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The Big 68

        On my Superradio III, with the wideband on, I listened to some of
the WRKO day of music on the fourth. I wondered how much EVEN BETTER it
would have sounded if the audio chain from the Drake days still was being
used. The Who blasting out made me think how the relative fortunes of the
AM and FM bands might have been very different if AM stereo had been
instituted in 1965 by far-sighted people in the industry and everybody at
the beach was listening on a stereo equivalent of the Superradio. (OK, I
can dream.)

        But if WRKO does that again, would somebody please give them the
rest of the old jingles. They only appeared to have two, same as last year,
including a legal ID jingle, and, boy, did they wear them out. Overall,
it's too bad they don't do more with that idea. They could find a couple
airchecks of the real thing, interview some of the former DJs, talk to
people about what the station meant to them back in its first days in the
late '60s-early '70s, the history of the Drake format, etc. etc. Or better
yet, put some of the DJs on the air. Open that hitline. Do a little 20-20
news. Have some fun. Hire Little Walter for the day (heard him on 890 last
night; what fun). Instead it's just a day off for the talent and another
part of the scramble to get a younger audience.

        One more note about WRKO: Its 75th anniversary is July 31. Despite
WBZ's long-standing claims, WNAC / WRKO is the oldest surviving station
licensed to Boston since, as we know, WBZ started in Springfield. I wonder
if WRKO will take note of it at all. With the Yankee Network heritage and
lots of other history, it would be nice if it did. As Donna has found in
her research, WNAC owner John Shepard was an important figure in the
development of broadcasting. Another bit of history is that WNAC and WEAF
in New York are credited with the first "network" broadcast, a five-minute
"chain" broadcast by phone line on January 4, 1923. And, no, it's not true
that the broadcast featured Dale Dorman.