Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Don Geronimo - 3/19/80


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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins



 

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'3 Hours of Big Time Professional Radio packed into a 4 Hour Show...'

Don Geronimo's stellar career reads like a who's who in the annals of radio history with stops at 13Q / Pittsburgh, 99X / New York, PRO-FM / Providence and WDRQ / Detroit before coming home to Washington and WPGC in the Fall of 1979 where he was brought in by Program Director, Scott Shannon for the first real skirmish with Q107's Uncle Johnny.

His impact was immediate and long felt; during his tenure WPGC righted itself and regained the CHR crown in DC. In 1981 he left for KIIS-FM in LA followed by stops at WLS & B96 / Chicago.

Don made his return to the Nation's Capital in 1985 doing afternoons at WAVA then moved to mornings the following year replacing Charlie & Harrigan. By then he had teamed up with Mike O'Meara and the rest is radio history.

Scott Shannon correctly identified the night show as the make it or break it daypart on the station in the war with Q107. Just playing records wouldn't cut it and Geronimo was unquestionably the man to deliver. Listen as Don solicits audience reaction to a couple of upcoming features on his show for the Boogie Check (ala John 'Records' Landecker at WLS) and the listener mailbag.

One of the hallmarks of his shows was his use of the phones. Several comedy bits are heard on this aircheck including one from a listener confused about the Geronimo Astrology Report heard a few minutes earlier. It was not uncommon for Shannon to assist him on phone bits. That's his voice as the parent inquiring about the B-52's 'Rock Lobster'. Likewise, midday guy (and future WPGC morning man,) Dave Foxx is the voice of a drunken caller.

Dave also doubled as the station's primary promo voice. With the Iran Hostage Crisis dragging on and on, WPGC began playing the National Anthem at 12 noon every day and began distributing American flag decals at Metro area 7-Eleven stores (where WPGC bumperstickers were also available).

Station imaging as we know it today was in its infancy in 1980. An early sweeper touting 'More Continuous Music' is Dave's work and one of the weapons in the station's arsenal in the More Music battle with Q107.

Contesting at the time included a seemingly unlimited supply of $100 bills and concert tickets to Linda Ronstadt and ZZ Top.

Soundoffs had been running on the station for so long they had truly become an institution. Though for many years they had been voiced by former General Manager, Bob Howard as the anonymous 'Mr. Soundoff, by 1980 the DJs now did them. Afternoon guy, Scott Carpenter is the voice on the one about a Coach's bias. In a radical departure, a cash prize was not awarded for 'the best Soundoff of the week'. Instead, a $50 gift certificate from Miss Harper was the prize up for grabs. The regular $30 cash prize would return shortly however.

There was no shortage of commercials during nights, though stopsets never exceeded three minutes at any break. Virtually all were agency produced but for a excellent concert spot for Linda Ronstadt / ZZ Top by Dave Foxx and one for Pizza Hut by Scott Carpenter. Washington radio fixture Johnny Holiday was the voice on the one for the Washington Star.

 




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