Airchecks: 1964


Station: KJR Seattle
Date: January 11, 1964


Canadian oldies fans visiting Los Angeles have undoubtedly heard that city's major oldies station, K-EARTH. A major force behind that station's success, Mike Phillips, was also well-known to listeners in the westernmost parts of Canada back in the early '60s.

From 1962 to 1965, Phillips entertained at the legendary KJR Seattle, part of a remarkable lineup that included Lan Roberts, Pat O'Day and Larry Lujack.

After KJR, Phillips had numerous radio addresses, including KFRC San Francisco in the early '70s and WXLO New York later than same decade. His impressive resume also includes stops at KYUU and KNBR San Francisco and KGW and KISN Portland, Oregon.

As program director at K-EARTH in the 1990s, Phillips tightened the playlist and hired legendary Boss Jocks Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele. While both Morgan and Steele have passed on, the tight sound Phillips introduced to K-EARTH continues to this day.

Phillips died October 16, 2006 of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles. He was 64.

Hear Mike Phillips at KJR here.

(Scrapbook archives)

Station: WKBW Buffalo, New York
Date: February 22, 1964
Time: 46:24 (unscoped)

It's the beginning of Beatlemania.

This aircheck of Joey Reynolds on WKBW gives us a taste of the excitement when the Fab Four first arrived in North America. It was a cultural earthquake that we'll likely never witness again. Everybody was talking about The Beatles, even people who weren't exactly bowled over by them.

One skeptic was Reynolds, one of Top 40 radio's biggest stars. Reynolds thought the Beatles weren't much better than the "best group in each and every town in this country." Nonetheless, he plays lots of Beatle tunes on his show, along with American acts like Connie Francis, Ray Charles, Bobby Goldsboro, Jan and Dean, Bobby Vinton and Diane Renay. Henry Brach is featured with a couple of newscasts.

Did you know that Reynolds and fellow 'KB personality Dan Neaverth had a chance to bring the Beatles to Buffalo on February 10, 1964, the day after they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show? It would have been the Beatles first appearance in Buffalo, but they declined over the $3,500 appearance fee, the expectation of poor February weather and the relative obscurity of the band in North America at the time of the offer.

Enjoy Joey Reynolds here.

(Scrapbook archives)

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Station: WKBW Buffalo, New York
Date: February 23, 1964
Time: 45:41 (unscoped)
             23:14 (scoped)

(The Beatles with Ed Sullivan)

Excitement was in the air - and on the air - in February, 1964, on a level not seen musically since Elvis burst on the scene in the mid-1950s. Beatlemania had exploded, and every rock 'n' roll station was jumping on the bandwagon fuelled by the arrival of the Fab Four in North America.

One of those stations was WKBW. With a killer lineup that included Stan RobertsFred KlestineDan Neaverth and Joey Reynolds, the station blasted out the Beatles and the other Top 40 stars 24 hours a day. 'KB's powerful night-time signal carried up and down the Eastern seaboard and into Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes and was even heard in Scandinavia.

Bob Diamond hosted the all-night House Party show on WKBW for the Royal Order of the Night People during this exciting time. But as you'll find out when you hear this aircheck, the playlist wasn't all Beatles. Hardly. You'll hear Timi Yuro, Bobby Vee, the Righteous Brothers,  and others, Instant News from Action Central and even an ad for an oldies compilation ($1.25 for 26 songs - same price for Americans and Canadians!). Those really were the days.

Bob Diamond, whose real name was Don Kirsch, died December 15, 2012.

Hear Bob Diamond (UNSCOPED) here

Hear Bob Diamond (SCOPED) here. 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)

Station: WKBW Buffalo, New York
Date: February 23, 1964

Here's another aircheck from Bob Diamond.

Hear Bob Diamond here.

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)

Station: WKBW Buffalo, New York
Date: February 24, 1964
Time: 46:39 (unscoped)
             22:59 (scoped)

Danny moved Buffalo's fanny for more than half a century.

A native of South Buffalo, Dan Neaverth got his start in radio in 1957, doing afternoon drive at WFRM in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Two years later, he moved at WDOE Dunkirk, New York, then in 1959 began a two-year stay at WBNY Buffalo. He got his big break in 1961, when WKBW hired him to do afternoon drive. He spent the next nine years doing the drive show at 'KB, before being promoted to mornings in 1970.

Neaverth spent 18 years in morning drive at 'KB, where he developed his trademark signature lines like "Danny moves your fanny" and "I got up early today so I could the first kid on the block to say good morning." He also served as PA announcer for the now-defunct Buffalo Braves of the NBA - "that's two for (Bob) McAdoo" - while handling similar chores for the NFL's Buffalo Bills for 13 years. Neaverth also did the noon weather forecasts for WKBW-TV for several years even though he was not a trained meteorologist.

Nearly a year after the station - now known as WWKB - went to satellite oldies in 1988, Neaverth became morning man atWHTT-FM (Oldies 104), which had just switched to oldies. His sons Dan, Jr., and Darren plus his daughter-in-law P.J. Foxx were also on-air there too. After Neaverth and Oldies 104 parted company in the late '90s, he surfaced again in mornings from 2003 to 2006 at a short-lived revival of the old 'KB at WWKB. He came back again to do a once-a-week shift at WECK from 2017 to 2019, putting the cap on a career that began at the start of the Space Age and ended in the time of COVID.

Neaverth, who made some 2,500 charitable appearances over the years, is a member of the New York State Radio Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. He's  also recognized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Enjoy Dan Neaverth at WKBW on February 24, 1964 (UNSCOPED) here

Enjoy Dan Neaverth at WKBW on February 24, 1964 (SCOPED) here

(The Bob Skurzewski Collection)

Station: WAPE Jacksonville, Florida
Date: 1963-64
Time: 45:40 (unscoped)
               7:55 (scoped)

The WAPE Ape spins the hits

Jacksonville went "ape" over WAPE.

WAPE broadcast the hits of the day for over 20 years, ending in 1980, and you would hear it up-and-down Jacksonville's beaches in the '60s and '70s. Actor Jay Thomas got his professional radio start there. Other big bananas at "The Big Ape" included The Greaseman (Doug Tracht) and "Teddy Bear" Ted Richards of CKLW fame.

Another major talent at WAPE was the subject of this aircheck, Dino Summerlin. He later became general manager of country-formatted WWNC Asheville, North Carolina, under his real name, Sheldon Summerlin. He died of heart failure in 1986.

Unique to WAPE was the "ape call." On a station otherwise devoid of any bells and whistles, the ape call roared mightily as virtually the only formatic ever heard on The Mighty 690. The call itself came from the 1961 song "Ape Call" by Nervous Norvis. The voice on the ape call on the record is that of California radio veteran Red Blanchard.

This aircheck is a composite of two airchecks circa 1963-64.

Enjoy this composite of Dino Summerlin on WAPE from 1963-64 (UNSCOPED) here. 

Enjoy this composite of Dino Summerlin on WAPE from 1963-64 (SCOPED) here. 


(The Joe Fazio Collection)

Station: WABC New York
Date: April 1, 1964
Time: 38:06 (unscoped)
            23:07 (scoped)


"Radio is full of surprises, stay tuned!" - Rick Sklar

It's April Fool's Day 1964, and
WABC is playing a joke on Dan Ingram.

Bob Dayton is Master of Ceremonies for the broadcast, which has a few "inside radio" moments after Ingram discovers he's been "had."

But rather than us explain it, just listen. (UNSCOPED) 

But rather than us explain it, just listen. (SCOPED) 

(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)

Station: WING Dayton, Ohio
Date: April 20, 1964
Time: 13:24 (unscoped)
              7:02 (scoped)

"The all-new WING"

Jerry Kaye was a WING "Lively Guy", and he certainly sounds lively on this short but sweet aircheck from the spring of 1964.

WING's history dates back to 1924 when it signed on as WDBS. It became WSMK the following year, then changed calls to WING in 1939 to reflect Dayton's aviation history. The format at the time was Big Band.

"High-Flying WING" was a Top 40 station in the '50s, '60s and '70s, though it veered toward an adult contemporary approach in the mid-'70s. By the mid-'80s it was an oldies outlet. It is now an all-sports station as ESPN WING 1410.

In addition to Jerry Kaye, there's also the news (five minutes sooner!) with an unidentified news reader. Enjoy this brief trip into 1964 radio, bells and whistles included!

Enjoy Jerry Kaye on WING (UNSCOPED) here.

Enjoy Jerry Kaye on WING (SCOPED) here.

(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)

Station: WABB Mobile, Ala.
Date: April 25, 1964
Time: 8:41

"This is award-winning WABB News!"

It's rare that listening to an aircheck can leave you exhausted, but that was our experience in this fascinating find from the spring of 1964.

Delivered in breath-taking tones, Wayne Moss puts together a newscast that certainly gets your attention, to put it mildly. Your ears are bombarded with sound effects and news items that are shouted as much as read. It's more infotainment than news, a precursor if you will of CKLW's 20-20 news in the '70s.

By the way, George Whitmore - the teen arrested for murder in the lead item - was later found to have made a false confession. All of the charges against him were eventually dismissed and another man was convicted. Whitmore died of a heart attack in 2012 at the age of 68.

Hear Wayne Moss on WABB here.

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)

Station: WNEW New York
Date: June 10, 1964
Time: 34:25

"Am I blue? No, I'm Brown.
Got a smile on my puss, not a frown
Every morn from seven 'til nine
We play discs and commit general crime.

That ditty - sung to the tune of Am I Blue - was Ted Brown's theme song for part of his legendary four-decade career in radio. Back in the days when what was said between the records mattered as much (or more) than the music itself, Ted Brown was one of the leading deejays in the U.S. As fellow announcer and musician Jim Lowe put it, "he was a major talent, with a keen sense of the ridiculous."

A native of Collingwood, New Jersey, Theodore David Brown got his first experience behind a mike at a dance at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, when he filled in for a master of ceremonies who had failed to show up. After college, he fought for the U.S. in the Second World War as an Air Force tail-gunner in a B-17 bomber. He was shot down over Germany and spent 18 months as a prisoner of war before being released and returning to New York.

Brown's first taste of the big time in radio came in 1950, when he took over the morning show at WMGM from another broadcast legend, Robert Q. Lewis. Teamed with his wife Rhoda Brown and later actress and second wife Sylvia Miles - both of whom were known on-air as The Redhead - Brown delivered a highly-popular show that continued into the station's foray into rock 'n' roll music in the late '50s.

By 1962, he was off to the legendary WNEW, joining a staff that included such broadcast greats as William B. Williams, Gene Klaven and Dee Finch. Brown held down the afternoon drive spot at 'NEW until 1970, when he left for a couple of years at WNBC. He returned to WNEW in 1972 before leaving the station again in 1989. In later years, he worked at WRIV Riverhead, New York, and WVNJ Oakland, New Jersey.

Brown was incapacitated in 1996 from a stroke, complications from which he died March 20, 2005. He was believed to be in his 80s - he never revealed his age.
Ted Brown - described by his newsman Mike Prelee as "a tough guy with a soft heart" - can he heard here.

(Scrapbook archives)

Station: CFPL London, Ontario
Date: July 6, 1964
Time: Part 1 - 42:04 (unscoped)
           Part 2 - 59:35 (unscoped)
           Part 3 - 56:20 (unscoped)

(WSAI chart, March 28, 1960)

Dick Williams chose Canada.

"The Tall One" could have spent his career in the more lucrative U.S. market. In fact, he did a stint in mornings at KDEO in San Diego in the early 1960s and also jocked at WING Dayton, Ohio and WSAI Cincinnati in a career that began in 1956 at CKCR Kitchener, Ontario. But Williams stayed in London, Ontario, after arriving there at CFPL in 1961. He remained on-air in London until 2006, also working in the Forest City at CJBK, Q 97.5 (CIQM) and Oldies 1410 (CKSL).

Williams' clever, fast-paced, humour-driven show on CFPL could easily have been a morning show. But it wasn't - it was at night. At that time, evening shows were prime time in radio and that's where the stars were. And Dick Williams was certainly a star.

Hear Dick Williams from July 6, 1964, Part 1 (UNSCOPED) here. (42:04)

Hear Dick Williams from July 6, 1964, Part 2 (UNSCOPED) here. (59:35)

Hear Dick Williams from July 6, 1964, Part 3 (UNSCOPED) here. (56:20)

(The Dick Williams and Charlie Ritenburg Collections)

RESTORATION by Charlie Ritenburg

Rock Radio Scrapbook pays
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Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (License 22-F)

Station: CHIQ Hamilton, Ontario
Date: July, 1964

(Logo courtesy Bill Dulmage)

He was called the Dick Biondi of Canadian radio, "The Fastest Tongue in the North.But above all, he was radio's greatest chameleon.

Dave Mickie earned a legion of fans from his days in the early '60s as an incredibly energetic night-time deejay at CKEY Toronto. By 1964, however, he had moved down the QEW to CHIQ (now CHAM) in Hamilton. He was still screaming and talking faster than most people - especially parents - could listen.

It was an entirely different Mickie that Toronto listeners would hear in the 1970s. First, he was now known as Dave Marsden. After a stop at Montreal's CHOM-FM in the late '60s, Marsden joined CHUM-FM in Toronto in the early '70s and if anything was the SLOWEST talker in the North.

In six years at CHUM-FM, Marsden established himself as one of the country's top FM rock announcers. In 1977, he brought his considerable talents to what was the new CFNY-FM in Brampton, Ontario, which had just changed its call letters from CHIC-FM. With Marsden as PD and program host, CFNY became a force to be reckoned with in Toronto radio.

Marsden left the station in the late '80s for the Vancouver radio scene. After blazing a trail with the then-new medium of Internet radio in the '90s, Marsden returned to the terrestrial airwaves at The Rock in Oshawa, Ontario, in the 2000s. He left The Rock in 2014 to focus on his Internet venture

Enjoy Dave Mickie on CHIQ here.

(Scrapbook archives)

Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: August, 1964
Time: 49:24 (unscoped)
          12:05 (scoped)

For Brian Skinner, every Saturday night (and later Wednesday) was Halloween.

"The Prez" began his reign of terror at CHUM with "The Grooveyard" in early 1964. The show initially ran from 10 p.m. to midnight (or madnight as Skinner preferred to call it). The Grooveyard was expanded to 9 p.m.-to-midnight by the end of '64. A Wednesday night 9 p.m.-9:30 p.m. segment was added in 1967.

The Grooveyard went to radio's graveyard in 1968, and Skinner's six-year tenure at the station ended in 1969 after he was relegated to the all-night show. He never worked in radio again, and never attended any of the CHUM reunions.

Enjoy Brian Skinner with the Grooveyard on CHUM (UNSCOPED) here. 

Enjoy Brian Skinner with the Grooveyard on CHUM (SCOPED) here. 

(The Kal Raudoja Collection)

Station: WBZ Boston
Date: August, 1964
Time: 23:21

Attention program directors: There is an audience after midnight.

All-night shows nowadays are mostly the preserve of syndicated programming, voice-tracking or just wall-to-wall music. Anything but a live person! But there are people listening - shift workers, truckers, college students, insomniacs and people who just like to stay up late and listen to the radio. And at one time the late night day part was taken seriously by radio stations.

Dick Summer hosted the "Night Light" all-night show on WBZ in the mid-60s*. Summer had a little bit of everything during his 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift: he read poetry, told stories, played a few tunes and occasionally welcomed one of his mythical characters, like Irving the Venus Fly Trap, Earl of Sandwich and Theopolous Q. Waterhouse. The "format" was whatever Summer decided on - he would play a hour's worth of comedy cuts at 3 a.m. for example. If he didn't like a song, he wouldn't play it.

One of Summer's best remembered bits was the Nightlighters Password, also known as the Tibetan Memory Trick:

"One hen, two ducks, 3 squawking geese, 4 limerick oysters, 5 corpulent porpoises, 6 pair of Don Alverso's tweezers, seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array, 8 brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt, 9 apathetic sympathetic diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity to procrastination and sloth... (deep breath!) TENNNN lyrical spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the queasy at the very same time (toot toot)."

Summer had an intelligent, humorous and personable approach to radio, qualities so often lacking in the bland "here's another 12 in a row!" world of the medium today. It's the type of radio we celebrate at Rock Radio Scrapbook, and we're thrilled to have an aircheck of one of Dick's shows.

Enjoy Dick Summer from August, 1964 on WBZ here.

*Summer started in the all-night show at WBZ in 1963, and left in 1968. By November 1967 he was doing evenings. We are not sure just when he left the all-night show but would have been sometime between August 1966 and November 1967.

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)

Station: CHML Hamilton, Ontario
Date: September 7, 1964
Time: 1:34

Long-time CHML morning man Paul Hanover called Bill Sturrup Mr. Everywhere and Mr. Everything. Said Hanover, "There wasn't a job he couldn't do or didn't want to do at the station or in the community."

Sturrup left us a legacy that included 45 years at Hamilton's CHML - reporting on virtually every major news event in the city - a half-century of public address announcing at Hamilton sporting events and too many friends and admirers to count. A lifelong Hamiltonian, Sturrup joined Hanover, Tom Darling, Lee Dunbar and others in the CHML Hall of Fame in 2004. He died January 16, 2007, aged 68.

One of the many events Sturrup covered was the Beatles arrival in Toronto in September, 1964.
Bill Sturrup cover Beatlemania here.

(The Mark Panopoulos Collection)

Station: WADO New York
Date: December 27, 1964
Time: 20:29
  (Upgraded 2-9-12)

Jocko Henderson was part of an amazing cast at WADO that at one time included doo-wop king Alan Fredericks, jazz deejay Symphony Sid Torin along with gospel announcers Joe Crane and Charles Gibbs, Junior, and Herman Amis, a veteran of WADO's predecessor WOV. There was also Happy Hare (Harry Martin), Kenny Garland, Jack Walker and Johnny Holiday (a.k.a. Mort Crowley).

WADO went to mostly Spanish programming in 1964 but Jocko remained.

Jocko Henderson died in Philadelphia on July 15, 2000 after a prolonged illness. He was 82.
Enjoy Jocko Henderson on WADO here.


(Scrapbook archives)


Station: WABC New York
Date: December 30, 1964
Time: 25:42

Any discussion of the great all-night jocks in Top 40 radio history should certainly include one of the greatest of them all - Charlie Greer.

While he also worked mid-days at WABC for several years, Greer is best identified with the all-night show at the legendary New York station. Greer was in fact the first midday voice when WABC debuted as a Top 40 station on December 7, 1960. He moved to midnights in 1963, then went back to mid-days in 1965, before returning to the all-night show in 1966. He stayed there until he left the station in August, 1969.

Greer's easy-going friendly style was perfect for WABC, a station that emphasized personality within a tight format. His live reads of the famous Dennison's commercials (Route 22, Union, New Jersey) are part of New York radio lore. And while several others did the all-night show at WABC, he's probably the best remembered.

Greer jocked at WAKR in Akron, Ohio, before moving to WABC in 1960. After leaving WABC, he moved to WIP Philadelphia in 1969. He also also worked at WRKL New York and WHAM Rochester, New York. Greer was also participated in WCBS-FM's radio reunions in the '80s and '90s.

Greer died September 30, 1996 of lung cancer in Akron, Ohio. He was 73.
Enjoy Charlie Greer on WABC here.


(The Bill Dulmage Collection)