Station: KOMA Oklahoma City, Okla.
Date: August 16, 1995
It was a big station with a big signal.
KOMA's story as a Top 40 station began in 1958, when legendary programmer Todd Storz bought the 50,000-watt monster and turned it into a hit parade station. Storz, whose earlier projects included WHB Kansas City and WQAM Miami (the station CHUM was modelled after), fought cross-town rival WKY for Top 40 supremacy in Oklahoma City for years. In 1974, KOMA symbolically surpassed WKY when it was named Billboard Station of the Year (Storz didn't live to see it - he died 10 years earlier). Helping KOMA was its massive night-time signal, heard all over the western U.S. as far away as Los Angeles. Such was its reach that American soldiers in Vietnam listened via the skywave to get a taste of home.
KOMA's Top 40 years ended in 1980 when it flipped to a country format. Price Communications purchased KOMA from the Storz family in 1984 and switched it to a beautiful music format the next year. The hits of the '50s and '60s returned to KOMA in 1988 when the legendary station adopted an oldies format. The station moved to FM in 1992 as KOMA-FMand the beat goes on there to this day under the branding "Oklahoma's Greatest Hits."
For years, one of the attractions of KOMA's oldies format were two shows hosted by Larry Neal, "The KOMA Saturday Morning Countdown" and "The Wax Museum" on Sunday nights. Neal did the Wax Museum for 15 years - 1988 to 2003 - and only once missed a show. Here's the first of several excerpts we'll be presenting from "The Wax Museum" from the night of August 16, 1995.
Enjoy Larry Neal with "The Wax Museum" on KOMA, Pt. 1 (UNSCOPED) here. (30:27)
Enjoy Larry Neal with "The Wax Museum" on KOMA, Pt. 1 (SCOPED) here. (4:55)
Enjoy Larry Neal with "The Wax Museum" on KOMA, Pt. 2 (UNSCOPED) here. (30:29)
Enjoy Larry Neal with "The Wax Museum" on KOMA, Pt. 2 (SCOPED) here. (5:42)
Enjoy Larry Neal with "The Wax Museum" on KOMA, Pt. 3 (UNSCOPED) here. (30:33)
"The Wax Museum" on KOMA,
Pt. 3 (SCOPED) here. (4:21)
(The Steve Green Collection)
"UNKLE ROG" McCALL
Station: WCMF Rochester, N.Y.
Date: September 27, 1995
"This guy was about peace and love, and
people loved this guy."
- WCMF deejay Brother Wease on Roger "Unkle Rog" McCall
Better known by his air name "Unkle Rog", Roger McCall was a mainstay at WCMF Rochester for three decades, mostly on the all-night show. But he was more than a deejay.
McCall was a tremendous supporter of local musicians, making six albums featuring local bands over a 25-year period. Often he would listen to music by fledging bands, and if he liked what he heard, would invite them to appear on his Sunday night Homegrown show on WCMF to talk about themselves and their music. Armand Schaubroeck, owner of the House of Guitars in the Rochester suburb of Irondequoit, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle "his heart was totally into it. It wasn't just a job. He lived it."
McCall also rented houses - often to those in need - and in many cases gave his tenants clothing or whatever they needed. His wife Denise told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that her husband "was the kindest, sweetest. most generous loving man I have ever known" and a wonderful father to his son Jason.
McCall started at WCMF in 1973 and spent most of his career on the all-night show, the time slot he felt most comfortable with. In an interview with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, fellow WCMF deejay Brother Wease said McCall "was a hippie soul. He was all about peace, love, understanding and music. And he got to live the life he loved."
This tremendous life was snuffed out on December 12, 2003, when McCall was shot to death in a robbery attempt. He was 52.
Hear Roger McCall here.
Roger McCall here.
(The Bill Dulmage Collection)
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