Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Jim Collins - 11/21/73

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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins


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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. Program Director 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.

Christmas was in the air, what with every other commercial on this aircheck for a shopping center! In one hour's time, spots for Penn Mar, Eastover, Iverson & Marlow Heights shopping malls are heard. Miraculously, Santa was appearing at every one them on the same day & time! That's night guy, Dan Steele on the one for the Stardust Club where Fats Domino, the Drifters and the Coasters were appearing (no doubt riding on the wave of American Graffiti nostalgia that year). And late night guy, Dave Kellogg's amazing pipes are heard on the one for Potomac Theatres touting new cinematic releases such as The Way We Were and Paper Moon.

National, agency produced spots are present too including an apropos one for the holidays for BankAmericard (think VISA). Most of the other local ones were voiced by morning news guy & Production Director, Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller), the sixth of seven different jocks who used the name at the station over the years.

It's his voice too on the two stories contained here. At the time, WPGC buried the news in between commercials so as to lessen long newscasts the rest of the day, an issue of concern as the station faced rival WRC for ratings supremacy in the Top 40 race.

It was because of this competition that WPGC used virtually every positioning statement imaginable as a blocking move to prevent WRC from doing so. Positioners included 'WPGC 1580 & FM Stereo 95', 'The Stereo Rock', 'All Hit Music', 'WPGC #1', and although not heard here, 'Musicradio'. Each were rotated whenever the station was identified. The deliberate emphasis on the Stereo aspect of WPGC-FM only made WRC's woes worse on AM. Ironically, the following year would see WPGC-FM surpassing WPGC-AM for the first time ratings wise, leading to FM dominance by the end of the decade.

Some might argue it didn't matter if 'Mr. Soundoff' was in mono or stereo. But there was no ignoring his presence whenever General Manager, Bob Howard anonymously voiced listeners' gripes about seemingly anything and everything on Soundoffs including one here about health care.

Contesting was in full swing with Bonus Basketball. 1973 saw the Capital Centre open and with it, the move of the Baltimore Bullets to DC. Various team players of the now, Washington Bullets read a pre-recorded list of prizes in all sizes. When a contestant told the air personality to stop the tape, they won the next prize on the list, in this case a WPGC T-shirt featuring the newly arrived WPGC Music Troll.

Jingles came from PAMS Series 42a which had been created a year earlier in 1972 and sounded even better with WPGC's massive (((reverb))) on the audio chain!


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