to the unofficial tribute site of the Enormous
95 & the Equally Awesome 1580, Washington's
legendary WPGC - AM & FM.
These pages focus on the station's glory years as a TOP 40 blowtorch,
covering the period from the late '50's through the early '80's.
July 4th, 2020 marks 20
years since this site was founded in tribute to Washington's longest
lasting and most influencial Top 40 station ever. Beginning as souvenirs
from a box in a garage, the site grew by leaps and bounds over the
years due to contributions made by station alumni and long time
at over 2,400 pages long, it averages approximately 10,000 hits
per month and is still growing with over 300 airchecks and nearly
200 additional airchecks coming in the future. If you would like
to make a contribution, please email
ALL WINDOWS MEDIA FILES (.WMA) HAVE NOW BEEN REPLACED WITH .MP3 FILES!
you may not copy audio or any other files on this site. All materials
seen and heard on it are protected by U.S. Federal Copyright and
Intellectual Property laws, are also protected by the Digital Mellennium
Copyright Act and are subject to litigation should materials on
this site be duplicated in violation of those protections!
American Top 40's 50th Anniversary
Click below to hear a re-creation of the original broadcast of American Top 40 on
one of the original 7 stations to carry the show on Sunday, July 5th, 1970 from 9a-12p.
original American Top 40 'Uncle
Sam' logo, by
Paul Gruwell, circa 1970.
Early in 1970, Tom Rounds of Watermark traveled to Beantown to meet with WPGC & WMEX owner, Max Richmond in an effort to get him to run the show. Getting two powerhouse stations such as these would go a long way in convincing stations in smaller markets to do the same. 'Mac' was receptive to the idea, if only because the program was free at the time and he didn't have to pay an air personality to cover that shift. Hence, these two stations became the first to agree to clear the show and among the first 7 to air the broadcast. On WPGC, this occured on Sunday, July 5th, 1970 from 9a-12p.
WPGC continued to carry the show for 13 years until the program was taken away in 1983 by ABC which had acquired Watermark the previous year and then began giving the show to ABC Owned & Operated stations in markets where they had them. AT 40 was then forcibly taken away from WPGC and given to Q107 when the contract came up for renewal on July 1st of that year. At the time, WPGC was the longest running affiliate, the only one of the original 7 stations still carrying the show and ran it twice each weekend, on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings. Casey himself did not approve of the roughshod way in which ABC treated long term affiliates, just one of numerous conditions that led to his leaving ABC / Watermark in August of 1988.
WPGC Tribute Site is launched. Today it is over 2,400 pages
long and contains hundreds of audio files, many of which
were contributed by listeners and station alumni. To make
a contribution, please email
Top 40 debuts on WPGC, one of the
original seven stations to carry the show nationally.
to contributor, Lee Whitney for the above)
WPGC-AM Transmitter& Tower
Site Found in
data collected from the FCC's Official Records at the National
Archives in College Park, the exact latitudinal (38° 50'
29") and longitudinal (76° 53' 31") coordinates
of the original WPGC transmitter and tower site from 1954-56
has been located with the use of GPS technology. The lo-resolution
photo above was taken with a cell phone at dusk in the rain.
exact spot is on the Morningside
/ District Heights border on Dottie Kelly Court off Anton
St., off Walters Lane. Respecting the privacy of the residents,
the actual street address is not given here. With the aid
of a U.S. Geological Survey map from 1950, the paved and dirt
roads leading to the site still exist (though all are now
paved), directly in the heart of a residential development
that sits on the farm once owned by Duval
B. Evans, whom WPGC founder, Harry
Hayman leased the land for the station.
site was abandoned in 1956. In order to raise power on the
AM, a directional pattern necessitated erecting multiple towers.
Ground conductivity beneath the site was poor due to sedimentation
consisting primarily of rock. Whatsmore, access to the site
(where the studio was also located) was particularly difficult
in winter months on a muddy road.
WPGC-AM was granted permission by the FCC to build its new
three tower array on the property where WBUZ-FM's
tower was located at 6369
Walker Mill Road while
the AM studios moved to the space previously occupied by WBUZ-FM,
above the Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis (WM&A)
bus repair facility at 4421
Southern Ave. in Coral Hills, directly across the street
from the District.
Dr. McBlade's 20
minute montage of all the WPGC station mentions read by
on American Top 40 during the '70's (and a few from
the '80's). Special thanks to Pete Battistini and Shannon
Lynn for their assistance in assembling many of the excerpts
contained in it. Now, on with the countdown!
very special Good Guy salute to Jack Maier who has tirelessly
researched all the WPGC weekly playlist surveys that were
published in the (Washington)
Evening Star. Jack has
copied every single list from the Arlington County library
from the first week WPGC was included on October
5th, 1958 until the last on May
11th, 1974, a collection covering over 800 lists!
an advertisement of Milt
Grant's early syndication efforts on WPGC and other Washington
area stations from 1961.
on your blacklight, relax your
mind and float downstream for a while with the Magic
Carpet Ride, a
short lived, super laid-back underground psychedelic trip
from the Fall of 1968. Thanks to 'David' for 'weeding' this
out of the smoke for us!
Guy DJ Davy
Jones reminisces about his days at WPGC from 1968-71 in
an exclusive interview.
to Ron Evry who correctly identified the above as the late
Tucker who worked at WPGC briefly in 1964.
thanks to Bob Elliot for the photo above).
passed away in October, 2014.
Walker was one of the original WPGC Air
Personalities , starting just two weeks after the AM signed
on in 1954. He was gracious to grant us an interview in which
he details his remembrances of the early days of the AM. Hear
WPGC Good Guys T-Shirt!
on a Japanese site selling Beatles memorabilia, the artwork
on this shirt was 'borrowed' from the legitimate sweatshirt
John is seen wearing below from 1964! Can any other station
claim such fame nearly 40 years after the fact?!
the story and hear the saga as it actually aired on August
6th, 1962 when
'Barefoot' Larry Justice took matters into his own hands,
locked himself in the control room and played the same song
over and over again until management agreed to his demands
for a raise.
thanks to contributor Lee Whitney
for the above audio.
thanks to contributor Steve Willet for the above.
the WPGC Musicradio
Montage featuring station jingles in context with the
songs of the time from 1960 - 1982 originally produced by
Tommy Edwards at WLS
and also used on WABC's
last day as a music station.
thanks to contributor Tommy Edwards for the above.
a thrill to log on to this web site and see my air check and some
background being published. These truly were the "good old days"
in the 60's. We were teenagers and filled with excitement as we
hit the air on WPGC-FM in its infancy. Read
most vivid memory has to be the strike.
Truckers trying to run the Lincoln
off the road while I was driving it, watching the picketers out of
my apartment window, picking up non-union jocks at the airport...and
yes I was on the air doing the Sunday morning news...it was AWFUL!
just happened to do a google search on my name and up popped the
WPGC references...WOW...what a surprise. It was good to see faces
of friends I haven't seen in more than 3-decades.
now an Anchor/Reporter for WOIO (CBS) and WUAB (UPN) / Cleveland.
More info can be found about me by going to 19 Actionnews.com.Read
worked for WPGC from 1962 to 1975....during all of the good times.
I was 21 when I went to work there. It was my most "fun"
job ever. I started working there part time in 1962...I had 3
small babies and was just getting back to work. Quickly, Bob
realized I had more potential and I became his secretary. To sum
it up, we had a lot of fun and were very close. I really missed
it at first when I left, but I knew it would never be the same.
We were #1.....and that was the best time of "Rock and Roll".Read more.
a great website...the "blowtorch" line alone makes you
feel proud to have been a part of it...you know for years I never
thought much about WPGC then I saw the Cameron Crowe film, Almost
Famous... I'm sure the other guys from the' 72 to' '75 years
had similar feelings...in many ways we were like the band on the
bus rolling through the heartland, just headed somewhere with our
music ... and dreams of things not as they were but as we longed
for them to be...it was a pretty special time...Read more.
just stumbled across the WPGC tribute website and found myself from
1973! Great looking website. It brings back many memories. Read
totally enjoyed my time at WPGC and wish to hell that I were still
there. I was fortunate in that I started working there during the
summer of my sophomore/junior year in high school. I was a news
editor by day and jock wannabe by night. Alexander
Goodfellow helped me with my first production room aircheck
which really sucked. Others like Joel Denver (Jim
Madison) would let me run the board out of stopsets. Talk about
taking a chance!Read
started working at WPGC in 1976. I smile every time I think about
those days. The staff was as close as family members. I am still
in contact with some of them today. My office in Bladensburg
was right behind the receptionist, the late Phyliss
Gammon and next to Music Director, Jim
Elliott. My office in Greenbelt
was a little isolated from the other offices and we all still
found a way to stay close. I moved to the sales department in
1980 or 1981.Read
In 1959, we put a "Good Guys" Top 40 format together at a little
station in York, PA owned by Susquehanna Broadcasting. The
company purchased a station in Ohio (Akron to be exact) and in 1961
they named me as their first program director at WHLO and of course,
the "Good Guys" format trailed along with us.
1966, the station came to the attention of Bob
Howard, the GM of WPGC, whose family lived in Cleveland.
He would monitor the station when he visited his relatives, and
about 1966 he and I got in touch and next thing you know, I was
living in Silver Spring, MD and I was the afternoon jock and the
PD of WPGC. Read
occasionally take some time and go to this site and sooooo many
memories come flooding back. Many people don't appreciate what they've
got in living day to day...whether it be a great soul mate or a
great radio station. WPGC was a GREAT station and so far ahead of
its time in that we were one of the first successful FM stations
(due to the heavy penetration of FM in DC).
was part of people's lives...they came to us to be with friends
, to hear new music, to be entertained and to win great prizes (and
a lot of cash)....and the loyalty of the listener was reciprocated
by on air personalities that really cared about the station, the
community and each other.Read
started at WPGC when the station went 24 hours on FM in the Fall
of 1968. Bob
Howards bizarre marketing idea to promote WPGC going all-night
on FM was The return of Amos and Andy to radio, thus
the Famous Amos and Handy
Andy monikers. The actual, cost-savings reason, of course,
for having two part-time people on overnight was you didn't have
to pay full-time AFTRA wages. Read
am truly stunned at all the stuff you have on what will always be
my favorite station. Really, it's quite an achievement and as an
official former Good Guy, I am very grateful. I was especially impressed
with your stuff on Jim
Collins, and was touched to see the dedication to him. Read
greatest experience was meeting Ted Davita. Ted was a young
boy at NIH with a rare blood disease. He became one of my
best friends. I visited him every week and he called me every night.
His father was Director of the Cancer Institute. Do you remember
the TV movie "Boy In A Plastic Bubble"? Most of that story was based
on Ted including going to concerts at the Cap Centre in my
van and him wearing his NASA designed space suit. He died at the
age of 17. Read
can one say, being part of a legend is totally nuts. Deep
in my heart I truly believe there will never be a time in the industry
where so much was put into the presentation of a radio station,
as was put together by the great staff of WPGC. I'm extremely proud
to have been apart of the best moments of radio that ever existed.Read
Howard tried to change my real name...Lawrence Kirk Justice...to
some stupid off the wall stage name ....we compromised and settled
on Larry Justice...however he insisted on 'Barefoot' Larry Justice,
friend of all the 'Barefoot' housewives. How do you think that would
have played in 1968 when they were burning their bras? I was never
crazy about "Barefoot."
the 'take over / lock in', a major mob of fans gathered outside
the station on Southern Ave. and the PG County police had to be
called to control the crowd. Wow! What a hoot. Bob was threatened
for taking advantage of a country boy! Read
was the first female who was on the air before midnight (at age
23) and even filled in for Don
Geronimo (6-10pm) when he was on vacation. The General
Manager didn't care for this "girl" on the air,
Kingston was very supportive until he left. Read
couple of things I remember most about the Black Ulysses overnight
Moore didn't want to do it. It was good money in an unrated
slot and guess who won? Bill
Prettyman. I got a nice talent fee on top of my $4.72/hour.
restaurant provided an all-night cafeteria-style breakfast that
was first class after all the clubs closed at 2AM...including
the Ulysses which had show bands like "Octagon" and
"And The Professionals". Read
the request of John Gehron (then WLS PD, my college PD, and now
GM of Clear Channel Chicago) I taped Columbus
without his knowledge. John used the tape to get him to Chicago
as his production director. A year later, he resigned, saying
that the production work was getting in the way of his free lance
business, which was (and from what I hear is) quite successful.Read
began there in 1978 in Bladensburg
as the Accounts Receivable Clerk and worked in that little tiny
room in the back with Chris
Fisher and Sheila
Chandler. Chris was always telling us stories about Elvis
as she was such a fan of his and Sheila made me laugh 8 hours
a day. Chris must have wondered about us because we were always
a native, I started listening to WPGC as a kid. So my interest
in the station is much more that just working there. Just
for the record, I started at the "PIG" as a engineer
at the transmitter site in 1970.I
am a fountain of "useless" knowledge of the station
from '70-74 as an employee, and as a fan prior to that. Read
Miller ('April May'):
was hired in the summer of 1971 after I heard an announcement
on Harv Moore's
show that the station was looking for a receptionist and general
office person. I called the station and got an interview with
a few days later. I had worked briefly for KVI radio in Seattle
before moving to DC in 1970 so I knew the phones and bookkeeping
stuff but I had stayed at home for a while and wasn't sure if
would give me the position. Read
Howard had a "right of first refusal" on the sale of WPGC.
When the Richmonds
tried to sell it to the Marriotts,
he exercised it. Got a bundle. He used the money to buy WYSL and
WPHD here in Buffalo in Oct '74. He asked me to moved up here
and work for him. I
left WPGC in 1975. I had worked for him since 1963, so we
had a good working relationship. Read
Reynolds / Ed Kowalski / Ed McNeil:
working there as many times as I did, I can think of a few folks
who stopped by twice (Jim
Del Gallo, Linda
Kelly immediately come to mind) but never a third. QUICK!
CALL GUINNESS, AND TELL 'EM TO STOP THE PRESSES. WE HAVE A NEW
WORLD'S RECORD! Read
Peyton (Bob Burian):
so here I am a 65 year old former disk jockey with nothing to
do one evening, so I Google myself and what do I find? I find
that I was at one time semi famous in DC. Actually I really got
a kick out of remembering some WPGC times, people and, of course,
music from the late 60's.Read
website. It mustta took lotza work to put together and it looks
in San Diego and President of my own advertising agency, AdVIZOR.
It's a start-up but going pretty good. Read
a great website. How great to see and hear about the guys I
worked with from '68 to '70 at the PIG. But talking about being
out of it...I had no idea about Jim Collins. He was a great
guy. Really sorry to hear that news. I'm semi retired in Punta
Gorda Florida, doing a three hour morning gig at WCVU 104.9
FM and was thrilled to find this web page. Great Job. I put
it on my favorites. Read
web site. Been looking at the site for an hour...WOW. Thanks
for the hard work. I'm now Mike O'Brien at STAR 102 Kansas City.
Been in KC since 1973, after leaving WPGC and WYRE.
enjoyed cruising around the WPGC website a great deal. Spent
some time there in '70-'71. Hired by big
Wilson and worked with Harv
Moore, several Bob
Raleighs and my best buddy there at the time was Davy
Jones. I was, mostly, a News
up the good work.
across your website almost by accident while reading about the
sad passing of Dean
Griffith. Great site that brings back lots of fond memories.
to the "News
Guys" page to check on some old friends, and lo-and-behold
- -found my name from my brief stint at 'PGC. While there, I
was "Wally Weaver", a name concocted by then 'PGC
Shannon. I continued to perform news duties at Z-104 in
Frederick under my real name, Wally Hindes. Read
Duffy's debut of Harper Valley PTA one summer afternoon;
and the first time I ever heard A Day In The Life by the
Beatles----all on WPGC "Good Guys" Radio. Was it legal
to play a song as long as McArthur Park? They proved it
to be so.....
Print Dept.:This non-profit historical site
is not affiliated in any way with WPGC Radio today or CBS Radio,
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use" provisions contained in §107 of the Copyright Act
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or deception as to the affiliation, connection, or association of
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mark; however, all material used in this site, including, but not
limited to, newspaper articles, syndicated themes, promos, commercials,
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traffic reports, sports reports, 'sound-offs', sweepers, bumperstickers
and station logos, should be considered protected copyrighted material
or registered mark with all rights reserved to the owner, named
or unnamed. So there!