Saturday, June 13, 2009

Radio Aircheck - WIFE Indianapolis 1968

The WIFE studios at 1440 N. Meridian Street

A little weekend fun here. I haven't posted any old radio airchecks in the past, although I have quite a few of them. Here's one from my hometown of Indianapolis.

WIFE, 1310 AM, was the top 40 giant of Indy for years. They changed their call letters to WIFE from the old WISH-AM around 1963 and were the only real rockers in town for several years. This allowed them to take a fairly conservative approach to top 40 radio, that'd capture both the kids and some adults. It seemed to work, as their numbers were huge well into the 1970's, by which time they were getting rock and roll competition from WNAP on the FM dial and, eventually, both WXLW and WNDE on AM.

Jay Reynolds, the disc jockey heard here, spent much of his career in Indianapolis. He also worked at WABC in New York during the first half of the 1970's. WIFE remained a top 40 rocker until about 1980 when they switched to an adult contemporary format and then changed call letters and formats several times over the years.

The aircheck is 55 minutes in length. The music runs the gamut, just like you'd expect from the top 40 stations of the day, from the latest pop hit by Bobby Goldsboro, to the rock and roll of the Amboy Dukes to the soul music of Sam and Dave. There's a newscast, plus some classic radio spots for Indianapolis Raceway Park, Mountain Dew, Burger Chef and our friends Sam and Dave pop up again as pitchmen for Country Club Malt Liquor.

Here it is, from August 8, 1968.

51 comments:

WESTEX said...

Very cool! Can't wait to dig in on this later!

Ryan Shepard said...

I'm just seeing a blank bar where the player should be -

Looking forward to hearing this!

Brian Marshall said...

I got to listen to this and I find it interesting that there are some relatively obscure songs on this aircheck. The Sam & Dave song only got up to #54 on Billboard, while the Patti Drew cut only made it to #62. And the Jan & Dean song, which made it to #11 in 1963 would probably qualify as a Forgotten 45 if one of our oldies stations were bold enough to put it in their playlist. The oldies station we have here in Indy sure won't, that's for sure.

Brian Marshall said...

But if this were a better world, there would be a permanent ban on anything by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and Bobby Goldsboro. It's only fitting that "Autumn of My Life" was the follow-up to "Honey" because it's equally as sickening.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear this and thanks for posting it. In Australia, our AM stations sounded just like this aircheck. Brit pop, US surf pop and local Aussie pop between Pams radio station ID jingles. Takes me back...

I'll have to play this through one of my 1960s Japanese transistor radios for a real time warp experience!

Lisa Wheeler said...

Very cool. Love hearing these! I have a WIFE jingle on my site: http://www.radiouseonly.com/singles/indiana_singles/wife_indianapolis_indiana.htm

Todd Lucas said...

Lisa, thanks for checking out the blog. I like the WIFE jingle. Thanks for posting the link.

todd said...

Even with the schmaltz, this is terrific. I wish there were mainstream oldies stations even remotely like this.

vinylfool said...

Todd, way cool. I remember so much of the jingles and reports, and didn't realize how many times they mentioned the time. Thanks for bringing it online. I was a WIFE listener for many, many years.

Anonymous said...

Just another great 60's station! The 60's radio was just the best!! Thanks, Clark Besch

Stuart Shea said...

oh, this was fantastic. Thank you so much for posting it.

Singnals3 said...

wow it is nice post


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Roger W. Morgan said...

As one of the former WIFE Good Guys, I am thrilled to view this site! The Star Stations, WIFE, KOIL, and KISN were some of the greatest radio stations in America. Those of us who worked for them (I worked for all of 'em), are among the most fortunate broadcasters on the planet. Thanks for a fabulous site!

Todd Lucas said...

Are you THEE Roger W. Morgan? The one who was at WIFE in 1968? Welcome and I'm glad that you like the blog.

P.S. - I have a Roger W. Morgan aircheck from the very same day as the Jay Reynolds one that I posted.

Jack said...

As a former WIFE Good Guy Stan Warren(overnights 1974-1975) and KOIL, Omaha (middays 1974), I can hardly put into words how much fun radio was back then. Roger is so right; Star Stations were some of the best outlets in America. Although I arrived at WIFE after Roger W. Morgan, he was the best of the best and left us blazing radio stories. I had the opportunity to work with some of the best air talent in the world like Jay Reynolds, Reb Porter, Scott Wheeler, Jim Wood and Buddy Scott. I will never forget those days! Thank you for this Site!

Stan Warren (Jack Holiday) said...

Adding to the above, we should have a reunion at a station in Indy. When I was later at Majic 105.7 in Cleveland, we aired a great reunion for the WIXY Jocks.

mad4music said...

i just had a chance to listen to this aircheck. It was fun hearing the music in its original context--on the radio in 1968! The commercials were a lot of fun too. Would love to hear any other airchecks you have in your collection. Thanks for sharing!

Newshound said...

Wow, what a blasssst from the passst! I worked at WIFE in 1972-73 when I was 17 & 18 years old, and worked with some of the greats! I worked on the FM side, but would do some production that made it onto AM and did lots of stuff for the AM jocks like answer the contest lines. I also did some of the art for WIFE's Top-40 fliers. It was a great experience! Some of the stories the flies on the walls could tell! Thanks for posting that air check. Would love to hear some others.

Anonymous said...

Please post more of these goodies!!! I'm not from that area, but these nonetheless bring back memories,as I grew up in that era, near NYC, and remember Jay Reynolds on the air at WABC NEW YORK. Thanks again!!!

Rebecca said...

What a joy to have the opportunity to relive some great memories! Thanks for the early Christmas present!

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for posting this. We listened to wife exclusively...when we weren't listening to records. My father had a restaurant up the street from WIFE, and the dj's hung out there.... Roger W. Morgan dj'ed my Bat Mitzvah Party. They also used to have these easter egg hunts in Holliday Park, where they gave out gobs of 45's.......wow...great memories...

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to download this as an mp3?

Todd Lucas said...

Click on the player, where it says "divShare". A screen should come up that gives you the option to "download original".

Fred said...

Thanks for the goosebumps this air check brings!
WIFE was KING of the airwaves in Indy for quite a run! Can still remember how cool the "Good Guys" were to all of the kids in central Indiana.
To be REALLY hip in that era, you HAD to physically travel to WIFE's "Window On The World" (in front of the studio) and get a mention from the DJ on air!
Thanks again for the super memories!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!I was a DJ at WKTJ in Farmington, Maine 1968 - 1969. It was a small daytimer. Never made complete air checks. WOW, I can close my eyes and remember!!! Thank you!

Walt S

Anonymous said...

Great! On air at WIFE in the early 80's and again under the new owners. Worked with Reb, Jim Wood, Buddy Scott, Scott Wheeler, and Jay was "BACK" with the new owners for a brief time too. Look on U-Tube for RADIO WARS, great video about WIFE and WNAP days. Thanks

mykespeax said...

Great sounds from the sixties! Love those commercials. thanks for posting, Todd.

Anonymous said...

I would be MOST instrested in hearing a Roger W Morgan aircheck, or anything involving WIFE or any Indy radio station from that time for that matter. Any chance of getting Roger's up?

John Rabold

Anonymous said...

This site is terrific! So many legendary broadcasters and hall of famers were in Indy radio in the 60's and 70's. Don't forget WIBC was trying but failed to stay in the game. WIBC had Jim Shelton, Bill Jackson, Easy Gwen, Bill Baker but they were no match for the attack leveled by Star stations and formatic radio.
I had the distinct honor of working both Wife and Wnap. Mostly mid day news at Wife and mornings at Wnap. Even to this day those are some of the most creative people I've ever worked with. Chris Conner, Mike Griffin, Tom Cochrun, John Gillis (as a DJ), and Buster.
Paul Page

Todd Lucas said...

Wow, Paul Page posting here? Great memories there. Come back anytime and post again.

John, this aircheck has drawn more response than anything else I've put up. I'll try and get the Roger W. Morgan check up sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Back in January 1999, Indianapolis Monthly recounted the glory days of WIFE in an article titled, "Right On, WIFE."

You can read it online at:
http://books.google.com/books?id=MR0DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA76&lpg=PA76&dq=%22indianapolis+monthly%22+%22right+on+wife%22&source=bl&ots=2wNPhazseE&sig=-MilhQOxH_o89Kev87UoKK1bK1k&hl=en

Or if for some reason that link doesn't work, just Google "Indianapolis Monthly" and "right on WIFE" -- look for the "Jan 1999 Google Books Result."

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Oops, here's a better link to the Indianapolis Monthly story:

http://books.google.com/books?id=MR0DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA75&dq=%22indianapolis+monthly%22++%22storm+clouds%22+radio&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

The previous link doesn't take you to the first page of the article. If THIS link doesn't work, Google "Indianapolis Monthly" and "storm clouds" and "radio."

Scott said...

Jack Holiday -

I have a short (scoped)aircheck of you as Stan Warren from January, 1975 at WIFE. You came in at midnight on Sunday evening, right after Dan Summers (who followed American Top 40, which played from 7-10 PM). There was a bad storm going on and you were not only "playing the hits", but also commenting on the weather. Pretty cool! Let me know if you are interested in hearing this.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone here would be more than intrested in hearing any vintage airchecks of any Indy radio that we haven't heard yet. Love that stuff!

John Rabold

mardywilson said...

Loved this!!Who was the midnightd.j during the late 60'early 70's and what song did he sign off with??Anyone know

rinso said...

Thanks for posting the great Jay Reynolds aircheck,as I had none from WIFE until your post. I'm sure myself and everyone else would love to have you post a few more unscoped
aircheck gems in the future!

Anonymous said...

I GREW UP LISTENING TO WIFE ALSO, AND IT WAS AN AWESOME RADIO STATION!
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE OLD WISH MORNING MAN, TOM MATHIS DID THE OVERNITE SHOW AFTER DON BURDON TOOK OVER THE STATION. IM GUESSING HE HAD SOME KIND OF CONTRACT AND THEY WANTED HIM TO QUIT INSTEAD OF PAYING HIM OFF. THAT WAS WHEN THEY HAD THE GIRL IN THE GOLD BIKINI DANCING IN THE WINDOW EVERY MORNING FOR THE JAMES BOND SHOW,
(I THINK THAT WAS HIS NAME)
WHAT A RADIO STATION, IT INSPIRED ME TO GO INTO RADIO, AND TODAY IM PROUD TO SAY IM STILL A PROFESSIONAL DEEJAY.

SS

MIke McConnell said...

I was trying to determine if the Stan Warren mentioned here is the same person I knew in Des Moines, Iowa at KIOA? I would love to talk with him. Mike McConnell w0pd@elp.rr.com

Anonymous said...

I click on DIVSHARE on the player and I get the "Create Your Account"..which I did--but I don't see any download info..any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Great site, I sure miss the background of the old WIFE Pool Party!!!!Where can we get THAT sountrack??

Betsy Kinne Smith said...

I rode my motorcycle up to the window late one night and when I got off the motorcycle, Robin Walker was shocked to see a young girl, 5' long black hair on the motorcycle. I fell in love with Robin.

Anonymous said...

More of these airchecks would be great...I certainly would appreciate any and all of them--thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm not from Indy but I loved listening. Can I get a copy? djayjenk@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hello again -- I'm the guy who mentioned the Indianapolis Monthly story about WIFE (titled "Right On, WIFE).

Two things to add:

1. As you'll see in the article (available online), the guy who did the WIFE Pool Party was Jack Sunday ... better known as Jerry Baker. He's still an active radio announcer in the Indianapolis area, and to the person who was looking for Pool Party recordings, you might try to contact Jerry through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, for which he works as an Indy 500 announcer. Try calling the track and see if they can help you get a message to Jerry.

2. For anyone who hasn't heard, there's a (relatively) new film out called Naptown Rock Radio Wars.
It's a documentary about the on-air battle between WIFE, WNAP, etc. It was just shown on Channel 20 in Indianapolis; for more info, go to http://www.videopolis.tv/

Good luck.

oldladygator15 said...

I used to babysit for Tom Mathis. He had awesome children. I used to go to Party Tyme, St Rita's, The Barn, The Roof, & West Lake w Tom. WIFE radio was a real trend setter. Tom created Battle of the Bands, Kinney Shoe sponsored high school news, & huge shows & contests. His listening audence was huge. Amazing time...I loved it all....best time of my life...

Karen said...

I have an original flyer from WIFE radio
"Right On WIFE 13 Happy New Year From WIFE 13 The Top 100 songs of 1975"
Anyone interested in buying it?

Mr. Izor said...

Hello Todd!
Thanks for posting this- I'm really looking fwd to hearing the Sam and Dave Country Club ad.

However, it looks like the file isn't there to play. Would you mind reposting it?
Thank you!!

Mr. Izor said...

Ahh- I was able to get to it through the old link. Thank you!

John Doe said...

Hi! Thi is Geore Napolitano from the Ox-Bow Incident. Thanks for mentioning our song "Harmonica Man"! Much appreciated!!
I'm listening and Love the aircheck. It definitely brought me back to WMCA days in New York with our "Good Guys". Thanks for sharing!

John Doe said...

Hi! Thi is Geore Napolitano from the Ox-Bow Incident. Thanks for mentioning our song "Harmonica Man"! Much appreciated!!
I'm listening and Love the aircheck. It definitely brought me back to WMCA days in New York with our "Good Guys". Thanks for sharing!

LONE STAR DEAD RADIO said...

DOES ANYONE HAVE INFO FOR JAY REYNOLDS TODAY ??