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WGY _Supermarkets_

Donna and all: What can you tell me about the chain of 
food stores named the WGY Supermarkets or WGY Stores 
that existed throughout central New York and Vermont in 
the 30s, 40s, and 50s? I was never inside of any of 
these stores, but even by the modest supermarket-size 
standards of the day, they did not look like not real 
supermarkets. However, maybe any store in which a clerk 
didn't help you to pick out your groceries and in which 
you went to a central checkout counter to pay and have 
your purchases bagged qualified as a supermarket back 
then. Most of the stores that I saw were in smaller 
communities and had the look of mom 'n pop operations. I 
think there were more of them in the Mohawk Valley and 
the Adirondacks than in the upper Hudson Valley or even 
in the Capital District, WGY's "home city".

The connection to the radio station was obviously not a 
coincidence because the sign over the entrance to each 
store carried a logo of a long-wire AM transmitting 
antenna. My guess is that the WGY Stores were 
independently owned and were linked together in some 
sort of purchasing cooperative, sort of like the Rexall 
Stores of the same era or today's Tru-Value Hardware 

But who created the co-op? Presumably, there was some 
sort of quid-pro-quo for the use of WGY's call letters. 
What was it? Are there any other examples of businesses 
that were basically unrelated to a radio station taking 
on the station calls in their identity? (I'm not talking 
here of stations whose studios were located in hotels 
and that gave the hotel credit in their legal IDs--
often, I suspect, in contravention of FCC rules. WBZ 
Boston; WBZA, Hotel Kimball, Springfield, was a legal ID 
I heard many times. Since the hotel owned no part of 
WBZA that I'm aware of, I don't think that that legal ID 
was really legal.)

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