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Old Timey Radio
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Adam Verner
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Joined: 04 Jan 2007
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Old Timey Radio Reply with quote

My dad was in radio back in the 70s and early 80s. He passed away before I hit high school and I have very little left of him. Recently I stumbled across a few unseen pictures, I believe a station where he worked at one point:

https://imgur.com/a/LclB3l8

(My dad not the man pictured, must have been a co-worker)

Anyone recognize the equipment or time period? Smile
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like a lot of the places where i used to work! definitely see the sonomag cart carousel! and those turntables weighed like, 60 pounds!

cue burn, anyone?
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Kim Fuller
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Dad was in radio at exactly the same time and this is all very familiar. I can't help with naming any of the equipment - but thanks for posting the pics. It brought back memories...
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Frank F
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late 60's early 70's from the pics.

The R-to-R without computer interface and Sonomag carousel was at a radio station I visited in 1972 and at that time it was brand spankin' new. The sweater and tie also reveal a lot about the time period.

Contact WXRO and see if they have any information from the period.

Good luck.

F2
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Lee Gordon
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The top picture looks like a news studio, rather than one for DJs. The giveaways are the typewriter and Shure mixer rather than a full fledged audio console.
The middle picture is definitely automation equipment. Perhaps the station ran canned programming overnight and possibly other parts of the day. Or it could have been a rock station on AM and something like "beautiful music" on FM, in which case, the automation would have been for the FM.
The bottom picture looks like your typical DJ studio.
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Last edited by Lee Gordon on Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had one of those sonomag "walls" nearly crush me in a tornado once.

while i was on the air warning people about the tornado.

i think i said a bad word.
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on the ITC tape cartridge machines (the SP model in the automation rack and the 3D model in the lower studio shot), this would have been, at the earliest, 1976.

Originally WBEV-FM (Beaver Dam, Wisconsin), the call letters changed to WXRO in 1975 and, since 1976, was a Country station, until flipping to Hot AC in July 2019.
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Philip Banks
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Joined: 20 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Harrison wrote:

Originally WBEV-FM (Beaver Dam, Wisconsin), the call letters changed to WXRO in 1975 and, since 1976, was a Country station, until flipping to Hot AC in July 2019.


1st - The name of the town is just WRONG! I so didn't giggle like a 13 year old.
2nd - The rest of the post was simply Comrade Mikeski passing intel to his Control in Vladivostok.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny story while we're on the topic of certain animals:

Some time ago DW applied for online access to her bank account. It asked her to answer a couple of questions for future security needs. When she answered "What was your high school mascot?" it told her she could not use obscene language. She can't help it if the school's teams were named the Scottsdale High Beavers.

She chose another question to answer.


B
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i knew a high beaver once.



once.
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Adam Verner
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, that's amazing! I had forgotten my dad lived in Beaver Dam for a while - and with the letters being WXRO it must be '75 at the earliest. I was born in '79.
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Frank F
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little research shows it was an Easy Listening FM and Rock/News Talk AM from around '65.

This is almost fun.

F2
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I started in radio we didn't have those carousels. We had to pick and choose the carts (cartridges) of commercials, promos, and jingles, ahead of each hour. We didn't have carts for music at first. Too expensive or too wonky. Almost every bit of music was on a record to start. We got really good at reading the credits under the song title as it went around and around at 45 r.p.m. on the turntables so we could tell listeners who wrote it if we didn't know.

Later all the music was on cart and I got out of the biz just as everything was about to go to all digital computerized stuff.

I've got some wild and woolly stories from those days that only a few diehard radio veterans would enjoy. Djs can be even more boring than doctors at a cocktail party.


B
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Frank F
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Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Bruce, I remember getting finger rash from cuing up a 45 and keeping the turntable running so I could get a "kick-start" on a song.

And the carts were as you described for advertising and promos. Then we grew up and put our music on carts too. An hours worth of music and ads were two feet high.

The first station I worked with had numerous reel-to-reels and ads were on on small reels. There were cheap and so was the station management.

The fun was when we took the 45's that we were not going to use at any time and used them for skeet shooting with pellet rifles out in the field where the antenna was located. Until we had to clean up all the vinyl scraps.

Good times, long past.

F2
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Verner wrote:
with the letters being WXRO it must be '75 at the earliest.

Well, maybe late '75. Because those tape cartridge machines were built according to standards developed and adopted during 1975 is why I said '76. Wink
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