Iím sure that there are some younger people reading and may be thinking "Get off the nostalgia trip". Well some of it may be nostalgia however the music was really just that good and yesterday I was reminded of just how good.
When I was growing up in NY my FIRST radio station was WWRL 1600 AM. It was the station my parents listened to, they played Black music, broadcasted 24 hrs/day. It was for most of my youth the #1 Black station in town. This was the station that I listen to with through my earphones on my transistor radio late at night when I was supposed to be sleeping.......:)
They played all the top Black music hits of the day & were also highly community oriented in a southern & folksy kind of way.
Anyhow .....at some point (1980s ???) they changed their format to all gospel, & I sorta kinda forgot all about WWRL
Yesterday while driving to NY on the NJ Turnpike something possessed me to flip to WWRL and guess what I discovered ??
THEY HAD CHANGED THEIR FORMAT !!!!
Here is the line they used:
THE LEADER IS BACK,,,,,RELIVE THE MAGIC,,,,,,100% PURE SOUL !!!!
There were NO DJs (I wonder how long that will last ??
& during some of the commercials there was a recanting of the history of the station !!
They have also increased their signal from 5,000 to 25,000 watts & I was able to pick up the station down to exit 7 of the New Jersey Turnpike !!
This is REALLY good news folks........!!!
It was like a flashback for me to listen to the station It also tells me that something big is brewing......the music is gonna start getting better & better & better !!
Now if they get some DJs who can actually talk about the music.......BLS & KISS better watch out cause 'RL' will take ALL of their audience away !!
If your in the NY area....be sure to check it out !!
Flashback ??........Or a sign of good things to come ???
Here is what they played during my commute yesterday:
Special Lady - Ray, Goodman & Brown
You Are Everything - Stylistics
Runaway Love - Linda Clifford
Give Me The Night - George Benson
Supernatural Thing - Ben E King
Lets Stay Together - Al Green
Lady Love - Lou Rawls
Friendship Train - Gladys Knight & The Pips
Use Me Up - Bill Withers
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - Dramatics
You Make me Feel Brand New - Stylistics
My Girl - Temptations
Slide - Slave
Uptight - Stevie Wonder
Jack & Jill - Raydio
Hold On Iím Coming - Sam & Dave
Loves Theme - Love Unlimited
Hot Fun In The Summertime - Sly Stone
Soulful Strut - Young Hold Unlimited
Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye
Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
The potential here is fantastic & combined with all of this "new music" coming out......this is gonna be a really good summer for music.
I think Im gonna start listening to the radio again !!!
I sure hope this marks the beginning of a trend !!
In NY there is a station on FM (98.7 KISS) that also advertises itself as "Classic Soul & Today's R&B". However that title is misleading because it's actually about 40% "Today's R&B", 20% "Classic Soul" and 40% mindless chatter...lol. They also RUN the same 50 or so songs in to the GROUND !!!
Since the changeover I have had my car radio LOCKED in on "the BIG RL" with their format of "100% pure SOUL" & I have yet to hear anything later than 1980 ish on the station....
......My prediction: "RL" will kick BIG BUTT in the ratings by stealing away MOST of the Black adult audience in NY from BOTH 98.7 KISS & 107.5 WBLS (which both actually have the same format except BLS calls itself "The Rhythm & Soul of NY" & force both to change their formats as well.
They will also bring "out of the closet" many of the people (such as myself) who have been listening to tapes/CD's in their cars.
I have actually started listening to the radio again.....one of my passions .....& I'm loving every minuite of it....
This afternoon they played back to back a LIVE version (I had never heard before) of the Isley's - "That Lady", containing Ernie Isley doin that SMOKIN guitar solo ("all the WAY live !!)...that had me rockin & rollin down the NJ Tpke......next song up James Brown "There was a Time"....(once again "wigglin in my seat" !!......lol)
"RL"...is BACK & just as BADD as the wanna be !!!!
For me it was a real shame when I moved back east in 1984 to see just how much the quality of radio had declined here. Of course when I lived in Houston, I had gotten spoiled by the GREAT radio station of Texas Southern University (KTSU).
I had no idea that radio had gotten so bad here and then in the ensuing years it has gotten even worse.
Radio of course is where I learned most of what I know about music because the great DJ's that I had listened to saw themselves as a kind of "oral historians" about music. They didn't just spin records, they also talked about the history of the music, where it had come from, who influenced it, where it was going and put it all into the context of what was going on in the world. It was a real education for me and I'm glad I got to experience it.
Looks like this is going to be a trend.......many adults that I have communicated with both on & off line have told me how terrible radio is where they live & have been hoping for the kind of format changes that we have been talking about here. Hopefully there is more to come ?
Perhaps Black radio is beginning to wake up & recognize that they havenít been serving either the entertainment or informational needs of their community.
By pandering to the worst instincts within us Black radio.......has been doing us ALL a big diservice in my opinion for the past 15 years.
Hopefully now that is being corrected ?