Radio Waves: August 30, 2020

New hosts on Go Country

Luke Bryan and John Langston have been “hired” for the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. midday shift on Go Country (105.1 FM). Bryan and Langston will be heard weekdays starting Monday and running through September 25th.

Expect a lot of stories … both are known for storytelling in their music and my hunch is they will be entertaining as DJs spinning their favorite country tunes. Says Go Country station manager Michael Levine, “We couldn’t be more excited … They have such a loyal following in Southern California, and I know listeners will be thrilled to hear them on the station each day!”

More Sports

Not that anyone really cares,  but there’s a brand-new station in town. Well, almost in town. And almost brand new.

Flamethrower station XEPRS (1090 AM) — the onetime home of Wolfman Jack — was sports-formatted The Mighty 1090 when it abruptly went off there air over a year ago in April of 2019. At the time, stories circulated about a disagreement over leasing fees to be paid by Broadcast Company of the Americas (BCA) to the owner of the signal, Interamericana de Radio, which is based in Rosarito, Mexico.

BCA is long gone, but Bill Hagen of Out the Window Advertising put together a business plan to get the format back on the air. Now known as The Mightier 1090, there are no studios … everything is done from home studios and “the cloud,” but listeners won’t be able to tell due to the magic of modern technology. Besides, due to Covid-19, most stations are doing essentially the same thing.

On the air weekdays as of August 17 is The Morning After with Ariel Epstein and Jared Smith (6 a.m. – 9 a.m.); Rich Eisen (9 a.m. – noon); Coast to Coast with Scott Ferrall (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.); Scott Kaplan and Crew (3p.m. – 7 p.m.); On the Bench with Scott Ferrall (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.); Into the Night with Tony Bruno and Harry Mays (9 p.m. – midnight); SportsRage Late Night with Gabe Morency (midnight – 2 a.m.); Bagels and Bad Beats with Scott Wetzel (2 a.m. – 4 a.m.) and The Early Line with Kevin Walsh and Dane Martinez (4 a.m. – 6 a.m.).

Weekends include Mike Blewett, George Kurtz, Joe Lisi, Kevin Walsh, Dane Martinez, Elissas Walker Campbell, Jake Asman, John Michaels and many more.

I am impressed that they have programming 24-hours per day without repeats, but come on … Scott Ferrall twice a day? That’s just torture.

Top-40 Responses

No, I’m not going to count them down. But I am impressed that you so quickly sent your additions to my list of “the best” top-40 stations of all time … keeping in mind there is absolutely no way to create such a list.

And I am also aware that there are numerous other stations that can be recognized as well, both current and in the past, from different formats. That will happen in later editions of this very column.

A sampling so far:

Russ from Glendale: “Richard, here in no particular order, is my list of favorite Top 40 radio stations: KFWB, KHJ. KRLA, KKDJ, KGBS, KTNQ, KMGG, KROQ (when it was an AM station), KIQQ, KEZY KFMB” By the way, KGBS is in a league of its own for various reasons, I want too highlight the one-time daytime station in the near future.

Rick Shafarman of Santa Clarita: “To me, as a kid growing up in the NYC suburbs the gold standard was always WABC in NYC. Dan Ingram, Cousin Brucie, Chuck Leonard, these guys were the greatest. I’d walk around with a little transistor radio listening. I distinctly remember as a 9 year old, one wintry Sunday night, watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, going to bed listening to WABC, and waking up the next morning listening to WABeatleC. They really embraced the Beatles. It was from listening to WABC that I yearned to be a DJ.”

Mike Weyhrich: “I wanted to add a favorite to your list. It is a station that is often overlooked in the powerhouses you noted. It is the “Mighty 1290 KOIL” in Omaha, Nebraska. If you look at its history it was the launching point of so many top 40 names like the real Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, Gary Owens, Fred Winston at WLS and more. 

“By the time I made it out to Orange Country in the late 70’s, the great LA top 40 stations were fading. I got attached to KFI because of Lohman and Barkley. It was only a couple more years and mostly all the the AM top 40 world was gone.”

Steve Portias: “KFXM, which was a AM mainstay from the late 1950’s through the 70’s bringing bands like Dick Dale, Beach Boys, Elvis, and others concerts were broadcasted live on their station. Then the most important one was KMEN, out of San Bernardino from the 1960’s though 2015 … bringing the Rolling Stones for their very first American performance which was at the Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, as well as other bands like Sonny & Cher, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Dylan, Donavon, Canned Heat, and dozens more. All these concerts were broadcast live. 

“They also featured Hall of Fame DJ’s like Chuck Clements, Bill Watson, William F Williams who  were all inducted into the Crusin’ Hall of Fame around 2004; These stations had promotional contest and give-aways of new Corvettes and other muscle cars…cash prizes, concert tickets, parties, and more.”

More letters … next week. In the meantime, stay tuned to this very newspaper.