Boston's 98.5 FM (was Re: WROR/WBMX)

Howard Glazer
Tue Aug 7 11:45:59 EDT 2007

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Q. George <>
To: <>; Roger Kirk <>
Cc: Boston Radio Group <>
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2007 8:00 PM
Subject: Boston's 98.5 FM (was Re: WROR/WBMX)

> 10/12/1966- At midnight, WRKO-FM debuts "ARK-O-matic"
> (in mono).  It was an automated Top 40/oldies hybrid,
> hosted by "ARKO, the shy but friendly robot".  Very
> popular with the college crowd and yours' truly!

I was only 11 when Arko debuted, but I still remember just about everything
about the format. The No.1 and No. 2 songs on the week's survey were played
at the tops of alternating hours. There was a one-minute countdown of the
"FM Top 10" every hour, as well as an introduction to the new songs on the
playlist: "Here's the music that's happening this week on WRKO-FM!" Arko's
voice would drone "Nummmberrr Onnnnnnne" for the top hit; every time the
other songs in the Top 10 were played, the PAMS singers would trill "FM Top
Tennnn!" Oldies (all from the pre-British Invasion years) were "FM
Flashbacks," and every so often a recurrent -- a song that had dropped off
the survey within that past couple of months -- would surface as an

Other Arko memories: The birthday cake all listeners were invited to share
when Arko turned 1 in October 1967 ... songs like "Ha Ha Said the Clown" and
"All's Quiet on West 23rd" and "Bend It," which I haven't heard since ...
calling the radio station to complain that "No Good to Cry" was aborting
after a few notes of the intro every time it aired and was being replaced by
another song; someone actually fixed the problem!

No, it wasn't great radio -- in fact, XM often sounds a lot like it on
weekends and overnights, when pennies are pinched by putting the '60s
channel on jockless autopilot -- but it was an FM pioneer, and a great
memory that's managed to stay with me for four decades.


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