Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Mark West (Jim Collins) - 09/07/69

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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins


Listen To This WPGC Aircheck


Jim Collins began his radio career at 15 in Lawrence, Kansas. "It was a small operation out in the middle of a cow pasture. I had to water the cows before signing on the station each morning".

He first came to the Washington area in 1969 while stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital. While an announcer with the Armed Forces Network, he also did weekends & swing as "Mark West" at WPGC, a name he shed by the time he joined the station full time briefly for late nights then afternoons in late 1972. Early in 1975 he became Program Director, a position he held until the 'Great Strike That Struck Out' in May of 1977.

Following the strike, Jim became Vice President of Pop Promotion for Polydor Records in New York.  He returned to radio in the early '80's as Asst. PD of 66 WNBC, which was then the most listened to station in the nation.  There he also produced the weekly 'Music Magazine' feature and was the regular fill in host for the 'Imus in the Morning' program.

Jim passed away in the early '90's. This site is dedicated in his memory.

Heard on this aircheck while still in the Service, Jim keeps the hits coming on a Million Dollar Weekend. Listen for imaging elements to that effect including the Legal ID & 'X Souvenir Years Ago today' sweepers from Production Director & morning News Guy, Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller).

As the '60's drew to a close, the drug culture was on the rise. Listen for Jim doing a Pulsebeat newscast including the story of an arrest for drug use at a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion the previous night (drugs and Rock & Roll - who would have guessed!?).

'Sound Off' was long a station staple. That's General Manager, Bob Howard's voice as 'Mr. Sound Off' on a letter sent by a tourist from Chicago. It is unknown whether the visitor won the weekly prize of $10 for Best Sound Off of the week!

The station's primary positioner in use at the time was the apt, 'WPGC #1'. Jingles are from a PAMS package known simply as 'Grid'. Modular in design, they allowed rapid creation of packages for stations around the country by effectively splicing the station's thematic logo ('Good Guys Radio.....' in the case of WPGC) with generic work parts that were used universally.

Live spots were still present in the Fall of 1969. Jim does ones for Northeast Ford & Hub Furniture. By this time, there had been a distinct rise in the proportion of National versus Local commercials heard on the station in favor of the former including one for Instant Nutrament (featuring the vocal talents of WABC's Dan Ingram). And don't miss the Coke spot sung by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart and one by (an uncredited) Carly Simon belting out a jingle for Noxema just a couple of years before her rise to fame as an artist in her own right.

Speaking of future fame, the Best Bet of the Week was Austin Robert's remake of 'Runaway'. The song failed to chart Nationally but within three years he would barely miss the Top Ten with 'Something's Wrong with Me'.

Contesting present on this tape was of the 'Name It & Claim It' variety in which the station would call numbers at random and asked whoever answered what this hour's prize was. If they knew it, they won it. Alas, this hour's contestestant did not know the prize was a 'Transistor Walkie-Talkie' and missed out on the thrill of communicating from 100 feet away!


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