"No Static At All - The Best '70s FM Radio Stations"
Once upon a time, AM was the cool setting for your radio, while FM was for
your dentist's waiting room. In the '70s freeform, progressive, album rock --
or whatever you want to call it -- flipped the script. Here are some of the
era's best in album-oriented FM stations from coast to coast.
* WNEW-FM (New York). During the day, gravel-voiced "Scottso" Munie played
the newest "things from England," while at night Alison Steele ("The
Nightbird") took listeners to new heights.
* KMPX and later KSAN (San Francisco). Home to Tom Donahue, one of the
founding fathers of progressive radio, and, for a brief time, Howard
Hesseman, who later played DJ Dr. Johnny Fever on TV's "WKRP in Cincinnati."
* KPPC and later KMET (Los Angeles). Featured the thematic stylings of Jim
Ladd; Top 40 convert B. Mitchel Reed; Dr. Demento (who dug way, way back);
and comedy team The Credibility Gap, featuring future Spinal Tappers Harry
Shearer and Michael McKean.
* WBCN (Boston). They were really rockin' in Boston, where the J. Geils Band's
Peter Wolf came out to howl, Charles Laquidara nudged listeners awake on The
Big Mattress, and Jerry "Duke of Madness" Goodwin ruled the overnights.
* WMMS (Cleveland). Proving Cleveland really does rock, "The Buzzard" gave
acts like David Bowie, Rush, and Bruce Springsteen early exposure in America.
* WMMR (Philadelphia). The first spot on the dial to play artists like Yes
and Billy Joel, thanks to Dave Herman's "Marconi Experiment" and Ed Sciaky's
* WHFS (Baltimore). Home of the "never play a hit" policy, where personalities
like the Weasel and Bob "Here" featured extra-long tracks from the likes of
Frank Zappa, Genesis, and George Thorogood.
- from Book of Days: '70s, Harvey Solomon & Rich Appel (Metro Books, 2009).
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