Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
'Cousin' Warren Duffy - 12/24/66


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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins



 

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'At the 10,000 Watt Happy Holiday Sound of Good Guys Radio'

'Cousin' Warren Duffy came to WPGC in 1966 as Program Director and afternoon man, positions he held down until 1968 when he left for sister station, WMEX in Boston. He later programmed KMET in Los Angeles. From 1994 - 2004 he did afternoons in LA at Salem's KKLA but has recently retired.

This aircheck was recorded off the FM as our good Cousin spent his first Christmas season at WPGC. In addition to his Monday through Friday show, he also pulled a weekend airshift on Saturdays in which he counted down the biggest songs of the week. This tape chronicles the Tunedex Survey Countdown Show on Christmas Eve Day (the #1 song incidentally was the Royal Guardsmen's, 'Snoopy vs. the Red Baron').

Speaking of countdowns, Duffy mentions the Top 100 of 1966 Countdown which aired on January 1, 1967 along with the Cousin Duffy 1966 Popularity Poll results (the Monkees trailed the Beatles as most popular group with a week left to go in voting for the year).

One of the striking characteristics of this tape is the predominance of local commercials. Though a few national ones are heard including one for Pepsi ('taste that beats the others cold, Pepsi pours it on!), virtually all other spots are for local outfits in and around Greater DC. Cousin Duffy himself is heard on many of these such as Downtown Park & Shop (suburban malls hadn't been enclosed yet but were already siphoning off significant traffic from downtown DC merchants) and Nichol's Furniture which he did jointly with morning man, Harv Moore.

That's Harv on other spots for Allentown Drug & Liquor and Coke while night guy Jack Alix is found on commercials for the Hecht Company ('for groovy gifts you love to give'), Giant Music (not the Giant Music Stores later run by the supermarket firm), Big Ed's Speed Shop and the Sound Center. Bill Miller, who had joined the station earlier in the year from KOIL in Omaha and was now doing middays at WPGC as one of the many 'Bob Raleighs' can be heard on (ironically) Miller High Life, Foley Ford and Sammy's Liquor Store. Not to be forgotten, newsguy, Marv Brooks is on the Burger Chef commercial. The colloquial nature of these commercials is in direct contrast to the sound of the station a decade later in which national spots far outweighed those of local origin.

Jingles are primarily from a package ordered that year by Cousin Duffy called, 'Funtastic', produced by Spot Productions of Dallas. Capitalizing on the Bat-craze then sweeping the nation, they also created Bat-jingles for all the WPGC personalities including Duffy's heard here which emanated from another package thinly disguised as 'That-man'. A few cuts from earlier PAMS packages ('Best Bet of the Week' for example) are also weaved into the jingle heavy presentation typical of Top 40 radio circa mid '60's on this aircheck.

The More-Music battles with WEAM and other stations is very evident as Duffy goes to great lengths touting WPGC being the first to play new releases from the Spencer Davis Group ('Give Me Some Lovin') and another from Herman's Hermits that 'Herman' (one surmises 'Peter Noone' had yet to become a holdhold name) allegedly sent to Duffy from the UK before it was released in the U.S.

Contesting at the time consisted of 'Money Street', in which street names were read on the air. Listeners who lived on those streets and called in at the correct time won untold fame & fortune.

Duffy takes on a serious tone however with the news. As 'Warren' Duffy, he reads two newscasts, heavy with Vietnam related stories. Opposition to the War had yet to reach critical mass, explaining the 'Serviceman Salute' feature heard at the end of the cast.

General Manager, Bob Howard had been with the station since 1959 and had voiced the role of the anonymous 'Mr. Soundoff' for nearly as long. As part of this aircheck, a Soundoff he did on a listener's gripe about people banging their car doors into your own (protective rubber molding was still in the distant future) is heard.

Station identifiers of the era included 'The Big PG' as well as the venerable, 'Good Guys Radio'. Positioning statements in use at the time included ,'Home of the Washington Music Explosion'.

 




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