Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Ed McNeil & Don O'Dea - 03/10/78

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Listen To This WPGC Aircheck


Ed McNeil did weekends on WPGC from December of 1977 - August of 1978. But his voice had been heard on the station long before that, originally as 'Todd Reynolds' doing overnights 3-6AM from November 1970 - March of 1972 and then again as 'Ed Kowalski' once more doing weekends in early 1976.

At the time of this aircheck, Ed was gainfully employed (if one can ever be in radio) in Baltimore at WCBM. Called in to relieve the vacationing Jim Elliott, he managed admirably in morning drive with newsguy, Don O'Dea who had joined the station in that capacity following the Great Strike That Struck Out in May of 1977 from sister station, KAYK in Provo, the same station he would return to as Program Director in the Summer of 1978.

Don is heard on three newscasts during this tape from a Friday morning. The 'Happy News' concept in vogue at the time is evident with a story about 'Bubbles the Hippo' but is balanced with the hard news of the day including features on the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) concerns over lost sales due to vinyl album counterfeiting as well as President Carter invoking the Taft-Hartley Act to temporarily put a stop to a nationwide coal strike.

The reference to Taft-Hartley is indeed ironic. Less than a year before, the on-air staff at WPGC had walked out in a labor dispute involving management's desire to have DJs record their voices for use on the AM (though all would still be heard live on the FM). The union representing the on-air performers, AFTRA made a tragic mistake by threatening advertising agencies in town, warning them that commercials with WPGC talent on them could not air on other stations in Washington. According to the National Labor Relations Board, that constituted a 'secondary boycott' and thus violated Taft-Hartley. Ultimately, all on-air performers were let go (though one did cross the picket line and return). WPGC owner First Media then replaced the strikers with staff from other stations in the chain.

By the late '70's commercials heard on the station were predominantly agency produced. One local one for Sears' record department was voiced by midday guy, (& future WPGC morning man) Dave Foxx for Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits (available on LP & 8 Track tapes!). Afternoon guy, Scott Carpenter is heard on Laurel Auto Park and night guy, Waylon Richards is on the AMTRAK spot. All other commercials originated from agencies. Significantly, stopsets never exceeded two minutes in morning drive.

Overnight gal, Liz Kiley appears on a Soundoff on Police response codes, which itself was in response to an earlier one from a listener complaining about Police overreacting to non-emergencies. For years Soundoffs had been voiced by the anonymous 'Mr. Soundoff' (in reality, then General Manager, Bob Howard). With his departure in 1974, former newsguy, Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) inherited the duty. When he vacated the station as part of the Strike, the task off doing Soundoffs was then delegated to the air staff.

Jingles were from JAM and featured perhaps their most memorable package of the '70's, 'Positron', originally created the previous year for WABC in New York. Station identifiers in use at the time included '95 FM Stereo' as well as the venerable, 'Musicradio'.

Included on this tape is a tease for upcoming contesting, 'Go For It' in which listeners had to identify the last three songs played to win cash, then go for even more cash by identifying other song hooks.


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