Mark Connelly markwa1ion@aol.com
Wed Aug 21 12:09:16 EDT 2013

Gary, I used to listen to that format on WCAP when I was living in Billerica.

I enjoyed it.  Since I could get post-1965 harder rock from WZLX and others, a station playing pre-1965 Top 40 oldies, as well as jazz / standards all the way back to the '40s, filled a niche not otherwise available.

WJIB and WJTO do OK with what they cover, but sometimes more R&B / rock in the mix would be better.  That would include Chuck Berry, various doo-wop groups, and classic pre-rockers like "Sixty Minute Man".

WCAP's present "Beatles and before" isn't too bad but you'll never hear anything surprising there and, of course, pre-rock (big bands et al.) is off the radar.

WCAP cannot be enjoyed consistently here on the Cape: its day signal is weak next to slopover from super-loud WZAN-970 Portland, ME.  At night, WOFX-980 (Troy, NY) usually rolls over WCAP with its Fox Sports programming.  Sometimes I can get Dick Summer's midnight chat from WCAP but more often WOFX's sports rules 980 then.

It would appear that the latest radio outlet on 98.7 is neither going to look like what you did on WCAP nor what Bob does on WJIB/WJTO.  Too bad.

Mark Connelly
South Yarmouth, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary's Ice Cream <gary@garysicecream.com>
To: 'Mark Connelly' <markwa1ion@aol.com>
Cc: boston-radio-interest <boston-radio-interest@lists.BostonRadio.org>
Sent: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 11:38 am
Subject: RE: WKFY

In the 8 years that I was programming nights and overnights at WCAP in
Lowell I found a wide diverse demo listening to what I was calling "Music &
Memories Overnight".  I had a mix of big bands, instrumentals, crooners, and
most of the pop hits of the 60's and 70's.  We'd go from Guy Lombardo to
Petula Clark to the Monkees to Glenn Miller to Rosemary Clooney.....and it
was a good mix to listen to.  I regularly got letters and e-mails from folks
as far from Lowell as Arlington and Sandwich who were listening to us on
night pattern.   I am a firm believer that a format like that, with live
jocks who did a mid-60's WBZ type presentation would be a success on a
Boston FM.  But it would have to be the right mix of music and the right
jocks and the right clock.......I know I could make someone a boatload of
money if I programmed it for them.........Just saying.......
-Gary Francis
Oil and Acrylic Artist and Ice Cream Purveyor
                    Gary's Ice Cream, Chelmsford, MA
www.garysicecream.com           www.icecreamcollege.com

-----Original Message-----
From: boston-radio-interest-bounces@lists.BostonRadio.org
[mailto:boston-radio-interest-bounces@lists.BostonRadio.org] On Behalf Of
Mark Connelly
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:27 AM
To: wollman@bimajority.org
Cc: boston-radio-interest@lists.BostonRadio.org
Subject: Re: WKFY

It sounds as though listeners don't really want anything from music radio
that they couldn't get from a reasonably stocked iPod: little / no DJ talk,
few surprise songs, etc.

If listening is so passive, how could ads be expected to draw a listener's
attention rather than getting a quick button push / dial twist as the

When DJ's do talk now, it's often the silly morning stuff which is loaded
more with celebrity gossip / Hollywood pratfall stories than any news,
traffic, weather, or business the listener really needs.  Apparently it's OK
to reduce the amount of music selections during morning drive so we can all
figure out what the Kardashians or Lindsey Lohan are up to.

WBZ still reigns supreme for me when I'm taking a long drive and need to
know what's really going on.

The problem of designing a "50+" music station is that the main "river" of
Top 40 that the majority of listeners followed started breaking off into
various "streams" around 1965 when both the Beatles and Bob Dylan set Album
Rock in motion.  By the late '60s there were two distinct radio audiences in
high schools and colleges.  We-play-most-anything Top 40 even started
branching off several ways itself.  John H. Garabedian and Cousin Duffy on
WMEX incorporated at least a few of the more adventurous album-rock sounds
that were so big on the WBCN-FM side while not straying too much.  Meanwhile
WRKO and WVBF were going lighter with tons of bubblegum and material along
the lines of Osmonds, Carpenters, Poppy Family, and the like.

Within the same age group, roughly those born in the 1948-1958 range, there
were widely divergent sets of musical tastes by the mid to late '70s.  This
makes setting up a radio format difficult.  Even if everyone started out
listening to the same top 40 stuff on WMEX in the late '50s and early '60s,
these people were "all over the map" by 1978 or so.  If a stations wants to
put '50s / early '60s "traditional oldies" in a seniors-oriented format, the
problem is always going to be "What newer music (meaning '70s and later)
goes with that?"

It seems that most programmers think that disco / soft-pop is the track
these oldies listeners had adopted by the late '70s / early '80s.  You will
hear an Elvis or Roy Orbison oldie and then Captain & Tennille or Air Supply
or Barry Manilow or KC & the Sunshine Band.  Maybe that really is where some
of that audience was.

But weren't just as many of those '50s / early '60s top 40 aficionados on a
harder rock track by their college / early work lives in the '70s?

Wouldn't Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley sound just as good in a
mix with Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Thorogood, Allman Bros., ZZ Top, and Stevie
Ray Vaughn as with the Bee Gees, Air Supply, and Christopher Cross (the
stuff "oldies people" / baby-boomers were "supposed" to have migrated to by

At least on my iPod backyard BBQ mixes I can throw the more kicked-up '50s
stuff in with '60s blues-rock, '70s southern rock, splashes of old and new
country, '80s/'90s Springsteen and Mellencamp, etc., and it all sounds
great.  No wimped-out late '70s soft-rock to put people to sleep.

Knowing that no one station could do it all for a 50+ audience, my idea
would be to look for holes in the currently available formats.  It is a
given that listeners are not going to stick with one station all day.  If
you can give them something substantially different from what is already
available, you might grab at least a decent sized slice of the total pie.

I don't think 98.7 is really there yet.  If they would at least do an oldies
(1954-1969) block maybe on a Saturday night like WATD and a big-band /
crooners block maybe on Sunday night, that would be a step in the right
direction.  A request show could be cool too, along with one or more
personality DJ's.

The "what to do with the '70s and later?" issue is still going to be tricky
for the split-audience reasons enumerated above.  Since soft rock is already
well covered by 99.1 and 104.7 and hard rock by 102.9, I guess the idea
might be to reach into both formats in a way that is cleverly engineered to
avoid shock segues.  After all, our old beloved Top 40's played both hard
and soft - sometimes even one butted up against the other.  Perhaps because
there was enough of a space between the songs with DJ patter, the effect
wasn't as jarring as a direct segue you'd get on a computer run station

I do wish WKFY success.  I just think that some tweaks might be in order.
Maybe these can even be sneaked in without making "Jane Whitebread" tune out
in favor of something else on her weekly trip to the Harwich Stop & Shop.

Mark Connelly
South Yarmouth, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: Garrett Wollman <wollman@bimajority.org>
To: Mark Connelly <markwa1ion@aol.com>
Cc: boston-radio-interest <boston-radio-interest@lists.BostonRadio.org>
Sent: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 2:22 am
Subject: Re: WKFY

<<On Wed, 21 Aug 2013 00:49:14 -0400 (EDT), Mark Connelly

> DJ's had personality whether it was MoR Carl DeSuze and Jess Cain or 
> rockers like Laquidara, Sartori, and Garabedian.  There was wit in the 
> talk and genuine interest in the music.  I don't see why a natural 
> desire for mentally-engaging radio, whether in a music or a talk 
> format, would be considered snobbery.

And today, unlike forty years ago, we have actual market research that
demonstrates that *this is not what the majority of listeners want*.
(Or if they do want that, they are listening to noncommercial radio of
various sorts already, and probably not reachable by any commercial
station.)  Not only that, we have minute-by-minute PPM records that can
actually show the listeners tuning out when an unfamiliar song or a mic set
or a stop set starts.




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