WILD 1950's Stunt

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Fri Dec 16 06:26:14 EST 2005

I don't recall the stunt--but that doesn't mean it never happened. It would
most likely have happened when WILD was sold to Bartell Family Media around
1958 or so--if memory serves. (This was decades before "Family" in the name
of a station owner implied a Christian format.) At the time, Bartell owned
top-40 ratings powerhouses WOKY Milwaukee and KCBQ San Diego. I think the
1090 calls were WBMS until Bartell took over and flipped them to WILD.

Some very ingeneous promotion preceded the Monday morning debut of the new
calls and format. Saturation schedules of spots, allegedly placed under a
false advertiser name, appeared over the weekend on MANY Boston AMs
(including such biggies as WBZ and WHDH). The cryptic spots were voiced in a
sultry female voice that said simply, "Everyone in OLD Boston is going
<whispered> wild,wild,wild,wild,wild... <fading out>." Monday morning, those
who figured that WILD might be a new radio station found it at the excellent
spot half way between WBZ and WCOP (at least I think 1150 was still WCOP at
the time). The dial position on the analog-tuned radios of the day was as
good as it got in Boston back then, but, of course, the signal was a 1 kW

The tight top-40 format also made heavy use of sultry female voices, which,
at the time, were a brand new element in top-40 imaging. I don't think that
incarnation of WILD ever did terribly well in the Boston ratings and after
(IIRC) less than two years, Bartell either sold or LMAed the station to
someone named Nelson Noble, who brought in three of Boston's best known
DJs--Bill Marlowe in AM Drive, Stan Richards in middays, and Joe Smith for
after school (and PM drive during the summer months). I seem to recall that
a couple of years after that, Noble declared bankruptcy, and I think he may
ultimately even have committed suicide. I think that Nash acquired WILD
after Noble's bankruptcy. If Noble was LMAing the station, perhaps Nash
began by taking over the LMA.

BTW, anyone who has a tape of that "wild,wild,wild,wild..." promo has got a
real Boston-radio collector's item.

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "EW Forry" <eforry@bostonirish.com>
To: <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.BostonRadio.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 9:43 PM
Subject: WILD 1950's Stunt

> Anyone else here recall the hijacking of the old 1090 am station
> sometime in the 1950's-
> I believe it was when WILD call sign went on air- Some DJ took over
> the studio and played
> Peggy Lee's "Fever" over and over and over for a week, maybe more.
> I remember seeing the story on page 1 of a Boston daily- the Globe?
> The guy introduced
> each song, then played "Fever." It drew an audience, and much
> attention  to
> the 1090 signal- which by the way, I believe was a daytimer- Not
> quite sure what the DJ did
> overnight.

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