© 2016 Steven M. Geisler
© 2016 Steven M. Geisler
A Tribute to Florida’s first radio station - Tiger Radio in Miami, Florida - One of the great Storz Stations
HELP!
WQAM Jingles Needed   I am desperately looking for the following WQAM jingle packages: Ullman “One-derful” Series Pepper Fun Series CRC Series 34 Holiday Series Futursonic Time and Temperature Jingles PAMS Series 25B “The Happy Differnce” - Sonovox Version PAMS Series 25D “Cheerleaders” - Male Vocals PAMS Series 17 and 18 - Instrumental Cuts A 1963 package by a group called the Skipjacks It was a complete set of jingles including new time and temperarure jingles. If you have any of these please contact: wqam@560.com

Words from Neal Sanders, a WQAM fan...

I grew up in south Florida in the 1960s (Miami Springs High School, class of 1967) and, like every teenager everywhere in America, I spent my days and nights listening to the radio. Viewed from the perspective of more than 30 years, the handful of years between 1962 and 1967 were clearly the last time when one radio station could capture the entire rangeof popular music. Within a few years, rock and roll and fragmented into half a dozen constituent pieces,each one catered to by a different FM radio station. WQAM was as good as radio got. The station played an extraordinarily broad range of music, kept very close to local trends, and had, far and away, the best deejays.  (There was no contest between WQAM and WFUN; WQAM won hands down.) We continually were exposed to music beyond what was in Billboard's Hot 100. For example, somebody at the station liked Cat Stevens.  His music was played ­ and charted ­ three years before he achieved national recognition.  We also heard music that was specific to other regions of the country, probably as a result of call-in requests from teens on vacation with their parents.  The Cryan' Shames were a Chicago group with a lone hit to their credit. But "It Could Be We're In Love" was top ten on WQAM in the summer and fall of 1967, despite going no higher than #86 on Billboard. The Beach Boys "Heroes and Villains," generally regarded as their masterpiece today, was quickly dropped by most stations.  But not WQAM, where the record got daily air play for seven weeks. Betty Swan seldom if ever crossed over from the R&B charts, yet I'm looking at "Make Me Yours" at #5 from that same summer. On the same chart, though, was also my parents' music":  Engelbert Humperdink, Al Martino, and Frankie Laine.  On WQAM, the Summer of Love had many strange bedfellows. The station's loyalty to local bands was admirable to a fault. We heard every new release by the Birdwatchers, Steve Alaimo, the Clefs of Lavender Hill, and the Present, and their songs all went top ten (whether some of those Birdwatchers songs deserved to be so highly ranked is debatable). We heard Sam and Dave long before they achieved national prominence.
But it was the deejays that stay most in my mind.  My clock radio awakened me to Lee Sherwood or Roby Yonge (did he really get his start at WQAM?), I came home to Jim Dunlap, and did my homework to Rick Shaw. They were empathic, they apparently enjoyed their jobs (and their celebrity) and they were funny. Yes, they played 16 songs an hour, but in between was a continual patter of jokes, contests and noises (I remember kissing a girl to Rick Shaw's "kissing tone"). The era of that kind of radio is long past.  I once tried explaining to today's kids; they couldn't get it because they had no possible frame of reference. They could not image a time when a station's playlist turned over every ten weeks, and when the Beatles' "Paperback Writer" could share the airwaves and the charts with Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night." And today's "oldies" stations have reduced the thousands of records that got airplay during those magical years to a hundred or so focus-group-approved perennials. It isn't the same. But I still have a battered copy of "Stop! Get a Ticket" (inspired by the tollbooths on the Florida Turnpike) and "Many's the Slip Twixt the Cup and the Lip." Rather than listen to the 15th weekly airing of "Wild Thing," I play these forgotten records I once heard on WQAM, or play tapes of them, as I drive to work.  And, for a few moments, I can envision myself headed not for my office in Boston, but to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park or the long strand of beach north of the Hollywood pier. The music still sounds great.  All it lacks is an introduction by Rick Shaw. Neal Sanders
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© 2016 Steven M. Geisler
HELP!
WQAM Jingles Needed   I am desperately looking for the following WQAM jingle packages: Ullman “One-derful” Series Pepper Fun Series CRC Series 34 Holiday Series Futursonic Time and Temperature Jingles PAMS Series 25B “The Happy Differnce” - Sonovox Version PAMS Series 25D “Cheerleaders” - Male Vocals PAMS Series 17 and 18 - Instrumental Cuts A 1963 package by a group called the Skipjacks It was a complete set of jingles including new time and temperarure jingles. If you have any of these please contact: wqam@560.com

Words from Neal Sanders, a

WQAM fan...

I grew up in south Florida in the 1960s (Miami Springs High School, class of 1967) and, like every teenager everywhere in America, I spent my days and nights listening to the radio. Viewed from the perspective of more than 30 years, the handful of years between 1962 and 1967 were clearly the last time when one radio station could capture the entire rangeof popular music. Within a few years, rock and roll and fragmented into half a dozen constituent pieces,each one catered to by a different FM radio station. WQAM was as good as radio got. The station played an extraordinarily broad range of music, kept very close to local trends, and had, far and away, the best deejays.  (There was no contest between WQAM and WFUN; WQAM won hands down.) We continually were exposed to music beyond what was in Billboard's Hot 100. For example, somebody at the station liked Cat Stevens.  His music was played ­ and charted ­ three years before he achieved national recognition.  We also heard music that was specific to other regions of the country, probably as a result of call-in requests from teens on vacation with their parents.  The Cryan' Shames were a Chicago group with a lone hit to their credit. But "It Could Be We're In Love" was top ten on WQAM in the summer and fall of 1967, despite going no higher than #86 on Billboard. The Beach Boys "Heroes and Villains," generally regarded as their masterpiece today, was quickly dropped by most stations.  But not WQAM, where the record got daily air play for seven weeks. Betty Swan seldom if ever crossed over from the R&B charts, yet I'm looking at "Make Me Yours" at #5 from that same summer. On the same chart, though, was also my parents' music":  Engelbert Humperdink, Al Martino, and Frankie Laine.  On WQAM, the Summer of Love had many strange bedfellows. The station's loyalty to local bands was admirable to a fault. We heard every new release by the Birdwatchers, Steve Alaimo, the Clefs of Lavender Hill, and the Present, and their songs all went top ten (whether some of those Birdwatchers songs deserved to be so highly ranked is debatable). We heard Sam and Dave long before they achieved national prominence.
But it was the deejays that stay most in my mind.  My clock radio awakened me to Lee Sherwood or Roby Yonge (did he really get his start at WQAM?), I came home to Jim Dunlap, and did my homework to Rick Shaw. They were empathic, they apparently enjoyed their jobs (and their celebrity) and they were funny. Yes, they played 16 songs an hour, but in between was a continual patter of jokes, contests and noises (I remember kissing a girl to Rick Shaw's "kissing tone"). The era of that kind of radio is long past.  I once tried explaining to today's kids; they couldn't get it because they had no possible frame of reference. They could not image a time when a station's playlist turned over every ten weeks, and when the Beatles' "Paperback Writer" could share the airwaves and the charts with Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night." And today's "oldies" stations have reduced the thousands of records that got airplay during those magical years to a hundred or so focus-group-approved perennials. It isn't the same. But I still have a battered copy of "Stop! Get a Ticket" (inspired by the tollbooths on the Florida Turnpike) and "Many's the Slip Twixt the Cup and the Lip." Rather than listen to the 15th weekly airing of "Wild Thing," I play these forgotten records I once heard on WQAM, or play tapes of them, as I drive to work.  And, for a few moments, I can envision myself headed not for my office in Boston, but to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park or the long strand of beach north of the Hollywood pier. The music still sounds great.  All it lacks is an introduction by Rick Shaw. Neal Sanders