Rock Radio Scrapbook

For week of March 6, 2005
Weekly issue #316

Station: WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: December, 1975
Time: 7:27

A 1982 WKBW nighttime coverage map, courtesy Bill Dulmage. For a closer look, click here.

WKBW (now known as WWKB) has been known almost as much for its incredible signal as its great  programming. One of the most powerful of the North American 50,000-watt blowtorches, the Buffalo, N.Y., station at 1520kc has been heard as far away as Sweden, Italy, Morocco, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and many points in between.

Not surprisingly, the station came in almost like a local in Quebec City, where contributor John McGrath was taping in December, 1975. McGrath talks about listening to 'KB radio and other Top 40 stations in Quebec City...

"Growing up in Quebec City, there wasn't a whole lot of choice for top 40 radio. There was CFLS, a French-language rocker, but in English, after CFOM went off the air (in 1975), there was no music station. So I cruised the dial and picked up all kinds of neat stuff, but one of my favourites, and one of the most powerful signals, was the mighty 'KB from Buffalo. I listened all the time. It came in stronger than the Montreal stations did. As a voice-over actor now ( reading commercials, station promos and IDs and lending my voice to cartoons, I must say I got a lot of my early influences from the fabulous on-air talent at WKBW."

On this aircheck, you'll hear the voices of Beverley ('KB's first female jock), Jim Quinn, Super Shannon and Hank Nevins. Also, there's a commercial with Dan Neaverth. At that time, 'KB's schedule included Neaverth in mornings, George Hamberger in middays, Jon Summers in afternoon drive, Jim Quinn and Super Shannon in the evening, Beverley all night and Hank Nevins weekends.

Enjoy 'KB - as recorded in Quebec City - here.

(The John McGrath Collection)

Station: WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: December, 1975
Time: 6:12

From Hound Dog Lorenz to Jackson Armstrong to John Otto, WKBW had a rich legacy of nighttime  personalities.

"The Hound" was the first to play rock 'n' roll in the evening at 'KB, but he was gone by the time the station became a 24-hour Top 40 outlet on July 4, 1958. Tom Shannon took over the evening slot, which throughout the '50s and '60s was filled by such names as Dick Biondi, Ted Hackett, Joey Reynolds, Jefferson Kaye, Bud Ballou, Sandy Beach and Tim Kelly.

By 1971, Jackson Armstrong was screaming his lungs out every night for 'KB listeners. Other 'KB nighttime jocks in the '70s included Bob McCrae, Shane, Don Berns, Jim Quinn, Super Shannon, Jay Fredericks, Al Bandiero and Craig Matthews. The '80s saw the arrival in evenings of Chuck Lakefield and later, talk shows with John Otto and Bruce Williams (via NBC Talknet). 'KB dropped live-assist music programming in 1988, reviving it in 2003 with a voice-tracked Armstrong back in evenings.

Enjoy Super Shannon from December, 1975 here.

(The John McGrath Collection)

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