Monday, August 05, 2013

Z 100 Turns 30

Let me give you a taste of my radio influence, outside of sports.

As a kid, I listened to Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, and WABC (770), before migrating to Mr. Imus in the late 70's on WNNNNNNNNNBC.  I still listened to 770 as well, but now I had choices.

Of course, all we had in the car was AM anyway.

My dad, who had (otherwise) great taste in music, tended to lean towards the Mantovani-style of WHUD (100.7) because he couldn't find anything better on the (still-hanging) Hi-Fi in the living room (that serves, primarily, as a mantle for pictures).   I suppose that was good background music, especially for taking a nap.

I had my own radio in my room, so I could go between AM and FM as much as I liked (and I did).  I could listen to I-95 (WRKI), WPLJ and WNEW (both great radio stations), K-104 (still doing their thing) and so on.

By late 1983, my listening habit changed drastically.

Z-100 had come on the air.

Led by Scott Shannon, who had arrived from Q 105 in Tampa (a station that I loved when I would visit my grandparents, and I now listen to them online), the Z Morning Zoo took "wacky morning radio" to a different, albeit clean, level.

It had a big impact on me in terms of how I would present myself if I ever did music, personality-driven, radio.  But it was also somewhat brief, as times and taste would change.  Their pop music wouldn't quite hold for me as I got older, but they're still rolling along at 100.3 and still have a great audience in a key demographic.

By 1989, I was back into listening to Imus, and WFAN.

This is an aircheck from August 4, two days after the format change, courtesy of Mike Abrams, who has a ton of old radio files. There's a lame parody of Mr. Imus, but nobody said they were ever perfect.

The actual format change (from August 2) can be heard via

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