Friday, November 22, 2013
Classic Post: WIXY 1260 Super Radio
I know, I know. Tim Lones is the classic media expert, but I've had the 74WIXYgrad moniker long enough to be able to post about one of the all time classic top 40 radio stations.
Next, a shout out goes to Ray Glasser, webmaster of the unofficial WIXY/1260 tribute site, where I got the header for this post. Ray was kind enough to leave a message for me in my comment section last weekend.
I think all of us baby boomers had our own personal stations when we were growing up. Me, I had several. First station I can remember listening to was KYW/1100, then WKYC or KY11, Power Radio.
When I was about 12 years old, I discovered the station which would provide the soundtrack for most of my teenage years-WIXY/1260.
It was 1967, and I had gotten a transistor radio for Christmas, which was a big deal for me. that meant I could tune wherever I wanted. I would go from KY11 to the Big 8-CKLW, which was in Windsor, Ontario. Most of the time however, I would tune in to WIXY since that's what all the "groovy" people did.
I first listened to Joe Finan doing the morning show and remembered when he was walking for some charity and would walk while the pledges were coming in. I remember one time that day that the pledges momentarily stopped and the disc jockey on the air told Joe to stop walking.
I remember Larry Morrow, with his "What's Cooking" contest, where he would give ingredients then ask listeners to guess what he was making. His show was catered to young housewives and it aired from 10am to 2pm.
Other WIXY dj's I remember listening to was Chuck Dunaway, Chuck Knapp,and Dick Kemp-the wild child.
Mike Reineri soon replaced Joe Finan in the morning and was morning man for most of the 10-1/2 year history of WIXY. One of the producers, Ira Rubins, was the education director at the WIXY School of Broadcast Technique when I attended. One of his newsmen was Bill Clark, who became general manager at the WIXY School.
While I was attending classes, I was able to hear some humorous stories about the station. One of these was during the Mike Reineri show. Ira said that Reineri was taking a call from a lady who said she had a problem, but couldn't disclose it for fear of embarrassment. he than told her that she could tell her problem, but was easing away from the "dump" button. After enough convincing, she told Mike she had a bad problem with gas. At this point everybody in the studio has a world class case of the giggles. Mike Reineri then did the only thing he could do- he hit the news sounder. Bill Clark then gave the fastest news report he would ever give and taped the rest of his reports that morning.
Other stories had to do with Larry Morrow. It was said that sometimes it was a challenge to break him up while reading commercials. One time someone set fire to the copy he was reading, another time he was reading a commercial for an acne treatment product when someone had put red spots over their face in anticipation of the commercial, put something in their mouth and popped their face like a pimple.
When I went to the school, I went past the WIXY studio, which was glass encased. The mid morning jock at that time was a man named Michael Collins. I went past there one day and he was interviewing a young Michael Jackson(insert joke here). Another time he was interviewing Ron Howard and Anson Williams. They had been on the Morning Exchange earlier, being in town to promote their fairly new show "Happy Days."
I would say that one of the big thrills this wet behind the ears, 18 year old recent high school graduate had was when I was asked to give up the studio that I was practicing in for this ad agency who wanted Mike Reineri to do this commercial. It was a 10 second spot for a sale on "Bomb Pops" at Convenient Food Mart.
All I have to do is tell people my forum name, and the first reaction is "I remember WIXY." The most recent response was Tim Daugherty last weekend at the St. V-St. M band show. The WONE morning show host told me that he was one of the last listeners of WIXY, as he was listening when the station changed their call letters tio WMGC, the first "Magic Radio" in Cleveland. He listened to WIXY when others were defecting to G98.
Once again this has been some of my personal reflections. To learn more about this all time classic station, click here to go to the WIXY Tribute site, and drop Ray Glasser a note, telling him how much you appreciate his efforts.