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Re: Top 40 on WBZ (Was First with Rock)

Remember, it was W Beatle Z.  And just before WRKO was to come on with Top
40, WBZ began calling itself "Boss Radio"....which was the slogan RKO
General had used at KHJ in Los Angeles, and planned to use on WRKO.  WBZ
was much rockier at night, however, than during Carl de Suze's or Dave
Maynard's shows.

- ----------
> From: Martin J. Waters <mwaters@wesleyan.edu>
> To: dlh@donnahalper.com
> Cc: boston-radio-interest@khavrinen.lcs.mit.edu
> Subject: Re: Top 40 on WBZ (Was First with Rock)
> Date: Wednesday, May 07, 1997 11:11 AM
> Donna wrote:
> >>
> I'm not sure WBZ ever did what we might call "top-40"-- i.e., screaming
> d.j.'s and tight rotations.  They gradually did begin playing more 'pop'
> music-- from about 1957 when the so-called "Live Five" were hired through
> the personality-deejay days of the early 60s with Bruce Bradley and Jeff
> Kaye and Dick Summer, they never really rocked hard.  I have seen surveys
> from that period of time, and even in the late 50s, the music walked the
> fine line between pop and AC.  They did some dayparting of course-- Bruce
> Bradley's night-time shows (especially the remotes from Nantasket) had
> freedom than the other shifts, but even on those, he was just as likely
> play Teresa Brewer or Kitty Kallen as he was to play something that what
> big top-40 hit.  There was a period of time in the mid 60s when WBZ
> the closest to a top-40, but they still had an hourly news-block, Bob
> Kennedy doing "Contact", and a heavy public service commitment even
> If anything, today we would call them 'chicken rock' or Hot AC...
> >>
> I have a slightly different take on this. There certainly was a period
> the songs WBZ played included those that were as top-40 as they could be.
> I'd say it was about 1962 or '63 through about 1967. The Beatles, Rolling
> Stones, Kinks, Animals, James Brown, the Motown groups, etc., all were
> played. They played "Wooly Bully" and "Louie, Louie" and used snippets of
> "I Put on a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins as drops. I recall
> Kaye as someone who could do a little "screaming" occasionally. At the
> time, it had some MOR-ish songs on its list that WMEX didn't play -- Dean
> Martin, Frank Sinatra, etc., still found their place. That set it apart.
> But, to me, the key thing is that there were no top-40 hits that it
> "wouldn't" play -- except of course for "Eve of Destruction," which
> Westinghouse headquarters pulled off all its stations AFTER it was number
> one on Dave Maynard's weekly countdown. The WBZ presentation was not as
> classically '60s top-40 as WMEX, WABC, etc., but in its essentials I
> it qualifies. And sure, WBZ did news every hour, but so did every station
> then. It had a talk show at night, but so did WMEX, with Jerry Williams.
> WBZ gradually moved away from true top-40 starting around the time WRKO
> came on in 1967.