTube. It's doubtful that Rosko wrote this - he frequently read the columns of Pete Hamill, but there's no credit on this one.


WNEW-FM Internal document: March 8, 1970

WNEW-FM's internal schedule as of March, 1970 with pretty much the original lineup of Michaels, Schwartz, Muni, Rosko, Zacherle and Steele with Pete Fornatale doing fill-ins and weekends.


Five Bloody Hours of British Rock

FM Guide - 1970

An ad for a Jonathan Schwartz special program. The surprise at the time was that British rock was Scott Muni's specialty and one would have expected such a show to come from him.

British Rock

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped]

November 5, 1970

Contributed by Rob Frankel

Due to extreme scoping, we don't get to hear too much music on this one, but one of the really interesting things about this aircheck is the variety of spots. Among them are spots for the films Monterey Pop, 2001: A Space Odyssey and the documentary, Groupies. (IIRC, Groupies features Suzy Creamcheese.) The first two films were in revival.

Part I includes the end of the Jonathan Schwartz show at 2pm and most the news broadcast. Parts 2 and 3 feature Muni.

Note: This aircheck was labeled as 11/15/70, but clues in the aircheck on upcoming concerts lead me to believe it was actually 11/5.

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ARTICLE: Scott Muni becomes PD of WNEW-FM

Billboard: January 16, 1971

Muni becomes PD, a position he held several times at WNEW-FM.


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped]

circa February, 1971

Contributed by Rob Frankel

Here's another aircheck contributed by restorian Rob Frankel. Among the tracks played on this Sunday show were songs by Dave Edmunds, the Kinks and Mountain.

Note: This aircheck was labeled as 1970, but clues in the aircheck about new releases lead me to believe it was actually early 1971


AIRCHECK: Rosko's Goodbye

March, 1971

Rosko announces that he's leaving WNEW-FM (4:13)


PRESS: Personality Profiles


The WNEW-FM marketing team developed personality profiles for each DJ.

Profile Fornatale Profile Muni Profile Schwartz Profile Steele Profiles

AIRCHECK: John Zacherley

March, 1971

Zacherley really laid back and loose


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni

circa April, 1971

Grateful Dead Concert coverage w/Bill Graham

This is a great aircheck in which Bill Graham tells a story of chasing down some creep who stole tickets to the show from some teenage girls. But as aggressive a front as Bill Graham put up, you can tell that he was really shaken by the incident. And that's aside from the fact that this was still back in the days when WNEW-FM had the guts to broadcast live concerts and before consultants advised it was a bad idea.


ARTICLE: Jonathan Schwartz Still Digs Sinatra

New York Times: May 9, 1971

A profile on Jonathan Schwartz from the New York Times Sunday Entertainment section.

"A record like Judy Collins's "Reflections" can move him to a 10-minute discussion on watching chicks hatch in a Korvette's window, or the absurdity of televising an eclipse."

Schwartz Times

AD: Celebrating Bob Dylan's 30th Birthday

Village Voice: May 20, 1971

Dylan B-Day

AIRCHECK: The Last Night of the Fillmore East [scoped]

contributed by Rob Frankel


June 27, 1971

Bill Graham wisely did not want to choose one radio station to present a live broadcast of the last concert at the Fillmore East to the detriment of another, so both WNEW-FM and WPLJ broadcast the event.

The acts included Albert King, J. Geils w/ guest John Lee Hooker, Edgar Winter's White Trash, Mountain and the Beach Boys. I believe the Allman Brothers and Country Joe McDonald also played that night, but either they weren't included in the broadcast or weren't included in this aircheck. The Allman Brothers set is included on several Allman Brothers CD releases.

Note that as usual, we had to scope the songs. This does kind of take the life out of them since we miss the extended solos and the emotional builds that progressive rock acts specialized in, but we can blame the DMCA for that.

Jocks heard include Scott Muni, Pete Fornatale, Dave Herman, Michael Cuscuna, Alison Steele, Mike Harrison, Howard Smith, Mike Klefner and Vin Scelsa

Radio stations today would not have the guts to spend three hours on a live broadcast, they certainly wouldn't share the show with another station in the same market and they wouldn't limit spots, as was done for this broadcast. They would also ramp up the formatics and marketing, but all of the air personalities in this broadcast are very low key and they barely interrupted the proceedings. And note that it's not "American Express presents..." or "Citibank presents..." or "Budweiser presents..." It's just the concert. I suppose many would claim that everyone involved was a lot less sophisticated about business in those days. I prefer to think that everyone was simply a lot classier and knew where to draw the commercial line.

Note Pete Fornatale's closing genius prediction about the potential future ability to purchase such a concert in some form of video. That wasn't so obvious back in 1971.

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INTERVIEW: Scott Muni with John & Yoko (scoped-stereo)

circa September-October, 1971

contributed by Dan McCue

In the Fall of 1971, Scott Muni visited with John and Yoko, probably at their Dakota apartment, to record a long interview. This recording is of the raw interview. Unlike an interview that might have been conducted live on air, Muni didn't ask many specific questions. Instead, he let Yoko and John ramble on and free-associate. As a result, we get a very candid and deep look into how John and Yoko wanted to present themselves and what was important to them.

It should never be forgotten that for all Lennon's anti-commercial pretensions, he was a brilliant marketer of himself and Yoko was a public relations genius way ahead of her time. Yoko found ways to create buzz decades before the advent of social media.

A few highlights: At about 15 minutes into part one, Lennon talks about the genius of Chuck Berry. Later in the interview, he gives Elton John only a "so-so" review, yet we wound up appearing with Elton at Madison Square Garden not long after. At about 14 minutes into part two, he talks about the possiblity of touring with Eric Clapton. At the beginning of part three, Muni asks about what it was like on the first U.S. Beatles tour. And at about 10 minutes, Lennon talks about "Woman Is The Nigger of the World" and how he came to realize that if he had treated the other Beatles, like he had treated women (including Yoko), they would have walked out on him.

We don't know how much of this, if any, was ever used on the air.

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ARTICLE: Alison Steele

New York Daily News: June 25, 1972

contributed by Kimbal Brandner

"I've become a fantasy figure."

Val Adams' Radio Roundup Column


ARTICLE: WNEW-FM To Broadcast Fillmore Series

Billboard: July 1, 1972

contributed by Kimbal Brandner


ADS: Up the British! / The American Dream

Village Voice: August 24, 1972, November 9, 1972

Simple ads promoting a day of British rock and an election-day show of "non-fiction" rock. This was the beginning of Richard Nixon's second term in office.

British Ad Election

AIRCHECK: Alison Steele

December, 1972

The Nightbird


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale

November, 1973

with Loggins & Messina


ARTICLE: Alison Steele

New York Daily News: February 17, 1974

contributed by Kimbal Brandner

"...a writer has asserted that she cold make a commercial for gym socks sound sensuous."

No great revelations here, but a great plug for Steele and WNEW-FM.


"The Drawing Poster"

April, 1974

A hand-drawn poster that served as an ad for WNEW-FM around 1974.


AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas interviews John Lennon (scoped)

WNEW-FM: September 28, 1974

"For those people who like to know where licks and things come from which I do, because I'm always nicking little things myself, this is a beautiful combination of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"...and "Lightning Strikes Again"...and it's a beautiful job, with a little Walrus underneath."

In September of 1974, John Lennon paid a (supposedly) surprise visit to Dennis Elsas to promote his new LP, "Walls and Bridges". Lennon stayed for several hours, talking about the album, but also playing disc jockey and reading spots

Lennon wasn't a great jock--he didn't sound comfortable on the air, but he was a great sport and he brought some great records with him. Even though we had to scope the songs, especially check out "Daddy Rollin' Stone", an Otis Blackwell song recorded by Derek Martin in 1962 and Richie Barrett singing a Leiber-Stoller song, "Some Other Guy", a song the Beatles originally performed live. These are killer singles - the kind of rarities that oldies stations should be playing today, but never do.

This was radio at its best: a great DJ giving Lennon the freedom and the time to do his thing on the radio. No one cared that they were breaking format (they skip the first scheduled news segment) or not sticking to the normal song rotation. Elsas tied songs together that had similar musical themes in very interesting ways.

Note: For a variety of reasons, Dennis Elsas has asked that we not present the entire aircheck, so we've taken it down. Instead, we're going to link to the version of the aircheck that's on his site. There's also lots of other aircheck goodies there that you'll be interested in.

Dennis Elsas w/John Lennon (off-site)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with John Lennon [scoped stereo]

February 13, 1975

contributed by Ken Tullipano and Dan McCue

On February 13, 1975, John Lennon stopped in at WNEW-FM to play DJ and to promote his new album of rock standards, Rock 'n Roll, which would be released four days later. The album itself had an interesting history: Lennon was sued by music executive Morris Levy (who had owned Roulette Records, the Birdland jazz club and a music publishing company) over one line in "Come Together" that had been "borrowed" from a Chuck Berry song.

As a settlement, Lennon agreed to record three of the songs that Levy had publishing rights for. Lennon started recording the album with producer Phil Spector in late 1973 and after a dispute, started recording again on his own in late 1974. In the meantime, Phil Spector disappeared with the tapes. Walls and Bridges got released first with one Levy song.

After Levy released a mail-order album called "Roots" using Lennon's demo recordings, Levy sued Lennon again and won $6795 (according to Wiki), but Lennon, Capitol, EMI and Apple countersued and won $145,300. Lennon eventually got the Spector tapes back and completed the recording.

rubber soul

John Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll (1975)

Lennon's visit to WNEW-FM was mostly a promotion for the album. After his death in 1980, a special was put together by The Source that included many segments of this show, but also added other Lennon tracks. The version heard here, contributed by both Dan McCue and Ken Tullipano merges the two versions together.

This version is Copyright (c) 2014 by Martin Brooks.

John Lennon on WNEW-FM

AIRCHECK: Bob Lewis [scoped mono]

May 24, 1975

contributed by Rob Frankel

This is an amazing aircheck contributed by restorian Rob Frankel. It features Bob Lewis sitting in for Richard Neer on Memorial Day weekend in 1975. This morning show reminds us what free-form DJs used to do: they used to create compex, layered soundscapes.

I'm not referring to segueing two records together where the first few seconds of the second track overlays the last few of the first in an interesting way. What I'm referring to here is the creation of complex collages and montages of sound. And Lewis does that several times during this show, which comprises about two hours of air time.

As usual, we've had to scope this aircheck so the copyright police don't come after us. So any jarring transitions that you hear are the result of that editing, not Lewis'.

Although those who are into today's highly formatted radio would be disturbed by the diversity of sound here, it's one of the things that distinguished FM from AM radio of the day. It wasn't just that FM played album tracks--Classic Rock stations have given us that false impression. But having said that, the show does stand some criticism -- the space and mind trip it takes us on seems more suited to a very late night show than a hot holiday Saturday morning when people were getting ready for Memorial Day outings, the beach, etc. But in spite of that, it demonstrates just how important the DJ was in the days when they still had the freedom to create. And it also demonstrates something one could never get from an MP3 player, YouTube or Pandora. That differentiation could save broadcast radio, but today's radio management seems deaf to that concept.

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AD: The Progressives

Soul & Jazz: September, 1975

An ad to accompany an article about WNEW-FM.


ARTICLE: Pete Fornatale

Soul & Jazz: September, 1975

Not sure if this was an article or an "advertorial". It appeared in the same issue as the ad above.


AIRCHECK: Alison Steele [scoped-stereo]

Friday, September 19, 1975 (32:24)

Contributed by Dan McCue

Alison's show from sometime around September 19, 1975. Because the aircheck is scoped, it's a bit hard to tell, but she played a bunch of extremely long ethereal tracks, creating a true nighttime ambience. When was the last time you heard a radio station actually create a mood? They don't because the computers pick the tracks.

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AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped-stereo]

Wednesday, February 25, 1976 (30:52)

Contributed by David DeSanzo

Scott Muni's afternoon show.

Scott Muni

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni

May, 1976

The Professor


PHOTOS: Alison Steele


Contributed by Kimball Brandner

Central Park photo by Rico Vaccaro

"The Nightbird" (although I never pictured the Nightbird as an owl; at WNEW-FM in 1976 (note that there's at least three turntables, four cart machines and an open record library); in Central Park (July 7, 1976 with Jefferson Airplane); with Donovan in 1977; with Melissa Manchester in 1977.

Alison Steele

Alison Steele Alison Steele

Alison Steele Alison Steele

WNEW-FM 10th Anniversary Celebration

Record World - March 26, 1977

"Others can look to WNEW-FM as an example of a way to integrate a progressive format into the critical demands of modern day business."

Some months in advance of WNEW-FM's 10th anniversary, Record World published a special issue dedicated to the station. Ordinarily, issues like this had a few meaningless accolades accompanied by a few ads, but the comprehensive editorial and the large number of ads for WNEW-FM demonstrated how much power and influence the station had on the market and the industry - an influence far greater than its ratings would lead one to believe, largely because of the loyalty of the audience and its ability to sell acts and records.

WNEW 10th

WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th
WNEW 10th
WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th
WNEW 10th
WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th WNEW 10th

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni

Saturday, June 18, 1977

"I left WABC in 1965 and had no particular intentions of coming back because I was disenchanted with radio."

Some interesting perspectives from Scott Muni a few months before WNEW-FM's 10th anniversary.


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni interviews Jimmy Page [scoped-stereo]

June 7, 1977

Contributed by Dan McCue

In a very informal and free-flowing interview, Scott Muni interviews Jimmy Page.

Muni-Page (37:28)

ARTICLE: No 'Experts' Hired By N.Y. WNEW-FM

Billboard: June 25, 1977

"Instead of hiring experts, we hire people who are knowledgeable, conversant and aware"

Some more interesting perspectives from Scott Muni a few months before WNEW-FM's 10th anniversary, about how the station did not use programming consultants and instead, hired air personalities who knew what they were doing.

In reality, while all of their airstaff had great personality on the air, they weren't necessarily knowlegeable about rock when they joined the station. Alison Steele once back announced a track as being from the album "Rolling Stones" by the Flowers. And while Jonathan Schwartz knew pop, jazz and movie music, he had no experience in rock. But they quickly learned.

Personally, as a listener, I'd rather take a chance that a jock given freedom will do something I won't like than listening to programming that supposedly appeals to the largest common denominator. For decades now, radio has been programming a race to the bottom.

Of course, WNEW-FM itself changed just a few years later. I think most of their air personalities will tell you that everything changed just after John Lennon died.


AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas: 10 Years of Summer [scoped-stereo]

Friday, July 1, 1977 (Pt1 37:19, Pt2 25:43, Pt3 26:48)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dennis Elsas celebrating the 10th summer of WNEW-FM with a Friday night show dedicated to summer music of the previous ten years.

Part 2 features actualities from the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, something which no jock on a commercial radio station would do today.

Part 3 features a segment with Scott Muni remembering the Fillmore East.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale: 10 Years of Summer [scoped-stereo]

Monday, July 4, 1977 (Pt1 24:23, Pt2 24:57)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale celebrating 10 years of summer at WNEW-FM. He covers Sgt. Pepper, the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, the 1968 Democratic Convention, the moon landing and more.

Part 2 features a recording of one of the very first spots Pete ever read on the air at WNEW-FM - a spot for the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair

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WNEW-FM 10th Anniversary POSTER

October, 1977

"You see that's the important thing about the WNEW-FM play list.
There is no play list."

WNEW-FM created a giant poster to celebrate its 10th anniversary that it gave away at concerts. WNEW-FM had a great promotions department and it knew how to serve its loyal listeners. (Click on any image to enlarge)

WNEW 10th poster

WNEW 10th poster

WNEW 10th poster WNEW 10th poster WNEW 10th poster

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped-stereo]

Saturday, October 15, 1977 (Pt1 23:39, Pt2 13:42, Pt3 25:00, Pt4 27:20)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A complete show! Vin Scelsa celebrating the 10th anniversary of WNEW-FM. He makes some interesting projections about what was going to happen in the "21st century", 23 years in the future from the date of this broadcast.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, October 30, 1977 (Pt1 20:36, Pt2 13:56)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale celebrating the 10th anniversary of WNEW-FM.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, October 30, 1977 (Pt3 30:10)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

In celebration of the 10th anniversary, Pete Fornatale appeared on the Dennis Elsas show on May 5, 1977 to reminisce about the station. As part of his Oct 30, 1977 show, he replayed an hour of that interview.

There are some wonderful actualities in this show. There's a segment from Pete's first WNEW-FM show (preceded by an intro from Rosko), where he reads a spot for the Woodstock festival. At about 16:50 there's a high-quality recording in the clear of a Palisades Amusement Park spot. And at about 21:45, there are several WNEW-FM jingles.


AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Monday, October 31, 1977 (25:32)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman celebrates the 10th anniversary of WNEW-FM on the anniversary of the first full day of programming. This last hour of his morning show includes excerpts from his legendary interview with George Harrison.


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Monday, October 31, 1977 (32:25, 11:11, 23:17, 29:35, 2:44)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale continues the 10th anniversary celebration. Part 4 features a WNEW-FM documentary from 1967 about a young troubled runaway girl residing in the East Village, typical of times in which music stations also felt a public service responsibility.

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AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped-stereo]

Monday, October 31, 1977 (5:05, 17:04)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The first part has Scott recalling how WNEW-FM evolved over time - it was not a 24 hour a day rock music radio station from its first day. Part two is a great stereo aircheck of Scott Muni during WNEW-FMs 10th anniversary week in 1977, playing a long set of Beatles music, something which couldn't be done today under the DMCA regulations.

Scott also speaks more during this aircheck than he was normally prone to do and it's a very intimate, direct to the listener approach, which was one of the aspects of WNEW-FM's presentation that led to great listener loyalty.

This, of course, was still in the vinyl days and you can hear the vinyl noise. Some might say that we've come a long way technologically, but there's something about that vinyl noise that is relaxing...perhaps how sometimes people use pink noise to meditate. Notice also how one of the tracks starts at 45 rpm instead of 33.

The show begins with a promo by Dave Herman for some of the anniversary activities and notice how both Joan Baez and Woody Allen are included. WNEW-FM still had guts in those days - ten years later, by 1987, only the big rock stars would be mentioned.

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AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas [scoped-stereo]

Monday, October 31, 1977 (21:30)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dennis Elsas celebrates the 10th anniversary of the station with guest Randy Bachman.


AIRCHECK: Alison Steele [scoped-stereo]

Monday, October 31, 1977 (37:19)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a phenomenal aircheck representing about two hours of airtime and demonstrates what progressive rock radio was really about. Steele seamlessly blends music of her choice together, creating a very specific mood and aura. When you listen to this aircheck, there can be no doubt that this is a late night show and there is no doubt about the creativity and the contributions of the air personality.

Unfortunately, the scoping destroys some of the rhythm and mood, but we think you'll still get the idea.

We hear Alison reading two long segments of verse and playing long tracks from Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Santana, the Alan Parsons Project and others. Progressive rock radio was never about individual tracks like the Classic Rock stations of today -- they were about creating context by carefully choosing the tracks that would be played with each other, something no program computer can accomplish. This aircheck is an example of why people listened to the radio. It also demonstrates what radio can do that an iPod or even Pandora can't do. It's shocking to me that with declining interest in radio, that today's managers and programmers don't understand this. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them never heard this kind of radio.

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AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with guest Jonathan Schwartz [scoped-stereo]

Wednesdy, November 2, 1977 (40:30)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Thanks to collector Ken Tullipano, we have another historic aircheck recorded during the tenth anniversary celebrations at WNEW-FM. Scott Muni brought back Jonathan Schwartz to talk about his years at the station. Schwartz had left the station 18 months before after being on the air for 8 1/2 years.

Those who believe radio should play by pre-defined programming rules will think this is a terrible show. It breaks format (only three songs are played during the hour) and it talks inside radio. But I think there was such loyalty for WNEW-FM that its listeners wanted to know more about the workings of the station, much like how movie fans today want to know every aspect of the production of the films they love. And there's some wonderful moments here. Schwartz reveals no love lost for some of the original WNEW-FM executives. And he seems to exaggerate every situation, claiming that there were only nine albums available to play when WNEW-FM launched, which is obviously not the case if you listen to any airchecks of that period.

I think Schwartz was one of the greatest progressive rock DJs of all time (even if he didn't initally know the music all that well). He's one of those unique individuals who can make a story about a slip of paper that fell on the floor sound as important as a debate about world politics. Coming from a "standards" family (his father was the composer Arthur Schwartz), he had a unique view of the music and looked for tracks that were melodic and lyrics that were poetic and intelligent. And of course, he's an expert on Frank Sinatra. (Today, we'd call him a fanboy).

But having said that, he did have a big ego (not unusual for a jock) and a bit of arrogance. Note how he talks about his vocal abilities on his newly recorded album as "somewhere between Mel Torme and Frank Sinatra". Uh huh.

Earlier in the interview, Schwartz talks about FM minimum salaries, which was the cause of the "strike" at WOR-FM that kept jocks off of the air from June through September of 1966. I had always understood that the minimum for FM DJs when WOR-FM finally hit the air with jocks was $400 per week. But Schwartz claims in this interview that he started working for $175 a week. And Muni mentions that eleven years later, while the FM salaries had increased dramatically, they still weren't at AM levels. That $175 in 1967 works out to about $61,000 a year in 2011 dollars. Not great for the #1 market in the country.

While I never remember Muni working any shift but his own, a comment he made during this show makes me think this interview may have played at midnight rather than during his regular 2-6pm shift, which would also explain how few spots there are.

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AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Wednesday, November 2, 1977 (26:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman's 1977 10-year anniversary show includes an interview with George Burns, who Dave found wandering the halls of WNEW looking for William B. Williams. This aircheck also includes a "something old, new, borrowed and blue" set from the very contributor of this aircheck, Ken Tullipano.

Scott Muni stops by to talk about Jonathan Schwartz

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale with Brian Wilson [scoped-stereo]

Thursday, November 3, 1977 (25:24)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano


This is a rebroadcast of a program originally broadcast on November 24, 1976. Pete was always a giant Beach Boy fan and this was a rare chance for him to interview Brian Wilson, who spent a lot of time hiding from the public.

Fornatale w/ Brian Wilson

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman w/ Peter Wolf [scoped - stereo]

Thursday, December 15, 1977 (30:08)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A great show from Dave Herman with Peter Wolf from the J. Geils band. Wolf was a favorite of WNEW-FM who had once been a DJ on Boston's WBCN. The show also features Robin Sagon.


AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's Christmas Show [scoped - stereo]

circa December 24, 1977 (28:03)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

We're guessing at the year, but here's Vin Scelsa doing his version of a Christmas show.


AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Monday, January 23, 1978 (22:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of Dave's show from early 1978 featuring an "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue" set from Susan Tullipano, significant other of contributor Ken Tullipano.


AIRCHECK: Dave Herman

February, 1978 (04:23)

Dave Herman in his morning slot. While he plays music that would be expected on a progressive rock station, note the track he plays (at 2:56) of a very classic whom you would never hear on a Classic Rock station today and IMO, one of the things that made progressive rock stations, when they still had freedom and imagination and respected their audience, special.

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Monday, February 6, 1978 (19:23)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's Pete Fornatale in his weekday 10am to 2pm shift on a day that gave New York City a giant snowstorm. A nice set of easy-going music suitable for the morning.

Pete Fornatale

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, February 12, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin Scelsa with an interesting mix of dynamic music.

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AIRCHECK: Richard Neer [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, February 12, 1978 (8:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a bit of Richard Neer, who followed Vin Scelsa on this day.

Richard Neer

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Tuesday, February 14, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman does his thing on Valentine's Day, 1978. Note the opening track. Think it would be played on any rock station today? This aircheck also features Robin Sagon.

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AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas with Mel Brooks [scoped-stereo]

Monday, March 27, 1978 (68:06)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dennis interviews the great Mel Brooks. Mel talks about the making of Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety as well as his days writing for Sid Ceaser and performing "The 2000 Year Old Man" with Carl Reiner. He also voices a spot for the Bottom Line (at the beginning of part two) that's quite funny.

This interview takes up 90 minutes of airtime. That would never happen today on commercial radio because PDs would feel that it was "breaking format" and that there'd be tune-out. They would rather play the same burnt-out track for the ten-thousandth time than do something a bit different and IMO, that's why radio is suffering today. It would also never happen because VIPs don't want to devote more than 10-15 minutes to an interview and all they want to do is plug their latest effort. So this is another example of both radio and the guest having great respect for the audience.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's "Best of Movie Rock" [scoped-stereo]

Monday, April 3, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

April 3, 1978 was Oscar night so Pete dedicated the show to rock music in movies. This included early Alan Freed movies, "Blackboard Jungle", the Elvis films, the Beatles movies and the Merseybeat copycats and the eventual evolution of rock songs being used as themes for all kinds of movies. Those included songs by the Beach Boys, John Sebastian and others.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale Welcomes Summer [scoped-stereo](44:28)

Sunday, June 18, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale plays great songs of Summer

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IMAGE: Alison Steele

Radio Guide - July, 1978

Radio Guide was a great improvement over FM Guide, but it didn't last very long. The full article is posted on on General Radio History page.


AIRCHECK: Alison steele [scoped-stereo]

Wednesday, December 6, 1978 (30:21)

Contributed by David DiSanzo

Here's a nice Alison Steele aircheck that begins with the end of the Dennis Elsas show and includes news with Andy Fisher.

Alison Steele

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas w/ Scott Muni

Monday, April 30, 1979

link: Dennis Elsas w/Scott Muni (off-site)

This was the last night broadcasting from the WNEW-FM studios at 565 Fifth Avenue before the move to 655 Third Avenue.

Once again, WNEW-FM demonstrated respect for the intelligence of its listeners by having a low-key, intelligent, reflective conversation describing memories about the studio without formatics or spots every 60 seconds.

This is another example of something you would never hear on a commercial rock station today, because of the fear of breaking format and the supposed resulting listener tune-out, even though it actually also served as a self-congratulatory promotion for the station. So the question becomes: Was this kind of programming wrong or have today's audiences become less intelligent, less patient and more hyperactive?

Some might say that such a conversation is "inside radio" and never should have been discussed on the air. But the move discussion was simply an excuse to brand the station as the rock station with the longest history and most credibility. Note that Elsas and Muni don't talk about all the great music they've played - they talk about all the artists who chose to visit the station. In addition, it humanized the air personalities by indicating that they were driven by the same kind of mixed emotions about the move as a listener might face when having to move their home, thereby creating an emotional link between the listeners and the jocks (and the station). This is why WNEW-FM had such high listener loyalty and resulting high advertising revenues even though it didn't always have market-leading ratings.

One might listen and think, "big deal, so they spoke about moving the studios for 15 minutes," but it wasn't that this one interview was so terrific--it was that this interview reflected the attitude of the station and the respect it had for the listeners (at least at this time.)

I believe that this is exactly the kind of thing stations should be doing today to provide differentiation and to compete with MP3 players and other alternative media.

Thanks to Dennis Elsas for making us aware of this interview.

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer

December, 1979

Neer later wrote the book "FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio"

Richard Neer

PHOTO: WNEW-FM DJs circa 1980


Clockwise from 12:00: Pete Fornatale, Dennis Elsas, Richard Neer, Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Tom Morrera and Dave Herman in the WNEW-FM record library.

Staff pic

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with Peter Wolf [scoped - stereo]

Thursday, May 1, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM favorite Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band sitting in with Scott Muni and playing the role of disc jockey.

Note that this was about a half year before WNEW-FM started instituting some controls over the playlist and we hear a very dynamic set of music: some rock, some blues, some oldies, some pop, and some doo wop along with some talk about the artists, radio and Alan Freed.

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AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped - stereo]

circa Saturday, May 3, 1980

Contributed by Steve Ronzino

Scott Muni sounding in a good mood on this broadcast segment from the first week of May, 1980. We can't tell the exact date, but we know from the news item about hostages in the Iranian embassy in London that it's from that week.

Note Scott's remarks about the amount of mail he received when he asked the audience if they could listen to WNEW-FM in the office. Also note the promotion for the bikeathon. WNEW-FM was community oriented as well as having incredible loyalty from its audience.


AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 11, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

An almost complete "Here Comes Summer" show from Vin Scelsa. Part 2 features news with Mona Rivera.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale with Chevy Chase

Early September, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Four years after leaving Saturday Night Live after only one season, Chevy Chase recorded a satirical record album and appeared on Pete's show. This aircheck is from sometime between September 6th and September 12th.

Chase talks about SNL, his post-SNL career, the making of the record album and he even gets into the format change on New York's WRVR from a jazz station to a country station. Among the tracks played is Chase's response to Randy Newman's "Short People".

Chevy Chase

ARTICLE: Pete Fornatale's Radio Love Affair

Good Times: November 4, 1980

"...I tend to be very protective toward this format, even though I'm a realist enough to look around me and see that the atmosphere has changed so pervasively."

An article from the Good Times entertainment newspaper about Pete Fornatale and his 16 years on New York FM radio.

Fornatale article

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's “A Christmas Carol” (22:05)

Thursday, December 25, 1980

In 1980, WNEW-FM put together some old-fashioned radio drama with a presentation of “A Christmas Carol” featuring the WNEW-FM airstaff, including Scott Muni, Andy Fisher, Pete Forntale, Dennis Elsas, Dave Herman, Tom Morrera, Vin Scelsa, Richard Neer, Jim Monahan, Dave Larkin and others. Even for Christmas, this was a gutsy move. Would anyone "break format" to do that today? Not even satellite radio would do so.

Xmas Carol

ARTICLE: Scott Muni with Foreigner

Billboard: January 30, 1982

This photo was taken backstage at Madison Square Garden. This was still a time when radio was heavily involved in the concert scene and radio DJs frequently hosted concerts. Many can be heard on live concert recordings. This gave radio a cultural crediblity that it doesn't have today.


AIRCHECK: Murray the K Tribute [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, February 28, 1982 (Part 1: 24:46, Part 2: 23:51)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano


Murray the K had stints on WMCA, WINS, WOR-FM, WNBC and several other New York City radio stations, but he is best known for his tenure at WINS, his live shows at the Brooklyn Paramount and Brooklyn Fox, which he took over from Alan Freed, his self-proclaimed role as the "fifth Beatle" and for his pioneering work on the short-lived freefrom WOR-FM.

Murray died on February 21, 1982 and a week later, WNEW-FM presented this tribute. Murray had never worked at WNEW-FM. Legend has it that an old dispute with William B. Williams kept him from moving to WNEW-FM when Scott Muni and Rosko moved from WOR-FM in the Fall of 1967. But every air personality at WNEW-FM was at least partially influenced by Murray the K.

This tribute is not the greatest production. It has some editing and logical flaws, but it was probably put together in a hurry. But having said that, the actualities and airchecks of Murray on this are quite wonderful and remind us what it was like when DJs were given the freedom and had the creativity to really entertain us.

Part 2 features Scott Muni, who tells us how he and Murray lived in the same NYC apartment building; Dave Herman, who owed his start in radio to Murray and who plays a long interview with Murray recorded around 1980, in which Murray talks about the legendary live progressive rock show he held at the RKO 58th Street theatre with The Who and many other groups; Pete Fornatale and Steve Leeds.

It's hard to believe that Murray left us 30 years ago this month (February, 2012) and that he would have turned 90 if he were still with us.

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AIRCHECK: Dave Herman's First Last Morning Show [scoped - stereo]

Friday, May 21, 1982 (53:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman started doing the morning show on WNEW-FM on May 22, 1972. That would last exactly ten years until May 21, 1982. This is that last morning show after which Dave would move to nights and later to the 10am spot. During the show, you'll hear Dave estimate that he played about 96,000 songs in those ten years. You'll also hear from Earl Bailey and Donna Fiducia.

But this insanity would not last long. Dave would return to the morning spot on November 12, 1986 and stay until 1991. And he'd even be back in that spot again after that. But that's another story.

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AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale on Dave Herman's last morning show [scoped - stereo]

Friday, May 21, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This short segment immediately followed the Dave Herman show above. Pete comments on how out of all the air personalities at WNEW-FM, he was closest to Dave because they saw each other every day.

Fornatale (03:29)

AIRCHECK: Alison Steele [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 18, 1982 (50:15)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

"I'll take you to undreamed of heights..."

Alison joined WNEW-FM on July 4th, 1966, a year and a half before the station became a rock format. When the station went rock in October of 1967, she held down an afternoon slot for a short time before becoming the "Nightbird" and taking over the overnight slot which she held until 1972. When Zacherley left for WABC-FM, Steele moved up to the 10pm-2am slot, which she held until leaving the station around 1979.

In October of 1982, to celebrate WNEW-FM's 15th anniversary, she returned to the station for one night. And in this remarkable aircheck, you can see how a superb FM DJ didn't just play a bunch of progressive rock tracks - she set a mood for the evening and literally takes the listener to "another place".

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AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 18, 1982 (9:59)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Turned out when Ken recorded the Alison Steele show above, he kept the tape running when it was over and picked up Dave Herman, recorded during the days when he was on at night. While not quite as engaged with the audience as he would later be as an amazing morning man, he plays a great selection of pumping rock.

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Jonathan Schwartz [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 21, 1982 (Part 1 27:16, Part 2 13:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's another 15th Anniversary aircheck of terrific audio quality courtesy of the amazing Ken Tullipano, this time of Jonathan Schwartz.

The show was broadcast on October 21, 1982, but appears to be a replay of a show originally broadcast on October 21, 1969, around the time of the station's second anniversary, but populated with 1982 spots.

That's confirmed by the fact that there's a spot for Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly", which was released in 1982. But several times during the show Schwartz announces that the date is October 21, 1969, so we think the station simply played back an old Schwartz show for the anniversary, since Schwartz was no longer at WNEW-FM at this time. He constantly repeats the date, so he must have known he was going to keep that night's show for posterity.

Contributor Ken Tullipano thinks that Schwartz was just “pretending” it was 1969. That would explain why he repeats the date so often.

During the show he reads a Joan Didion piece. (Can you imagine any rock jock reading a Joan Didion piece today?)

Among the highlights is another retelling of the "writing a letter to my girlfriend story". There's also a Crazy Eddie's spot with Dr. Jerry Carroll screaming in all his glory. Tracks include songs from Rhinoceros, The Incredible String Band, Carly Simon, Grace Slick and other stalwarts of the progressive rock era, but almost none of these tracks are those that you'd hear on a Classic Rock station today. Progressive stations of the time went deeper. But that's not to say that by 1982, they weren't striving for mass market advertisers - there's a very prominent and noisy Burger King spot.

Part 2 features “Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation” by Tom Paxton, another track that would never get played today, except perhaps on WBAI. The show ends with Schwartz's usual theme and then we hear Mike Harrison, which will continue on the next aircheck posting.

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AIRCHECK: Mike Harrison [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 21, 1982 (14:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Continuing the 15th anniversary celebration with Mike Harrison who did mornings in 1971 after Pete Fornatale moved to 10-2pm and before Dave Herman's tenure as Morning Man.

Mike returned to the station for a night in 1982 to help celebrate the 15th anniversary. As you'll hear from this aircheck, Mike liked to talk even more than Jonathan Schwartz did. But he does relate some interesting perspective on his time at the station and he plays some interesting, but now very obscure 1980's music. 1982 was about two years before the wide-spread commercial release of the CD format and note how he claims that no one is buying records. Sound familiar?


AIRCHECK: Rosko [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 25, 1982 (43:33)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Rosko (Bill Mercer) left WNEW-FM in March of 1971 to move to France. He returned to the U.S. and joined the short-lived WQIV from November 1974 to August 1975 and then he eventually moved to 92.3 when it became Disco KTU.

But in October of 1982, to celebrate WNEW-FM's 15th anniversary, he returned to the station for one night. And while he opened the show with his usual, "Do you want to take a mind excursion?", it was dry -- without the bass riff that he usually used. Maybe he just forgot to bring the cart.

While he sounds a little out of practice (and he almost IDs 92.3 at least once), this aircheck still represents a lesson in one-to-one communications with the listener. The 2nd part opens with Earl Bailey "interviewing" Rosko. Some of the other WNEW-FM jocks can be heard in some promo spots.

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AIRCHECK: Zacherley [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 28, 1982 (49:28)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The incredible John Zacherley left WNEW-FM in mid-1971 to join WPLJ for a much bigger paycheck, but shortly after he got there, WPLJ went to a much tighter format and he lost the freedom to play what he wanted. Nevertheless, he stayed almost ten years, leaving in 1980. In 1982, he returned to WNEW-FM to help celebrate its 15th anniversay and to celebrate Halloween, which was always a special day for the "cool ghoul".

This aircheck, representing two hours of air time, appears to be from Thursday, October 28th, starting at about 8pm, when Meg Griffin was supposed to be on. At the end of the aircheck you can hear Pete Larkin sitting in for Dave Herman, who was under the weather.

Since this was an anniversary celebration, Zach plays a lot of music from WNEW-FM's early days, including the usual suspects: Dylan, Santana, Traffic, John Mayall, etc. But there's also more esoteric material, like Sea Train, which evolved from the Blues Project. And out of all the songs in the Beatles catalog, he starts the set with the one that probably got the least airplay of all and it sounds great.

There's a funny moment when Zach gives the call letters as WPLJ. He also recalls that when he first joined WNEW-FM, there were virtually no spots (but his original air shift began at 6am, when that time was meaningless for FM, since there was no FM in cars and he later switched to 2am in the days when there still wasn't very many listeners.) And speaking of funny, there's even a Crazy Eddie spot near the end.

The audio quality of this aircheck is superb - we hope that comes across in the stream. Goes to show you how much better radio sounded when there was less processing. And even though you can hear the surface noise of the LPs, it's kind of soothing (as I've mentioned before). We thank Ken Tullipano for this wonderful and rare aircheck. The only thing that would have made it better is if we didn't have to scope it.

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VIDEO: WNEW-FM 1982 (13:37 + 11:56)

circa 1982

Posted by radprog on YouTube

I came across this on YouTube which appears to be a cinema verite documentary about WNEW-FM. I'm not sure of the original source, but at least some of it seems to be also included in the documentary "Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio" (see the media page), although even though this footage seems to be labeled "Airplay", the production credits seem different than the Airplay documentary from Travisty Productions.

This includes some great footage of Dan Neer, Pete Fornatale, Scott Muni, Dennis Elsas and others.

AIRCHECK: 1st Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, Dec. 26, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete had always said that things began to change for the worse at WNEW-FM after John Lennon's death in 1980. As the station got bigger and the revenue became more important, it became more formatted and commercialized. It played little blues or folk music. In late 1982, Pete decided to move to weekends where he had more freedom. He began a folk music oriented show on Sunday mornings and called it Mixed Bag, after the first Richie Havens album.

Thanks to Ken Tullipano, we have the very first edition of Mixed Bag. Pete presents the rationale for the show and plays a great body of music, especially appropriate for Sunday mornings.

Part 1 features a great mix of music. About 5:30 into Part 2, Pete conducts an interview with Don McLean, who also performs. This continues in Part 3.

mp3 Pt1(30:25) mp3 Pt2(33:20) mp3 Pt3(17:25)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag #2 w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 2, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The 2nd edition of Mixed Bag, this week featuring Richie Havens, performing live in the studio

mp3Pt1 (11:57) mp3Pt2 (24:31) mp3Pt3 (19:39) mp3Pt4 (18:53)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag #3 w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 9, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The 3rd edition of Mixed Bag, this week featuring Roger McGuinn and Stacey Kahn with a review of a Tom Rush performance.

mp3Pt1 (24:41) mp3Pt2 (11:46) mp3Pt3 (22:10)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag #5 w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 23, 1983 (18:33)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of the January 23, 1983 edition of Mixed Bag.


AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 30, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Mixed Bag from Superbowl Sunday, 1983 featuring Graham Nash.

mp3Pt1(19:10) mp3Pt2(24:42) mp3Pt3(9:32)

AIRCHECK: News [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 30, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a 12 noon news segment that followed Pete's show on Superbowl Sunday in 1983.

News (9:02)

AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning Sixties w/ Bob Lewis [scoped-stereo]

Saturday, February 19, 1983 (99:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Bob Lewis ("Bob-a-Loo") was a top-40 jock on WABC-AM from 1962 to 1965. In the very early days of rock on FM, he hosted a show on WABC-FM called "Some Trust In Chariots" on Saturday evenings from approximately October '67 until sometime in 1969. He appeared from time to time on WNEW-FM from 1970. Bob was expert at weaving together complex montages of music.
In early 1983, he hosted "Saturday Morning Sixties" on WNEW-FM, but he only did three shows, this being the second of those three.
Catch Bob's writing and creativity in his bit about Big Sur in part 3. While one could argue that his New York audience couldn't relate to this, it was this distinctive approach to radio that was the best part of progressive rock stations.

mp3Pt1 (27:28) mp3Pt2 (28:13) mp3Pt3 (28:05) mp3Pt4 (15:59)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Saturday, February 19, 1983 (09:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale sat in for Pete Larkin on this Saturday right after the above Bob Lewis show. This is just the introductory short segment of that show.


AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning Sixties w/ Bob Lewis [scoped-stereo]

February 26, 1983 (85:53)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Bob Lewis ("Bob-a-Loo") was a top-40 jock on WABC-AM from 1962 to 1965. In the very early days of rock on FM, he hosted a show on WABC-FM called "Some Trust In Chariots" on Saturday evenings from approximately October '67 until sometime in 1969. He appeared from time to time on WNEW-FM from 1970. Bob was expert at weaving together complex montages of music.
In early 1983, he hosted "Saturday Morning Sixties" on WNEW-FM, but he only did three shows, this being the last of those three. It's unclear why he gave it up other than his statement during the show that there were pressures on him preventing him from doing the show. This is a complete (but scoped) aircheck of his entire show from that day. In later years, Pete Fornatale would host the show.
Catch the psychedelic montage in Part 4 at about 13:25. Bob Lewis left us in 1987.
Note: Radio restorian Rob Frankel has advised us that this aircheck seems like a composite of the first and third of these shows. Everything thru Joan Baez's version of "Forever Young" appears to be from the first show, which was broadcast on February 12, 1983.

mp3Pt1 (22:18) mp3Pt2 (13:40) mp3Pt3 (30:10) mp3Pt4 (19:45)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

April 17, 1983 (18:39)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a typical easy-going Sunday morning Mixed Bag effort.

Mixed Bag

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo](57:50)

May 8, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

More of Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag. Part 2 features an interview and live performances by Roger McGuinn.

mp3Pt1(20:42) mp3Pt2(37:08)

ARTICLE: A Radio Time Machine

Newsday: May 6, 1983

"I feel it's closer to the kind of radio I used to do."

Another article about Pete Fornatale's weekend Mixed Bag radio show.

Fornatale article

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale and guests Flo & Eddie [scoped-stereo](58:23)

June 12, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale with guests Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan). They were founding members of The Turtles who also played with Frank Zappa and appeared as backup singers on many great recordings. They appear as Flo & Eddie to this day.

mp3Pt1(22:40) mp3Pt2(35:33)

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer [scoped-stereo]

June 24, 1983 (58:35)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A Richard Neer Friday show. Note that this was full service radio with news, traffic and weather. Earl Bailey does a very funny bit around some Washington-based organization that claims that the U.S. Government is paying welfare money to illegal space aliens to keep them quiet.
Part 2 features the landing of the space shuttle (with Sally Ride aboard) and some really funny (in retrospect) complaints about the tolls and transit fares. And to top it all off, there's a bit of Pete Fornatale at the very end.

mp3Pt1(28:10) mp3Pt2(30:25)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale “Portraits of America in Song” [scoped-stereo](71:58)

July 3, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale's July 4th special from 1983, featuring songs about America as well as some great montages from various sources.

mp3Pt1(16:33) mp3Pt2(30:34) mp3Pt3(24:51)

REVIEW: Mixed Bag

Variety: November 30, 1983

"It is good to know there is at least one d.j. in N.Y. radio...who treats radio as something other than a bland jukebox to air the latest hits."

A Variety review of Pete Fornatale's "Mixed Bag" radio show on WNEW-FM.

Mixed Bag

AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag Christmas Show [scoped - stereo]

December 18, 1983 (56:13)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's Pete Fornatale doing his Xmas thing back in 1983. The first part of the show features musician John Fahey playing acoustic instrumentals live. The third section includes some live Christmas carols.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag w/ guest Roger McGuinn
[scoped - stereo]

Sunday, March 18, 1984 (58:51)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale doing an Earth Day show with guest Roger McGuinn.

mp3Pt1(22:50) mp3Pt2(36:01)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag w/ guest Kenny Rankin
[scoped - stereo]

Sunday, April 15, 1984 (29:07)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale interviewing the great songwriter and interpreter, Kenny Rankin.

Pete w/Rankin

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, October 14, 1984 (26:07)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale celebrating both Columbus Day and the natives who were already here when Columbus arrived.


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, October 21, 1984 (26:03)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of Pete's show from this day in which includes sets dedicated to those people having significant birthdays, to radio and to live performances from Tom Paxton.


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni Live at the Hard Rock Cafe - 17th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

Friday, October 26, 1984 (63:48)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Scott Muni celebrates the 17th anniversary of WNEW-FM four days early. Guests include Peter Wolf, Joan Jett (on the phone), Mark McKuen, Charlie Kendall, Richard Belzer and Carol Miller.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2

AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning 60's w/ Pete Fornatale - 17th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

Saturday, October 27, 1984 (58:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete celebrates WNEW-FM's 17th anniversary a few days before the event.

mp3Pt1(22:29) mp3Pt2(11:20) mp3Pt3(20:48) mp3Pt4(9:09)

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas [scoped - stereo]

Saturday, October 27, 1984 (19:09)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A bit of Dennis's show that followed Pete's. The beginning of the show features the station's "Are You Ready for the Weekend" promo


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, November 4, 1984 (54:44)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This show includes sets dedicated to Election Day, live recordings from Joni Mitchell and an interview with the Washington Squares, who play live in the studio.

mp3Pt1(23:50) mp3Pt2(30:54)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, November 25, 1984 (17:56)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a segment of Pete's interview with Jorma Kaukonen, of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame.

Pete & Jorma

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag w/Tom Rush [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, December 23, 1984 (53:23)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Part 1 of this show celebrates the Christmas holiday and Part 2 features an interview and live in the studio performances by Tom Rush.

mp3Pt1 (26:39) mp3Pt2 (26:44)

AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, January 27, 1985 (69:12)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag radio show, this time featuring folk-singer Tom Paxton.

mp3Pt1(28:25) mp3Pt2(40:47)

AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 26, 1985 (93:57)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Another easy-going early-morning show from Pete Fornatale. Part 3 comprises an interview and live performance with Country Joe McDonald.

mp3Pt1(35:00) mp3Pt2(31:43) mp3Pt3(27:14)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's Ticket to Ride [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 26, 1985 (11:17)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A few minutes of Scott Muni's syndicated "Ticket to Ride" show.


AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, August 11, 1985

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale interviews Dan Fogelberg, including a live performance.

Fornatale (28:30)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's Ticket to Ride [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, August 11, 1985

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Another few minutes of Scott Muni's syndicated "Ticket to Ride" show.

Muni (11:17)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale with Joni Mitchell [scoped - stereo]

January 12, 1986 (1:42:49)

Contributed by Simon Montgomery

This might be the most comprehensive interview ever conducted with Joni Mitchell as Pete interviews Joni about her entire career, accompanied by her music including one live-in-the-studio song at the end.

mp3Pt1(34:08) mp3Pt2(29:27) mp3Pt3(32:28) mp3Pt4(6:46)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Saturday Morning Sixties [scoped - stereo]

Dec 13, 1986 (86:31)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete's 25th anniversary of the Beach Boys special, featuring interviews with Al Jardine, Dennis Wilson and Brian Wilson.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4

WNEW-FM 20th Anniversary Celebration

Variety - October 28, 1987

Variety published a special issue in 1987 celebrating the 20th anniversary of WNEW-FM and PD Scott Muni.

WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th
WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni Live at the Hard Rock Cafe [scoped - stereo]

20th Anniversary: October 30, 1987
(Pt1-22:51, Pt2-19:42, Pt3-9:42, Pt4-21:48, Pt5-15:19, Pt6-12:02, Pt7-16:54, Pt8-22:40, pt9-23:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM held reglar events at the Hard Rock Cafe on 57th Street, especially anniversary celebrations. It gave the staff another chance to meet fans and as an excuse to have lots of artists stop by.

Part One of this show includes Iggy Pop, John Zacherley and Richard Marx. Zach had left WNEW-FM in 1971 for WABC-FM and stayed there (as it became WPLJ) until 1980. You can hear in Scott's comments that he wanted Zach to come back to WNEW-FM, but Zach apparently didn't want the full-time work. Zacherley would have been 69 when this show was broadcast and he still sounds incredibly great.

Part Two of this show includes Richard Marx, Joe Cocker (by telephone), Bill Graham and the voice of John Cleese.

Part Three features Pete Fornatale and Richie Havens.

Part Four features Alison Steele, Dennis Elsas, Ron Delsner, David Lee Roth and Cyndi Lauper.

Part Five features Jon Bon Jovi, Carol Miller and David Lee Roth.

Part Six features David Lee Roth.

Part Seven features David Lee Roth, Jimmy Page, NYC Mayor Ed Koch and most of the WNEW-FM jocks in the background.

Part Nine features Dave Herman and Pete Fornatale continuing their discussion on the history of the station along with Dennis Elsas, Scott Muni and Carol Miller, who also discuss the Beatles and Scott's early days when he was told by everyone that he was wasting his time because "rock wouldn't last".

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4 mp3Pt5

mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7 mp3Pt8 mp3Pt9

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM 20th Anniversary Documentary (Scoped)

WNEW-FM - October 30, 1987

WNEW-FM created a 4-hour radio documentary to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 1987. This is a scoped version of that documentary.

What's interesting about the documentary is that it reminds us that WNEW-FM was far more than what today constitutes a classic rock station. It had dominant and distinctive air personalities and along with the music were live concerts, special events such as beach parties, news, coverage of wars, civil rights and drug abuse issues; benefits for charities and interviews with the giants as well as newcomers to the rock scene, including John Lennon as disc jockey. In addition, it cultivated strong talent and frequently hired people out of college radio or from smaller local stations. There's nothing like it today.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4
mp3Pt5 mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7 mp3Pt8

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's Twentieth Anniversary [scoped-stereo]

December 18, 1987 (129:00)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Thanks to collector Ken Tullipano, we have a complete aircheck of Scott Muni's show of December 18th, 1987, his 20th anniversary at WNEW-FM. Although the station started playing rock on October 30th, 1967, Muni didn't join until December.

Part 1 of this aircheck also features Dave Herman and part 2 features Jonathan Schwartz. Muni didn't usually do a lot of talking on his shows, but he did for the anniversary and of course, Schwartz can't stop talking.

Part 3 continues with Scott and Dave Herman . There's lots of great radio stories in this segment. And there's an old Scottso jingle at about 7:10. And following that, a stripper sent over by Columbia Records does her thing with Scott (who also gets undressed). Maybe this is where Howard Stern got his inspiration from. Dennis Elsas and Jim Monahan join at about 13:30.

Part 4 includes Dennis Elsas, Jim Monahan and Pete Fornatale as well as very high quality versions of Muni's 1950s and 1960s WMCA and WABC jingles and show intros (at 5:39). Muni talks about Alan Freed and we also hear Muni broadcasting from WNEW-FM's transmitter during the New York City blackout.

Part 5 continues with the fun with some old airchecks and a recording of Elton John doing a spot for the Pink Pussycat Boutique.

Part 6 concludes with Muni, Dennis Elsas and Pete Fornatale.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4 mp3Pt5 mp3Pt6

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with Paul Simon [stereo]

November 29, 1988

Contributed by Dan McCue

This is a pre-recorded interview that Scott Muni conducted with Paul Simon when Simon co-hosted Muni's show. It's an unedited raw interview without the music tracks that would be added later and is probably far more detailed than what eventually made it to air.

Muni always attracted great guests, but was not known as a great interviewer. However, in this interview, in which Simon co-hosted the show, Muni gets a lot out of the normally reclusive Simon and gives him plenty of space to express what he wanted to say.

They spend much time discussing both Simon's musical roots as well as the roots of rock and roll music.

Part 3 is a conversation that took place between Simon and Muni after the interview was finished and was not intended for air. This is an incredible exclusive and we thank WNEW-FM historian Dan McCue for providing it.

mp3Pt1(49:03) mp3Pt2(35:25) mp3Pt3(11:56)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Christmas Backtrack [scoped - stereo]

December, 1988

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

We don't know too much about this show. We suspect this was a syndicated show created by Pete Fornatale that WNEW-FM happened to play in New York. This is the Christmas edition with songs, move soundtrack bits and old radio spots. As usual, we had to scope the songs, but you'll still get the idea.


ARTICLE: Pete Fornatale leaves WNEW-FM for WXRK

New York Post: September 18, 1989

"Should I stay or should I go?"

Fornatale leaves WNEW-FM for WXRK. Dave Herman would also wind up there, but both would eventually return to WNEW-FM for the "Classic Rocks & Classic Jocks" format

Fornatale leaves WNEW-FM

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer's Morning Show [scoped - stereo]

circa late 1991 (21:38)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a bit of Richard Neer's morning show from sometime in late 1991 or early 1992.


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's 25th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

December 18, 1992 (155:42)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WOW! Thanks to Ken Tullipano's incredible archive, we have the entire four hour (of airtime) special celebrating Scott Muni's 25th anniversary at WNEW-FM from 1992, accompanied by Dennis Elsas.

Part 1 features much discussion about Scott's history on the air in New York, including many of the jingles and themes he used when he worked in top-40 radio at WMCA and WABC-AM. (30:45)

Part 2 features more history as well as the beginnings of a discussion about Cat Olsen, the attempted bank robber who called into the station and got Scott to come down to the bank. (20:55)

Part 3 continues the story. (13:18)

Part 4 features excerpts from Elton John's visit to the station and the New York power failure of July 1977 when Scott broadcast from the transmitter site. It also includes reminisces about Cat Stevens and Janis Joplin. (34:58)

Part 5 (18:52) and Part 6 (18:59) finds Scott talking about Jimmy Page, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Harry Chapin.

Part 7 concludes with The Who and the Jefferson Airplane. (17:55)

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4 mp3Pt5 mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7

AIRCHECK: Flashback promo

contributed and produced by Rob Frankel

circa 1995

Flashback was a pre-produced show that played on Saturday mornings from 5-9am. Being a late sleeper, I probably never heard the show.

Rob Frankel, who originally produced this promo, tells us, "Flashback is a syndicated weekly 4 hour classic rock show, hosted by Bill St. James. Next month we'll celebrate our 24th year of production. The show mixes classic rock with clips of TV shows, movies, newscasts, comedy and even vintage rock'n'roll radio in thematic segments. When we were on WNEW, we produced a special local version hosted by Pete Fornatale (and by Ken Dashow, when Pete was at K-ROCK)."

This promo features Dashow.


AIRCHECK: Alison Steele: Back to 1972 [scoped - stereo]

May 22, 1997 (32:56)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Five months before the 30th anniversary, WNEW-FM decided to look back 25 years before, to 1972. Alison Steele "left" this tape to play at the beginning of Vin Scelsa's show. At the beginning of the aircheck, we hear the end of Carol Miller's shift and a discussion between Vin and Carol before Vin starts this tape.

Alison doesn't just go back to 1972 -- she goes back to 1967 and talks about the very early days of the station and how she became "The Nightbird". And when you hear her theme, her poem and the incredibly smooth transition to and out of The Moody Blues track, you hear the power of what incredibly creative radio once was.

Alison Steele

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa: Back to 1972 [scoped - stereo]

May 22, 1997 (42:27)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin Scelsa picks up from the end of the Alison Steele aircheck, continuing to "pretend" that it was 1972 on the day that Dave Herman joined the station.

This is an interesting show because Scelsa reveals lots about the reasons for the call letter change at WABC-FM to WPLJ and the later change in format.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Museum of Television & Radio (Scoped)

WNEW-FM - circa October 30, 1997

WNEW-FM celebrated it's 30th anniversary by broadcasting from the Museum of Television & Radio in NYC (now the Paley Center for Media). These are scoped excerpts from that event. The 30th anniversary documentary is posted below.

mp3Dave Herman mp3Pete Fornatale mp3Pete con't mp3Fornatale w/Richie Havens
mp3Havens con't mp3Muni w/Jonathan Schwartz mp3Scott Muni mp3Muni w/Stevie Nicks
mp3DeNuzio mp3Pat St. John mp3Dennis Elsas w/John Zacherley mp3Elsas-Zach con't

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM 30th Anniversary Documentary (Scoped)

WNEW-FM - circa October 30, 1997

As it had done for previous decade anniversaries, WNEW-FM created a 4-hour radio documentary to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 1997. This is a scoped version of that documentary.

It reminds us again that while over the years, WNEW-FM became more formatted, regimented and commercially oriented as it sought ratings, it remained pretty much a full-service radio station and also continued to play a large role in the industry and in the community. From sponsoring concerts in Central Park, beach parties and fireworks on the Hudson to activities to benefit charities, the station was always active. But this anniversary was its swan song...WNEW-FM became an adult talk station just two years later.

A few segments are missing, probably due to tape turns. We apologize for those omissions.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4
mp3Pt5 mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7 mp3Pt8

WNEW-FM fires Scott Muni and Dave Herman

Billboard: November 28, 1998

Two of the greatest air personalities to ever appear on New York radio are let go from WNEW-FM. Muni had been on WNEW-FM for over 31 years.


WNEW-FM moves to Talk Format

Billboard: October 2, 1999

Billboard's take on the end of rock WNEW-FM.


Rosko Dies

NY Daily News & NY Times - August, 2000

WOR-FM, WNEW-FM, WQIV, WKTU air personality Bill "Rosko" Mercer passed away after a battle with cancer on August 1, 2000.

Rosko Rosko

Scott Muni Dies

NY Times - September, 2004

Scott Muni, veteran of New York radio stations WMCA, WABC(AM), WOR-FM, WNEW-FM and WAXQ(FM) passed away on September 30, 2004 after suffering a stroke some months earlier.

Muni dies

WNEW-FM 102.7 Schedules

Click for larger image


These schedules are sourced from newspapers, FM Guide (which was usually a few months behind changes), 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 shows the schedule from 1966 to Fall 1970.


Fall 1970-1981

This is the schedule through the approximate end of the free-form period. While WNEW-FM was well programmed past this period, at least some of the air personalities feel that the station had reached its zenith around the time of John Lennon's death in December of 1980.



We begin to see a lot more jock turnover during this period as the station goes through a number of ownership and management changes.



Relative stability during most of this period and a number of former WPLJ jocks including Pat St. John, Tony Pigg and Carol Miller.



The final half decade of "Classic Rock & Classic Jocks" when Pete Fornatale and Dave Herman rejoined the station and the beginnings of the talk format as Opie & Anthony join in late 1998.


1967 - 1972 - 1977 - 1982 - 1987 - 1992 - 1997 - 2000 - Schedules - Back to Top