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Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
Y M Ionhere
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by Y M Ionhere » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:59 pm

WJOI was pretty much the last one in Detroit. They originally played muzak-does anyone even perform that anymore? Hell, can you even buy or download old muzak anywhere?
Eventually, they switched to a more vocal-intensive format. I had a tape somewhere of a WJOI music bloc, containing Paul Davis' "Cool Night", Stephen Bishops "On And On", "Mr Bojangles" and a Kenny Rogers song ("She Believes In Me"? Maybe "Lady").
When did they drop the muzak for pop?
My mom loved WLTI (93.1) and was upset when dance pop replaced it. WLTI was basically vocal pop, like WJOI ended up chasing after



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GREATLAKESVET
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by GREATLAKESVET » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:07 pm

89.7 FM in Windsor in 1976 when it was CJOM. It switched from AOR to easy-listening. It all happened when Geoff Stirling, the station's owner, I believe, informed station management to gather together the entire air-staff in one room. An audiotape recorded by Stirling informed them that they were terminated immediately. Radio and TV stations seem to have more than their share of quirky managers and owners. WQTE was beautiful music until the mid-70s when it became the AM side of Honey Radio. I have to agree with a previous poster, I wish this format could be found on terrestrial broadcasters, even if it was on the HD side or better. Could it really do any worse than following everyone else with diluted formats? Or why not switch AM to all-digital, just like the TV bands did? I'd like to hear something besides endless conservative talk, sports or brokered programming. Commercial radio has become a totally wasted medium because of lack of choices.
Last edited by GREATLAKESVET on Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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ChrisWL1980
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:26 pm

Radiobingoking wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:54 am
Currently I am listening to a Beautiful Music station. It is WAVV/101.1 from Marco Island, Florida. The first song they played was an instrumental version of "I Love Paris." That was followed by Perry Como "And I Love You So." The third song was an instrumental. That was followed by "Our Day Will Come" by Azevedo.
And now that format is kaput, replaced by "relaxing favorites" soft AC.


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ChrisWL1980
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:49 pm

CK-722 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:22 pm
WLDM 95.5 later became WCZY, and later WDEE/WLQV 1500 was WCZY and simulcasted Beautiful Music as I recall.
Storer Broadcasting first flipped then WJBK-AM 1500 (and FM 93.1) to beautiful music in 1964. Keener 13 had quickly replaced WJBK and WXYZ as the Top-40 leader and WJBK had been beset by further bad luck in the form of tower issues. That made WJBK the second Top 40 station in Detroit to flip to a beautiful music format, following 560 WQTE in 1961. It also left WIBG in Philly as Storer's only remaining Top 40 property (WJW in Cleveland and WHN in New York (the former Top 40 WMGM) also had beautiful music formats).

Over the next five years WJBK's format evolved to a contemporary MOR direction until JBK went back to Top 40 in the spring or summer of 1969, only to be replaced by country WDEE ("We've Done Everything Else") that December.

I've read WBRB-FM 102.7 in Mount Clemens was a beautiful music station until Inner City Broadcasting purchased them in 1978 or so and they went Disco as WLBS.

And the original W4 (106.7) was a "good music" station in 1967-68, owned by none other than Top 40 pioneer Gordon McLendon of KLIF fame. McLendon was a beautiful music pioneer as well, having launched the legendary KABL in San Francisco.

Up in Port Huron, I seem to recall 107.1 WSAQ having a beautiful music format prior to going Country.

Other out-of-market biggies that carried into the Detroit area included WGMZ 107.9 Flint (became Cars 108 in 1984), WJIM-FM 97.5 Lansing, and "Stereo 101" WLQR Toledo.


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ChrisWL1980
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:52 pm

GREATLAKESVET wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:07 pm
89.7 FM in Windsor in 1976 when it was CJOM. It switched from AOR to easy-listening. It all happened when Geoff Stirling, the station's owner, I believe, informed station management to gather together the entire air-staff in one room. An audiotape recorded by Stirling informed them that they were terminated immediately. Radio and TV stations seem to have more than their share or quirky managers and owners. WQTE was beautiful music until the mid-70s when it became the AM side of Honey Radio. I have to agree with a previous poster, I wish this format could be found on terrestrial broadcasters, even if it was on the HD side or better. Could it really do any worse than following everyone else with diluted formats? Or why not switch AM to all-digital, just like the TV bands did? I'd like to hear something besides endless conservative talk, sports or brokered programming. Commercial radio has become a totally wasted medium because of lack of choices.
88.7's original format was beautiful music in 1967, as CKWW-FM. Some sources list their power as 150kw or 160kw at the time.


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MisterGoodrich2U
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by MisterGoodrich2U » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:33 pm

I had the pleasure of working at one of the last BM stations in Michigan, 96.3 Michigan's Beautiful North (WMBN/Petoskey), in the mid-1980s.

I also worked at a short-lived AC in Muskegon, which switched BM from the FM to AM while I was there for less than a year, 1991, then simulcast BM when AC failed (horribly programmed).



ChrisWL1980
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:59 pm

MisterGoodrich2U wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:33 pm
I had the pleasure of working at one of the last BM stations in Michigan, 96.3 Michigan's Beautiful North (WMBN/Petoskey), in the mid-1980s.

I also worked at a short-lived AC in Muskegon, which switched BM from the FM to AM while I was there for less than a year, 1991, then simulcast BM when AC failed (horribly programmed).
Are you referring to "Fun 101.7" WQFN (formerly WQWQ, which assumed the former call letters and format of WSNX)?

There's actually a short aircheck of it here:
http://46124.info/FM/Michigan/MI%20Musk ... 20WQFN.mp3

And here's the station a year earlier as WQWQ:
http://46124.info/FM/Michigan/MI%20Musk ... 20WQWQ.mp3

And WMBN-FM also from 1989:
http://46124.info/FM/Michigan/MI%20Peto ... 20WMBN.mp3


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CK-722
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by CK-722 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:17 pm

ChrisWL1980 wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:52 pm
GREATLAKESVET wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:07 pm
89.7 FM in Windsor in 1976 when it was CJOM. It switched from AOR to easy-listening. It all happened when Geoff Stirling, the station's owner, I believe, informed station management to gather together the entire air-staff in one room. An audiotape recorded by Stirling informed them that they were terminated immediately. Radio and TV stations seem to have more than their share or quirky managers and owners. WQTE was beautiful music until the mid-70s when it became the AM side of Honey Radio. I have to agree with a previous poster, I wish this format could be found on terrestrial broadcasters, even if it was on the HD side or better. Could it really do any worse than following everyone else with diluted formats? Or why not switch AM to all-digital, just like the TV bands did? I'd like to hear something besides endless conservative talk, sports or brokered programming. Commercial radio has become a totally wasted medium because of lack of choices.
88.7's original format was beautiful music in 1967, as CKWW-FM. Some sources list their power as 150kw or 160kw at the time.
The Canadian Communications Foundation showed it as 84000 watts. Sometimes back then they would double the Circular Polarized ERP, in this case to 168000 watts. When Canadian FM stations have a DA, sometimes they show an average ERP, sometimes a maximum ERP.

https://www.broadcasting-history.ca/lis ... io/cimx-fm


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Some Guy from Toledo
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by Some Guy from Toledo » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:28 am

I do miss the format.



KeenerGold
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by KeenerGold » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:53 am

WGDN-FM 103.1 was one of the last BM stations in the state, before flipping to lite AC in the early 90's and then Country.



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MisterGoodrich2U
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by MisterGoodrich2U » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:03 pm

Chris,
Yes! That is the station (The unFun One!). That's Geoff Brown on it, formerly of W-Light/GR.

The WMBN is a recorded bumper by Old Man Mac.



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WOHO
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by WOHO » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:31 pm

And in Toledo, it was "Stereo 101, WLQR, Toledo, boom-boom-da-boom-boom" and I believe WXEZ-FM 105.5 was programmed by Bonneville, similar to 97.1 in Detroit. I liked WCZY, Cozy from Detroit as well. I still think that there's a market to throw beautiful music on underused AM stations, and Turkeytop has it right, no better music than from "Percy Faith, Henry Mancini, James Last, Bert Kaempfert, Ray Conniff -..." wish it was on the air; closest on-air station I've found is KLUX 89.5 Corpus Christi



JGP1954
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by JGP1954 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:31 pm

Doesn't anybody remember "Detroit Beautiful Place to Be!", "WWJ-FM 97.1 ". Or, their legendary competitor, "From the Golden Tower of the Fisher Building, WJR-FM 96.3". Both stations were highly rated and had separate staffs, etc., including sales staffs. Both stations were separate from their AMs.



ChrisWL1980
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:28 pm

JGP1954 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:31 pm
Doesn't anybody remember "Detroit Beautiful Place to Be!", "WWJ-FM 97.1 ". Or, their legendary competitor, "From the Golden Tower of the Fisher Building, WJR-FM 96.3". Both stations were highly rated and had separate staffs, etc., including sales staffs. Both stations were separate from their AMs.
I have no first-hand memories of WWJ-FM, as I was about 1 1/2 years old when they became WJOI in the fall of 1981. However, I grew up listening to WJOI and remember well their evolution into a vocals-based soft AC sound in the early '90s. I remember how strange it was to hear them play a Janet Jackson song in their last few months before they became Star 97, although that song was perhaps the most "MOR" one she ever did ("Again").

I believe WWJ-FM used the FM 100 Plan service syndicated out of WLOO (now WSHE) in Chicago, and later switched to the Bonneville format after they became WJOI. WJR-FM, I believe, used TM's format, which was also used on 102.5 WGER in Bay City.

Here's a WWJ-FM aircheck from 1977. I think it was first posted on the original Detroit Radio Flashbacks site.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SfL-Kk1ffk

Apparently WWJ-AM simulcast WWJ-FM overnights during the '70s. I've seen Art Vuolo station guides that seem to confirm this.

WJR-FM also carried CBS' "Young Sound" programming during the late 1960s, which was sort of an early version of what the B/EZ format would become in the later '70s and into the '80s: fewer standards and light classical pieces, more instrumental or MOR-vocal covers of recent pop chart hits and the occasional original hit recording. It was carried by the CBS O&O FM stations (WJR was a CBS affiliate at that time though not an O&O) and also syndicated. This was replaced by Drake-Chenault's "Solid Gold" circa 1970, and then the station went back to B/EZ around 1973 or '74 if I'm not mistaken.

As far as the last true B/EZ station in the state, my impression has been that it was 97.7 WTGV-FM in Sandusky. They were still promoting themselves as an "easy listening" station as late as 1998 and still carrying some instrumentals, although by then the instrumentals were largely smooth jazz and a few oddball choices like "Moments in Love" by Art of Noise.

As far as examples of the format still around today, they're getting scarcer especially since WAVV's evolution to Soft AC, but in addition to KLUX, there's also KHOY 88.1 in Laredo, TX (https://www.dioceseoflaredo.org/khoy-88 ... od-company) which like KLUX is owned by the local Catholic diocese, as well as WGCY 106.3 in Gibson City, IL, which sadly seems to no longer be streaming except for local sports. The "Jewel" stations in Canada (the closest one to Michigan is CKPC 92.1 Brantford ON) also feature an hour of traditional beautiful music programming in the late evenings (or at least did last I listened).


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innate-in-you
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Re: Beautiful Music Stations in Detroit

Post by innate-in-you » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:03 am

We got our first AM/FM radio in about 1971. I found it curbside a few doors down, its owner having thrown it out. It was a Lloyd's.

We took it to Metry Sound on Harper Avenue, where the repairman replaced two tubes to bring it back to life. Just months later, Metry Sound closed shop.

At that time, WJR-FM was trying out a format called "California".

The were several BFL stations on the dials, most notably WLDM, WJR-FM and WWJ-FM three in a row, with WNIC and WOMC also being BFL, as was WQTE 560 AM.



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