Aircheck: WRBQ, 1/21/1983

Aircheck time once again. This time, it’s another look at Q-105, but this time we’re going back a little further to January 21, 1983. Mason Dixon, Cat Sommers, and Tramonte Watts are the DJ’s on this Friday evening.

The Q-105 “Tookie Bird” was being heavily promoted that evening, probably to keep the listeners engaged on a busy night for many Tampa Bay residents before the weekend. If my childhood memories are correct, when the Tookie Bird sounder went off, (“Awk awk, eek eek, tookie tookie!”), whoever was the 3rd caller (or whatever caller was designated as the prize winning call) won some money. Usually it was $100, but there were occasions when the station would give away $1,000 or even $10,000 with their promotions.

Promotions like this you don’t see too often these days, mainly because interest in radio has declined in the last few decades. Radio stations have to make money through commercial advertising before they can give money away like that.

Aircheck: WRBQ, 10/3/1986

Thought it was time for another aircheck, and this one goes back almost 30 years ago to the fall of 1986. Yours truly was a sophomore at Largo High in this point of time, and Q-105 (WRBQ) was the big top-40 station in the market at the time. A few years later in 1990 came the birth of a rival top-40 station at 93.3 FM, branded as the “Power Pig” which within a few years ended WRBQ’s over decade-long dominance of the market as the pop market powerhouse.

Mason Dixon is the afternoon drive-time DJ, and it must be a Friday afternoon, as “Friday Festivities” are underway. After moving on from Q-105, Dixon worked for a host of local stations in the Tampa Bay market until coming back to 104.7 in the 2000’s when it became an oldies station after going country music in 1993. In 2005, the station went back to it’s “Q-105” branding to go with the oldies format it’s had ever since.

And yes, they play many of the same hits now that they played back in the day. It’s a station somewhere in time.

The Good Old Days Of Pop

Cyndi Lauper and Bonnie Tyler ham it up after the 1984 Grammys.
Cyndi Lauper and Bonnie Tyler ham it up after the 1984 Grammys.

I heard thru the modern day Grapevine that is Facebook that Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus had an argument were dissing each other at last night’s Video Music Awards hosted by MTV.

Remember when the VMA’s used to be actually hip and trendy, and classy all at the same time?

Can’t say I totally detest the raunchiness. I was listening to Madonna debuting “Like A Virgin” on the 1984 VMA’s simulcasted over Q-105 here in Tampa. I remember thinking to myself, give this song a few weeks and it will go to the top of the Billboard charts, which it did by the end of the year.

Now a days, it seems like the music business is all about getting over other artists, by any means necessary. That’s why you see Miley Cyrus naked or semi-naked on the Internet every time you turn around. That’s why you see violence at some of these award shows.

I miss the days where everybody could just appreciate the artistry. Those days are long gone.

Casey Reaches The Stars

The irony of Casey Kasem passing away on Father’s Day and on a Sunday morning didn’t escape me. On our local station here in Tampa Bay, Casey was heard on Q-105 from 10am to 2pm on Sundays for what seemed to be years on end.

I once nearly had a chance to speak with Casey, if you can believe that.

In early 1991, I was working at the Sun Radio Network, producing for Howard Hewes/Joel Vincent, Chuck Harder, and Sonny Bloch on an early week 12pm to 6pm shift. This was a little over three years before I worked with Chuck at People’s Radio Network up the road in White Springs, Florida. I’m working at Sun’s studios in eastern Clearwater, with Chuck at a studio in Cedar Key hooked up to us via a Comrex device.

One day, Chuck asks me to get a hold of Casey Kasem out in his offices in California. I guess Chuck was trying to get him to pop in for his “For The People” national broadcast, but it would wind up being a game of telephone tag. Knowing of Kasem’s work, I would have immediately recognized the voice, that’s for sure.

It was a shame that his life ended with squabbling and arguing, but everyone but the immediate family were mere spectators in that battle. Hopefully now, he can rest in peace.