THERE ONCE WAS A RADIO STATION CALLED FM 106.3 WHTG, EATONTOWN NJ
So we had a plan, better yet we had an actual transmitter and Antenna… Well, sort of. Let’s just say that the equipment at WHTG was “vintage” and we knew nothing would improve unless we managed to find and build an audience. The board was an old rotary dial Ampro which was installed give or take a year or so since the day I was born, and it was literally held together with well placed paper clips and scotch tape. The cart decks were mono and in need of some work and the way commercials got cut was when on the air in channel 1, you would cut the commercials in channel 2 while doing your show. Ok, Ok… we’ve all been in similar situations, but there was one sticking point I had that needed to be addressed ASAP. Rich had managed to assemble about 150 records into a station library, and although I had everything we would need record wise, there was no way I was going to play them on those 1950 Transcription Turntables that tracked so heavy you could see the new groove cut in the record. If we could get them to spring for a pair of Technics 1200s, I would provide what we needed record wise, until we could replace them. At the time, the station (a 3,000 watt daytimer) FM and AM still went dark at Midnight. Our plan had me starting an Overnight Show with no boundaries musically, while figuring out how to be a DJ, selling air time and designing and building a record library.
Rich was on during the day and we had other DJ’s on the air until Midnight. J.T. Copolous was actually the first to play this “strange new music” when he cued-up and let fly “Planet Claire” the opening track from the B-52’s second album on his weekend show, “Suuuuhhhh-PRIZE” indeed! Finally, Rich calls me up and says, “you won’t believe it and I’m not even sure I do but I’m looking at a pair of brand new Technics 1200 turntables, with Stanton movable coil cartridges (essential for back and slip cueing) they are here!” I began loading records into milk crates before hanging up the phone. This was actually going to happen. We both grew up on great radio, first AM and then FM with call letters like WOR-FM, WNEW-FM, WABC-FM, WMMR in Philadelphia, which we would sometimes hear down the shore further south, we wished we could pick up WLIR but couldn’t, and both of us had an affinity for what Meg Griffin and her Husband Joe From Chicago had done with the short-lived but much loved WPIX “From Elvis To Elvis” as well as another short lived NY station, WQIV - The Quadfather. I had another station on my list though which actually had as much or more impact on me than all those mentioned, namely, WXRT in Chicago. My best friend Max had moved out to the Chicago area to study at Chiropractic School, and shortly after he arrived began sending home tapes of this amazing, free form station. What they were doing at the time was truly revolutionary. (more to come)
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